Tag Archive: pignose


1908007_709700309072398_6221285779546836118_nI have to start this week with a bit of an apology. In last weeks article I mentioned that the players in prominent local folk band, Noah’s Ostrich, were all members of The National Front. Obviously what I meant to say was that they were all members of The National Trust. I apologize for any inconvenience caused and hope that the cost of the replacement windows wasn’t too expensive. Moving swiftly on…

 

Tonight sees local boy made good, Gaz Brookfield, return to his musical roots at The Victoria for Songs of Praise. He brings with him The Company of Thieves to make this a full band show that features a few familiar faces amongst its ranks. Expect the usual display of wit, panache, poignancy and brilliant, observational lyrics. Joining him on this great bill is Lonely Tourist who describes himself as trading in Beard-pop, Pub-step and Malternative music…well, why not? Opening the show is the dark and lush tones of Luke De-Sciscio.

 

Level 3 has a rare musical treat for you on Friday, a cornucopia of young, emerging Indie bands, no less. Sounds will range from the soaring, slightly post-rock informed sounds of Sahara Heights to the street-punk indie of The Corfields and from the bedroom psychedelia turned indie-thrash of The Illustrations to the eclectic sound mix of The Primarveras. I would like to tell you more about Coco Esq but their on line presence is decidedly vague.

 

If you are not one of the skinny jeaned young groovers with complicated hair, there is still plenty of music to be had. At The Victoria everything heads a bit south of the border as Pignose and The Blue Trees channel the sounds of the bayous, desert highways, illicit stills and truck stops, the former through a dash of old school rock and roll and the latter through a more bluesy medium.

 

Riffs Bar Acoustic Session features Salisbury based troubadour Sue Hart, a charming mix of wit and wisdom put to folky Americana tunes and she is joined by Nick Tann who does a neat line in soulful and introspective, late night jazz tinged acoustica. For a more frantic folk sound catch Grubby Jack at The Beehive; fast fiddling, blinding banjos and great guitars. (I can’t think of a suitable alliteration for vocals…vibrant maybe?)

 

If you are going to The Rolleston then grab your brogues, Fred Perry shirts and set your Pork-pie hat to a jaunty angle as The Nomarks will be serving up original ska and reggae with a distinctly old school feel.

 

As is often the case classic rock is well catered for on Saturday with Shepherds Pie playing an Iron Maiden tribute set at The Victoria and Broken Image being much more adventurous and covering a whole gamut of rock music from Judas Priest to The Scorpions at The Rolleston. If NWOBHM era rock isn’t your thing then why not head next door to Level 3 where Echo will be playing covers ranging from Lady Gaga to The Kaiser Chiefs.

 

Original music can be found in spades at this month’s GW Hotel Acoustic Showcase in the form of A.Koustics, Daniel Seath, Emmy Fearon, GPS, Barney Kenny, Aiden Page and Dylan Q.

And if you liked The Blue Trees earlier in the week, you may also want to catch Barney Newman at The Beehive on Sunday afternoon. His is a sound that channels the blues of the Mississippi shoreline and blends in the warm folk tones of the likes of John Martyn to make for a wonderfully traditional roots guitar sound.

 

The town may be sorted for rock covers but if you want to know where the genre is heading then The Victoria is the place to be on Monday as Fox and The Law (pictured) roll into town from Seattle. Part fresh faced punks, part old soul songwriters, part incendiary blues, part Sabbath-esque heaviness, this is a band who both kick-arse and cut the mustard. And as if that wasn’t enough, opening the show is The Greasy Slicks a mix of Zeppelin’s grunt and Burning Tree’s panache. Gig of the week for me and it’s a Monday!

Live and Local

SWINDON105_5Logo-300x186This week we have John Day in interview about Swindon Photographic Society. Music from Three Minute Tease, We Ghosts, Pignose, Mr Love & Justice, Blythe Power, The King in Mirrors, The Blowbacks, Nudy Bronque, Emi McDade and Antonio Lulic.

 

listen here

532545_10151021089353608_1116543083_nI seems that Twitter has gone into melt down today as a shocking new video has revealed that One Direction hunk, Harry Styles, actually mimed singing Happy Birthday at band mate Liam Payne’s recent party. Not only was Styles, real name Harry Styles, contractually obliged not to sing, it turns out that his fellow band mate was similarly breaking contract by turning 19 in the first place. Styles is expected to shave his head and apologise on YouTube later this week. “Miming is a serious offence in the music world” said NME spokesman Norman Fictional, “First Beyoncé admits to miming at Osama Bin Ladens inauguration and now this!”

 

Still you won’t find any of that sort of thing going on in the local scene this week and what a wide-ranging selection of music there is for you to wrap your ears around.

 

Tonight, at The Victoria, are a band with all the right credentials, cited as the hottest band since the Ramones and with an album produced by Steve Albini, Barb Wire Dolls are the new face of punk and fronted by a singer who sounds like Patti Smith channelling Johnny Rotten…. there is nothing in the description of band that to me doesn’t sound awesome. Add support from 2 Sick Monkeys and it gets even better.

 

A more sedate night out can be found at The Beehive with the regular Acoustic Buzz Session. This week it features Gary Hall, a Gram Parsons infused player and quite possibly the future of British Americana; the poetic and almost spiritual folk of Benita Johnson and Blind River Scare main man and host for the evening, Tim Manning.

 

 

The big news this week is the arrival of a new Hip Route album, which is being launched on Friday at Basement 73. With a cast of thousands…well, a fair number anyway, consisting of additional musicians, not least The Barefoot Horns and support from Jimmy Moore and Best Laid Plans, plus the fact that it is free entry there are so many reasons to pop along and join the fun.

 

Other big names are to be found at The Victoria with the original Rude Boy and Specials singer, Neville Staple bringing his full band to town and support coming from one of the most eclectic, surprising and truly unique bands I have ever seen, and I’ve seen a few, Flipron. Get there early and do not miss an invitation to their weird world of whimsy and wackiness.

 

 

If something a bit more rootsy is your thing then you can either go for the excellent Pignose at The Beehive and their alchemical blend of rock, blues and country, a highly recommended noise or the soundtrack to a smoky Chicago blues bar that is Built For Comfort at The Rolleston.

 

Saturday offers the usual slices of tributes in the form of the hilariously titled Sgt. Peppers Only Dartboard Band not only playing the whole of the Revolver album but also a set of the Fab Fours greatest hits. The Rolleston offers Going Underground who play a mixture of punk and new wave classics. Fans of Status Quo will be heading for Riffs Bar to catch original drummer John Coghlan and his band play all the Quo classics.

 

If you want some soothing music to help the digestion of your Sunday roast then The Beehive is the place to be for the welcome return of Juey an artist who will find favour with fans of the likes of Gillian Welch.

 

A couple of nice midweek options both come courtesy of The Victoria, on Tuesday with the big, crunching guitars of 8 Minutes Later with support from The King In Mirrors, a wonderful seam of post punk pop that I urge you all to explore.

 

And finally Wednesday sees the return of Barry Dolan – a.k.a. Oxygen Thief pictured), this time backed by a full band. If ever you though the man was loud and ranting enough as a solo acoustic act, imagine what he is going to be like at full power. Actually you don’t have to imagine, go to the show. Support for this comes from 2 piece noise merchants Boss Cloth and the soaring guitar work of False Gods. In a week where there are lots of great things on offer, this one still wins gig of the week.

Library - 143 (Review by PfalzDxii)

With only a few days notice, the scheduled band cancelled because of work permit problems. Who would save the Vic’s bacon? Pignose, of course! Thankfully I was not working a night shift, and I could go. I like Pignose, and have seen them quite a few times over the last few years. When I first saw them, they were a trio… Pete, Pete, and Anish. With the addition of Mike, well over a year ago, they became my favourite four piece trio in all the land. The first time I saw this extended line up, it was in the front bar of the Vic. It was here they would be playing again.

Before the event, this is how they were described in “Sounds Around Town”… “For those few not in the know, Pignose fuse together old school rock and roll, blues, gospel and country into some wonderfully evocative and memorable tunes, always worth catching them live.”
All very true of course, but I would like to add that the musicianship from all four is superb, the singing from the three guitarists is fantastic, and there is always much warmth, and there is fun. So much fun! They all have fun playing, and this becomes infectious and radiates outwards. The front bar of the Vic is a small intimate area, with the audience lucky to be very close to the band.

