Tag Archive: lauren castle


1157735_552565938125804_813919255_nThis week I think the column should be dedicated to Roy Castle of Record Breakers fame as I have so many gig recommendations this will be the equivalent of trying to squeeze 50 people into a Mini. So without further ado….

Tonight at The Victoria sees the return of Sam Green and Midnight Heist, a band who inject wonderfully earthy melody into folk-blues stomps and pretty much show the likes of Mumford and the Whale where they have been going wrong all these years.  If you prefer something purer from the rootsy blues songbook then head down to The Beehive for Kent DuChaine, a steel guitar blues-playing journeyman in the traditional style.

Fans of a more folky sound will find much to like at The Arts Centre as acoustic duo Rita Payne (duo)promote their debut album, Stories From a Suitcase, and ably live up to the “new Simon and Garfunkel” tag that keeps being levelled at them.

More, delicate sounds are to be found on Friday both at Riffs Bar Acoustic Sessions with the sweet and innocent piano sounds of Lauren Castle (presumably no relation to the aforementioned bible bashing, tap dancing, muso) and the three piece version of Kangaroo Moon whose wonderfully global musical jamboree bag blends everything from delicate folk, washes of celtic sounds, elemental dance, psychedelia and more. Just turn up and see what’s on the menu this time.

More retro sounds come in the form of Teddy White and their fantastic r’n’ b revue at The Rolleston; The Jimmy Sixes provide the rock and roll back beat for the 3rd Anniversary Band And Burlesque show at The Victoria and if the idea of Hammond Organ driven, electric blues appeals to you, then the place to be is The Patriots Arms in Chiseldon for Shades of Blue.

The big gig for Saturday is to be found at Basement 73 when Eddie and the Hot Rods hit town.  Having their roots in the same Canvey Island scene as Dr Feelgood, they were one of the few bands that spanned the gap between pub rock and punk and it promises to be a great night of fierce, in your face, high-octane music. Support comes from Charred Hearts, local punk stalwarts still as fired up and entertaining as they were back in the day and The Hamsters From Hell, maximum r’n’b, with a chaotic and rowdy nature that belies the musical skills to be found within.

Elsewhere, as is the nature of the day, covers and tributes rule the roost. The Victoria has a tribute to pop-punksters Blink 182 and the Rolleston goes all classic metal with a night recreating the glory days of Judas Priest. Sons of Cream are a bit more than a tribute to the 60’s super group as the band feature both Ginger Baker’s and Jack Bruce’s sons, Kofi and Malcolm and can be found at The Arts Centre.

Riffs Bar offer up a fancy dress night with party covers band Penfold and support comes from brilliant folk troubadour Ben Maggs.

Culture Vultures will be circling around the Arts Centre on Sunday for the Swindon Recital Series which features cellist Caroline Dale and pianist Paul Turner playing all the b’s …Bach, Beethoven and Bach.  Alternatively you could take in a slice of folky Americana at the Beehive afternoon sessions as Gary Hall delivers music with touches reminiscent of Bob Dylan and Gram Parsons.

Monday is not the normal night for stand out gigs but Ben Marwood at The Victoria is going to be a cracker. The up and coming folk troubadour is playing with a full band and is also joined by label mates The Retrospective Soundtrack Players a literary influenced concept band who used to go under the more manageable moniker of The Dawn Chorus.  Shaun Buswell and friends get the night rolling.

Normally known as a big band leader, tenor saxophonist Kelvin Christiane brings his bepop quartet to Baker Street on Tuesday, a musical vehicle that no less than Humphrey Lyttleton described as “ a band of astonishing virtuosity” and he knew a thing or two about the genre.

Finally, still at The Victoria on Wednesday you can catch a punk orientated showcase featuring 2 Sick monkeys, Brassick and Larynxed.

Phew! If you can’t find something to watch this week, there is no hope for you.

Library - 15Review by PfalzDxii

Swindon is currently going through a difficult time recently with the closure of music venues. Half of my working life is spent at night, and I cannot attend everything I want to. In the past I have taken a day’s holiday simply to enable me to see a favourite singer/songwriter, or band. Life, so they say, is not fair. If a colleague becomes unwell, I can be asked to work at a moment’s notice. If I want one night off, as paid holiday, I must give 28 days’ notice, in writing. So please, venues, singers, and bands, give as much notice of a forthcoming gig, as soon, and as often, as you can. Not all of us can come out of an evening, or even for a weekend afternoon. Some of us live “unconventional lifestyles”.

I love the singing of Sierra Hurtt-Akselrod (to give her full name). She is I believe, the last of my trio of exceptions. I’m not too keen on classical music, but love the music of Ana Silvera. I’m not too keen on punk, but love the music of The Dacoits. I’m not too keen on soul music, but love the music of Sierra Hurtt. All three have a musicality that is awe inspiring at its best. Sierra sings mainly her own glorious songs, and on an odd occasion, will sing a cover of a song that means a lot to her.

The first notification of this gig that I saw, was only five days before the gig. Yes I am aware that sometimes these events are indeed arranged at short notice. The following four nights I was working. I hoped I was not belatedly going to be called into work on Wednesday. And then I was! Swopping with a colleague, I worked Wednesday, day. No gigs for me on the following four nights though. Bugger. I had never been to a gig at The Running Horse before, and arrived in plenty of time, shortly after finishing my work. I glanced around and chose a spot against the bar where I thought I would be out of the way. This was just behind the mixing desk, and half way between the venue room, and that where pool and darts are played. There was a notice in front of me to the effect that children under 16 were not allowed beyond this point.

Lauren Castle started the evening’s entertainment. She played electric keys, and sang. Her first words were:”Hello, my name’s Lauren Castle, and I’m 15”. I re-read the notice directly in front of me. No pool or darts for her then!! She played and sang a mixture of her own, and a few covers. She sang with such clarity and with a mature enthusiasm, we are bound to hear a lot more from her in the future.

Sierra recently left her home town of Philadelphia for her mini tour of Portugal and the UK. She brought a four piece band with her to the Running Horse. A multi instrumentalist from Portugal, electric bassist from Philly, rhythm guitarist and drummer from Swindon. And oh, what music! Soul, funk, reggae, all mixed into Sierra’s fabulous style and with her passion for her music, most obvious. The audience responded to her sheer quality. There was trumpet, keyboard, trombone, and euphonium. Have you ever heard Sierra sing the Beatles “Come Together”, backed with a euphonium? I now have. It was delicious! Sierra sang acapella, always a highlight. Fabulous music. Thank you Sierra. The audience loved it. The very small audience, loved it.

Come back soon, Sierra. Please though can we have a little more notice? Had this gig been any when over the following four nights, I could not have attended. I am very lucky to have caught this wonderful performance! I look forward to the next, very much indeed!!!