Tag Archive: rosellys (the)


12279087_999483660093982_8296826872183162800_nOh the irony! We have spent the last month mourning the loss of singular and creative musical types, lauded for ignoring the rules and forging ahead on their own terms, creating new and exciting music along the way. After my usual wander through the websites and listings of local venues, I have to report that I can find very little in the way of the new and the original being offered up in live form this week. I know I bang on about uniqueness more often than is good for my blood pressure and I know I may be in the minority and whilst comfort zones and nostalgia trips are fine you just need to take them to their logical conclusion to see a stunted and bleak future for music. Just my opinion, take it or leave.

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12279087_999483660093982_8296826872183162800_nTo quote the venerable Sir Noddy of Holder…”It’s Chriiiistmaaaas!” ‘Tis the season that conjures up so many wonderful images, clichés roasting on an open fire, TV adverts featuring useless dads, stressed mums and heart-tugging sentimentality set to a minor key rendered indie classic. It is the season that sees Barry from Human Resources on his yearly trip to the pub in his wacky matching tie and socks and his desire to show everyone else how to have a good time. But thankfully it is also a season when live music is in the ascent and very little of it is playing the seasonal card, thankfully. So with more to fit in than a (insert Christmas cliché here) it’s on with the snow….I mean show.

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1486548_715081301878014_2123166531_nThere has been much discussion of late on the local music forums and social networking outlets about the nature and future of Swindon’s music scene. Much was said about how and where you put gigs on, the genres and geographic origin of the bands, the promotions and prejudices of the people organising these gigs and even the perceived cliquey nature of it all. I see supporting local music as like being in a union. Whilst there are officials and people who do the admin and organising, the union is the sum total of everyone. And if everyone got involved a bit more then maybe they would feel more included and their voice would be heard and collectively they could help make a difference.

 

So how can you get involved? The obvious one is to go to a show, gigs only work if they have a crowd of punters. If there are no shows around that you like the look of why not talk to a band and a venue about putting something on that is more to your tastes. Or help promote what is already taking place. If people using Facebook spent as much time sharing gig info with their friends as they did sharing pictures of their lunch, their cat, random political ideas and people falling over then more people would know about what great gigs we have going on. One thing that also gets overlooked is buying merchandise, for the cost of a pint or two a CD or a tee-shirt sale might make all the difference to the bands running cost for that night. The bottom line is get involved. And here are some things to get involved in.

 

Tonight, the first day of The Beehive reopening is marked by the regular Acoustic Buzz sessions, hosted by Blind River Scares main man Tim Manning. Along with Tim’ wonderful blend of hillbilly highway meets swaggering folk you can catch the southern fried sounds of The Rosellys and the “popgrass” styling of acoustic duo Peeky Blinders. If you prefer to make your own music then why not grab your guitar, bass, violin, kazoo, spoons (other cutlery if you prefer) or what ever instrument you play and head up to The Victoria for their jam night.

 

Friday is all about big guitars, big beats and driving rhythms. Firstly a mix of original cider swilling, folk punk and Celtic bar room classics can be found at The Rolleston courtesy of Mick O’Toole (pictured), a band who look like a wonderful cross between a Brendan Behan convention and the grounds men of Downton Abbey. Sort of retro-folk chic! Wyvern Theatre is responsible for what seems like the weekly appearance in the parish of Boot Led Zeppelin. Not further description needed. And if you want to revel in a mix tape approach to the most enduring songs of the metal and classic rock genres then it’s Metalhead at The Victoria for you.

 

A few big events roll into view on Saturday. Sticking with the louder end of things for the moment, Level 3 is the scene of Dredded Vyrus Promotions Hardcore and Metal Night. Headliners, Vaults, offer incendiary riffs and an avalanche of backbeats…hardcore at its most uncompromising. Whilst Vicious Cycle offer a similar experience, the band that really caught my ear were From Dusk Till Dawn who manage to mix a bruising brutality with a wonderful ear for melody, roaring guttural, gutter vocals with soaring, clean deliveries and big choruses. Nice. Opening the night are Bear Hunt, blistering melodies, great dynamics and probably the most pained vocals you have ever heard.

During the daytime there is an open air event at Wharf Green raising awareness for local charities and featuring music by The Damned and The Dirty, Ataraxis Vibration, All Ears Avow, Jimmy Moore and others.

