Tag Archive: rocket box


12801474_967430416685843_7496377762084199365_nMusic has long been used as the focus of events seeking to raise money and awareness for good causes. Tonight at The Victoria you can experience that altruistic nature as a whole bunch of familiar faces line up in support of Alan McGee’s brilliant Musicians Against Homelessness project. Echoing his same maverick spirit the bands playing represent the more challenging, creative and leftfield end of the spectrum. Anyone who saw Tripdress’s last outing at this very venue, probably 8 years ago, (tempus does indeed fugit) will be aware just how great their urban-boogie-blues fusion is, those who missed it should rectify that immediately…you never know when this very occasional band will be back.

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544560_586659531391273_2070667669_nAs time goes on music seems to get more and more compartmentalised, ever more exotic labels and terms seem to come into play to create demarcation between music styles. Now, I grew up musically in the 80’s and things were quite tribal then, in any given pub the mod would be glaring at the punk, the metaller would be chatting to the glam rocker out of solidarity, the new wave kids would be geeking over the forthcoming Bunnymen album and the two goths would be sipping cider and black in the shadows. That was a world that made some kind of sense to me. Recently I have had to struggle which such subgenres as Djent apparently not a village in Tunisia (recycled joke alert!) Math-core, Gyp-hop, Vedic Metal, Sadcore, and a host of other niche scenes. Where will it end?

 

One band that can be found in a very small genre, possibly its only inhabitants, are those glorious purveyors of Puzzle-pop…for want of a better description, Oui Legionniares, a soundclash of the best bits of pop, indie and punk reassembled in strange and intriguing ways. They can be found tonight at The Victoria sandwiched between shimmering, shoegazing vibes of Sahara Heights and headliners Yves equally exotic soundscapes.

 

Another wonderful fusion of styles can be found at The Beehive as Mambo Jambo weave together the distinctive sounds of bluegrass, Latin, Caribbean, New Orleans, Balkan, jazz, folk and more besides into a sunny and vibrant feast of music.

 

And in the “if you like that, you’ll like this” department, and staying at The Beehive for a moment, on Friday you will find Grubby Jack the renowned local fast folk trio who mix fiendish banjo with high velocity fiddle-breaks to deliver classic celtic and Appalachian styles.

 

Other options will suit rock fans but they will have to choose between the hard-rocking electric blues of The Lewis Creavan Band at The Rolleston or the classic metal showcase of Metalhead at The Victoria.

 

One of the most important bands of my formative years can be found at Level 3 on Saturday as The Men They Couldn’t Hang provide the headline act to celebrate Charred Hearts front man, Dermot Fullers 50th Birthday bash. This is a semi-private affair with entry by ticket only but how often do I get to talk about the outfit that made me want to join a band in this column? (Yes, they have a lot to answer for!)

 

Similarly raucous folk and roll can be found with celtic, cider punk, party animals Mick O’Toole in The Rolleston, think The Pogues meet The Clash and prepare to dance the night away. And talking of “the last gang in town” you can catch a tribute to them in the guise of Radio Clash at The Victoria.

 

 

So with the old punk posse well catered for we can cast our eyes out towards Riffs Bar and a bit of an old boys reunion. Blueprint’s heyday may have been around 15 years ago but that hasn’t stopped them dusting off the instruments and hitting the stage once more. Support comes from 80’s underground pop referencing The King In Mirrors and indie rock stalwarts Rocket Box.

 

Fans of slick, 70’s pop should head along to The Swiss Chalet as vocal duo Abbaholics relive the hits of…well, I’m sure you can work out where they are coming from.

 

Things get a bit quiet until Wednesday when you can catch two solo acts at The Roaring Donkey whose bands have played a major part in local music over the years, Neil Mercer (Rumour Shed, Dacoits, Seven Years on) and Dave Corrigan (good Things Happen In Bad Towns, Spacehopper.)

 

And to end on a real bang, at the same time Gnarwolves return to The Victoria courtesy of Sheer Music. Infectious, abrasive, sing-along punk at it’s finest. Support comes from the equally punchy Boxkite and opening the night is the more saccharine pop-punk of As The Sun Sleeps.

 

 

 

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

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It seems as if I have spent the last week looking at lists. The TV has been bombarding me with everything from Charlie Brookers wonderfully sarcastic take on the year’s events to The Valleys least forgettable moments (for which I am now seeing a therapist on a weekly basis.) In the music world every website in existence seems to have compiled their run down of 2013’s best music and I must confess that even for someone relatively knowledgeable about current music, it seems like an avalanche of acts that I have never heard of and that would take me the next three years to properly explore. Maybe there is just too much new music out there! What a dilemma, music buffs all want to be the first to get on board with the potential next big thing, but there is just so much music on offer that the chances are that you will miss the designated band wagon. Or as I call it Catch 33 and 1/3! The answer is simple. Learn to stop worrying about the next big thing and just enjoy the music. Just because every Guardian reader in the country is listening to Mumford and The Whale doesn’t mean that you can’t be grooving away to the latest in Russian Chanson or Tibetan Dubstep. Ignore the hype, ignore the hipsters and ignore the media  (the irony!) and just embrace what feels right for you.

 

Well, quite a parochial line up this week, not that there is anything wrong with embracing the bands that are on your doorstep. And one of the best is on at The Victoria tonight. Rocket Box have been around in one form or another for the past 30 years and tonight will be delivering their trade mark blend of melodic rock, punk and pop. Support comes from the riotous yet accessible grungefest that is The Damned and The Dirty.

 

Friday provides a few choice acts from out of the area, most notably Louise Latham who plays Riffs Bar. Louise is known for her chilled and ethereal sounds, a mixture of pop and classical piano that sits somewhere between the mercurial sounds of Tori Amos and the sparser, folk traditions of Cara Dillon.  Support comes from Ben Maggs, a very charismatic folk troubadour who I urge you to catch live.

 

The Beehive offers a range of covers and originals with Newquay Times but if you are staying in the centre of town then my money is on Kubris who play The Rolleston. Any band armed with acoustic instruments and still vary their sound from folk delicacies to a very reasonable impression of Metallica has got to be worth checking out.

 

Glam fans can catch a potted history of The Thin White Duke himself as the Bowie Experience grace The Victoria stage and playing The Ferndale Club are Post 12, a band whose extensive biography tells me that they play pop punk and once came 2nd in a battle of the bands competition.

 

Saturday is all about some wonderful slices of loud and shouty music. Fans of classic metal will want to be at The Rolleston for the ever popular Shepherds Pie who cover all the classics from iconic bands such as AC/DC, Judas Priest and the like. Meanwhile over at Riffs Bar, energetic folk-punk is on offer from Missin’ Rosie and support comes from the oddly named Fist Full of Foozy who cover iconic songs from classic bands such as AC/DC, Judas Priest and the like.

 

For an original take on the genre head to The Victoria to catch the alt-rock majesty of All Ears Avow, the heavy cross genre sound of Burnthru (pictured)and the west coast, big chorus, pop-punk vibes of Sell Your Sky.

 

At The Castle The AK-Poets will be showing you just why they are considered one of the most exciting bands around as they mix raucous riffs and maximum melody with the charisma and tight delivery that only comes with extensive gigging experience. Not a show to miss.

 

The ever popular folk wunderkind, Charlie Anne plays The Beehive on Sunday and the weeks final offering comes with the classic Latin acoustic dexterity, hats, sharp suits and banter of Gilmore ‘n’ Jaz at The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday.