Tag Archive: nudybronque


11870933_488084031366179_9122912349955513731_nAll I seem to be reading this week is that it is twenty years since the epic battle for chart supremacy between Blur and Oasis, a battle that had people recording the heady days of the The Beatles and The Stones rivalry. If you took the pitting of the two bands at face value it looked like a bitter battle between working class upstarts from the north and art college hipsters from the South. The reality is that it evolved from a drunken pub strategy meeting between the relevant label bosses at Creation and Food Records but will forever go down in history as an epic replay of that 60’s rivalry that also never really existed. But that’s the power of PR for you and a mythical, class led, musical dust up sells more papers than the minutes of an inspired business meeting. Maybe I should start a rumour saying Nudybronque hate Super Squarecloud and see if that helps sell more tickets and albums.

One show that is really going to sell itself, if people know what is good for them, is the one found tonight at The Victoria. It may be three out of town acts but each one could take the headline slot. Top of the pile in this instance is Echo Boom Generation (pictured), a band who represent where rock music is going at the moment. Big, classic rock swagger meets grunge riffs, a vibrant energy and forward looking attitude proving that the rock is in safe hands. Fellow Londoners, Gelato, open the night with their punked up indie/stoner rock vibe and sandwiched between is Bristol’s Flowerpot, a band who hark back to the days of the Riot Grrrl movement whilst blurring the grunge, rock and indie boundaries. Any rock fans not checking this out will have their membership cards cancelled.

Something much mellower can be found at The Beehive in the form of U&I, which sees Hip Route main man Jim Blair join forces with vocalist Raye Leonard for a night of folk and rootsy covers and originals.

Things take a turn for the surreal at The Victoria on Friday as Nudybronque bring their rock extravaganza Graffiti and Her Friends: Against The Never Ending Sadness to their hometown. If you thought they did a neat line in bizarre before, this is the band taken to the extremes of its strangeness. Having gone down a storm at Larmer Tree festival and with Flashfires and Plummie Racket also on the bill, this may just be the weirdest show you will catch for a long time. It may also be the most brilliant.

Also ticking the strange box, Oui Legionnaires bring the punky, angular indie that they describe as Yelpcore to The Locomotive as support to Strength in Blunders, a band who manage to blend punk riffs with New Wave accessibility and an edgy, threatening vibe that makes them sound like they where hanging around New York’s Lower East Side in 1979.

Out at Riffs Bar bands of a more folky nature gather as a tribute to Terry Hunt and to raise money for The Prospect Hospice. Grubby Jack provide a mix of celtic and Appalachian style tunes armed with fast fiddle breaks and hypnotic banjo, Southern Harmony mix folk and Americana and Ali Finneran recalls the folk revival movement of the 60’s.

Other options are The Teddy White Band playing blues, beat and R’n’B at The Beehive, searing blues rock from Lewis Creaven at The Rolleston and three decades of indie-rock with Vive Versa at The Castle.

Fans of original music should be heading down to The Locomotive on Saturday for a night with Hip Route and Friends. A whole night of music from a band with a great reputation for raw and bluesy slide guitar and funky grooves with the addition of The Barefoot Horns, tabla drums, beatbox and possibly much more.

Elsewhere music follows more tried and tested lines with 80’s revivalists Syntronix playing the best of synth-pop and new romantic, underground pop and chart hits at The Victoria, classic and contemporary covers from all genres from The Hyperbolics at The Queens Tap and iconic rock and metal standards at The Rolleston courtesy of Shepherds Pie.

The final mention is Jim Johnston at The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday. Trading in albums which combine psychedelia and post-punk experimentations, with fractious guitar lines and a bluesy undercurrent it will be interesting to see how that translates to a solo show.

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10850275_1508642422743307_3346557062355699842_nNice to see that following on from last weeks flurry of live shows, this week is continuing in a similar vein, both in terms of volume and diversity. Hopefully even those who continue to fly the “nothing ever happens round here” flag will see that it is time to call it a day or at least go back to their X-Box, Facebook trolling and Game of Thrones boxed set and let the rest of us get on with the job at hand.