 

The other big event and I’m guessing one with not too much of a crossover of fans from that previously mentioned is The Erin Bardwell Collective CD Launch at The Victoria. Another slice of reggae, ska and rocksteady with an old school feel, great harmonies, positive messages, porkpie hats and exquisite song writing from the best on the circuit. Support comes from the ska/dance fusion of SN Dubstation and Pete Murphy spinning the tunes.

 

More old school vibes, this time of a rock and roll nature as 50’s revivalists Josie and The Outlaw play The Rolleston.

 

Final mention of the week goes to Billy Bingham who can be found replete with ballads and tattoos, torch songs and guyliner at The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday.

Library - 91Had Good King Wenceslas looked out of my window, far from seeing snow that was deep and crisp and even, he would have seen un-gritted roads and snow sculptures that either look like something out of a Tim Burton movie or designs that are too unsavoury to be discussed here. And looking at the snow it got me thinking that unlike the cheesy results when Christmas is used as the subject of a song, the topic of snow has generated some wonderful results. Underground classics such as Driven Like The Snow by obtuse grumps The Sisters of Mercy, the hauntingly beautiful Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow by Nick Cave (although the underlying message is about something far darker of course) and in typical humour Frank Zappa’s, Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow.

 

Well hopefully the snow related chaos that has caused so many gig cancellations over the last week are behind us, especially as one of the bands playing Songs of Praise at The Victoria tonight are coming all the way up from Cardiff. Spyglass mix up heavy alt-rock grooves with a melodic grunge density and will be playing the support slot to SkyBurnsRed, a band who incorporate classical grandeur, raw, dark and emotive rock, sensuous violin and an aggressive delivery. Also taking their chosen genre to new heights is opener Adepto Futui, a band that captures the feeling, vibe and voice of traditional blues but who manage to twist it into interesting, Byzantine heavy and original shapes.

 

Meanwhile down at The Beehive an interesting local proposition is taking place. Having grown out of the Lazy Sunday Afternoon Sessions at the Art Centre, Fieldfare is the combined acoustic guitar and vocal arrangements of local stalwarts, Steve Cox, Paul Griffiths and Tim Sawyer reworking each other’s songs.

 

There are a few big shows at The Furnace this week; the first comes in the form of Cheltenham’s Young Kato on Friday. Pop may be a dirty word these days but along with LAB label mate Portia Conn, they will be proving that there is a lot more to the genre than dance routines and auto-tuners. Pop beats, warm atmospherics and infectious melodies collide with confident guitar-work to re-establish the credibility of the genre. Also on the bill Old Colours continue to ply their trade of fragile, cinematic, otherworldly indie creations and Salute the Magpie open the show. If something more raw, lewd and beardy is to your taste then check out The Hamsters From Hell in The Rolleston next door.

 

Back at The Beehive and another Cheltenham band, Stressecho indulge the venue with a wonderful angst-folk set, beautiful, understated music to accompany poignant and open story telling.

 

More big noises at The Furnace on Saturday, this time taking a much more aggressive format with hard edged pop-punk from south coast trio, Hold The Fight and local, upbeat, post-hardcore champions When Words Fail. Back upstairs in The Rolleston there is a bit of a paradox. Metal Gods claim to “try and bring something fresh to the scene” which is obviously commendable but then state that they play classic rock covers from the 80’s/90’s. Not sure what to make of that, still that’s not to say it won’t be a good night out for those still proudly holding on to their patched denim jackets and Let It Rain tour shirts.

 

 

Riffs Bar play the acoustic card and have a collection of acts both local and otherwise  playing in a very stripped down fashion, including the 50’s rock and roll vibe of Josie and The Outlaw, the wonderful harmonies and intricate guitar blends of Ethemia and the joyous and upbeat creations of The Real Raj.

 

Missin’ Rosie seem determined to invoke the wrath of the folk police (they do exist, I checked with the Home Office) by taking folk music and rocking it up to a point where those people who denounced Dylan for going electric in ’66 would be jumping off of tall buildings. Catch their mix of standards and originals at The Sun Inn on Sunday.

 

And so we end in our usual mid week oasis of music and two options. If you haven’t had enough of the loud and shouty, then Teenage Kicks at The Furnace has a Headbanger Special on Wednesday with music and neck ache courtesy of Twisted State of Mind, Dissolute, Wreckoning and Stands To Reason.  A more mellow listening experience can be had at The Running Horse with the wonderful Rosellys whose British-American ranges from acoustic country to stomping bluegrass, from gentle balladry to barn dance hoedowns. Not what you expect from the M4 corridor on a chilly midweek evening.

