Tag Archive: tribe (the)


10291855_655599347822650_4966922589267615587_nAnd so there it goes, that was 2015, what have you done? Another year over and another …no, hang on that’s Wonderful Christmas Time by George Harrison (I know, I know, but you have got to give the little darlings who like to commentate on-line something to work with.) So, a time for reflection on a tough year for live music with more venues than ever seeking to get involved but the pool of bands being called on getting seemingly ever smaller. How to inject something new, fresh, appealing and exciting without losing the existing punters, that is the trick. And how do you create a real event but also sell beer at the same time? Do we need better promotion and publicity? Do venues need to reflect our more ethnically diverse world and get away from the “white guys with guitars” template that dominates? Is the idea of going to grassroots level shows redundant? Should live shows also be streamed for the stay at home fan? Maybe we can find some of those answers next year, so keep the faith, keep things afloat, keep supporting. And buy a CD on the way out.

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1012956_904802992877241_2155179617826228911_nWe need to talk about Kanye. Now I’m not saying that he is personally responsible for a decline musical creativity but he certainly is a symptom of the way the modern music industry works. If the benchmark for “creative genius” (his own words) is an autotuned, vocoder drenched, bad karaoke routine set to samples and a brief duet with Lee Nelson, then is it any wonder that truly original music is currently playing a back foot, defensive stroke? If this is what it takes to be one of the biggest, and biggest selling, acts on the planet then it makes you worry for the integrity of music in the near future. Doesn’t it?

However you could argue that the root of new musical developments comes from revolution against the mainstream. Folk music, jazz, blues, rock ‘n’ roll, punk, hip-hop, all began as the sound track to musical (and often social) revolution, so maybe future musicologists will thank Kanye for being the catalyst for change, though not in the way the self appointed musical messiah would have hoped.

But enough of the ivory tower endof the industry, what about the grassroots? Well, we are on much safer territory at The Victoria tonight when SNDubstation break out their infectious dub, reggae, and ska and fuse them into a highly energetic live show. Support comes from Conway, a band coming from similar genre-stock, so get your dancing trousers dusted off and start the weekend in style.

The big news for Friday is the launch of a new venue. The Locomotive in Fleet Street is opening its doors once more, this time as a dedicated music venue and making sure this first night goes with a bang, Interlight, one of the best cover bands on the circuit, will be providing some choice musical cuts to get the party rolling.

The Victoria will also be providing something a bit special as The Tribe (pictured) launch their new e.p. The Rise of The Tribe. Having caught their launch gig at the end of last year I can honestly say that what they do is second to none as a live experience. A solid reggae and funk core overlaid with hip-hop and dance grooves, soulful vocals and staccato rap deliveries. Add Melbourne based rapper, Lotek, into the equation and you have a gig hipper than a bearded guy with a lumberjack shirt and fedora drinking espresso from a jam jar whilst writing a food blog.

The rest of Friday takes a more cautious creative line with Bootleg Floyd over at Riffs Bar playing songs from Animals, Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here and The Killertones providing a tribute to the best of the ska and 2-Tone genres at The Swiss Chalet. For a more genre-hopping, chronologically fluid experience you have Hyperbolics at The Castle and The Great Nothing at The Rolleston.

Saturday’s original offerings cater for the rock crowd – The Damned and The Dirty and The Starkers at The Victoria offering classic and grunge centred songs respectively and At The Rolleston, Innes Sibun’s high-octane electric blues make a welcome return. Below at Level 3 you get the best of both worlds with Transmission, a tribute to the bleak but beautiful soundscapes of Joy Division with support from nu-gazers Sahara Heights whilst Distant Echoes remind us of The Jam’s past glories at The Swiss Chalet.

The second night of The Locomotive’s opening weekend plays host to Alter Chaos who pick out the best music from the last 40 years of rock to entertain you and if something of a more Caribbean origin is to your taste then the Shocks of Mighty DJ’s at The Beehive will be just what you are looking for.

Final mentions of the week are for Ray Jones at The Castle on Sunday and at The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday Jack Moore performs a frenetic acoustic set, which references everything from Gogol Bordello to Queens of The Stone Age.

10933803_1011615478852084_3192550600492000273_nLet’s just title this week “Victim of Success Week” as the gig diary seems to have gone into overdrive and get straight on with the show.

 

Something well wicked this way comes, as the yoof of today might say, tonight at The Victoria with a snarling, noisy, beast of a show from those awfully nice chaps at Songs of Praise. Described as “zombie grunge” Sheffield’s Steel Trees are one big slab of industrial strength noise and scorching, white hot guitars. Support comes in the guise of deliciously schizophrenic post-punkers, Nasty Little Lonely and Ex-Shrine main man Mat Caron’s new outfit I Am In Love.

