Tag Archive: kola koca

10_Spiers__BodenI don’t really like to name drop. I was saying as much to Fiona Bruce when we were over at Liam Neeson’s place only the other day waiting for Noam Chomsky to turn up. So without naming names, suffice it to say that through my musical travels and via the people I meet on the local arts and music show I’m involved in, I get to talk to a lot of the people who actually make things happen in this town, everything from music and art, dance and film, to debating societies and underground media. And the common themes that come up in conversation are how much creativity there is in this town at the moment and how your average resident probably doesn’t realise it. Swindon has long had a bad press from lazy comedians looking for a convenient cliché but also, ironically, from the people who live here, creating something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. But I tell you what, Swindon is starting to hit a real ground swell of creative energy, things seem to be falling into place, Swindon is becoming, dare I say it…cool. We just need to get behind our town and show the rest of the country what we have here.

Helping to pave that good reputation we have a week of great and varied music on offer. Tonight at The Victoria, after a couple of recent mellower shows, Songs of Praise is going all loud and shouty with 50 Shades of Punk, a band definitely keeping their genre alive with high octane music and a hyperactive live show. Support comes from another local favourite, 2 Sick Monkeys, a frantic punk drum and bass 2 piece known as much for their between song rants as their relentless musical style. Opening the show is Parva Hinton, a London based, future punk, synth sound clash.

If you prefer something less likely to upset the neighbours and spill your beer then maybe an evening of Chicago blues at The Beehive courtesy of Built For Comfort is more your thing.

Friday brings lots of opportunity for you to get behind your live music scene. At The Royal Oak, The AK-Poets mix great melodies with an uncompromising rock and roll delivery and a charismatic stage presents whilst at The Beehive The Blue Tree’s take rock and roll on a southern road trip.

A couple of acoustic options also pop up on the radar. Riffs Bar acoustic session features Leicester songster Paul McClure and Southern Folk who as their name suggests play a range of rootsy Americana flavours. The Regent plays host to Darren Hodge who you may have seen recently shortlisted in the Young Folk competition at the recent BBC Folk Awards. Also appearing is Ethemia, makers of lush dream-folk music who also featured recently on BBC radio as guests of Gaby Roslin.

Covers can be had either at The Rolleston with Humdinger playing contemporary rock standards or if you prefer a band with a sillier take on the idea, Kova Me Badd at The Victoria parody the pop classics.

Saturday continues largely in the same vein with tributes to Bon Jovi at The Victoria, Steely Dan at Riffs Bar and Rory Gallagher at The Rolleston plus party covers from Breeze at The Royal Oak. Classic rock is supplied by Rorke’s Drift at The Swiss Chalet. If however you are feeling stout of heart, reckless or just know no better then a trip to The Castle will find you in the dubious company of rhythm and booze legends, The Hamsters From Hell. Loud, in your face, no holds barred riotous pub rock flavoured with beards, beer, blasphemy and a bad attitude.  What could possibly go wrong?

If you need something less abrasive to wind the weekend down then The Beehive afternoon session features Kola Koca, a band renowned for a mix of eclectic styles, social commentary, politics and humour.

Jazz fans can catch The Wayne Elliot Trio at The Plough that evening and then on Tuesday at Baker Street The Graham Taylor Quartet. Meanwhile just along the road at The Arts Centre, Spiers and Boden (pictured) , better known as Eliza Carthy sidekicks and founders of folk super group Bellowhead, are playing what they have announced will be their last show in duo format for the foreseeable future. So, definitely one to catch.

Finally The Crown at Stratton on Wednesday features the delicate sounds and considerable song craft of Louise Latham.


In many ways today can be seen as the anniversary of the birth of the rock and roll era. It was sixty years ago today that a Tennessee truck driver payed $3.98 to go into a Memphis studio and record a two track disc as a present for his mother. This may have been a footnote in the annals of music history had that truck driver not been Elvis Presley. Five years later an even more significant event occurred in Manchester, England when Nigel Twist came kicking and screaming into the world, presumably already sporting aviator shades and back combed hair. Significant as he went on to drum for The Alarm and record Sixty Eight Guns! I guess it’s all relative but in my world a much more important event, I mean Elvis Presley…what ever happened to him?