 

How do you get what is officially the busiest week in Swindon’s musical history into just 700 (ish) words? Let me demonstrate.

Starting tonight out at Riffs Bar, neo-progressive rock royalty will be making a two-pronged attack on your senses in the form of Credo and Landmarq. Fans of the likes of Pendragon, Marillion and IQ should make no plans to be anywhere else. The name Larry “Mud” Morganfield might not mean much to a lot of people, but if I tell you that he is the son of blues icon Muddy Waters, is virtually indistinguishable from his fathers sound and that he is playing the Art Centre tonight, you may just want to pop along and catch a what will undoubtedly be an amazing show.

At the Beehive, the regular Acoustic Buzz Session brings you the best in roots music, this time headlined by the Bluegrass influenced Rosellys. English folk meets sumptuous Americana vocal harmonies comes courtesy of The Black Feathers and the hosts, Blind River Scare will be kicking the night off in fine style.

On Friday The MECA also gets in on the folk vibe with Foster and Allen (not to be confused with Mulligan and O’Hare) purveyors of broad appeal crossover Celtic folk and gorgeous ballads. Also to be found filed under “musical legend” Amen Corner founder Andy Fairweather-Low is at the Art Centre with his band The Low Riders. And whilst we are dealing with the town’s bigger venues, it pains me to have to tell you that Rizzle Kicks are at The Oasis.

The Beehive continues it’s tradition of booking supremely unique bands, with a return visit from Clayson and The Argonauts, a baroque and roll phenomena who, in a parallel universe, should have been bigger than the Beatles. At only 19 Laurence Jones is being hailed as the head boy of a new blues breed, rocked up sounds imbued with optimism, showmanship, feeling and groove and all free at The Rolleston, whilst next door in The Furnace, Betty and The Page will be dishing out rockabilly, old school rock and roll, swing and skiffle. Quiff-tastic!

Saturday is where a difficult choice has to be made as two of the town’s most popular bands have launch gigs for new releases and unless you believe Erwin Schrödinger, you can’t be in two places at once. Maestros of Quantum glock-rock, Super Squarecloud (pictured), are at Riffs Bar to promote their latest weird and wonderful collection of sounds that goes by the name of The Stanford Torus e.p. (highly recommended) which pushes them equally into strange experimentalism and pop accessibility at the same time. They are supported by Nudybronque, now a three-piece and more fired up and edgy than they ever were, plus a rare local outing for The Listening Device. For those not in the know, and if not, why not? The Listening Device is a wonderfully ambient, progressive rock band displaying all the technical ability that that implies and an unexpected Waitsian vocal growl on top.

Whilst that takes place, SkyBurnsRed will be launching their new music at The Furnace. Violin fueled grooves, big guitar riffs, eastern vibes and punchy memorable songs, what’s not to like? And remember, the last time they played The Furnace people were picking bits of violin out of the walls for days to come! Not to be missed. Add to that The Street Orphans will be supplying driven, dynamic indie anthems as only they can. Also on the bill, up from Portsmouth is Yours Truly, a rock band who manages to do that rare thing of combining brains with brawn, melody with muscle, rock and roll the way God intended. (I know because, he told me!)

Other options are, rhythm and blues mayhem from The Hamsters From Hell in The Rolleston, David Lynch’s new musical vehicle, The Labradors at The Fox and Hounds in Haydon Wick and any prog fans who didn’t satisfy their musical thirst earlier on in the week should head to The Victoria for  a tribute to the Fish era of Aylesbury’s favourite sons with Still-Marillion.

If ska-inspired rap/rock sounds your cup of Darjeeling then it’s The Victoria again on Sunday. Having just toured supporting Sonic Boom Six, Imperial Leisure are one hell of a party –  big tunes, an energetic live show and one of the best front men in the business. Support comes from home-grown ska-punksters Slagerij.

Final mention of the week is for The Elijah at the 12 Bar on Monday; brilliantly atmospheric, ambient post-rock that surprisingly works in screamo vocal delivery and old school shoegaze indie. Can you imagine that? No? Best go down and check them out. Similar contradictory collisions work wonders for support band If Heroes Should Fail, whilst Homeland take the more expected but no less well executed melodic hardcore route.

Apologies to the dozen or so gigs that there wasn’t room to mention, I guess this week the music scene just became a victim of its own success. Who’d have thought?