 

One of the more extraordinary bands of recent times has been The Jim Jones Revue who combined the furious piano playing approach of Jerry Lee Lewis with the visceral guitar style of proto-punk bands such as The MC5 and The Stooges. Well, the band may have called it a day recently but the man who provided that core sound, one that suggested a gang fight in a piano shop, Henri Herbert, can be found at The Victoria tonight.

 

An even bigger name can be found at The Wyvern Theatre as the man with the golden voice and stalwart of such bands as Ace, Roxy Music, Squeeze and Mike and The Mechanics, Paul Carrick will be running through his repertoire of blue-eyed soul and pop-rock.

 

On Friday two big line-ups go head to head within spitting distance of each other in Old Town. At The Castle, brit-pop brats The Racket spearhead a line up that caters to all things indie and modish, being joined by the mercurial melodies and flamboyant stage antics of Nudybronque, the sharp music lines of British Harlem, the jangly pop of Theo Altieri and rock and roll swagger of Portsmouth’s Sixes & Sevens.

 

In the blue corner, as it were, is Songs of Praise line up of A Way With Words, Cavalier and Leader, so prepare for a night of abrasive alt-rock, creative dynamics, indie vibes and energetic performances.

 

The Rolleston has opted for a blend of eastern European folk, sea shanties and carnival chaos with the welcome return of Calico Jack (pictured)and their colourful tales and even more colourful costumes. And moving from the sublime to the ridiculous I can also announce that Showaddywaddy can be found at The Wyvern Theatre. Time to break out the Crepes and Drapes!

 

But music isn’t just confined to the regular venues this weekend as Friday also sees the start of a two day Vintage and Retro Weekend centred on The Brunel Centre. As well as Hot-rods and Vintage cars and bikes, Car Boot and stalls, there will be guitar workshops and live sessions from a Johnny Cash Tribute act plus Sons of The Delta, HipRoute and Jimmy Lee.

 

As usual Saturday is more preoccupied with offering sounds that you are already familiar with. Guns 2 Roses will be paying tribute to that most infamous street-rock outfit at The Victoria and all things ska, punk and new wave will be on the cards from Operation 77 at The Moonrakers.

 

Tying in nicely with the aforementioned Vintage and Retro weekend, Locarno Beat recreate the classic song writing of The 60’s at The Swiss Chalet and the previous decade is well catered for with The 58 Shakes at The Queens Tap and The Rhythm Bombers at The Rolleston. Similar vibes can be found at The Victoria on Sunday with Rockabilly Rumble.

 

But it certainly isn’t the day of rest for metal fans who have a treat lined up for them as Control The Storm’s current tour plays its last show at Level 3. Atmospheric, anthemic, melodic metal is the order of the day; fans of Lacuna Coil and Nightwish will not want to miss this one. Joining them are Curvature who take a more gothic and synth driven approach and Metaprism with their wonderfully prog. slant.

 

Finally, at The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday you can find Blake, an artist who manages to mix accessible Beatle-esque melodies with heartfelt lyrical messages and social awareness.

10649943_945806792102227_5195462776041008646_nThis Friday in Old Town two gigs are taking place in such close proximity of each other so as to make that part of town a veritable showcase for some of the best original music in the area.

 

Firstly a free gig at The Castle present 5 bands that fall roughly into the indie, modish, brit-pop categories. Headlining are The Racket, a band built on energetic stage presence, attitude and more than a tip of the hat to nineties Manchester. Nudybronque (pictured) mix infectious grooves with winsome lyrical flights of fancy and the sharp moves and even sharper tunes of British Harlem take the middle slot. Theo Altieri will be providing some wonderfully chart-glancing indie-pop vibes and opening the night are surprise guests, The Sixes and Sevens, Portsmouth’s new hottest indie-rock outfit who rose from the ashes of Moody Tuesday, a band you may have caught gigging in Swindon a few years ago.