 

The regular Acoustic Buzz session at The Beehive has a stellar line up, not only the subtle beauty of Jess Vincent’s folk-pop but also the achingly authentic, Americana-folk of Jim Evans. As always your host, Blind River Scare’s Tim Manning, kicks the night off.

 

Two big names are in town on Friday. Firstly at The Oasis The Modfather himself, Paul Weller, will be continuing to further the cause of quintessentially English song writing. The Second hails from much further away, Portland, Oregon to be exact. Having made a name with the distinctly multi-cultural, hard rock, junk-funk outfit, The Dan Reed Network, the eponymous front man will be playing at level 3 for the Fatboys Cancer Charity For Children Fundraiser. A host of other supports are in place, although be aware that limited tickets are only available in advance from the charity itself.

 

Although if you can’t get a ticket for that one, like classic rock and iconic indie covers and want to support a worthy cause then head over to Riffs Bar where Soundbites and Vice Versa will be playing to raise money for Breakthrough Brest Cancer.

 

If you prefer something a bit smoother, then The Tribe headline at The Victoria with their trademark fusion of soulful reggae, dance grooves and infectious hip hop vibes. Support comes from dubstep meets jazz meets hip-hop collective Dubbed Over.

 

The phrase, at the opposite end of the spectrum, doesn’t even begin to describe the wonderfully named Ma Polaine’s Great Decline who play The Beehive. These roots genre time travellers mix the blues of Howlin’ Wolf and genre hopping of Tom Waits to create a sound both familiar and exotic.

 

Also to be mentioned in despatches are The Runaway Boys, a tribute to The Stray Cats, at The Rolleston and fans of covers have the choice of Toxic at The Swiss Chalet or Mojo at The Castle.

 

Before talking of Saturday’s gigs, I should point out that the now well-established Record and CD fair will be taking place at The Central Community Centre from 9.00 am.

 

As for gigs, they are more about the tried and tested rather than the new and innovative but there is still some great music to be had. At Riffs Bar, Syntronix will be reliving all of the great synth pop of the eighties, everything from the big numbers such as Rio and Tainted Love to a few lesser-known numbers from the likes of Talk Talk and The Thompson Twins.

 

Rock is on the menu as Dodging The Bullet bring the noise to The Rolleston; something a bit more subtle can be found at The Victoria as Just Floyd pay tribute to one of the biggest and most uniquely creative bands on the planet.

 

Fans of Reggae, Ska and Rocksteady will want to be at The Beehive as the Shocks of Mighty DJs spin all the best tunes from those genres and Tony M and Friday Feeling play covers at The Castle and The Swiss Chalet respectively. Also in that vein is Jamie R Hawkins who can be found at Byron’s Wine Bar.

 

And even on Sunday there is no let up as Ron Trueman Border mixes up folk, blues jazz and a lot more at The Beehive afternoon session and it is with a tear in the eye that I can report that The Victoria will be the scene of Sheer Music’s last Swindon gig for the foreseeable future. It’s only fair that they should go out with a bang and so have managed to bag a date with Moose Blood (pictured)and Creeper currently touring the UK. So, if quality Emo and melodic punk are your sort of thing then help thank Kieran and the team for all their hard work over the years.

 

Finally dexterous acoustica taking in folk, blues and rock can be found at The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday courtesy of Andy Robbins.

10628059_765161323523366_7975140535020360117_nIt was quite a busy week for checking out music, but it also revealed just how difficult it is to find a receptive audience. Saturday found me at The Victoria for a “two birds, one stone” type of approach. As a tribute to the late Ian “Jock” Kerr who was not only to be found on either side of the bar there but who was also a great musician and supporter of local music, there was a bill of bands which like the man himself ranged from the genially boisterous to the just plain silly. I had enough time to catch the first two bands, British Harlem turning in a cool as you like and fashionably of the moment set of instant modish indie classics and The Racket following with their trashed Brit-Pop ways. Sadly I could stick around for the tribute band parody that is Kova Me Badd as it was time to head next door to Longs Bar for the debut outing for The Tribe.

 

I must admit, it isn’t a place I really venture into, the odd lunchtime snack maybe, but I’m certainly not really part of their target demographic, but that said, apart from it being busy as hell and taking ages to get served, it works pretty well as a live music venue. The Tribe are a collection of already established musicians who mix reggae vibes and hip-hop beats into a brilliantly accessible dance groove and you can tell by the performance that they are all masters of what they do. Not only a brilliant delivery but the music seems to cater for the whole dance scene with elements of pop, rap and even the odd disco back beat finding it’s way into this heady mix.

