Tag Archive: stornaway


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Lao Tzu famously thought that “when the wise man looks into space he knows there is no limited dimensions,” but I bet he didn’t have to get a whole weeks worth of gig recommendations into a space as small as ….well, as small as this!  So, Chinese philosophers aside, lets get down to business.

 

Tonight the first of many Halloween celebrations kick off at the Victoria in the form of The Bands and Burlesque Halloween Spook Ball.  The Filthy, Dirty, Blues Band provides the music, Li Laudanum, the gory stories and a whole host of Burlesque dancers provide the welcome distractions. Costumes are a must, for the audience that is, not so much the dancers.

 

Also seemingly in a strange fantasy world of his own, Ash Mandrake brings his strange blend of prog-folk meets Icelandic Saga with extra millinery supplies and homemade guitars to The Beehive.  If that isn’t “Good Enough” you might like to head up to The Arts Centre to catch nineties power-pop trio Dodgy (see what I did there?)

 

More big names at The Furnace on Friday with Hadouken (pictured) – new rave, dance-punk, call it what you will and the equally unpigeonholeable (it’s a word, honest) Monsta adding tech-soul, trip-hop and melodic synth washes to make a night of gloriously original, very now, music. Hopefully this is the start of the venues break from its tedious love affair with goth and metal over the last few years. With no competition for bands of this size in Swindon, this may be the start of a change of direction and a bright future.

 

It’s all a bit more traditional elsewhere. The 12 Bar is going for the folk thing with The Shapes, a band spawned in the same neck of the woods that produced Stornaway and The Epstein, good company indeed. Support is the mix of morose and mirth that is Mammoth and the Drum plus Benji Clements and Aaron Heap.

 

There was once a young girl from Hullavington…. hang on this is turning into an Edward Lear limerick. Try again. Many years ago there was a young local artist treading the boards who had a voice that could make audiences go completely silent. Now after stints at The Albert Hall, touring the States and glowing reviews, Dani Wilde brings her amazing acoustic blues to Riffs Bar, a sort of homecoming show if you will. The Beehive also plumps for soulful acoustica with Anglo-Swedish trio, We Ghosts.

 

Fans of Ska, Rocksteady and Reggae are catered for at The Victoria on Saturday night with The Erin Bardwell Collective. Not only do they have a new record out, Bringing The Hope, but also the gig acts as a sort of reunion night as both Erin and members of the support band, The Nomarks, can trace their roots back to local legends The Skanksters.

 

More nostalgic vibes can be found at The Rolleston with the 50’s rockabilly vibes of Josie and The Outlaw or the 40’s swing of King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys at The Art Centre.

 

A couple of more sedate options for Sunday afternoon look like this. Mr Love and Justice host their regular Lazy Sunday Afternoon session at The Art Centre, this time they are joined by the dulcet tones of Jess Vincent as recently heard on Mike Harding’s Radio 2 show plus the wonderful Ethemia. At The Beehive you can catch R’n’B and swing grooves, courtesy of The Teddy White Band.

 

Later that evening and continuing with suitably subtle Sabbath song, Buswell play an stripped down show in the top bar of The Victoria, though if the band merely number in single figures it is probably considered low key. Also on the bill is Steve Poltz who when not co-writing hit ballads for Jewel can be found singing, ranting, storytelling, guitar shredding and generally being mesmerising with his own body of work.

 

Ed Sheeran pops into the Oasis on Wednesday but if you like the acoustic troubadour approach then why not watch Gaz Brookfield at The Running Horse instead. Great songs blended with wit, wisdom and charisma plus you can also find out about his Christmas No 1 Campaign. Whilst you are there pick up a copy of his current album, Tell It To The Beer, I can’t recommend it highly enough.