 

And if that wasn’t enough, over at The Victoria for a mere £3, A Way With Words are spearheading a Songs of Praise line up. Although only a couple of years in, the band have already bagged some great tour supports and national festival appearances and their assertive and brash rock sound seems to be gaining them new fans at every outing. Joining them are Guildford’s Cavalier and Leader from Witney who also mix rock, indie, pop and punk in varying degrees to create brilliantly original music.

 

So for a mere £3 you can have access to 8 bands in two venues within 5 minutes of each other. All you have to do is work out the best logistics to catch the ones you want to see the most.

 

first published at Total news  –  March ’15

SWINDON105_5Logo-300x186Our rather silly Christmas show for your delectation and bemusement.

This week we we feature chainsaws, stunt nuns, naked alligator wrestling we have an interview with an educated turkey, a nuclear powered jukebox, and a live link up with the Rev. Cuthbert Botticough. Music from AK Poets, Bateleurs, Nudy Bronque, David Celia, George Wilding, Port Erin, Ethemia, The Automaniacs, Josie and the Outlaw and Ells and the Southern Wild,

Click Here

 

1380749_832890343422733_1288878591824317191_nSo here I am once more, (extra points if you can guess which debut album starts with those lines) writing the intro to the last  but one column of the year and a time to look back before moving forward towards the empty canvas that is 2015. As I repeatedly mention putting on live music these days is an increasingly difficult activity. The certainty of people willing to pay to see a band or turn up in sufficient numbers is something slowly being eroded by free access to music via downloads, streaming, TV, not to mention all the financial demands that a night out requires. So with that in mind I want to thank everyone still doing their best to keep live music on the Swindon map. To the venues, the bands, the engineers and most of all the punters who have turned up, supported and especially if you have bought merchandise and helped keep the bands fed and watered.

 

So where does it go next? Who knows, but as long as you all keep doing what you have done we keep the spirit alive and who knows next year might be when it all turns around. That’s something to aim for anyway. So for now I will leave you with the round up of gigs and knees-ups to take you through to Christmas in …well if not style, certainly with a smile on your face.

 

Starting in the usual place, the first of those party activities comes in the guise of Songs of Praise End of Year Shindig at The Victoria. For this final show they have lined up a whole pack of familiar musicians who have been an integral part of the Swindon musical story and reassembled them into new bands for this one off show. You won’t know quite what you are getting but you can guarantee that it will be totally unique and top quality.

 

More familiar territory is being explored at The Beehive with the cool swing and R’n’B vibes of The Teddy White Band, possibly the best thing to come out of Swindon since Diana Dors.

 

The party music really kicks in on Friday and what better way to celebrate than with the punked out Celtic folk of Missin’ Rosie (pictured) who are on crowd thrilling duties at The Rolleston. More exotic but no less rumbustious (good word) folk music can be found at The Beehive with the Balkan inspired Model Folk. The puntastic S-Hit 5 have their annual seasonal do at Riffs Bar and at The Victoria you can catch Oasish and Stereotonics paying tribute to…well, it shouldn’t require much imagination to work that out.

 

If you want something cool to take you into the early hours then slip on your dancing trousers and party away to Afrobeat, Funk, Hip-Hop and much more at Level 3 with DJ Mosco’s Christmas party night. Dress code is white.

 

Another stalwart event of the season talks place at The Victoria on Saturday as The 12 Bands of Christmas sees a dozen local original bands forego their usual genres and compete to perform the most unusual, out of character or downright silliest covers they can think of. Previous years have seen the Blowbacks turning Cliff Richard’s Devil Woman into a feedback-drenched tribute to Sonic Youth. Matt Kilford abandoning his usual restrained approach and screaming, “Lick my legs!” when covering PJ Harvey’s ‘Rid of Me’, and Si Hall somehow matching the stratospheric range of La Roux. You have been warned.