“For those few not in the know”. Yes, that sentence says so much. Many, many people have seen Pignose. Sometimes, local bands get overlooked for the praise they deserve. Sometimes they may not be taken seriously enough. A band of this quality should be respected and cherished, and yes, taken seriously. Much hard work goes into the ability to be spontaneous. Much hard work and love of the music is evident from each and every one of Pignose. There was a goodish sized crowd standing in front of the bar, but not all of the seats were filled. It was a Thursday night. The advertised band had cancelled. No one was sitting anywhere near me (still worrying about that one), and Pignose were on!!

During the second number I realized something special was happening. The songs were the same. The enthusiasm was the same, but the intangible feel for the music had changed. All four seemed somehow to fuse into a single unit. As the lyrics were all used, the band played on. Serious playing this. I could hardly believe my ears and eyes. They had become both types of band, both rhythm, AND blues! Pete downed his drum sticks and moved onto the bongos for almost the entire evening. Mike sat as he played lead. His oil can guitar was not there. He did alternate between two conventional guitars depending on the song. Anish was playing bass guitar. She too was playing a conventional shaped instrument. The large shiny steel bass was not there. Anish seemed far more comfortable as she moved with, and to, the music she was making. Pete played rhythm on his Pignose guitar with a verve that I have come to look forward too. He though, as with the others, had somehow become transformed. The playing was superb. Were they actually winging it? No one was conducting this transformation, and they weren’t studying each others’ playing, or body language. They simply meshed seamlessly together into a rare and magical merging of musical mastery. Three guitars, all so very generous with their sharing of each others’ talents, and all backed with perfect bongo playing. I do not believe that this was planned. I don’t believe you can plan what happened. For a few hours the four individuals had become as one. Thought as one. Played as one. At the end they were all breathless in a way I had not seen them before. I too, felt breathless, and I was simply enjoying them. They knew they had achieved something special. They beamed with a happiness that was a delight to behold.

Sometimes music that good, just happens. Did they plan to do that?…. no. Did they enjoy doing it?…. yes. Will they ever soar that high again?…. they are capable of it, so who knows. I do hope so.
That evening they merged into one. To Pete, Pete, Anish, and Mike, I say thank you. Rather, I should say, to Pignose, thank you.

Library - 136Loads to get through this week, so I’ll forego the “pointless and largely unamusing” intro (it’s so nice to get fan mail) and get straight on with this weeks recommendations.

 

Starting with some bad news, Mr Cat and The Jackal at The Victoria tonight has had to be rescheduled due to complications with travel visas; the show will now take place on 15th August. The upside of this situation is that the wonderful Pignose will be playing in the front bar instead. For those few not in the know, Pignose fuse together old school rock and roll, blues, gospel and country into some wonderfully evocative and memorable tunes, always worth catching them live.

 

The Beehive, meanwhile, has its monthly Acoustic Buzz session, this time featuring The Brwmys, Diane Johnstone and Ray Bradfield and your regular host Blind River Scare.

 

Friday is when it all the really big stuff starts happening. For biggest in terms of reputation, head for The Victoria to catch original rude boy and Specials singer Neville Staple (pictured). Support comes in the musically warped form of Flipron, a band for whom the word eclectic still isn’t really adequate. Mixing a range of unusual instruments with hyper-literate lyrics and a stand point that is as alien to modern musical conventions as you can get, make sure you arrive early enough to watch their set.

 

For biggest in the terms of noise, then The Furnace is the place to be for a hardcore-metal explosion of talent. Headliners, Burials, mix brutal deliveries of power and melody with bleak atmospherics and dynamic interludes. Support comes from local melodic-metalcore wunderkinds The Dead Lay Waiting, a band recently immortalised in their own comic book, plus The Cold Harbour and Wreckoning.

 

At Riffs Bar, Welsh trio, Godsticks will be bringing something a little bit different to a region dominated by indie and metal. Working within the broad prog genre and appealing to the fans of Oceansize and Porcupine Tree, they deliver well structured and mature music, filled with generic twists and stylistic turns that often defy easy pigeon-holing.

 

The NewQuay Times, although sounding like a local paper that surfers use to check the weather reports are actually a band who have been likened to The Pretenders, Blondie and more interestingly in my book anyway, Lone Justice…be at The Beehive for that one.

 

Bit of a Pink Floyd overload this weekend as The Rolleston on Friday has that strange hybrid, The Floydian Doors and The Victoria has Just Floyd on Saturday, not sure if that is good planning, bad planning or the start of some sort of Dave Gilmore cult bid for world domination. I know I give tributes a hard time but if it’s your thing then watch for upcoming bookings of The Morrissey Dancers, especially if you the idea of Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now performed in traditional English folk style complete with bottle tops on sticks and white handkerchiefs. Also look out for The Welsh Scottish Sex Pistols featuring Dai McHoots, who once played a gig to minus one people (no one turned up so their bassist went home in a huff) and who have just released their debut album, Never Mind The Haggis, Boyo, It’s The Welsh Scottish Sex Pistols.

