Tag Archive: sleep inertia


 

10527329_675300369218513_2277650497184696053_nLast week found me in my usual haunts for two radically different shows. Wednesday, as usual, was all about the acoustic session at The Roaring Donkey and this week it was the turn of Sue Hart, a Salisbury based Americana songwriter to entertain the small, attentive and gradually increasing number punters. Aided and abetted by “a mildly disgruntled man” whose real name was Pete on bass the duo treated the room to not only lessons in song writing, dexterous musicianship and vocal harmonising, but also the less tangible and often overlooked traits – charisma, audience engagement and the ability to take your music seriously whilst finding humour in the whole process of making music for a living. They were gracious and wonderful company and they perfectly epitomised those wonderful anecdotes that you only get from working with musicians. Not only is Pete’s “day job” working as Chrissie Hynde’s lighting guy, Sue also revealed in the wonderfully titled song, “ You Were A Lying, Drunken Bum, But I Got To See The Mountains” how she took a road trip across America and “accidently” got married. You just don’t get stories like that hanging around with four guys who working in Nationwide during the day and try to sound like Green Day in the evenings.

 

The following evening revolved around a trip to The Victoria, a place I watch a lot of bands but not normally ones as hard and heavy as the ones on offer that night. Arriving late I missed Eden Falls but did manage to catch a bit of Heriot who mixed howling vocals and heavy riffs with doomy interludes and atmospheric asides, interesting but the main thrust of their sound wasn’t one that spoke to me.

 

Although the intensity and sheer raw brutality of Screamo style metal isn’t really my thing, I think if you are going to watch any genre that falls largely outside your comfort zone then pick the best band of that genre. Headliners Sleep Inertia certainly seem the best of their peer group. Four–fifths born from the ashes of The Dead Lay Waiting they have deliberately pushed their new sound towards a more mature target audience. The result is a brutal, near apocalyptic, onslaught of high-octane riffs, pulsing bass runs, crashing back beats and primordial vocals, and for all its overwhelming attack of sight and sound, you can’t help but get carried away by its sheer force. Not the sort of thing you are going to use as the sound track to a Sunday fine dining experience, but in the right context an unforgettable experience.

(first published at Swindon Link)

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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?

thSome weeks things just seem to fall into place and the local music diary features four…yes, four, amazing events as well as the usual selection of regular gigs. So without further ado…

 

Sheer Music is one of the leading lights of music promotion in Wiltshire. Under the leadership of that awfully nice chap Kieran Moore, they have brought acts such as Frank Turner, Foals, Ben Marwood, Gnarwolves and many more to a venue near you and tonight they celebrate 10 years in the game with a show at Level 3. Headliners are the aptly named Decade (I see what you did there) a band who show you what pop-punk can do once it stops sniggering at it’s own in-jokes and graduates from college. Their songs are infectious and bouncy and their stage show is one long adrenaline rush. Also on the bill are Light You Up, With Ghosts and Hey Vanity.

 

If that isn’t your musical cup of tea then why not try some chilled harmonies, dreamy acoustica and ambient folk. Heading an all female line up, The Cadbury Sisters bring their tour to Songs of Praise at The Victoria. Theirs is a half forgotten dream world that evokes childhood memory, otherworldly harmonies mixing the fragile and fey with darker themes, Swallows and Amazons meets The Wickerman perhaps. Adding to the nature of the night is the delicate songs of Faye Rogers and a rare outing for the sublime Emily Sykes.

 

If blues is more your thing then head to The Beehive for Georgia guitarist Kent DuChaine a player who authentically delivers the spirit of all those wonderful old bluesmen from Robert Johnson to Son House and all three Kings – BB, Albert and Freddie!

 

A real melding of artistic disciplines can be found at New College on Friday as Chicago poet, Don Share, is joined on stage by local live musicians as part of the Swindon Festival of Poetry. In this unique and improvised show, Don is joined by Barry Andrews, Jon Bucket, Brendan Hamley and Catherine Shrubshall. Barry sums it up best when he explains “(Don) gets off the plane, steps on stage and then what happens, happens. And it will never exist in that way again.”

 

More conventional but no less exciting shows also can be found around town. The Rolleston plays host to funky, lap steel, blues maestros HipRoute with support from Stone Donkey Pilots. Out at Riffs Bar the Acoustic Session features the dexterous acoustic guitar work and subtle lyrical touch of David Waddington but if you want something a bit more loud and shouty then head to The Victoria for Slam Cartel, a band who distil the essence of rock ‘n’roll in the same why that bands such as The Cult and The Four Horsemen did in their heyday. Joining them are local sleaze-metallers The Damned and The Dirty.

 

And if you like the sound of that gig, you are going to love this one. On Saturday Level 3 opens its doors for the Swindon Alternative Festival Volume 3, a celebration of the best of local rock, punk, grunge, hardcore and metal. It’s an all-dayer and there is too much going on to mention all the bands but a few that caught my eye are Sleep inertia, SkyBurnsRed and headliners Skreamer, but check out the event page on Facebook for the full details.

 

The last of the big events to get a mention this week and one that will have all you proggies champing at the bit is Pendragon’s Megadaze (pictured) event at Riffs Bar. This two-day event includes a first hearing of the new album, Men Who Climb Mountains, 2 unique Pendragon live shows, food, quizzes and a chance to hang out with band and fans alike. A crucial date for all prog-rock diary’s.

