Tag Archive: stornoway


One of the things I love about the more serious and creative side of music (as opposed to the famous for fifteen seconds, in it for the quick buck, types) is that it’s interesting to chart the family trees and watch the complex career paths of musicians who inspire you, if you are some sort of music geek that is. Well, around nineteen eighty, this particular music geek would have been listening to a certain bunch of psychedelic punks called The Soft Boys and wouldn’t you know it, in the blink of an eye, a mere 32 years later, two of them surface to play a gig in Swindon.

Tonight at The Victoria, Three Minute Tease, featuring cult rhythm section Morris Windsor and Andy Metcalfe and led by Sacramento loon Anton Barbeau, will be spearheading an assault of warped space rock, trippy psychedelic pop, wit, wisdom and sheer strangeness. Jon Ouin from Stornoway is also rumoured to be amongst their ranks. Bristol’s Schnauser joins them, a band recently described to me with brilliant succinctness as “like the Wombles on Acid” and quantum rockers Super Squarecloud fire off the opening salvo…probably in 7/8 time if they get their way.

Riffs Bar meanwhile bow down to the gods of cacophony and raucousness as Twisted State of Mind, Eleros and Aethara go head to head for a place in the semi-final of Bloodstocks Battle of the Bands.

If you are looking for something a bit less loud or mind-boggling then head for The Beehive where The Acoustic Buzz session will be able to soothe you with the dulcet tones of Southern Folk, Jim Evans and Blind River Scare. If you prefer your acoustic music laced with a bit of punk vigour then The Rolleston is the place to be as ex-Tiryth guitarist Daniel James heads off down new musical paths.

On Friday, at Riffs Bar it’s a question of “who let the progs out” as The Dark Sinatra’s make a triumphant return. Summing up their music in a sound bite isn’t easy, prog it may be, but this is a groove driven, heavy prog more akin to Muse or even Rush. And when they say that sometimes Nigel Kennedy appears with them, don’t get your hopes up, although last time they did have the awesome Tallulah Rendall in rock chick mode helping out, which is much the better option in my book.

Teenage Kicks at The Furnace continues to deliver the best of the younger crop, this time The Fixed headline, with Bratpop madmen (yes I’m trying out a new generic moniker, just indulge me) Nudy Bronque, The Debuts and The John Does all filling the night with indie goodness and complicated waxed hair styles, no doubt.

Upstairs in The Rolleston is The Floydian Doors. As brilliant as they are, I have never quite got my head around being a tribute to two fairly diverse bands. I’m worried that it might be the thin end of the wedge and the next thing you know there will be posters up for The Yes Pistols or worse….The Collinsian Clash! Still at least the by-line is obvious … “From Genesis to Revolution.” Oh, come on you must have seen that one coming?

The Beehive is opting for a melting pot of blues with The Mestizo Blues Collective; all styles from the Delta to Chicago’s urban backstreets are succinctly alchemized into intelligent, quintessentially English song writing styles plus a touch of self-deprecating humour.

Saturday is the night for rock fans to indulge their various sub-generic passions. Younger fans will be heading for The Furnace as globetrotting local lads made good, The Dead Lay Waiting (pictured) return to their home patch to dish out some furious alt-metal to eager ears. They are joined by Scarred by Beauty, Frozen Affliction and Roads to Nowhere.

The Rolleston is being visited by powerhouse blues guitarist, Innes Sibun and at the Victoria, Snaggletooth and Earl Jam play tribute to Motorhead and Pearl Jam respectively.

The Sunday afternoon session at The Beehive is filled by Pete Jagger, so expect the usual deft mix of folk, blues and ragtime. That evening at The Rolleston is a real cosmopolitan mix. Terhi is a native Finn, living in Chippenham and playing rock flavoured with country and calypso and the odd ballad thrown in for good measure. You almost feel like you need an up to date passport to watch that show. Support is from the Ghoulies an exotic blend of folk, rock and Hammer horror. They describe themselves thus “Jim has Delta blues roots and Daniel is a green creative soul” so expect something….turquoise?

ImageThe next Songs of Praise show is going to be a bit special, I probably always say that, but this one really is. Not in the usual local promoter way of bigging up a local acoustic songwriter who once got short-listed for the shortlist of the bands that were being considered to be on the substitute list for the Croissant Neuf tent at Glastonbury. No, this show features some bone fide post-punk royalty.

You may be forgiven for not having heard of maverick Sacramento songster Anton Barbeau (even though he plays here about twice a year but I suspect you were all down the Rolly watching The Radioactive Zombie Mutant Bikers play their take on Iron Maiden classics) but when he rolls up on the 26th April at The Victoria he has a few big names in tow.  His rhythm section is made up of Morris Windsor and Andy Metcalfe both veterans of psychedelic punks The Soft Boys and Robyn Hitchcock and The Egyptians. Due to the near vicinity of his home base, Jon Ouin from Stornoway will be joining the line up, a line up garnered from Berlin, Cambridge and Oxford. Musically they tip their hats to the likes of Julian Cope, early Pink Floyd, XTC and Tom Robinson. Now that’s what I call a band.

Support comes from those equally alternative popsters from Bristol, Schnauser. Sitting somewhere between The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and most of the influences listed above, they offer up an equally original and warped take on pop music.

Opening the night will be local leading lights of the Quantum Rock movement, Super Squarecloud, a bunch of jazz junkies masquerading as an indie pop band and creating music that is sort of a reined in chaos that seems on the verge of getting lost in it’s own complexities.

As usual the night will be free but due to the distances involved for the band we will be encouraging an entry by donation system on the door. Failing that, just turn up and drink loads as some of that money will filter back into the bands pocket at the end of the night.

If you are looking for something truly original, come to the Victoria, Swindon on 26th April.

Anton Barbeau random tracks

The Sound of Meat – Schnauser

Super Squarecloud

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