 

On the upside, Damn The Torpedoes at The Rolleston on Saturday do a damn fine version of the undisputed kings of American Rock, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. By contrast and possibly having the byline Chaos at The Castle, the slightly controlled skiffle madness of Ode and The Be-bops and the out and out chaos that is The Hamsters from Hell will be raising money for the Prospect Hospice.

 

Sunday gets all rootsy on us, firstly with the sound of Chicago rhythm and blues from Built For Comfort at The Beehive in the afternoon and in the evening the choice of stomping traditional Celtic and American folk from Grubby Jack at The Rolleston, or a trip up the Art Centre for Paul Lamb and Chad Strentz and some award winning soulful blues. And just staying with the Arts Centre, Tuesday sees a visit from occasional Waterboys player, Sharon Shannon for some accordion driven Cajun, reggae and Celtic folk blends.

 

And finally to Wednesday and no space left but to say The Running Horse Sessions brings you singer songwriters Jimmy Moore and DJ Harman.

And now the News. In light of recent events I now find my position as writer of Sounds Around Town no longer tenable and have therefore decided that the only proper course of action is to step aside and spend more time with my record collection and re-runs of Time Team. As a replacement I have appointed myself to the position of Acting Dave Franklin as an interim solution until the matter is resolved. So as to avoid any lengthy negotiations I have also asked the paper to consider me for a £450,000 golden handshake but have, as of yet, received no reply. Apparently questions have been raised in the House about the situation, not my house, you understand, someone else’s house, but the windows were shut and I couldn’t hear what they were saying.

 

So on with the show. It’s Songs of Praise at The Victoria tonight again the tables and subdued lighting is out to welcome the dulcet tones of Emily and The Dogs. Mixing jazz, folk and rock and coming off somewhere between Polly Harvey and Ani Di Franco, this trio of highly experienced musicians are something a bit special. A slight change to the plans sees historically aware, baroque-pop stalwarts Mr Love and Justice take the middle spot with Nick Felix opening up the evening. Meanwhile jazz is on the menu at The Beehive with the guitar and vocal combo Ruba Tempo.

 

Friday night is all about the Children in Need show out at Riffs Bar. Burnthru bring their rock hybrid – part metal, part sleaze, part grunge to the party and joining them are The Dark Sinatra’s, a band whose ability to mix groove driven bass lines, rocked out jazz junkie drum fills and Byzantine heavy guitar work into something dark, experimental yet accessible and danceable is unprecedented.  Scud Penguin and 5 Lives Left are also helping this most worthy cause.

 

Over at The Furnace it’s all about old school rock. Out of the flatlands of the windswept east, otherwise known as Lincolnshire, come Nightvision, blistering classic rock, razor wire riffs and thunderous rhythms will be the order of the day. Dead By Friday? and Wreckoning provide more of the same, but if you like your rock a bit more Sunset Strip, a bit more sleaze-boogie and street-smart, then make sure you catch Rough Cut.

 

In a week with an already heavy rock bias, then The Victoria will provide a roots music oasis on Saturday night. The funky grooves and lap guitar blues of Hip Route are the musical destination of the evening but first you will have to negotiate a wonderful journey through soulful acoustic jazz vibes of The Andy Grant Trio and the smorgasbord of southern sounds that tumble from Pignose (pictured).

 

The Royal Oak plays host to The Erin Bardwell Collective, old school ska, reggae and rocksteady all go into the mix and whilst you are there make sure you pick up a copy of their cracking new album, Bringing The Hope.

 

Back into the maelstrom of the heavy sounds that are dominating this week and a perfect pairing washes up at The Furnace. Both Godsized and Eye For An Eye revel in thunderous riffs and colossal beats without losing their ear for melody. The result is a biker metal mix of the best of old school British such as Sabbath and the southern swagger and groove of ZZ Top turned up to eleven. From Ruin play the role of the perfect opening act.

 

The 12 Bar also get in on the act as Newquay hardcore outfit, Envy The Fallen play a tribute set to Australian metalcore band, Parkway Drive. More metal is also forthcoming from Make No Mistake and the modest Dissolute who’s website states that they are “way ahead of their time in terms of talent.”

