Tag Archive: rockabilly rumble


thumbnail.jpegThere have been some busy weeks when it comes to live music of late and this one has to be the busiest of the lot. I have covered as much as I can below but space being what it is, some gigs are not going to make the cut so please check out the website or page of your favourite band a and venues to fill in some of the gaps. You can’t say that nothing ever happens in this town.(You could but you’d be wrong.)

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31760151_1227166777386457_3318506893571260416_nLots to get through this week so with an introductory paragraph as brief as one of Cheryl Cole’s relationships, let’s get on with the show.

Scott Lavene makes a sort of quintessentially English rock and roll, infectious tunes mixed with jittery new wave tension and uniquely humorous narratives that Messrs. Difford and Tilbrook would be proud of and you can catch him at The Beehive this very evening.

Two helpings of rock are to be found on Friday with The Lizzy Legacy and Stat-X at The Victoria and The Rolleston respectively. The former, as the name implies, pay tribute to the music of Thin Lizzy and associated acts, no wigs, costumes or gimmicks they just let all of those classic tunes speak for themselves and the latter offer rock music in all its forms from the obvious iconic choices to some more pop-rock selections.

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31562214_2064398750484126_1469105218103878079_nWith The Swindon Shuffle still visible in the rear view mirror, and both Fieldview Festival and Festival on The Farm (other alliterative festivals are available) looming large on the horizon, it is probably understandable that it is a bit of a quieter week. Throw in pub refurbishments and a general move on the part of the punter to beer garden drinking rather than suffering the hot weather in a cramped and sweaty gig environment and I’m surprised that there any gigs on at all. And whilst gigs may be small in number, there is a great offering of original and interesting acts to be had amongst the more familiar names. Quality not quantity is definitely the order of the day…or in this case, week.

Tonight you will find Pete Jagger back at The Beehive for a night of politically infused folk originals in a similar style to James Taylor and Ralph McTell, mixed in with standards from the genre such as Paul Simon, John Martyn and even a bit of Elvis Costello if you are lucky.

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13407096_10153662274891463_6649436038957675124_n.jpgIn a world which seems ever more divided along political lines, knowingly supporting cash over climate issues, payola over peace and where a small very small sector of society pull the strings and calls the shots, wouldn’t it be good to have someone come along and make sense of it all. Not some dry political hack or firebrand orator but maybe a guy with a bass guitar, a hat and a bag of songs which point fingers, neatly satirises and gently ridicules the state of the world. It might not fix the problems but it sounds like a fun night out to me. Oh look, Grant Sharkey is at The Tuppenny tonight, what a co-incidence!

Meanwhile down at The Beehive, that excellent fellow Tim Manning is hosting his Acoustic Buzz night, a session dedicated to all things rootsy and this time around Boss Caine headlines the night, imagine Tom Waits singing Ryan Adams …if they had both had the good fortune to grow up in Yorkshire that is. Chris Webb is also on the bill, a finger-style folkie par excellence and your host will kick the night off with his song-blends of country and folk.

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11182185_821629961223827_7480345842100529154_nNot quite local but close enough and big enough to warrant a mention, the ever wonderful, ever family friendly Wytchwood Festival takes place this weekend. Located at The Cheltenham racecourse and very much in the same vein as the other big regional event WOMAD, this festival is the perfect antidote to the crass commercialisation and overt hipsterism of many of the big music gatherings around these days. Mixing stalwart acts such as The Wonder Stuff and world music icons like Ladysmith Black Mambazo with the best of the newer breed -Lucy Rose, Ghostpoet and Demob Happy – Wytchwood is a great weekend out for all the family with only the appropriate amount of beards and check shirts to be seen.

The perfect warm up to that event can be found around Old Town tonight. The big name that all on trend types will be dropping (excuse the industry speak) is Coco and The Butterfields who can be found at The Arts Centre. These Canterbury buskers mix raggle-taggle folk, accessible pop and hip-hop beat boxing into wonderful genre-hopping fusions. Forget Mumford and The Whale and all that overly earnest fashion-folk, this is where the genres real future lies.

The Beehive plays host to The Walker-Broad Band, a duo who have blended their passion for folk, blues and jazz into a wonderfully emotive sound that is as at home in a late night lounge bar as it is an old school back-street boozer as The Beehive.