 

And so going from a couple of nights that were wonderfully supported to the flip side of the musical coin. Wednesday night at The Roaring Donkey is becoming a slow building acoustic session, but geography and its mid-week time slot means that it is still a very hit and miss affair especially when it vies for punters with The Victoria’s Wacky Wednesday Karaoke, still horses for courses, as they say. This week’s artist was David Marx, normally found fronting AK-Poets but here in solo mode. David’s charm is a combination of his on stage banter with the audience, his ability to turn out memorable original tunes and the literary eloquence of his words and subject matter. As people and places as diverse as Caravaggio, Times Square, Augusto Sandino and Sarajevo are brought to life the mix of elegance and old school rock and roll provide two interesting extremes from which the songs are crafted. Sadly the audience for this numbered only a handful and this wasn’t helped by the fact that the second set was marred by a new intake of drinkers who found it necessary to shout over the music and even play back what appeared to be their friends doing karaoke on their phones. Not good.

 

The next day was the regular Songs of Praise show, a night that I have a vested interest in, but I will try to stay objective. Bringing original and largely unknown bands into town on a Thursday night can often be a hard sell, but I think deep down people want something more than an Iron Maiden tribute band every weekend or the usual acoustic circuit players that seem to be the easy option a lot of promoters take. First up was Cook and The Case, a London quartet who sort of defy description. With an amazing dynamic that takes the songs from pin-drop atmospheres to wailing walls of guitar sound they seem to channel Damien Rice as it does Bright Eyes heavier moments. If Paper Rose isn’t the most heartbreakingly romantic song you have ever heard (check it out before reading further – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hTK2IkSprM) then there is something wrong with you. If it had the aforementioned Rice’s name on it then it would have been a Rom-Com sound track being downloaded in its millions. And 15 people watched it being performed live, upfront and personal.

 

The middle slot was taken by local band Kitchen Sink Dramas, lyrical poignancy and social comment put to music and by now we are down to ten punters. By the time headliners The August List(pictured) took the stage the remaining 6 people just pulled their chairs across the front of the room and were treated to a very personal performance. This Oxford two-piece delivered a rousing set of old-time Americana; stompy Appalachian folk and back porch country tunes and did it with grace, humour and panache. It is a testament to how good they were that out of the small remaining audience 50% bought albums.

 

I know it isn’t always convenient to support midweek music but one day, soon, you will be looking for some new, exciting and original music to go and see and you will realise that it doesn’t actually bother coming to Swindon anymore. A sobering thought.

 

originally published at Swindon Link

 

 

 

 

10628059_765161323523366_7975140535020360117_nI was going to do my usual introduction based on musings and procrastination but I have even decided to put that off until another time and just as well looking at how much there is to fit in this week. Okay, lets do this.
Starting, as I usually do, with Songs of Praise at The Victoria, tonight you can catch lo-fi, roots duo The August List (pictured). Variously described as “backwards country” and “porch folk” this is a band that invoke the bleak, gothic, southern soundscape of The Handsome Family and the bucolic folk/rock of The Decemberists.  The local talent is supplied by Kitchen Sink Dramas, the musical vehicle for Steve Leigh’s hard-hitting, thought-provoking, incisive, romantic and humorous lyrical outpourings. Also on the bill are Cook and The Case a band who whether crafting gossamer thin musical atmospherics or soaring post-rock deliveries still have the ability to break your heart.
 
Meanwhile down the hill at The Beehive, the regular Acoustic Buzz night hits its 25th show in style. Hometown Show provides old time Appalachian bluegrass and Joe Kelly contributes harmonica soaked country folk. Shoot The Duke play sweet folk-pop and your host, as always, is Tim Manning from Blind River Scare with his wonderful country/folk blends.
 