Anyway back in the modern age we seem to have a week of quality over quantity when it comes to live music options. Tonight a quite bizarre selection is on offer at The Victoria as Three Minute Tease (pictured) pay a return visit to Songs of Praise. Formed around Sacramento musical oddball Anton Barbeau and featuring a rhythm section made up of post-punk royalty in the form of Morris Windsor and Andy Metcalfe (former Robyn Hitchcock bandmates in The Soft Boys and The Egyptians) this band are a must see for fans of Julian Cope, Syd Barrett, XTC and psychedelic, underground, power-pop in general. Add to that the equally left field Schnauser who sound like The Bonzo Dog Band re-writing Pet Sounds and the more accessible but no less brilliant 8 Minutes Later providing the filling in this strange musical sandwich and you have something a bit special.

Also a bit special is Kent DuChaine at the The Beehive, who delivers a taste of the Delta through his authentic slide blues sound drawn from his “beat up 1934 National Steel guitar.” You can almost taste the mint julep!

On Friday, again it is The Victoria that offers something a bit special. Anyone who caught The Lovers play their stripped down set their back in April will know how great this band is, this time they are back fully amped up, no holds barred. They are a band that prove that rock can have good melody or pop can have attitude and drive, depending on which angle you look at it from. And I also managed to get through that description without resorting to the lazy journalistic fall back of pointing out that they are an all girl band. Damn!

Also on the bill are the ever popular Shudders who seem to be moving from strength to strength with their ever evolving brand of folk meets alt-country meets lo-fi pop meets…anything they can think of really. Plummie Rackett in solo mode opens up the nights proceedings.

At The Beehive, masters of the cross-generic set, Kola Koca, make a welcome return. Freely mixing styles as diverse as folk and jazz, blues and pop to drive some great social observations, kitchen sink dramas, politics and humour, this is a band that you really need to see.

After this the weekend switches away from original music but that’s not to say that there isn’t some great music to be had. (I know I do have a bit of a reputation of not favouring cover and tribute bands so much but it’s probably time to come clean that my favourite song of all time is Kirsty McColl’s 12” version of A New England – not only a cover but an extended re-mix, there I said it.) Friday is all about a range of covers from The Great Nothing at The Rolleston and on Saturday a couple of tributes might take your interest, Green Day at The Victoria and Ian Dury and The Blockheads at The Rolleston.

Original music comes back on the radar on Wednesday with Louise Latham at The Running Horse. Dealing in heartfelt and painfully honest lyrics, driven by wonderfully understated piano, and for this gig accompanied by her sister on guitar, if you are fans of the likes of Sarah MacLachlan, Tori Amos or the more sweeping end of The Indigo Girls, then this is for you. The Beehive are at the other end of the musical scale with Loonaloop and their genre hopping, cosmic electronica.

Final mention is for the show at The Victoria which sees Old Colors bringing back their cinematic folk pop to brighten up your mid-week slump support comes in the form of the ambient pop of The Sea,The Sea and the gentle balladry of Billyjon.

Library - 117I was amused to read today that the entire life and career of Phil Collins has been revealed to be an elaborate hoax. The man we believed to be Collins is in fact satirist  Murgatroyd Trole, who hatched the plan in the mid sixties. An anonymous acquaintance, worried that he was never going to get his cut of the escalating scam, revealed to the press today that Trole wanted to create a shambolic, goblin-like figure and see just how far he could take it, and it seems to have worked like a charm; platinum albums, film roles and even a rap tribute album (you would have thought that would have aroused suspicion!) Trole’s other equally ambitious scams recently revealed include Heart fm, Chris Huhne’s driving licence, the entire cast of Made in Chelsea, the body of Richard III and a large capacity venue in Swindon town centre.


However if you want something more honest, look no further than The Victoria tonight for a bit of a special gig. Super Squarecloud have been at the forefront of a wonderful musical resurgence in this town over the last couple of years and it is with a heavy heart that we announce that this will be multi-instrumentalist and semi-professional pan basher Chris’s last show before heading off to see the world. His musical skills are widely believed by faith healers to hold miraculous powers – he once made a blind man deaf – but please head along anyway to give him a great send off. Also on the bill are Million Faces, yet another talented bunch from the musical Mecca of Witney (see Hats: cross reference Black for more details) and a slightly rejigged line up for The Light Grenades.


If blues is you thing then The Beehive is the place to be. Kent DuChaine has listened to, hung out with, opened up for, travelled and played with most of the great blues men and women throughout his whole adult life. So if the authentic blues sound channelled through a 1930’s National Steel guitar ticks your boxes, you know where to be.


Staying at The Beehive and the amazing Bruise (pictured) drop in on Friday a band of which the word eclectic is truly deserved as they weave folk, grunge, jazz, indie and full on psychedelic wig outs around Natalie Merchant-esque vocals.


