Tag Archive: state of undress


11040172_827700267312775_341274658678156230_nThirty-one years ago today, one of the biggest and most misrepresented albums in history was released; Springsteen’s Born in The USA. Although on the surface the title track seems to be a gung-ho anthem to the American dream, ironically misappropriated by Reagan’s Republican party, it is actually an indictment of American foreign policy and deals with the disillusionment and heartache of a returning Vietnam veteran trying to fit into a society that has rejected him. It was the song that truly made The Boss a global phenomena but if this is your only point of contact with his music I would urge you to delve into his earlier back catalogue for a series of albums about small town hustlers, blue collar scepticism, shattered dreams and the quest for a better life.

But, if your musical slant is one for the big anthemic rock sound, tonight’s Songs of Praise show at The Victoria has everything you need in the guise of Ghost of Machines (pictured). Currently pushing their second single, Fall of Empires, this local four piece meld a progressive edge with sky-scraping, dystopian alt-rock and have the image and delivery to back it up. Joining them is the stoner rock meets swamp blues of Armchair Committee and the rampant melodicism of Kernow’s finest, Even Nine.

Seemingly always the venue thinking furthest outside the box, The Beehive, brings you the gloriously named Garance Et Les Mitochondries who seem to need to invent their own unique labels to describe themselves, such as tramp-jazz, progressive gypsy and dirty tango and who sound like the music to a long lost fairground ride or an otherworldly cabaret act. I urge you to check these guys out.

Friday shows the lack of communication that hampers the cause of music in this town as two very similar bands vie for the same slice of the audience. At The Queens Tap, The Erin Bardwell Collective will be blending reggae, ska and rocksteady into a wonderful celebration of Jamaica’s musical heritage via original compositions. Train To Skaville at The Rolleston will be covering the same territory via all of the iconic songs from those genres. One audience into two bands doesn’t go, or doesn’t go far at least!

Remember a time before mainstream music became the bastion of auto-tuners, dance routines and a fast track to TV panel show fame? Well, you can re-live such an era at The Arts Centre tonight with the still gorgeous Judie Tzuke and her incredible vocal talents. (If anyone uses the term “poor mans Stevie Nicks they will have me to deal with!)

There are more rustic, rootsy revelations at The Beehive with State of Undress, a “fiddlesome” band who run the gamut of folk music from mellow and thought provoking to shamelessly riotous and do so with passion and a theatrical bent. Rorke’s Drift will be treating The Victoria to a night of classic rock from AC/DC to ZZ Top.

On Saturday the problem of more careful programing raises it’s head again as Broken Image at The Rolleson and Whole Lotta DC at The Victoria will be splitting the classic rock audience. The former play everything from AC/DC to Iron Maiden and the latter AC/DC to….well, that’s it; just AC/DC really, the name sort of gives it away I suppose.

58 Shakes bring a mix of standards and originals to The Queens Tap, specialising in 50’s rock ‘n’ roll, swing, surf and pop and guaranteed to have all you “hep” cats getting down, flipping your lids, cutting a rug and other such vintage phrases…Daddy-o! Meanwhile Karl Brookes will be taking a more acoustic indie-pop route up at The Castle.

On Monday The Academy of Music and Sound students will be raising money over at Riffs Bar for The Donkey Sanctuary charity with a night of live music that goes under the puntastic title of Slam-Donk!

And finally, talking of Donkeys, Mark Chilvers brings his wonderful blend of folk and acoustic pop to The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday. (I wasn’t implying Mark was a donkey!)

Library - 48So, it’s coming to that time again, the race for the coveted Christmas number one spot is upon us, or as it should be known, the inevitable public pedestal for Cowell’s latest crooning cash cow. You almost feel sorry for Joe McElderberry, being usurped by those nasty Rage Against The Machine fans and their shouty, sweary anarchist sentiments. You could argue that all these “let’s stick it to Simon” campaigns designed to overturn his god given right to be the Christmas number one puppet master, is just as orchestrated and convoluted as the thing it is protesting against. Maybe, but this year there is a really good alternative.

