Tag Archive: swindon shuffle 2012

Library - 53So here we are, last column of the year and for obvious reasons not a lot of original music about as venues err on the side of the festive favourites, the cheesy music and the fun time bands to accompany their Christmas parties, and that’s as it should be. But I would like to use the extra space to say a few thanks and have a look back over the year.


Firstly, thank you to everyone who has been supportive of my efforts to try and bring worthy, interesting and breaking bands to your attention, I know it really comes down to my, often strange, personal taste but hopefully you have checked out some of them and hopefully discovered some great new music along the way.


Although it has been a difficult year, especially with the news that The Big Arts Day will be no more plus the loss of the brilliant BBC Wiltshire Introducing show, not to mention the 12 Bar closing, I still think there is a lot to be proud of regarding local music. This year musicians from this area could be found supporting The Levellers and Newton Faulkner and following in the footsteps of Josh Kumra, Gabrielle Aplin (pictured), made it to the top of the charts. The Shuffle came back bigger and better this year with more venues and bands being involved, Summer Breeze managed to attract artists of the calibre of K T Tunstall and in general there are more original bands of a higher quality than ever before just waiting to burst out of the area and start making a name for themselves.


All sounds pretty good to me but of course these successes can only happen if there is the support from the public, so remember to get out there, keep the venues in business and thereby keep the bands in work so they can entertain, develop their live skills, evolve and reach fruition. If between all the partying, boozing, food and general shennanighins there is time to catch a band, then maybe one of these will suffice.


Tonight at The Victoria is The Songs of Praise/Green Man Music Christmas show. For their 25th and final show of the year they bring together two bands synonymous with their brand name, Nudybronque and SkyBurnsRed, bands that have had a brilliant year, are hallmarked by super charged live shows and neither have any understanding of grammatical spacing in their names.


Friday’s options have a bit of a retro feel to them. If ska is your thing then head along to the Beehive for the Nomarks in all their two-tone glory, probably just the tonic(s) you are after (geddit?) to dance away all the food and drink you have consummed this week. Also with influences rooted back in an earlier time, The Corsairs play The Rolleston. Now in their twentieth year they mix up rockabilly, punk and ska to create a unique psychobilly sound.


Saturday is all about the contemporary sound of rock and roll. Having caught Natural Tendency last time they played The Rolleston, I can tell you that they are well worth turning off the TV and missing out on The Only Way is Runcorn or Jeremy Spake: The Missing Years or what ever z-list celebrity dross is being offered up in the name of mainstream entertainment. This is a band that runs emotionally charged rock headlong into ambient keyboard washes and waves of frenzied synth grooves. It’s the future sound of rock music.


Meanwhile downstairs in The Furnace, South West Hardcore present their Dolls and Gangsters party with hardcore/metal onslaughts from The Hotel Ambush and Beyond Hurt, but make sure you catch openers Firefalldown who mix compelling punk aggression with accessible skater melodies and grooves that funk up and rock out in equal measure. Whichever of those two gigs you go to stick around afterwards for the Nightshift club night – industrial, darkwave, electronica, goth and more from the usual suspects.


On Sunday, again at The Rolleston you can catch a stripped back session from retro-rockers Josie and The Outlaw and after that it is all about the mayhem and madness of New Years Eve. As my distant relative, Benjamin Franklin so wisely put it “ Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy” – can’t say fairer than that.


So that’s another year done, have a great time over the festivities and I’ll see you at a gig somewhere soon, I’ll be the one leaning on the bar clutching a handful of Antwerp scene experimental rock demos and trying to argue that The Icicle Works were the greatest pop band ever to anyone who will listen. Have a blast out there.

Review by PfalzDxii

I know some stalwart Shuffle goers who did their utmost best to be everywhere over the three day shuffle, they are heroes. I know of one musician now resident in Berlin who on being asked if he felt like a drink, jumped on a plane, and was at the shuffle. He is a legend. I though, had mainly highlighted “Matilda”, and “Emily and the Dogs” as two bands not, not to be missed. I have seen them both before and was very happy they didn’t clash with one another. Where does time go? As I write this, I realize that the Shuffle was two weeks ago. But the memories!

Where indeed does time go? I am from the generation that thought punk should have been given its own BBC programme rather than invade The Old Grey Whistle Test. Not to be too prejudiced however, I went with my then wife (yes I did have one) to see XTC at the Oasis. This was in about 1978 when Barry Andrews was still in the band, and before Dave Gregory joined. Standing at the front though was a mistake. Gobbing was still in full swing. This was the quaint custom of the band spitting from the stage, onto the heads of their fans below. I was not enamoured of this, but do remember that the music was excellent. For one reason and another, I stopped going to local bands and became a cultural recluse. Thirty years later, friends and relatives dragged me against my will to the Vic. I treasure that act of kindness. On stage that evening (13/11/08) were the Sunday Dogs and Matthew Kilford. What had I been missing? That was the first time I saw Emily Drake, she was playing violin in the Sunday Dogs, and singing vocals. Such wonderful music. I very soon discovered many other fabulous bands including “Matilda”. It was all such a revelation. I had lost thirty years.