If you threw poetic intelligent underground pop, melodic rock and fairly straight edged prog (i.e. no keyboard players dressed as wizards or 50 minute drum solos) into a blender then the resulting smoothy would taste like Godsticks. Drink in their wonderful music at Riffs Bar, also on Friday.


In keeping with The Furnace’s policy of pushing their musical remit to a wider audience, Sonic Boom Six are just what is needed. Taking ska, pop, grime, dubstep, punk and metal apart and splicing them back together to create interesting new mutations, this band are truly doing something unique. Also helping to define the clubs new scope is LaFontaines a pop, rock and hip-hop quintet who have come charging out of the industrial wastelands of central Scotland. Under the Influence and Attention Thieves get things started.


The Furnace is the place to be on Saturday also as Post 12, Full On, Tides of Change and Days On Juno playing a Stand Up To Cancer fundraising gig. Meanwhile upstairs in The Rolleston, it is all about Neo-Rockabilly and Rock and Roll with Red Hot Trio.


Sunday, this weekend anyway, is not the day of rest as there is a lot of great stuff happening that afternoon. The Lazy Sunday Afternoon sessions in the FoSAC studio at The Arts Centre feature your usual hosts Mr Love and Justice, heartfelt folk from Isobel Priestley and melodic acoustic rock from Pete Taylor. Meanwhile down the road, Kola Koca play The Beehive; expect, folk, rock, pop and blues mixed and matched with universal truths, political rants, kitchen sink dramas and the odd serpent.


Those seeking Culture Corner will find it back at The Arts Centre where Adriana Beaumont-Thomas plays some of Chopin’s most romantic and poignant pieces. Chopin of course is best known for the Orange free mobile Internet advert, Heineken (2007) and that really nice bit in Halo 3. Innit?


Ending at our usual terminus, we arrive at The Running Horse Sessions on Wednesday. Benji Clements does a lovely line in soulful covers, cross genre mash-ups and wonderful original compositions. Drew Bryant is also on the bill but such is his on line presence that I have no idea what to tell you about him.

Library - 39Reviewed by PfalzDxii

I have been saddened by the news of the closure of both The Grapes & The Falcon. In recent years I have seen two of my favourite bands playing in them. I saw Kolakoca a few times in The Grapes, and Moon Medicine in The Falcon. I jotted down a few memories at the time for my own amusement. Reading them again brings back wonderful images of sights and sounds. Both these bands are exceptional, each in their own way. If you see a concert of theirs looming, do not hesitate, just attend!


olaKoca ~ Saturday 20th November 2010 ~ “The Grapes Hotel”

A few hours ago I saw the group KolaKoca, again!!! I’m in the middle of a run of nightshifts. I am very grateful that I was able to swop for a dayshift. I love Kolakoca. I’ve mentioned them before, but I can’t get enough. Last night though… WOW… They went to another level. Most of the songs were old favourites, but better. They are one of my all time favourite bands. LIVE THOUGH ~ Ahhhhhhhhhh. Superb. New endings to familiar songs, that have been reworked with thought and care and love. Everyone playing beautifully, and totally together, as a band should. Ray and daughter Nova sang their hearts out. The new ending to “Who’s That Old Man?” was breathtaking. Ray talking his woes (as Mr Discontented), whilst Nova’s voice soared with such perfect pitch and volume, as to amaze!! As the song came to its conclusion, Bill, the lead guitarist, simply applauded them. It was as if he had never heard it before. Indeed, he hadn’t. He’d missed one rehearsal, and he’d never heard it sung like that before. This ended the first set. During the break, Nova signed my copy of their five track “demo” CD. Ray and the others had all signed it on a previous gig. Just as they were about to start the second set, an elderly couple walked in. They came through the outer door, turned right into the pool room complete with players playing, and Kolakoca about to start. They walked up to the bar and just as the chap was about to order, Kolakoca struck their first chord and were off. So were the couple. They spun on their heels and without a word, walked out again. As Nova hadn’t yet started singing, she witnessed this. She punched the air and silently shouted, “YES”, in triumph. She has a wonderful smile!