 

Sunday afternoon is a bit more chilled out. When they cried Go West! one native of Tulsa, Oklahoma came east, and you can hear the anglicised, alt-country and Costello-esque delivery of Bob Collum at The Beehive for the  afternoon session. Alternately you can head for the Arts Centre and another outing for the west-coast jangle meets West Country lore of Mr Love and Justice. They are joined by Albion, a folk duo in the Greenwich Village coffee shop style.

 

Wednesday evening has it’s usual musical barrier against mid week boredom. Missin’ Rosie deliver rocked out Celtic folk at The Running Horse, a wonderfully charismatic and joyously upbeat support comes courtesy of The Real Raj. There is a Bluegrass jam over at Riffs Bar or you can catch the new line up of The Blue Trees at The Victoria.

I bumped into an old friend at a gig the other day. Oddly enough the resulting conversation didn’t revolve around what each other had been doing in the decade since we had last seen each other, but in the quirky way we have, it turned to the subject of mondegreens, or in layman’s terms, misheard lyrics in songs. Such questions were raised as  – did The Stone Roses really “Wanna Be A Door?” Why was Creedance Clearwater Revival telling us “There’s a Bathroom on the Right?” How did The Stranglers get it so wrong when predicting “Never A Frown, With Gordon Brown” and oddest of all, what did Roberta Flack actually mean when she said “Tonight I Sellotape My Glove to You?” Yes, we had been drinking!

 

Talking of confusing lyrics, not to mention more than a few “oh la la la’s”, “shubba-dubbas” the occasional “ha!” and other strange utterances, Crash and The Coots are playing The Victoria tonight. Theirs is a strange and beguiling world of lateral thinking, experimental pop, but one that you all need to visit at least once. Supporting them are Port Erin a band who have swapped some of the early complexities of their music for balance, space and atmosphere and now ably mix pop leanings with mature musicianship. Three Letter Agency get the night started.

 

Blending folk with rock, accessibility with intelligence and kicking into touch the fey, hippyness often associated with her field, Thea Gilmore is blazing a path towards classic status songwriter, catch her at The Arts Centre tonight. Similar folky undercurrents can be found at The Beehive as Ron Trueman-Border brings his band, Perfect Strangers along for some vivid, punchy lyrics and infectious tunes.

 

Staying at The Beehive for Friday and Pignose will be offering up some Old Town Blues for your delectation. This very narrow genre is a blend of gospel, rhythm and blues, country and rock, songs of the south if you like and if it wasn’t for all the road works in that part of town would have probably made a break for the border a long time ago. Offer them a Mint Julep, make them feel at home.

 

The noisy brigade will find their home out at Riffs Bar for  a gig spearheaded by Severance a band very much in the spirit of the NWOBHM era and making their first visit to the place. And if you thought Stoner Rock had died out in the infamous flannel shirt famine of the mid nineties, then The Ashun might come as a welcome surprise. Optimal Prime is also on the bill.

 

More rock on Saturday this time at The 12 Bar and headed by the metal-grunge hybrid that is Burnthru, with Toadstool filling that space between metal, blues and southern rock: kick arse four, four grooves just like the old days. The Starkers continue their pop-grunge fixation…think Nirvana having a fight with The Libertines.

 

The Rolleston plays host to the one cover band I can handle, Kova Me Badd. What sets them apart from the norm? Their music selection is awful, delivery questionable, professionalism in serious doubt and antics not suitable before the watershed. In short, everything a cover band should be. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, it will change your life. Well, one out of three isn’t bad.

 

Something a bit special comes to The Victoria on Sunday. Back on the menu is old school hip-hop from Long Beach underground vigilantes, Ugly Duckling; outsiders who like The Beastie Boys and Run DMC before them take humorous swipes at more commercial elements of their genre. And on into Monday, the names keep coming. Uli Jon Roth(pictured) made his name filling the shoes of guitarist for Michael Schenker in The Scorpions but over the years moved into more experimental pastures and today his style encompasses neo-classical, heavy metal, blues and psychedelic, all of which can be seen, again, at The Victoria on Monday. For something a bit more sedate, middle of the road even, Paul Carrack is at The Wyvern Theatre.

