Tag Archive: locarno beat


39953605_488801818288427_6941550302986240000_o.jpgIf this column had been lucky enough to get some sort of media development grant, you would be reading this opening paragraph to the strains of Looks Like We Made It by rock and roll bad boy Barry Manilow.  It didn’t, you aren’t, but would have been a nice way to start the year. We have survived the ravages of Christmas and New Year’s Eve and are hopefully all settled in to kick off another year of music in a town that, by and large, punches well above its weight.

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Tony Wright (6)Another busy week ahead in the music venues and pubs of this fair town, so without further ado…

Plenty to choose from for the fans of original music tonight, the biggest name being Tony Wright who comes to Level III courtesy of those awfully nice people at Sheer Music. You will know Tony as the frontman with Terrorvision and he is joined on this leg of his UK acoustic tour by former Black Spiders main man, Pete Spiby and a solo slice of HipRoute.

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10697395_839039612784945_1481683335433694579_oNot the busiest of weeks for live music coming up but with the summer finally kicking in, I guess barbecues and pub gardens, days out in exotic places, festivals and nights camped under the stars are preferable to being shut in a loud, dark, beer sodden room with dozens of other sweaty people. Live music is okay with that. Live music understands. Live music is patient. Live music will be here waiting when you are ready to come back inside.

That said there is a triptych of great, original offerings to entice you in happening around Old Town tonight and at The Victoria you will find those perennial musical mind-benders, Sex Jazz and their insect fixated, bass heavy, Zappa-infused, psychedelic-punk. Joining them is Cracked Machine, purveyors of intense, droning, proggy soundscapes and RRS a one man band of glitchy, lo-hi weirdness.

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27503378_1049985821809631_747397107544723842_o.jpgIt’s a controversial issue for sure and at the risk of sounding like one of these music snobs that you always hear about, I am going to raise the point anyway. You could consider covers and tributes as the mass entertainment of the live gigging circuit and original music as the way to ensure that things keep moving forward. Both are required. The former largely keeps venues and music pubs in business these days, the latter feeds into the wider music system and bigger, further flung venues to keep musical evolution a going concern. I only mention this because this week I have been unable to find many original gigs to fill this column and that does beg the question that without that input of new creativity what does the future look like? Is new music taking place outside the traditional live venue circuit? Are we locked into a rose-tinted era of comfort and familiarity? Where will new music come from if not the small, grassroots venues? Enough speculation, on to business.

Blues is on the menu at The Beehive tonight as Built For Comfort offer up the sound of traditional Chicago blues with a few detours through the Memphis and New Orleans scene, expect sultry guitars, organ flourishes (steady) and some solid grooving music. Also following a traditional route but this time down an English folk pathway Splat The Rat take rustic songs from the days of yore and update them for the modern audience at The Victoria.

The one totally original show I could find this week takes place at The Tuppenny and features the welcome return of Phil Cooper (pictured) as he promotes his most excellent and highly recommended new album Thoughts and Observations. He blends the likes of Crowded House and David Gray’s deft pop through his own enlightening songs. Also on the bill is Sarah C. Ryan and her own take on folk and roots infused guitar pop.

Friday sees two helpings of old-school rock for your enjoyment. Firstly at The Victoria Rorke’s Drift and Black Rose line up a set of iconic numbers from the halcyon days of the genre delivered with all the power and the glory of those original bands. Those of a less nervous disposition might wish to head over to The Swiss Chalet for a slice of The Chaos Brothers. They aim to “play the Three Chords of Freedom to an unsuspecting and largely uncaring world” but the reality is that they generally play punk, rock, glam and metal to a rowdy and drunken gathering.

If something smoother and more considered is required then The Soul Man at The Grove’s Company Inn is the gig for you, especially if the golden age of soul, Wilson Pickett, Sam Cooke, The Drifters and the like is your cup of honeyed sonic tea. The Ultimate Band bring the wide appeal of the function band and a diverse and infectious mix of music to The Queen’s Tap whilst Monkey Dolls at The Castle play songs which you probably know but are less likely to hear from your average cover band.

Nuttyness pay tribute to Camden Town’s finest skanking, 2-tone revivalists, Madness, at The Victoria on Saturday so expect a night of ska-pop fun and frolics and all the hits and iconic songs that you know and love. Also playing some groovesome and accessible tunes is Felix and the Funk who will be filling the Haydon Wick Club with all the iconic sonic moments from funk (natch) pop, soul, reggae, dance and disco. Rugs will be cut, wigs will be flipped and dance floors filled.

Funk and rock pair up at The Queen’s Tap as Patsy Gamble and Wishbone Ash’s Muddy Manninen mix up groove, blues, funk, rock and soul into covers and originals at The Queen’s Tap as they lead Hipkiss through their musical moves, Penfold break out the party tunes at The Castle and Stripped take things down a notch or two with acoustic renditions of all your favourites at The Manor.

The Coleview Community Centre starts two days of music with Locarno Beat’s 60’s hits package followed by Get Carter’s pop rock and indie covers on Sunday. Also on Sunday The Revolvers will be bringing a touch of ska to The Duke of Edinburgh.

sweetchunks-band-800x450Thursday, as always, is the night for original music and one of the most interesting line-ups to have graced the parish in a while can be found at The Tuppenny. The Blunderbuss Press is a strange and quixotic duo who blend Old World alt-folk with New World quirky Americana and sing songs whose lyrics wouldn’t seem out of place on a Bonzo Dog Band album. Support comes from Cursor Major, a band whose accessible indie-pop meets post-punkery has graced Swindon as a full band in the past but who will be rendering their songs into more a manageable, stripped back form on this occasion. If you want wonky pop and the sort of indie music which isn’t checking its hair in the mirror every ten minutes, then this is the show for you.

Indie of a more fashionable form can be found at The Victoria as a whole host of local movers and shakers line up behind This Feeling’s club night. These nights are aimed at bringing the newest and most happening bands to a wider audience and before This Feeling resident DJ’s remind us of great music past, it is the turn of those bands seeking to join that list. The Sulks paint with a wide, almost neo-psychedelic, sonic palette whilst Shore and GETRZ both thread some deft post-punk references through forward thinking takes on widescreen indie.

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16388253_10154974567949233_4158277289166669615_nContinuing this new all-inclusive approach to the town’s music events, this week we pretty much have it all covered. We have originals, tributes, covers, acts from afar, perennial local favourites, rare reunions, DJ’s, jams, slams and karaoke…running the musical gamut from A to…well at least L or M! Not bad for a town that’s usual claim to fame is as the butt of a joke on a re-run of Have I Got News For You. Anyway…to horse…

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