For a long time, “The Serpent” has been sung as the final number (excluding encores). This is possibly Ray’s masterpiece. I first heard it when he performed it solo, some thirty years ago. Now though, it has the full and incredible KolaKoca band treatment. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Nova singing so utterly superbly as she did last night. Everyone played magnificently. Ray put in everything he had. The evening had started at 9pm. They finished at midnight, having had only the one break. They looked tired but jubilant. The audience did shout and cheer. The audience, so small, so close, actually cheered. This included myself. I didn’t plan to. I didn’t mean to. I’d been rocking myself along with the music, as I do when I’m enjoying myself, and I actually shouted. Mmmmmm, must keep an eye on that. Most unbecoming in one as unsociable as I. I felt truly happy for the first time in weeks. Standing so close to such wonderful musicians is a pleasure and a privilege. Many many thanks, for a wonderful evening!!!

Moon Medicine ~ 2nd July 2011 ~ “The Falcon”

June became July and a new music venue opened in Swindon. Opened with the very very best pure rock band, I know!! Today though was carnival day in my village. I attend during the day, but leave before the bands and the fireworks. I was going to the launch of Swindon’s newest music venue. This was in the Falcon, an old small pub in a residential area. The group I went to see is the one that I have described previously as coming from the twilight zone. This is “Moon Medicine”. Colin Radbourne, lead guitar. Jon Buckett, bass guitar. Lee Moulding, drums. I had never been in the Falcon, and on entering saw how small it was. On the left was a pool table, and on the right, the bar.


Straight ahead was the back door which was open as it was still hot. I could hear a band doing their sound check, so walked straight through. I met the members of “Moon Medicine” who said that there was another band on first. The music venue is an old garage without windows. Where the car entrance had been, a small extension for a stage had been built. Each time anyone went through the only side door, a member of staff quickly closed the door, presumably to keep the sound level down. There were about two hard backed chairs on either side of the room. I quickly took the last one towards the back of the room. It was hot in there, with laser light darting around. The first band was blues/rock, but today I just wanted pure unadulterated ROCK. Both guitarists stay relatively stationary throughout the performance. They are however, playing their hearts out. Lee on drums is a marvel. The music is loud, but I’m at the back. In front of me are people standing, but I’m happy. A lot of the time I keep my eyes closed. This is pure music, pure sound. There were a few moments that were musical perfection. At the height of one, I felt a hot tear form at the corner of my eye, and roll down my cheek. I had been transfixed and transformed. Even they had not done that to me before! When I opened my eyes, I was quite surprised that I was in an old garage surrounded by people all standing. It had been a truly moving experience.

Colin had kept a close eye on the time, this being the first gig at this event. He stopped dead on 11pm. The very time the fireworks were going off a few miles away in my village. Everyone went outside, it was now dark. I felt exhausted, let alone them. Both Lee and Jon asked me if I had enjoyed it, and had it all sounded alright? Did they not have any idea of what they had achieved? There had been moments of oneness, a harmony you cannot believe possible unless you have heard it. A kind of magic. I was so glad I was there. “Moon Medicine” have returned once more to the twilight zone. I have said this before, but listen closely. Catch them if you can…

As I was leaving Jon came up to me and asked “Will you be at the “White Hart” tomorrow?”. I asked why and he replied “Innes Sibun is playing, and I’m in the band playing keyboards”. The White Hart is a thatched pub in my village, and the start point for many of the carnival floats. Was that only this very afternoon? Yes, said Jon, we’re using it as a warm up before a few gigs in Poland next week.

Some of you may be aware that I write an occasional music blog called Groovers on Manoeuvres, but how many of you realise that it is a title I stole and was originally the name of the first major UK tour by Black Country legends, The Wonder Stuff. I mention this mainly to build up to the fact that main “Stuffie” Miles Hunt is playing at The Victoria tonight, aided and abetted by his glamorous assistant and virtuosic violinist, Erica Nockalls.  Offering up rootsy versions of Wonder Stuff classics as well as between song narrations of life on the road with the band, this is a real must for anyone who remembers leaping around their bedroom to the strains of “It’s Your Money I’m After Baby” Not that I did such a thing I hasten to add. Support comes in the fine form of Gaz Brookfield.


Further down the hill the Zetan Spore mothership will be descending on The Beehive to turn the compact and bijou pub into a pulsating and euphoric, tribal, psy-trance rave. Blimey!


If you like your music a bit more brutal, then South West Hardcore has a metal show at the 12 Bar. Up from Basingstoke, headliners Blood of the Spectre do a neat line in technical metal, fast, Byzantine heavy and always on the money. Regular touring partners, Doomed From Day One and local outfit, Go Out With A Bang will be warming the crowd up for them.


