Tag Archive: red jasper


941709_451444478279664_612130979_nIt’s pretty much slim pickings gig wise around the town this week and no, that isn’t a sneaky reference to the Blazing Saddles and Dr Strangelove actor with a similar sounding name. A seasonal lull in proceedings is to be expected at this time of year, but if you are a venue, promoter and band and want to ensure a mention in this column then you only have to send me a message, I’m easy enough to find on the supermation info-highway thingy.

 

So starting with a bang at The Victoria, tonight there is a line up heavy enough to satisfy even the most extreme noise merchants. Leading the way is Sleep Inertia, the band that rose from the ashes of The Dead Lay Waiting, so expect the same uncompromising onslaught but one catering for a slightly more mature target audience than before. They are joined by two other local acts, the hardcore brutality of Heriot and the solid, metal shenanigans of Eden Falls.

 

Meanwhile, The Roughnecks can be found at The Beehive; fans of old school, gritty, rhythm and blues should do themselves a favour and check them out.

 

Friday can only offer a look back at some of the great music of yesteryear. At The Victoria you can catch The Teddy White Band playing the best in beat, retro rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm and blues, whilst at The Rolleston, The Corduroy Kings cover music written between the sixties and the present day in the rock, blues, R’n’B, soul and funk categories. Over at The Fox and Hounds in Hayden Wick, function band Echo will be entertaining the crowd with a repertoire so broad there is no point even trying to nail it down. The best way to approach the gig is with an open mind, just go along and see what you get given.

 

Saturday also has its fair share of the tried and tested. At The Rolleston, Alter Ego will be offering up classic rock and soulful blues and at The Swiss Chalet, Mojo will be playing music from The 50’s to the present day.

 

And just as I was giving up on the notion that there may be something original going on, Riffs Bar come to the rescue with the launch show for Red Jasper’s (pictured)latest album, The Great and Secret Show, not only their 6th album but their first release in 17 years. Red Jasper blend British folk rock with a harder, neo-progressive rock edge, those that revel in the seventies output of Jethro Tull or Fish era Marillion may find a lot here that they like.

 

And finally something else to satisfy fans of original music can be found at The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday. Usually found fronting Blind River Scare, Tim Manning is a regular face in Swindon also due to the monthly Acoustic Buzz sessions he hosts at The Beehive. As a solo act his songs lose none of their craftsmanship and subtleties, a wonderful blend of Celtic folk and southern Americana traditions.

 

I shall probably get crucified for saying this but to all the venues and promoters who play it safe by continuously booking the same cover bands, I know there is a certain financial security to be had through this route, but do you not ever feel that there is more to life than comfort zones? Imagine in years to come being able to say to yourself, that the band that have just sold out an arena tour in under an hour used to play in your venue, wouldn’t it be satisfying to able to say that you helped them get where they are today. Wouldn’t that be something?

10906534_756951351062307_726003092315469211_nIn a week where the vast majority of gigs fall into the cover band category, this gig just stood out like a beacon of light guiding a way for original music fans through an ocean of Mustang Sally’s and Sex On Fire’s. Red Jasper fall into the neo-progressive rock category, more than that they have some heavy folk influences which immediately evokes bands such as Jethro Tull and Mostly Autumn as much as the denser and more layered sounds of the likes of Pendragon and early Marillion.

 

After a hiatus of 17 years from regular gigging and recording, not only are they back but they are back with a new album, their 6th to date, called The Great and Secret Show. So not only will this show be a reminder of how great their existing set is, it will act as a showcase for new material as well.

Catch them Saturday 17th at Riffs Bar.

In the mean time here is some archive footage – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OadSw8iErS4

(first published at SwindonLink)

Library - 25Isn’t science great? I was reading a report in New Made-up Scientist recently that Zoologists have discovered that the mental powers of Slipknot fans are far greater than previously imagined. In a series of experiments conducted in a research facility in Hogwash, Colorado involving dozens of Slipknot fans, bearded scientists found that many were able to count to 20, had the potential to perform simple sums and even had a basic vocabulary consisting of a handful of words such as “Slipknot” and “Rule.” Professor Dan Geek who led the team said “ This evidence of intelligence has taken us by surprise and is causing us to rethink what we know about these particular primates.” In a prepared statement Slipknot said, “This proves what we always said, our fans ain’t stupid. They know a whole bunch of stuff, y’know, like stuff and stuff like that”

Thankfully your faith in intelligent music can be restored by a visit to Riffs Bar tonight. If you thought Red Jasper had been consigned to local music mythology, you will be pleased to know that they are back out as a gigging band delivering their trade mark symphonic rock meets folk blend that puts them somewhere between classic era Jethro Tull and early Marillion and with Bristol prog stalwarts Crimson Sky supporting, this is a brilliant line up.

More rootsy sounds can be found at The Victoria with the funky lap-blues of Jim “Hiproute” Blair and the shamanistic folk and emotive bluesy vibes that make up Stone Donkey Pilots. The Beehive, meanwhile, will be grooving to the gypsy-jazz swing of Ruba Tempo.

Friday is a big night out at Riffs Bar as Beauty with a Purpose (and not a Porpoise as it said in one listing!), a longstanding and immensely important global children’s charity, have lined up a host of fund raising great acts including Ethemia, Echo, Benji Clements and Aiden Moore. Great cause. Great music.

The Beehive opts for laid back music from  Stressechoes a band described as “a triumph of heart-on-sleeve storytelling supported by beautiful, understated music” and with the simple musical lines of Juey also on the bill it will be a cracking gig. The delectable R’n’B sounds of The Teddy White Band can be found at The Royal Oak.

If you want a fuller band experience, then there are a number of options. Nudybronque play Riffs Bar as headliners for the Secret Chord’s latest show, underground, post punk, inspired pop, melody and memorable tunes, they may have evolved but they haven’t lost the glint in the eye and tongue in cheek drive that keeps them self-deprecating, grounded and a joy to watch. Also on the bill is Jim Johnston, currently operating as a two-piece but still running a great line in brittle, fractious guitar lines and dark yet bluesy undercurrents. New chaps on the block Devotion get the night underway.

Missin’ Rosie are at The Manor and The Corsairs grace the New Inn but if punk is more your thing then the Victoria tonight provides the first of two shows that should tick your musical boxes. The UK Subs now enter their eighth decade (probably not true) as leading lights of the punk scene and they bring with them the Dropkick Murphy’s inspired Criminal Mind and Proud City Fathers. The other gig in this pairing comes with Charred Hearts playing The Beehive Sunday afternoon.

The Lazy Sunday Afternoon show may have now relocated to The Central Library but they haven’t lost their ear for good music. This time it is the turn of the luscious Latin Jazz of Gilmore ‘n’ Jaz, the romantic nature of Jess Vincent and as always hosted by Mr Love and Justice.

Other options for the day of rest come with the effortless, vibrant blues of Retramantic who play 20 at the Kings in Wood Street and the Sax fronted trad jazz of The Don Franks Duo at Baker Street.

Playing the week out, on Tuesday at Baker Street, it’s jazz from virtuoso guitarist Esmond Selwyn and the organ lead brilliance from The John-Paul Gard Trio and Wednesday at The Running Horse acoustic treats come in the shape of Pete Taylor and The Right Hooks.