Something a bit special is happening at The Victoria as The Cadbury Sisters (pictured) return to Songs of Praise, this time with a new musical direction. Without losing those amazing harmonies that they are renowned for, musically they have moved into a less roots, more commercial place, the result is a fantastic, otherworldly dream-pop sound. Fellow musical soundscapers, Wasuremono, also add some ethereal vibes and opening the night is the brilliant George Wilding who seems to channel an acoustic, Bowie meets Nick Drake sort of sound.

Friday sees the mercurial Alan Clayson and The Argonauts return to the scene of former musical crimes, The Beehive. Operating on rocks lunatic fringe, Clayson and his band deliver a baroque ‘n’ roll experience, one that is difficult to put into words, so I won’t even try, just go along, be amazed and think of your own superlatives. The Castle will be rocking to the sounds of The Teddy White Band, a ridiculously soulful blend of vintage R’N’B, blues, beat and boogie with a unique blend of vocal harmonies and an effortlessly cool delivery.

It’s Bands and Burlesque night at The Victoria so expect sensuality, costumes, humour and tease plus music from Rockabilly Rumble, making the night a wonderful cultural clash along the lines of The Kit Kat Club meets the late, great Johnny Burnette.

At the Rolleston The Pistol Slapper Blues Band play tribute to the music of Rory Gallagher. Those in the know will have picked up the reference in the bands name, but whether you did or not expect a night of electric blues, which bounces from the barnstorming to the bewitching to the just plain beautiful at the flick of a wrist.

Saturday also has its fair share of covers and tributes. Catch the music of Led Zeppelin at The Victoria with Black Dogz, and The Chaos Brothers will be using the twin weapons of punk and rock covers and bawdy humour to entertain and insult The Rolleston in equal measure. Psychobilly, punk and ska can be found at The Woodlands Edge courtesy of The Corsairs but original music fans also have a couple of great options. Either you can head down to The Queens Tap to catch Reginald Road, whose music is woven from threads of punk, ska, rock and reggae or catch some rock at The Castle with The Damned and The Dirty and Zero Return; two bands that really kick some arse and cut the mustard.

We end our trawl through the musical diary at The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday for the welcome return of Sue Hart and her charming and witty folky-Americana creations.

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.

425603_10100168477043011_9295930_nThere has been a bit of a discussion in the on-line comments sections about how easy this article is to understand and extract the necessary information. One side of the argument is that the actual content is difficult to fathom out from my description and prose, opinion and attempted humour, that it would be better if the article was just an embellished list of pertinent information more akin to a listing than an article. My defence is that this column attempts to make the prospect of local live an exciting one through vividly painting what the bands are all about through prosaic description. Whilst I don’t profess to be a new Lester Bangs or Paul Morley, neither would I want this column to read like a telephone directory and hence the poetic license to colour what is effectively a musical menu. I also think that by suggesting that the average reader couldn’t follow my literary twists and turns is to actually undermine their intelligence. That’s my defence and I’m sticking to it.

 

To someone so engrossed in promoting live music performance, the idea of DJ nights might seem anathema to me. But when the DJ in question is one who still scours bargain bins and backstreet music shops to find the right hip-hop, soul, funk and rock vinyl to mix live then you know you are dealing with something above the normal club DJ spinning the same old sounds. DJ Format brings his dance floor filling skills to The Victoria tonight.

 

Friday runs from the sublime to the ridiculous. The Sublime coming in the guise of Tennessee jazz-bluesman Mark Merriman at The Beehive, back in the country on a short tour of the area. At the other extreme we have a certain X-rated act whose naughty name I can’t really mention here but who is known for toilet humour, self-deprecation, smut and catchy pop-melodies. Not for the faint hearted, easily offended or completely sober. All will make sense if you head to The Rolleston.

 

Between those extremes, Riffs Bar offer the not inconsiderable talents of roots musician and slide guitarist Kevin Brown, a man who learnt his trade from none other than Son House and is held in acclaim by the likes of Mark Knopfler. The Victoria has hi-energy neo-rockabilly with Rockabilly Rumble an authentic three-piece rockabilly outfit that does just what it says on the tin.

 

Those who like a slice of nostalgia have a choice of two tribute acts. The sounds of Johnny Cash can be heard at Level 3 whilst The Arts Centre is the place to be to re-live the majesty of Phil Lynott and the gang with Limehouse Lizzy.

 

And if you like your rock music then I should mention an event taking place in Trowbridge on Saturday. I know it’s a bit off of the radar for a local gig guide but with a heavy involvement from Swindon bands Trowbridge’s Rock Diabetes Metal Festival is worth a mention. Alongside headliners Diamond Head and Skreamer (who recently played Level 3) you can find the town represented by All Ears Avow, Harmony Disorder and Burnthru as well as Kodiak Jack and Flashfires who have both played Songs of Praise nights in the recent past.