Another chance to throw caution to the wind and party like a loon is The Bassett Bulldogs FC gig, not only open to all and sundry but also featuring the talents of avant-garde, indie-popsters, Nudybronque, the solid rock riffs of Edenfalls and the social commentary of troubadour Worried About Mike. Other options are rhythm ‘n’ booze mayhem at The Castle with The Hamsters From Hell, a tribute to classic rock with Shepherds Pie at The Rolleston and function band Paradox at The Swiss Chalet.

 

More familiar sounds on Sunday with The PreFab Four recalling The Beatles at The Swiss Chalet and Interlight playing classic songs from across the decades at The Victoria. But if you really want to party there is no better way to celebrate than with the punked out Celtic folk of Missin’ Rosie…hang on didn’t we do this already. Anyway they are at The Beehive.

 

Anyway, what every you chose to do this week, keep flying the flag of live music and have a great run up to Christmas.

1001847_10151555930943635_1223282823_nThere is no getting away from it; this week is all about The Swindon Shuffle. I won’t dwell on it in full, there has been a fair bit of coverage already in this august (and indeed August) publication and a quick search under the obvious terms will find all the details listed up on their website. But here is a very brief walk through (or Shuffle through I guess.)

 

Following last nights opening event at The Queens Tap, the focus tonight turns to Old Town which sees the regular Songs of Praise night at The Victoria become a temple to all things mercurial pop and alt-rock (Super Squarecloud, Dead Royalties and the return of SkyBurnsRed), whilst The Roaring Donkey is the haven for culture vultures, providing a mixture of intelligent acoustica (David Marx and Steve Leigh) and poetry readings. Also happing in the vicinity is some lovely Psytrance (tribal beats meets alien dance vibes) from Zetan Spore at The Beehive and Baila, that wonderful coffee house meets old school vinyl emporium is joining the fray with music provided by hand picked DJ’s. Artist might like to note that those awfully nice people at Cradle Contemporary will be running a Sketch Crawl; artists will be wandering the venues capturing the inspiration and the spirit of the night on paper for a future exhibition.

 

Friday not only stays around Old Town with The Ocelot curated Indie night at The Victoria (incorporating the now traditional Doza opening slot plus Nudybronque and British Harlem)), the first of two mellower nights at The Castle (Familiars, Wildest Dreams) and Riffs Bar’s wonderful acoustic night joins in the fun with an open mic. night and headline slots from The Black Feathers and The Cadbury Sisters, which is a coup in anyone’s book.)

 

Saturday is a tsunami of music. The big daytime session is to be found at The Rolleston from midday, courtesy of The Academy of Music and Sound who showcase their students’ talents before the rest of the afternoon and evening mixes all genres of music from the delicate tones of Charlie Bath to the wild musical machinations of Sea Mammal, the blues infused Armchair Committee and goes out with a bang courtesy of The Ak-Poets.

 

Through out the afternoon, The In-Store Sessions sees music in Billabong, Baila, That’s Entertainment and The Central Library.

 

An eclectic mix is also to be found at The Beehive that evening (Cartoon Heroes, Swindon Samba) and another chilled session at The Castle includes an acoustic Port Erin and Colour The Atlas.

 

Sunday has a family fun day at Riffs Bar, so take the kids along and mix music and shenanigans in equal measure whilst if you are in town The Beehive is the place to be as it plays host to the Shuffle wrap party. If you have made it this far, you may as well go out in style.

 

Right, that is The Shuffle well catered for lets look at non-Shuffle related options.

 

Riffs Bar on Thursday has a great little fundraiser for the Prospect Hospice that features the slightly funky indie of The Primaveras plus The Illustrations, a band who have evolved out of a warped acoustic bedroom duo into a sharp edged outfit that both channels the past and predicts the future. Also on the bill are Abi James and Brinliegh Gallagher. Great music, great cause.

 

The bottom corner of Commercial Road comes up trumps on Friday as The Rolleston plays host to Replica, which as the name suggests are pop and rock cover band, whilst downstairs at Level 3 you can catch Floydian Doors, the only band in existence paying tribute to Cambridge progressive and LA hedonistic psychedelic rock simultaneously. Saturday’s non-Shuffle events are a tribute to Rammstein at The Victoria and Indie and rock covers from Happy Accident at The Swiss Chalet.