Indie rules the roost over at Riffs Bar on Friday with the quite brilliant Street Orphans leading a line up of local talent. Hard work and great songs have made The Street Orphans one of the success stories of the last couple of years, a story whose most recent chapter saw them playing an after show party for Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Also on the bill are With Felix, Fly Like Fools, The Souperstars and The Eberdeens.


The Parlour Kats play at The Beehive. At this point I would normally endeavour to describe what it is they do but I have read their “about” info on their website and as is often the way with self penned biography blurb, I still have no idea what they do. Best you just pop in and see for yourself.


If the heavier groove is your thing then The Victoria has The Thin Lizzy Experience and The Rolleston the ultimate tribute to heavy metal – Metalhead.


Saturday is really mixing up the options, generically speaking. The big name is Richard Street, ex-Temptations front man and his touring band at The Wyvern. At The Rolleston some of the finest white electric blues on the circuit today can be found with Innes Sibun, whilst next-door in The Furnace, The Useless Eaters will be recreating the power and the passion of the early punk era to help raise money towards a Camps International trip to Kenya for pupils from Dorcan Academy.


The 12 Bar sticks with it’s championing of heavier music  again in tandem with South West Hardcore who this time bring you Knotslip, an anagrammatic tribute to the Iowa nine-piece. Support comes from Christian rockers Rising From Death, but don’t worry I’m not going to go into the whole Buddhist Rap/ Shinto Indie routine again, once every couple of years is enough.


One band that defies easy categorisation can be found at The Beehive filling the Sunday afternoon slot. Kola Koca alchemize folk, blues, jazz, swing and rock into poignant and humorous vocal charges and sublime musical set pieces, not bad for a free gig.


A couple of big names from the folk world will be breezing up to the Arts Centre on Tuesday. Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick have been at the heart of bands such as The Albion Band, Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, Band of Hope and more recently The Imagined Village and their current live outings are still full of the energy and charm of their formative days.


And finally, the Wednesday Running Horse Sessions features Bateleurs; rising stars of the festival circuit and a wonderful weave of English folk, Celtic vibes and vibrant Americana.


Not to be out done, The 12 Bar’s Acoustica is an “open mic and acoustic showcase featuring some of the South West’s best acts.” It does, however, neglect to tell us just who those acts might be.

Review by PfalzDxii

Kolakoca had been hired for a 50th birthday bash at the Beehive, I took the night off to attend. It is not much of a secret that I love the music of Kolakoca, I have tried to spread the word of their musical brilliance, but sadly to little avail.

Kolakoca is Ray’s band. He plays rhythm guitar whilst singing. He’s composed all the songs, with one exception. There is also a lead guitar, a bass guitar, a sax and drums. Then there is Nova who sings alongside Ray. She’s his daughter and an integral member of the band. She sings backing, and then she turns DIVA. She out-sings the best singers that Pink Floyd could find. She has a power, a control, a musicality that leaves me awestruck. This is sheer brilliance. She completely exhausts herself. Musical perfection. The one song they perform that Ray did not write is Zappa’s “The Torture Never Stops”. This is covered brilliantly. Nova of course, supplies the screams. Zappa himself would surely have approved.

I have seen this remarkable band quite a few times and feel in tune with them. I feel at one with the music, as soon as they begin. During the gig I tried work out why I love their music quite so much. I know I am only a few months younger than Ray. One generation older than some of the band, and possible two generations older than others, but the songs are Rays. He doesn’t keep them static. They evolve, they grow. They are exciting. They are slightly dangerous. They are real. They are fun. Then I had it. They remind me of a few fleeting moments in my life, half a century ago when the world was so very different.

I remember travelling by express train to London in the 1950s. This was pulled by a giant living steam engine. It was like nothing you can experience today in this country. No open plan carriages, no smooth ride, no quiet. You sat in a small compartment, squashed together. There was a constant rhythm as the short rails produced an unending musical pattern. Then, as you shot at full speed over the points, a magical discordance and hint of danger as the carriages shivered and shuddered. Train whistles, black smoke, steam. The engine was alive, and continued to make wonderful noises as you walked passed it at the journey’s end. The crew were always friendly, and proud of their work. Impressions made on a little boy from Swindon. This, at a time when Swindon was the railways. It was all marvellously magical.

