Tag Archive: nobodys heroes


Library - 84If you look through the history books you will see that the pages are littered with high profile failures. Franz Berliner, Captain of the Hindenburg, the man who flew the worlds biggest balloon into the worlds biggest needle; The Decca Records executive who in 1962 auditioned and rejected the Beatles saying that “guitar bands have had their day;” Russell Crowe’s voice coach for the film Robin Hood or any number of post-Spice Girl solo careers! Well, one person who has made a successful career out of being a failure (and thus creating a paradox in the process) is playing at The Victoria tonight.

 

Having almost two hits in over forty years as a musician may back up this idea of being a failure, but that is to overlook one important fact. John Otway, the artist in question, is a musical legend, a comedy genius and a live performer second to none. Tonight he appears with his (not so) Big Band line up, which the more discerning of you will know contains Murray and Adam from that sublime bloke rock outfit, The Sweeney. So if you like the idea of silly singalongs, forward rolls, stylophone solos, head butting microphones, self-deprecation, Bob Dylan singing Gloria Gaynor classics and a whole slab of surreal madness, then get on up there.

 

If you want something a bit closer to sanity then maybe The Beehive is the place to be for Sons of The Delta. This duo of awesomely talented bluesmen will be mixing up all the usual blues sub genres as well as throwing in some gospel, hillbilly, bluegrass Cajun and texmex influences along the way.

 

Friday sees punk well and truly back on the menu as Nobody’s Heroes and Useless Eaters descend on The Rolleston and if that isn’t enough for you then afterwards at The Furnace the Kaos Klub DJ’s will be weighting their playlists heavily toward the genre as well.

 

On a slightly lighter note, up at The Victoria you can revel in the joyously retro musical plunderings of The Teddy White Band, stalwarts of the local scene breathing new life into rock and roll, r’n’b and swinging blues standards. They are joined by The Blue Trees, now with a new singer but still the same dedication to raw, stripped back, roots rock.

 

For a change, Saturday happens to be a veritable cornucopia of great music, so plan your night carefully. Starting at the most cultured end of things, the Arts Centre features pianist Adriana Beaumont-Thomas who will be paying tribute to the romanticism of Chopin’s music, including the Raindrop Prelude, which I’m sure many of you will know from…Halo 3. Heathens! Pretty much at the other extreme at Wroughton Bowls Club, not a venue that features in this column much, you can be part of The Wroughton Wassail, food and drink, fun and games, stories and songs, the latter being provided by Talis Kimberley a folk singer with suitably medieval and pagan undercurrents who deftly mixes the magical with the mundane and the poignant with the whimsical. Sounds like it’s going to be a great party.

 

Talking of parties, Riffs Bar is throwing a birthday bash for Brian Keen, well known around town as a sound engineer, promoter and the man behind the very successful acoustic sessions at the Running Horse. You can join in the revelry and enjoy music from The Rolling Zones (some sort of Beatles tribute I think,) rock covers from A Fist Full of Foozy and original music from two enchanting folk dues, The Black Feathers and Ethemia.

 

Blues fans can find everything they need at The Rolleston in the form of The Worried Men, righteous, fired up blues-rock for fans of Moore, Thorogood and (Wilko) Johnson. That might sound like a firm of solicitors but believe me it’s all you need to know about quality guitar work and bandleader Jamie Thyer deserves to be mentioned in the same breath.

 

More cool vibes on Sunday as Frazer Tilley blend jazz-funk guitars with grinding blues grooves and a sweet splash of soul to top it off. That’s at The Rolleston.

 

And as is becoming tradition we end at the aforementioned Running Horse for the Wednesday session which this time features the “far too young to be that talented” sound of Charlie-Anne Bradfield and Paul Farrar.

Okay, the summer hasn’t panned out quite the way we hoped it might, but this weekend there is something happening that will hopefully make you pause from those traditional summer activities (building arks, herding pairs of animals, hold surfing contests through Leicester town centre, etc.)  – Summer Breeze is upon us. Every year this gradually evolving festival manages to out-do itself and this weekend will be no exception. Running for two days at Warren Farm near Liddington, there are so many bands that the safest way to make sure you don’t miss anything is to check out their easily found website, but my top recommendations would run something like this.

The big name is that wonderful, award winning songstress, K T Tunstall (pictured), and if the Saturday crowd can’t make central Swindon bask in the words to Suddenly I See, drifting off the downs on the night air, then I will be writing to my M.P. Strange, balkanised and klezmatic, anarchic, world music mash-ups come courtesy of The Destroyers and The Congo Faith Healers offer up gypsy jive, swamp blues. The festival also sees the welcome return of a couple of old favourites, the indescribable Flipron and the rootsy, slide guitar work of Willie and The Bandits. The local crop of bands offers some treats too, such as the dulcet tones of Charlie Bath here in full band mode, dance driven anthems from Atari Pilot and there is even a brace of Morleys; the haunting and soulful Jazz and the slick acoustic pop of Jake. No sign of Paul though, shame.

Right, back into the urban environment and tonight at The Victoria, the hardest gigging punk band of them all rolls into town. Charlie Harper leads his vintage hoodlums into their fifth decade, with the same old unbridled energy and enthusiasm. Not only do they have local legends, Nobody’s Heroes in support, they have Jamie Oliver on drums. Pucker!

More rafters will be raised at The Rolleston with The Racket. To celebrate front man Plummie’s 12th birthday (I don’t know, I’m just going on the way he acts!) he brings his beautifully chaotic band along to do what they do best. With punk drum and bass maestros 2 Sick Monkeys plus a man answering only to the name Doza on the bill, it is not a night for the faint hearted.