 

As if to prove the power of musical networking whilst playing the Mostar Blues and Rock Festival in Bosnia, members of Innes Sibun’s Band found themselves playing alongside and befriending Texas old country/blues troubadour Keegan McInroe (pictured) to the effect that he will be playing at The White Hart in Wroughton on Sunday…not normally on the direct route back home but it’s great when these things happen.

 

Finally, at The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday those acoustic classical meets Latin meets jazz maestro’s Gilmore and Jaz can be found enchanting the crown. Why not join them?

1482760_10152470476699251_1199696131_nGuess what folks? I’m back. Did you miss me? No? You fickle bunch, a new, younger writer comes along and you forget all about me, typical. I can’t say that I’m not hurt but will attempt to work through my pain by jumping straight into what is happening this week on the music front.

 

Of course the big event coming up is that evergreen explosion of music and good vibes that goes by the name of Riffstock. Yes, those lovely folks at Riffs Bar will be filling the bank holiday weekend with the best local talent beginning on Friday with the regular acoustic slot. It will be an open mic. session as usual but with some special guest slots from the hirsute Shaun Buswell, the blonde bombshell that is Bren Haze and other big names on the local acoustic scene.

 

Saturday is the start of two days of full band music, A Way With Words and Rocket Box cover the rockier end of the spectrum neatly, and there is shimmering lo-hi indie from Sahara Heights, pop-punk from Starlight City plus the classic ska and reggae sound of The Nomarks.

 

The following day again covers a lot of musical bases, from the pastoral acoustica of Rumour Shed and the harmonious Americana of The Shudders to the drum’n’bass punk of 2 Sick Monkeys stopping off at all points in between. Points as diverse as the mad scientist of indie-pop, Nudybronque,(pictured) high-octane ska from The Interceptors and the emotive psychedelia of Sister Morphine. The Monday afternoon is “Kiddstock” a kids and family day. There is a plethora of great music, more than I have room to cover here so check out their website for full details.

 

And if you decided not to join in the fun over at Riffs Bar then here are some other serving suggestions for you. Tonight punk fans will want to be at The Victoria for covers and originals with a first wave Brit-punk feel from Useless eaters and 50 Shades of Punk. If the idea of a psychobilly/R’n’B band is more your musical poison then The Beehive is the place to be to catch TNT, a band made up of ex-members of Screaming Lord Sutch and The Meteors as well as current members of Josie and The Outlaw.

 

Fans of tributes are in luck on Friday as Kins of Leon play the music of those pesky Followill siblings at The Victoria and Metalhead re-run the best bits of the metal and hard rock genre at The New Inn. If however you want something original then get yourselves to The Castle for some big riffing, infectious rock with 8 Minutes Later plus post punk informed Indie from King in Mirrors.

 

So what would happen if The Dixie Chicks and The Pogues joined forces? Well, visually it would look pretty weird but musically it would probably sound a lot like Flash Harry. These stalwarts of the Bristol scene liberally plunder the best bits of Celtic folk, new-country, blues-rock, Cajun and gypsy jazz to create outstanding and original songs. Catch them at The Rolleston. Stiff competition comes from The Beehive as The Eddy Allen Trio take an improvisational jam attitude and bend everything from folk to reggae, flamenco to rock, afro-beat, Celtic and a lot more to their will with stunning results.

 

Saturday, as is the norm, is mainly about tried and tested sounds, Peleton play covers from across the modern musical eras at The Victoria and The Rolleston plays host to Powerslaves, an Iron Maiden tribute no less. Original music can be found at The Regent in the guise of Ethemia, so if meaningful and optimistic lyrics, lush harmonies, exquisite guitar work and humorous rambling interludes are your thing, then that is the place to be.

 

SN Dubstation blend dub (naturally), reggae, hip-hop, pop and ska together into wonderful new shapes at The Victoria on Sunday whilst at the Beehive Charlie-Ann offers up some acoustic treats.