When Kolakoca play, I become that little boy again, listening to the constant beautiful rhythms, living them. The danger as the expected turns into surprise. The music is played with a power, a pride, and such fun. There is always something unexpected within known songs. One of the joys is when one song goes on and on simply because they are enjoying themselves so much. Ray once apologized for being over indulgent by playing one song for twenty minutes. I though, was in seventh heaven. I had my nose against the carriage window as we hurtled over the points at a major junction. Now lest you think this band is for boys only, let me assure you that nothing but nothing could be further from the truth. The band has a very powerful and strange effect on the ladies. They want to dance. Not only do they want to do this, they do! Dancing to the guitars, the sax, and the drums whilst Ray and Nova sing rock/jazz/blues that are so perfectly attuned to my musical habit. For I feel I am hooked and sadly, they do not play as often as I would like. I make up for it when they do. I listen to, and hang on to, their every driving beat. From a very selfish point of view, stay away from their gigs. I love to be at the front when they play, and don’t want to be squashed. So continue to stay away, and don’t tell your friends. I can continue as I am, and that’s very, very, happy!!!

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a festival in possession of large ticket sales must be in want of good weather. Well, that’s what Jane Austin meant to say, but as it was 158 years before the invention of the modern music festival, as we know it today, she obviously had to wrap the message up in the social conformities of the day. And what a summer it has been to test such a statement. With festivals such as 2000 Trees resembling the Somme in the late autumn of 1916 and The Big Arts Day valiantly struggling through with a much reduced turn out, you would be forgiven for thinking that maybe the antidote to the British summer would be to hold a music festival indoors, maybe over three days, perhaps in multiple venues. Well, more on that in a few weeks.


Still, until then it’s not all bad news. Although the cancellation of Rowdyfest has just been announced, Festival on The Farm has run for cover and can be found lurking in warmth and security of Riffs Bar throughout this weekend, albeit in a reduced, bands only capacity. In brief, Friday is acoustic night; Saturday is tributes and cover bands and Sunday a mix of bands from The Graham Mack Band to Echo and from Penfold to Rocket Box.


Right, back to regular in-door matters. Tonight at The Victoria trash pop aficionados, The Starkers, will be unleashing their mix of melody, discord, harmony and mayhem on the unsuspecting public. We are all in the gutter and some of us like it there! Support comes from the driven, mathy sounds of Oui Legionnaires and kicking things off, eleventh hour booking, Secret Lives.


Down at The Beehive, Kola Koca will be mixing up any genres that cross their paths into smooth, jazzed out, folked off, rocked up, lyrically poignant masterpieces. More eclecticism can still be found at The Beehive on Friday with The Parlour Kats, whilst down at The Rolleston the Mason-Dixon line collides with The M4 corridor to shape the inimitable southern blues, rock and gospel sound that is Pignose.


More old time revivalism at The Victoria, this time with the skiffle, audience participation and general mayhem of Ode and The Bebops. If you can’t shake your moneymaker then a plastic bottle with some stones in it will do just as well.


Something wicked this way comes (these literary references are just flying out today) to The 12 Bar as local Hip-hop/Rap icon, AJ descends with a full band to bring to life his latest album, Tangle Your Cassette. The MECA, meanwhile,  has another of it’s trademark roller discos.


Saturday is all about the big guns as the 12 Bar plays host to another Southwest Hardcore event.  Pop Punk meets Hardcore, as MaLoKai, Snap Back, Go Out With a Bang and Starlight City bring the noise. At the opposite end of the spectrum, in Faringdon Park there is The 2012 Children’s Fete. All ages entertainment from maypoles and circus workshops, storytelling and dancers, fairground and live bands, but more importantly…free cake.


Sunday’s Beehive afternoon session is ably filled by Mr. Love and Justice and if the idea of historical, socio-political, agri-folk appeals then this is the band for you. Imagine Richard Jefferies fronting The Byrds  – Sweetheart of the Roundway Down perhaps? Or Thomas Hardy writing for the Beatles; Hey, Jude (The Obscure?) Best just go along and work it out for yourselves. Farmers for fifteen minutes? Ok, enough.


The evening sees Charlie Bath and The City Marshals launching her new e.p. The Good Fall. Expect seductive melodies, understated music and emotive atmospheres to be the order of the day. Support comes from Phil King and Emily Sykes and it all happens at The Victoria. Meanwhile at the Rolleston, Ash Mandrake will be weaving his prog-folk, story telling magic through the use of twisted mythologies, home made guitars and strange hats. Both bizarre and utterly spellbinding.


And it remains a good week for rock fans as Monday at The 12 Bar; the mighty Mortdelamer will be building their wonderfully mellifluous yet often threatening soundscapes. Also on the bill are the darkly epic Scythes and the atmospheric and luscious slow burn majesty of IX.


And the final quote comes from Michael Fish.” Reports of a hurricane are unfounded” Yeah, right!