 

But there is plenty of rock in town if you wish to support the local venues. At The Rolleston, Snatch It Back will be playing psychedelic blues rock, reminiscent of The Groundhogs of whom drummer Ken Pustelnik was a member and at The Victoria, Rorke’s Drift cover classic rock such as Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and Aerosmith.

 

Another US musician back in the area to tour their latest album is Courtney Yasmineh (pictured) and her band who between them channel the feisty female fronted glory days of Patti Smith, Sheryl Crowe and Blondie; rock chick meets country troubadour meets pop accessibility. Catch her at The Beehive. If your thing is more of an eighties synth vibe, then head out to Riffs Bar where Syntronix will act as a time machine back to the age of jumpsuits, headbands, ironic mullets and jacket suits with the sleeves rolled up to the elbows, Miami Vice style.

 

And a couple of mellowing choices to end on. Sunday sees the Indian beats and pastoral acoustic guitar of Skins and Strings at The Beehive and on Wednesday you can catch classical meets Latin guitar maestros Gilmore ‘n’ Jaz at the Roaring Donkey.

10325159_553057161469541_2419765703768719527_nA quieter week all round, especially compared to the tsunami of gigs that I was able to report last time, but I guess with the guaranteed matches coming to an end in the World Cup, venues and promoters are no longer cashing in…I mean, celebrating our national sides efforts. In fact by tonight it could all be over. Sport in many ways is a transient thing where as music endures (blimey, that was deep) and although there isn’t masses to choose from this week, there are still a few gems to be had.

 

Something a bit special is happening over at Riffs Bar tonight, especially if you are fans of hip-hop flavoured acoustica with a funky edge as De’Vide roll into town. Those of you who are avid followers of The Voice will have already seen them competing under Jessie J’s patronage in the battle rounds and after a run of major gigs supporting the likes of JLS and Union J and fresh back from tour of Russia, this Ipswich two piece can be found right on your doorstep.

 

Get there early, as the local support slots are a bit special too. Benji Clements will be bringing soulful vocal and funky acoustic guitar work to the table and Charlie Baxter, a man normally found tearing around the stage as part of puzzle-pop band Oui Legionnaires, will be performing solo with what he describes as electro-hippity-hoppity-poppity-rock. If you say so Charlie!

 

It’s Songs of Praise at The Victoria tonight as well (hurrah) and it will be starting later due to some sport on the telly box that people seem to be keen on (boo.) Sadly the wonderful James Warner Prophecies have pulled out of the show but there are still two great bands to be had. Headliners British Harlem remind us what great indie guitar bands should sound like, the perfect blend of drive, melody and charisma. Openers Cavalier (pictured) are an alternative rock band up from Guildford and to my mid have a touch of vintage American college rock about them, such as The Gin Blossoms and even the home grown “back of a transit van, cider festival punk” of Mega City Four. What ever it is they sound great.

 

For something a bit more rootsy, Hip Route main man Jim Blair will be entertaining The Beehive with his trademark funky, acoustic, slide guitar blues.

 

Staying at The Beehive for Friday and Port Erin are back. One of the most consistently unique, slick and entertaining bands of recent times, their blend of chilled psychedelia, jazz infused rock and slightly proggy meanderings are a must for anybody looking to hear a truly original band.

 

The acoustic session over at Riffs Bar is filled by Adam Sweet one of the best purveyors of groove laden blues on the circuit today and Leon Daye whose inspirations are taken from a myriad of sources and styles move effortlessly from folk to rock and everything in between.

 

Fans of cover bands have the choice of 50’s standards as Rockabilly Rumble relive the music of Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent and the like whilst at The Rolleston is The Mike Hoddinott Blue Allstars, a collective of blues-rock players who have worked with virtually everyone in the music business who matter.

 

Rhythm ‘n’ booze legends The Hamsters From Hell at The Rolleston is the place to be on Saturday if you like the idea of punchy, punky blues rock, drunkenness, chaos and ironically some of the finest musicianship around.

 

Reggae fans will want to be at The Victoria for Urban Lions followed by The Shocks of Mighty DJ’ s Erin Bardwell and Jason Hughes spinning classic era ska, reggae and rocksteady.

 

Final options for Wednesday are acoustic troubadour Steve DeGutis who plays The Roaring Donkey but if you are a fan of the “Piano man” himself then head up to the Arts Centre and catch Elio Pace playing the Billy Joel Songbook.