 

The final mention of the week is Louise Parker who is at Baker Street on Tuesday. Playing this show as a quartet, Louise has been lauded by critics (including the late great Humphrey Lyttleton…and if Humph’ says it’s good then you know it is) as the new, great voice in British jazz combining elements of funk, gospel and scat styles. Just what the jazz doctor ordered!

 

 

Live and Local

SWINDON105_5Logo-300x186This week we have Albertine Davies and Lucy Bosley from SALOS talking about their next two productions. Janice Thompson and Vic Clemments talking about their production of ‘Not in front of the waiter’ for the Madame Renards Fringe Festival and Mat Fox talking about The Madame Renards Fringe Festival. Music from Gaz Brookfield, Ells, Rocket Box, Walker Broad, Ian O’Regan and Nudybronque

 

Check out the podcast HERE

1482760_10152470476699251_1199696131_nIt may seem that after an initial enthusiastic drive that saw Nudybronque become positively ubiquitous in local venues, the band has  lost some of its momentum in recent times. Nothing could be further from the truth. The lesson that they learned quickly is that there is no point playing the same few Swindon venues every month when the cause would be better served gigging across a wider scene that took in the small club circuit of the rest of the country, making any home town shows the welcome events that they deserved to be. Something that many local bands fail to understand. They also reasoned that the best calling card is a well-produced and original CD and with this in mind have spent the last few months holed up in Earthworm Studios on a journey of musical exploration.

Whereas most bands enter the studio with one eye on the clock and a fixed idea of what they need to achieve, under the guidance of producer Jon Bucket, the band embraced the studio as an extra instrument and began a musical odyssey that became their own learning curve in song writing, production and sound manipulation. The resulting explosion of ideas and creativity is their recent release, Moondog.

This 5-track offering has seen the band mature from their once cute, pop-punkery into brilliantly eloquent songwriters, capturing all the mercurial charm, humour and depth of the band as they are today. Quintessentially English and with obvious comparisons to early Pulp, not least in frontman Aidan’s penchant for storytelling and thespian delivery, the band have embraced a sound that takes in the charm of the fey end of post-punk (think Postcard Records short lived roster) the attention to detail of later Beatles albums, the quirky charm of Talking Heads yet enough raw power to stop their sometimes twee muse from dominating completely.

A perfect analogy is that of the caterpillar becoming a butterfly, the studio supplying the cocoon from which burst a beautiful and fully transformed musical creature, all fresh colours and able to leave the ground behind. One wonders now though, where do they go next?

moondog-small-300x300

This Wiltshire based outfit have been around since early 2011 releasing a couple of very promising EP’s and building a strong live following, they have impeccable influences with the likes of Pulp, early Libertines, Orange Juice and Josef K almost certainly featuring in their collective record collections.

The bands third EP see’s them take a huge confident step forward and very much stamp their own mark over their hugely enjoyable music, the moment a good band become a great one, the signs were there just over 12 months ago when they initially released the fantastic “Allsorts” (which makes a welcome reappearance here) and the moment the sublime sounds of opener “No Wives, No Children” are upon us it’s clear “Allsorts” was no fluke.

Don’t get me wrong Nudybronque were writing strong material before this new EP (the Bottled Blonde EP in particular has some cracking songs on it), it’s just they’ve upped their game here… and then some.

These are catchy melodic songs with razor sharp lyrics and an almost cinematic delivery (Allsorts would sound great soundtracking a Lynch movie) “Peachy Keen” should be a staple of Indie Clubs up and down the country (and would show the NME flavour of the month brigade how to write a proper art school anthem) “Yoo-Hoo” now soundtracks my journey home from the pub and by the time I arrive at the wonderfully titled “Space Travel 2013 By Phone” it’s clear to me I’m bearing witness to one of the best releases of the year to date.

At some point Nudybronque are going to deliver a killer debut album, in the meantime get yourself online and buy a copy of “Moondog” and, if you get the chance go and see them live and witness of the most exciting new(ish) bands in the country.