 

Gaz Brookfield has released a special version of his song Diet of Banality in an attempt to add a bit of spice to the race for the top spot. Imagine if this years Christmas number one was a rant against all those previous style over substance tunes and their dance routines, skimpy outfits, gimmicky rap-middle eights and the like. Oh the irony! Well if you all head over to Gaz’s website, Amazon or iTunes you could be part of the best piece of seasonal satire and festive japery the charts have witnessed in a long time. Do it!

 

Talking of japes, The Victoria has three less than serious acts for you tonight. Dole queue hero and anti-PC rapper Devvo headlines with the boy racer Chip Daddy and the best/worst cover band of them all, Kova Me Badd, also on the bill.

 

The Beehive hosts Sophie’s Xmas (as opposed to  + vent Sunday or E-ster, I suppose) Charity Bash which in the usual eclectic style of the venue will feature fire jugglers, street magic and music from Doeser, Missin’ Rosie, Erin Bardwell Collective to money for Swindon Sands.

 

Younger fans are being catered for at The Furnace in the form of Teenage Kicks Christmas Special (part 1), which has a wonderfully experimental undercurrent. Tides of Change deliver alt rock with a pop punk vibe, Sasquatch Walk does a neat line in jazzy punk disco and With Felix adds in some ambient electro-indie. Make sure you check out openers The Weekend Effect, I was really impressed with their rapped up indie groove. Interestingly enough there isn’t going to be a Teenage Kicks Christmas Special (part 2) but then I guess if the world is ending there really isn’t much point.

 

To celebrate our imminent doom on Friday (unless the Mayans got it wrong…my, won’t we look foolish?) There are a couple of Apocolyto-parties going on. At The Victoria, party band Breeze will be providing the soundtrack whereas The Furnace has one amazing line up for you. Briefly it goes like this, The Racket – elegantly wasted gutter anthems, Nudybronque – intelligent, intense and fired up pop, The Rhubarbs  – The Beatles on Speed, The Street Orphans – slick, sophisticated indie, SkyBurnsRed – searing and dark alt-rock with a classical sweep and The Fixed – exuberant indie.

 

Other parties come in the form of Slagerij’s very messy Christmas at TP’s; ska-punk mayhem from one of Swindon’s success stories and taking Hell Death Fury, Escape From ’98 and The Useless Eaters into oblivion with them.

 

The Beehive goes down a slightly more sedate path with the fiddlesome roots rockers State of Undress. If our are a fan of The Albion Band, Fairport Convention or even The Strawbs then this is for you.

 

Saturday brings along the annual musical curveball at The Victoria, The 12 Bands of Christmas. Each band gets to do two covers; the more out their usual comfort zone the better. Previous years have seen the Blowbacks turning Cliff Richard’s Devil Woman into a feedback-drenched tribute to Sonic Youth. Matt Kilford abandoning his usual restrained approach and screaming, “Lick my legs!” when covering PJ Harvey’s ‘Rid of Me’ and Si Hall somehow matching the stratospheric range of La Roux. Need I say more?

 

 

After the bizarre offerings of that you may want to find some nostalgic, late night comfort at The Furnace when DJ Dust will be hosting one of his irregular Level 3 reunion nights. Party like its 1993 all over again, Kurt is still alive and Strictly Come Dancing is still eleven years in the future.

 

Finally Sunday afternoon at The Beehive brings a wonderfully pairing of bands and not just because they share a drummer. Rumour Shed plays music that is wonderfully chilled, reflective, richly poetic and quietly majestic. Accompanying them are The Shudders, a band just beginning to get back into their stride after too long away and guaranteed to make you want to bop, boogie and booze in equal measure. And it’s all free.

Sounds Around Town Link