 

Elsewhere you can catch a Dire Straights tribute at The Victoria or Going Underground paying tribute to post-punk, ska and mod classics at The Rolleston.

 

The Moonrakers is the place to be on Sunday as The AK-Poets play a stripped down, early evening session. All the usual great song writing and live presence but presented in a manner more fitting for the Sabbath day.

No more Sleep deprivation

1511361_855619354464586_1007114649_nTomorrow’s Songs of Praise show sees the night venture into heavy rock territory, something that it doesn’t normally do that often. But when the bands are this good then you would be foolish not too.Headlining are Sleep Inertia, a band made up of most of the former members of The Dead Lay Waiting but a new front man and a new set of songs mean that you get not only the familiar musical dexterity and virtuoso playing that you expect from such players but you get a more mature and fresh take on it.

Up from London The Manic Shine make a welcome return, a band that Songs of Praise has been championing for some time now. Mixing heavy rock riffs, murderous melodies and infectious songs with one of the liveliest and most charismatic stage shows around they are a band that you need to catch.

Opening the night are Mind Museum, Bristolian alt-rock who recently released their new e.p. on Swindon based Secret Chord Records. A great show all round and if you like your music hard and heavy but tastefully tuneful then this is the place to be.

 

More information, music and blurb here  –  CLICK

1488783_10152289534731684_309147990_n….so then I said to my editor, “So what are you going to do, not edit out a whole 170 word introductory paragraph just because you don’t agree with it’s sentiment? As if! And anyone reading the previous paragraph will surely agree with me anyway. Right, enough controversy and on with the musical recommendations and there is lots on offer this week.

 

Songs of Praise at The Victoria, tonight, is a bit of a deconstructed, alt-pop, leftfield, difficult to describe…thingy, of a show. Vienna Ditto is a two-piece outfit that veer between mesmerising sci-fi blues and dance-rock riffs with added atmospheric and ambient electronica, a bit like Portishead writing a Tarantino soundtrack. Also on the bill are Super Squarecloud, purveyors of warped pop and strange adventures in time signatures, plus The Clementines a newish musical vehicle driven by a whole bunch of people who used to be called Crash and The (Bandi)Coots.

 

More dance vibes emanate from The Beehive when Zetan Spore land their mothership  to spread their cosmic message through the medium of Psy-trance music, an intoxicating blend of psychedelic dance, searing guitars, tribal breaks and a tsunami of energy and positivity.

 

There can’t be many people around that haven’t heard about Shaun Buswell’s Underground Orchestra Challenge, which saw him hire, rehearse and write the music for a full orchestra recruited from commuters on the underground. Before the show heads off to the Edinburgh Fringe you have a chance to experience his PowerPoint style presentation of the whole project at The Wyvern Theatre. You also get free entry into the Indisposition of David Philips which is showing directly afterwards as part of Madame Renard’s Mini Fringe Festival.

 

Friday brings in a couple of acoustic offerings, firstly at Riffs Bar where the sometimes floating, sometimes buoyant, but always impressive music of Rob Lear is sharing the night with the similarly joyous, spiritual and absorbing Real Raj. If you prefer to stay in the heart of town then The Regent’s Acoustic Circus will feature Jimmy Moore, Benji Clements and The Crown Jewels.

 

Elsewhere NewQuay Times bring low-slung Americana to The Queens Tap and Ode and The Bebops will be attempting to answer the age-old question “Does Your Chewing Gum Lose its Flavour on The Bedpost Overnight?” through the medium of audience participation skiffle at The Victoria. Louder options come in the shape of slick ska from The Nomarks at The Beehive and the masters of mayhem, riotous rhythm and boozy blues, The Hamsters From Hell will be laying waste to The Rolleston and it’s near vicinity.

 

If you are of the heavy rock and metal persuasion then there is only one place for you to be on Saturday as a host of bands line up for an all-dayer at Basement 73. Metal is the main order of the day with Malefice, Sleep Inertia, Harmony Disorder and many more satisfying the needs of the pure metalhead whilst some variation comes from the dark, post-punk of Strength in Blunders, the grungier edge of Burnthru and Boss Cloth, the cross genre blends of The Damned and The Dirty and impressive alt-rock of All Ears Avow.

Apart from that it is all slightly less boundary pushing with The Victoria hosting a tribute to AC/DC, The Ashford Road Club featuring the songs of Adele, The Great Nothing playing rock covers at The Queens Tap and Built For Comfort treating The Rolleston to some Chicago blues classics.

 

If you want to get out and get some fresh air on Sunday then a stroll to the bandstand in the Old Town Gardens will reward you with something a bit special. Skins and Strings (pictured) are a two-piece instrumental set up who mix the exotic sound of tabla drums with pastoral acoustic guitar, the perfect musical blend of orient and occident.

 

Similarly exotic sounds can be found at The Check Inn in Wroughton with the Latin infused, acoustic jazz of Gilmore’n’Jaz. If something more “in your face” as the youth of today might say, is required then the fired up, electric blues standards of The Lewis Creavan Band at The White Hart might be the answer.

 

Finally the musical week ends in perfect fashion at The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday with another outing for Benji Clements whose skilful and soulful blends of groove-laden and funky standards and originals is a great way the to take your mind off of the midweek blues.

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