 

Staying at The Victoria for Tuesday, those lo-fi, folk-rock, indie-pop, Celtic-bop, pirates, The Shudders make a welcome return and we round off on Wednesday at The Running Horse. Nick Tann is becoming a bit of a regular fixture and his jazz inflected 12 string tunes and soaring vocals are always welcome. He brings with him Marvin B Naylor a man who blends folk, prog, the surreal and wonderful lyrical drives to create something truly unique.

I think I have worked out my problem with cover bands. Whilst watching the incredible Super Squarecloud last week, a Damascene moment occurred. We live in an age where music seems hell-bent on a nostalgia trip. In a previous column I pointed out that the 60’s had psychedelia, the 70’s had disco and punk, the 80’s hip-hop and the 90’s rave, but since then what? If contemporary music is content to plunder the past to a lesser or greater degree, then cover bands are a pure slice of well worn déjà vu. Fine if you want to live in the past, and we all need to visit our youthful memories from time to time but it doesn’t really further the cause of music. What we need is the opposite …err, avant verrais? Jamais vu? I don’t know, I’m still struggling with English! That is why bands such as Super Squarecloud and Crash and The Coots are so important to the local scene, wonderful slices of forward thinking weirdness that push boundaries and create unique yet accessible music along the way. So it’s vive la difference as they say across the channel and here’s to creativity.

And if you ever thought that everything that could be done with rock music has been, then you need to be at The Victoria tonight. Up from that London, The Manic Shine infuse their music with the influences of their diverse cultural heritage and the result is a glorious blend of punch and panache; classic rock riffs, atmospheric dynamics, driving back beats and a bunch of great songs. Support comes from Ataraxis Vibration, the natural successor to the likes of Hendrix, Cream and Free plus Streetfight Silence’s more pop-punk vibe.

In The Beehive’s continuing quest to become a Canadian colony, yet another of its musical emissaries takes up residence there tonight. David Celia is a frequent visitor to the place and his elegant and humorous brand of songmanship is always well received. The Divine Comedy with maple syrup!

Two options for the loud jumpered, knit your own yoghurt brigade…or folk fans, as they prefer to be called. Folk in the Bar at Riffs is a open mic session, for a more formal experience the Urban Folk Quartet will be mixing British traditional themes with global influences at The Arts Centre.

The big noise for Friday is at The Furnace with their Halloween special, which will be powered by the sound of Swindon’s finest indie rock. Infectious, groove driven pop comes courtesy of Nudybronque, with Secret Lives and The Fixed playing the part of perfect support bands.

The 12 Bar also goes for the younger and brasher end of the musical market, but as usual are not big on information. Whilst I can tell you that headliners Days on Juno are a must for anyone who likes hook laden pop-punk in general and Fall Out Boy in particular, all I can tell you about support band The 39 Steps is that I read John Buchan’s classic novel of the same name many times as a kid. Riffs Bar also opts for the pop-punk with Running From Zombies and All Action Hero but again there is no information on the website. (Come on guys, meet me half way!)

Saturday sees a bonfire party at Riffs Bar with yet another Burlesque show to go alongside rock covers from Chiller. Some of you are too young to remember the days before the by-laws were changed to ensure that at least three burlesque shows were held in the parish each week, I some times miss those days, or as we used to call it…last year.

The Arts Centre offers up another inspired booking with the bluesy, folk-pop of Lotte Mullan, imagine the delicacy of Janis Ian mixed with the nouse of Joni Mitchell, gorgeous stuff. At the Rolleston “theatrical” cover band The Atomic Rays will be covering the classics and they come with an endorsement from Radio 1 DJ Edith Bowman, make of that what you will.

Global journeyman, Renny Field, will be impressing The Beehive on Sunday with his trademark uplifting and lyrically engaging songs for the afternoon session and that evening The Rolleston has the Mason-Dixon line colliding with the M4 corridor to shape the inimitable mix of southern blues, R’n’B and gospel that is Pignose.

Pignose’s Pete Cousins can also be found at The Victoria on Tuesday supporting Grandpa Banana. As guitarist with seminal San Francisco Bay Area folk rockers, The Youngbloods, Banana is rightly considered an icon of California bluegrass and old time rock and roll, to catch him playing a free gig is something not to be missed.

The week rounds off on Wednesday with even more Bluegrass this time in the form of Riffs Bar’s weekly jam and at The Running Horse more acoustic goodness courtesy of Sam Eden and the vocally harmonious Ethemia.

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!

This weeks Sounds Around Town link