Something more restrained can be found at The Beehive with Claude Bourbon. This virtuosic Frenchman blends everything from blues and folk to jazz and flamenco, ethereal eastern vibes and luscious Latin grooves into a real showcase of world music.

Staying at The Beehive as we kick off Fridays serving suggestions finds I See Hawks in L.A. channelling the ghosts of the old time High Lonesome sound and the vibes of the 60’s counter culture and seeing that they have come all the way from Los Angeles to play for you, the least you can do is stroll down the road to check them out.

In a battle of the big riffs, The 12 Bar goes head to head with The Furnace. UNK Industries presents a showcase of pop-punk and post-hardcore bands including Hold The Fight, When Words Fail and From Embers at the former whilst the latter plays host to local poor boys making good, The Dead Lay Waiting who are joined by various shades of metal from Silent Descent, the Mask of Virtue and Dissolute. Loads on offer for the fan of the hard and heavy, but not great planning on the part of the venues.

It may come as no shock to you if I admit that I’m not the most switched on with popular culture, so I freely admit that I had no idea who Britain’s Got Talent competitor, Alex Davis was until I checked him out on-line. Fans of Ed Sheeran will be into him, I suspect, but what they will make of the weird musical landscape that support act Super Squarecloud build around themselves is anyone’s guess. The Fixed’s brand of slick indie is also worth going for.

If you don’t make it to Summer Breeze over the weekend, alternative arrangements come in the shape of early Whitesnake (i.e. before the poodle hair, spandex and Steve flippin’ Vai ruined everything) blues guitar maestro Bernie Marsden at the Furnace on Saturday and Sunday night offers up Bob Smith at The Rolleston with a bag of Americana, folk and rocking blues.

It seems like this is the week to be out on the town if you are a fan of the heavier end of the music spectrum. So without even stopping to have a dig at even a single cover band, (which I was again this week accused of belittling in a rather bizarre confrontation in Co-op, of all places!) it’s eyes down for a full house.Starting as we mean to go on, Riffs Bar is hosting another heat of it’s Bloodstock Battle of The Bands tonight which sees Without Consequence, Acts of Brutality and Brink of Reason all fighting it out for places in the semi final.The 12 Bar also chips in its fair share tonight, headlining are Bristol band, The Chimerical, who manage to mix the accessibility of Britpop with the sucker punch of grunge. A band who I can’t recommend highly enough, SkyBurnsRed, take the middle slot, blending alt-rock power with eastern rhythms and wonderful violin washes and kicking off are IX, all cinematic metal and industrial soundscapes; imagine Trent Reznor writing songs for Opeth.It’s all about bands and burlesque at The Victoria, the music this time coming in the shape of rockabilly outfit, Josie and The Outlaw, and if Celtic fringed folk-rock is more your thing then get down the Beehive for a bit of Missin’ Rosie.

Friday at The Victoria is all about the most contemporary of sounds. The Icarus Youth will be bringing their brilliant weave of rock, urban and alternative sounds, always a brilliant live experience, supporting is a familiar face launching a new musical vehicle. After 7 years fronting the eight legged rave that was Old School Tie, James Cameron wastes no time in unleashing Weather Storms on the world, a blend of dub, electronic, garage and epic post rock.

It’s all about the old school punk at Riffs Bar with Useless Eaters and a welcome return to these parts for Nobodys Heroes who between them deliver the sound and the spirit of the first generation punk movement.

Okay, now two quick questions. Anyone remember Toploader? Anyone able to name anything other than “that damned song?” Thought not. Well, they are at The MECA, but for my money it’s worth getting there early to catch support band A&T, an eclectic firestorm of hip-hop, funk and rock.

Staying at The MECA for Saturday and it’s your chance to indulge yourself in a bit of New Wave of British Heavy Metal with ODS – Oliver/Dawson Saxon, supported by the biggest band ever to come out of Whitley Bay, Tygers of Pan Tang. Patched denim jacket? Check! Ammo belt? Check! Whiff of Patchouli Oil and Old Holborn? Check! Ahh…those were the days. If you can’t afford the real thing Metalhead at The Rolleston (again!) come a close second.

Things get really heavy down at The 12 Bar with South-West Hardcore’s regular outing catering for all things musical aggressive with The Hotel Ambush, The Argent Dawn, Moments Before Oblivion and Go Out With a Bang. In strict competition for a slice of the same audience, The Furnace takes a more pop-punk, but nevertheless feisty tack with ScreamDontWhisper! Third Place Victory, Boy Set Sail and Sell Your Sky.

Something a bit different can be found in the form of The Reggae Riddim Club at The Victoria.

And after all that loud and shouty stuff, Sunday will seem like an oasis of tranquillity. The Beehive’s afternoon slot is filed with local swing blues stalwarts, The Teddy White Band and The Arts Centre’s regular Lazy Sunday Afternoon show features the historically aware, pop-folk residents Mr Love and Justice and guests Daniel James plus Americana meets Old World folk from Bateleurs.

And if that is your sort of thing, cap it off with a trip to The Rolleston that evening to catch the infectious, virtuosic and foot-stompingly upbeat, Grubby Jack.

The week rounds off on Wednesday with two options. Theo Altieri and Ian Payne play the Running Horse session whilst at The Victoria, Sierra Hurtt and her band alchemize everything from chilled folk to blues and from cool Latin to jazz to sultry soul and come off like a less ethereal and more worldly-wise Sade.