A buzz went around the Beehive, one of “Matilda” couldn’t make it and they weren’t coming. Well, yes and no. Just as we got this piece of sad news, Emily Sykes walked in with guitar. She is the drummer in “Matilda”. Amy and Polly came in without any instruments. So it was Rebecca (singer and keyboard player), who was missing. Emily and the others found stools. Phil Hamer (with electric bass guitar) sat as far back in the corner of the room as possible with his head down, he had joined an all girl band. Except that now the line-up was “Emily Sykes and Friends”, a new and exciting line-up in which Emily is the lead singer. Someone shouted out “what’s the name of the band?” Emily replied with “Matilda mark II”. Phil did his best to hide. Emily has such a wonderful voice for folk and for harmonizing with the others, and did this whilst playing rhythm. Phil was playing the softest bass possible. There were songs accompanied only by clapping and seated stomping. This was all so harmonious and beautiful. As with Matilda, the humorous banter and laughter, was joyous.

“Emily Drake and the Dogs” were up next, I was glad I didn’t have to change venues. Emily Drake having turned the tables, now has some of the same musicians she played with in The Sunday Dogs. This time it was Ian Taylor on bass, and Lee Moulding on drums. This band is another newly formed wonder. They play Emily’s songs with such vitality and love. The songs are superb. Threatening, poignant, sharp, loving. Emily was playing rhythm guitar, will her talents never end? I stood next to her husband during their set, he was taking photos. Emily introduced new material. Songs that held me spellbound. I became aware that the audience was filling up with the great and good of the local music scene. “Emily Drake and the Dogs” are rapidly making a name for themselves, and rightly so. Afterwards, outside on the pavement, Emily Drake’s music was a subject of much conversation, all of it good. Some were surprised just how good she is. I though, already knew that. She is brilliant! As I walked away from the Beehive, a badger ran across my path. A rare and memorable evening indeed!!

Shuffle Pod Cast

Those splendid chaps at The Ladder Factor have put together a Shuffle special podcast featuring interviews and music relevent to the forth coming festival. Find it on their home page below and let us know what you think.


music from Street Orphans, Buswell, Emily and the Dogs, The Shudders, Plummie Racket and Nudy Bronque and interviews with MIke (Nudy Bronque) Sean (Buswell) and Ed and Dave from The Shuffle.

Big thanks to Sean at The Ladder Factory.

The Swindon Shuffle


Swindon Shuffle hits its Sixth year!

The biggest celebration of unsigned local bands in the area is BACK!

The Swindon Shuffle returns in August 2012 for another 3 days and nights of the best unsigned talent, showcasing an array of musical genres and fantastic entertainment at the best music venues in the area.

The Shuffle has come to be thought of as a kind of annual work’s party for the Swindon music scene, where promoters, venue staff, bloggers and journalists can get together and see what the scene has to offer and check out the best of the local talent, but most importantly it’s a vital outlet for our best unsigned bands and musicians to be heard by live music fans and have their chance to shine!

The event takes place Friday 10th Aug – Sunday 12th Aug

This year, the official Shuffle venues are:

The Beehive – Prospect Hill   (7pm-11pm Fri/Sat)

The 12 Bar – Park Lane (7pm-11pm Fri/Sat/Sun)

Both The Furnace (7pm-11pm Sat/Sun) & The Rolleston (12noon-7pm Sat/Sun) – Commercial Road

Piri-Piri – Havelock Street (Fri 8pm-11pm)

Riffs Bar near Hook (Fri 7pm-11pm)

Some of these venues have been with us from the start, and we’re delighted to have them back on board, along with the Rolly and the Furnace – back after a break, and introducing the scrumptious Tapas bar Piri Piri who join us for the first time this year, showcasing the more laid back and chilled out unplugged and acoustic sessions – so there really is something for everyone this year!

Who’s playing? 

There will be up to 60 (YES SIXTY!) bands and artists playing across the venues over the weekend – way too many to list here, but to whet your appetite we’ll give you a little taster of a few of them:  You can catch Bateleurs, SkyBurnsRed, The Racket, The Black Hats, Charlie Bath, Alice Offley, Matilda, Salute the Magpie, Nudy Bronque and Buswell with LOADS more to be announced over the next couple of weeks on our brand spanking new website and via Facebook!




Best of all – you can see the vast majority of the Shuffle gigs for FREE!  Unbelievable but true!


For more info, links to the featured bands and more on the venues, head to


or find us and like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/swindonshuffle

We’ll be posting regular updates via both –

oh, and if you’re REALLY quick you might even be able to get your band booked to play one of the venues!


Press/Radio interviews – Dave Franklin on: greenmanpublications@yahoo.co.uk

It’s back…..

Library - 127

 There is now a Facebook page for the latest information about this years Swindon Shuffle. The Shuffle is an unsigned music festival of largely local bands that is now in it’s sixth year and will take place between Friday 10th Aug and Sun 12th Aug. Venues so far confirmed are – The Rolleson, The Furnace, The Beehive, Riffs Bar and The 12 Bar with one or two fringe shows to be added on nearer the time. There will be a website up shortly but for now check the FB page here  for information.

The Swindon Shuffle

Details are still be worked out, bands booked etc, but here is the general outline on this years Swindon Shuffle as we understand it.

The Swindon Shuffle will take place on 10th – 12th August.

The venues confirmed so far are The Rolleston, The Furnace, The 12 Bar, Riffs Bar with at least one more likely to be announced.

Unlike previous years where  there was a commitee based application process, this year it will follow the norm of other festivals and is being arranged in the form of  direct invitation by the organisers.

If anyone is interested in helping out with stage management, sound engineering, general assistance or has any other services to offer please reply to this post and we will pass your message on to the organisers.

The Shuffle has rightly entered into the lore of Swindon’s music scene and we urge you to get involved and support this, largely free, non-profit event by either helping in some small way or at least turning up to watch some of the bands.

More information as we get it.