Tag Archive: sun inn (the)


12111930_1683865851881044_3972085343232098947_nOne of the great things about the diverse and eclectic nature of the Swindon live circuit is that it has something for everyone. Take this week for example, everything from international swing bands, rock legends, national tribute acts, local covers and grassroots jobbing musicians can be found somewhere along the line. Not bad for a town which is usually seen as playing second fiddle to the more established music scenes of Oxford and Bristol. Personally, I’m a big fan of those ever touring, solo guitar acts, it’s a real reminder that once you strip away the glitz and glamour, musical hi-jinx and technological enhancements, it all comes down to two things. Good songs and personal charisma. Two great purveyors of such an approach can be found in town tonight.

You may have caught Chris Webb in any number of guises, gigging with Lonely Tourist, Gentleman Nick Parker or that Gaz Brookfield fellow, or as part of Plume of Feathers, but tonight at The Tuppenny you can catch him in solo mode delivering up-tempo, finger style, modern acoustic folk songs filled with wit and wisdom.

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10697395_839039612784945_1481683335433694579_oNot the busiest of weeks for live music coming up but with the summer finally kicking in, I guess barbecues and pub gardens, days out in exotic places, festivals and nights camped under the stars are preferable to being shut in a loud, dark, beer sodden room with dozens of other sweaty people. Live music is okay with that. Live music understands. Live music is patient. Live music will be here waiting when you are ready to come back inside.

That said there is a triptych of great, original offerings to entice you in happening around Old Town tonight and at The Victoria you will find those perennial musical mind-benders, Sex Jazz and their insect fixated, bass heavy, Zappa-infused, psychedelic-punk. Joining them is Cracked Machine, purveyors of intense, droning, proggy soundscapes and RRS a one man band of glitchy, lo-hi weirdness.

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Library - 151The local alternative music scene has been thrown into uproar over the news that a fledgling rock band completed an interview with not one member mentioning This Is Spinal Tap – a feat not achieved since 1987 when a member of The Unreal discussed at length their succession of drummers without once making reference to the films similar sub-plot. In this weeks incident, Charlie Made-Upname from the band Slim Whippet spoke to a local magazine about his Marshall amp saying, “I often wish that the amp would go a little bit louder, but sadly ten is the maximum” After pausing, he looked up and added “Anybody fancy a brew?” The Musicians Union is investigating the case, which could lead to his expulsion. A spokesman for the band told Sounds Around Town “It was a silly mistake, a bit like when Tap got the wrong size Stonehenge!”

 

Tonight’s offerings are of a calibre that ensures such rookie errors are nowhere to be seen, especially at The Beehive where the brilliant Three Minute Tease (pictured) will be holding court. Subversive and articulate pop songs are the order of the day courtesy of main man Anton Barbeau and bone fide musical legends complete the line up in the former of Soft Boys and Robyn Hitchcock and The Egyptians rhythm section, Morris Windsor and Andy Metcalfe. The result ,a musical landscapes peppered with the trippy vibes of an idealized hippy dreamtime, stoner pop fashioned with big harmonies, warped guitars, fantastical lyrical imagery, flower power ethics and eastern flavours. Groovy!

 

Head to The Victoria for a more chilled affair with Raurri Joseph, an integral part of the South West folk scene and a wonderful mix of traditional folk and the more pop-savvy sounds of the likes of Damien Rice and David Gray. Support comes from Jim Blair of Hiproute and Ben McDanielson. Alternatively it’s upbeat blues at The Rolleston with The Dan Sowerby Blues Band.

 

So Friday is Red Nose Day, but you don’t have to use that as an excuse to crash on the sofa and be forced to watch James Corden dancing in a tutu or suffer ditzy lower sixth prefect, Claudia Winkleman. Instead you could catch a rare outing by Broken Daylight a band blending most rock based genres but beholden to none. Also on the bill are False Gods, neatly described, as “a tasty mix of Muse and The Manics” now doesn’t that sound intriguing? That’s all at The Victoria.

 

The Furnace is providing us with something pretty special as Ashes to Angels descend from whichever plane they normally inhabit to deliver a blast of gothic meets alt-rock. Fans of Murder Dolls, Nine Inch Nails and Evanescence will find a lot to like here. Completing the line up are Dead! glam horror rockers In Dante’s Eclipse and I’m Designer. Fans of iconic local bands of the past can head up to The Beehive instead for The Big Casino and The Teddy White Band.

 

Saturday sees a new night launched at Riffs Bar. The people behind Songs of Praise are launching The Secret Chord nights, mixing local and out of town bands as they have done successfully for the seven years of their existing night. This kick off party features a collection of singer-songwriters, Plummie Racket, Si Hall, Faye Rogers and Nick Felix and all profits from these nights will be donated to Strummerville.

 

The so-called day of rest looks like the busiest of the week. Lazy Sunday Afternoon at the Arts Centre features the wonderful harmonies and myriad instrumentation: flutes, cellos, whistles, piano and guitars to name a few, of Homefires, plus the soulful voice and crafted tunes of Terry G Etherington. Pete Christie’s distinctive voice and finger style guitar graces The Beehive in the afternoon and that evening acoustic duo Dan and Adam play The Rolleston. Dan is the bassist with Britpop stalwarts Ocean Colour Scene and Adam is a founder member of CCR and Springsteen inspired, The Misers. High profile stuff indeed! Those getting their St Patrick’s vibe on might want to head along to The Sun Inn at Coate for the furious and formidable folk virtuosity of Grubby Jack.

 

Punks will have a field day at The Victoria as a newly re-launched 4ft Fingers make a triumphant return to the live scene with local ska-punksters Slagerij, Splash and Si Hall in tow.

 

And to be fair, this week I had to leave out as much as I put in so please check venue listings for other musical serving suggestions!

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.