The big noise for Friday takes place at Level 3 as those wonderful folks at The Reggae Garden have put together a great night. Dubwiser are a dub, hip-hop, reggae collective who mix their quirky English heritage with Jamaican influences that suggest Syd Barrett meeting The Specials in a parallel dimension. Also appearing are The Tribe, a funk, reggae, dance act drawn from familiar faces on the scene and having witnessed their debut show at Longs Bar last week cannot recommend them highly enough.
At Riffs Bar Josh Wolfsohn launches his new e.p. Dirty Concrete aided and abetted by Over To You, Break Glass To Open and Sammy Sangha and there is a second chance to catch Kitchen Sink dramas at The Beehive.
The Victoria is the scene of The Monkey Dolls 3rd Charity Bash, raising money for Uplands School and The Alzheimer’s Society. Joined by The Cover Addicts and Albatross Landing it is a night of all your favourite songs from the whole of the rock and pop history book and a worthy cause to boot.
Fans of tribute bands have the options of the music of Steely Dan at The Rolleston on Friday and on Saturday can either relive The Who at The Victoria with Who’s Next or catch Bootleg Floyd at Riffs Bar. At The Swiss Chalet, Syntronix will be tapping into the synth pop end of the eighties, so set your shoulder pads to stun, slip on a pair of legwarmers and dance the night away to the sounds of Gary Numan, Ultravox, OMD and the like.
For the full comedy/music experience then head to Level 3 for the strange world of Kova Me Badd.  More a surreal parody of a covers band than a serious attempt at the genre they will be either the best or worst band you see this year depending on how you judge such things and foregoing the usual cover band selections brace yourself for a night of murdered boy band tunes (that’s the tunes being murdered not the…well, you know,) cheesy rock and nothing less than the wholesale destruction of music as we know it. Still, could be worse.
Original music does show its face here and there. The Worried Men play incendiary rhythm and blues, mixing standards and originals at The Rolleston. If you are a fan of the likes of ZZ Top and The Hamsters then this is the band that completes the unholy electric blues-rock trinity.
But before all of that kicks off you can catch a more sedate afternoon at VuDu with music from Tom Stark and Shaun Barry but more importantly great coffee and cake on hand as well.
More acoustic offerings to end on. The Sunday afternoon session at The Beehive is the place to find the delicate blend of blues, ragtime, music hall and folk traditions; intricacy and intimacy in the style of Nick Drake and John Martyn. And finally at The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday features the jazz tinged folk of Nick Tann who will be playing a totally unplugged set of soaring, expressive vocals, heart on sleeve poeticism and pin drop atmospherics.

10349094_566351956803162_3626054594936056313_nWith the exception of Tibetan Jazz aficionados and fans of the burgeoning Polynesian trip-hop scene, most musical tastes will be catered for this week. Variety, as they say is the spice of life and this weeks musical offerings prove to be a particularly fine condiment of existence.

 

Acoustic buffs should head to The Victoria tonight for a rather special triptych of players, headed by Darren Eeddens, a bluegrass and honky-tonk folkster as at home on the banjo as he is the guitar. A story telling troubadour in the truest sense, he describes himself as an old soul with the imagination of a child. Local support comes in the form of the elemental sounds of Drew Bryant and the atmospheric endeavours of Andrew Burke.

 

The newly revamped Beehive will be echoing to the sounds of Built For Comfort who channel the sound and the vibe of a late night, smoky, back room Chicago blues club.

 

And Friday, it would seem, is the new Saturday judging by the amount of gigs you have to choose from, a myriad of styles and genres running from the sublime to the ridiculous. Representing the sublime is Faye Rogers at Riffs Bar. Hers is a sound that has grown gracefully from an innocent, “girl with guitar” solo spot to a band that soundscape around the tunes with shimmering guitar riffs, sensuous cello washes and less is more beats. Joining her is Antoine Architeuthis who mixes Celtic jauntiness with sweeping English pastoral folk sounds and just a splash of eastern spiritualism to weave an exotic musical tapestry.

 

Representing the ridiculous (only joking chaps) is The Hamsters from Hell, rhythm and booze experts whose talents at wrapping a risqué lyric around a grinding r ‘n’b groove is exceeded only by the speed at which they can run up an impressive bar tab. Catch them at The Queens Tap.

 

It’s folk Jim, but not as we know it. Actually it’s The Model Folk. Forget finger in the ear, bearded, jumper wearing folk police who still harbour a grudge over Dylan going electric, this is Balkan inspired, punked up gypsy folk with a fixation for railways, soviet farming machinery and 1930s drag queens…apparently. Catch them at The Beehive not least because they use the word rumbustious in their band biog’ and you have to admire a band who keep such words in circulation.

 

Level 3 continues in its mission to throw off the gothic imagery and nu-metal fixations of the past (I can see the music forums ablaze already over such a comment) and embrace a broader musical sensibility by hosting a night of reggae. Empower the Gambia, a charity that aims to improve conditions in rural Gambia brings you cool reggae sounds from Bobo Blackstar and The Tribe.

 

Something more familiar can be found at The Victoria with Fleetwood Bac (I’ll let you work out what they are all about) and at The Rolleston where The Dark Eyes will be playing covers through the ages from the sixties to the present.

 

In a change from their usual Thursday slot, those awfully nice people at Songs of Praise have a Saturday show at The Victoria. The top slot is taken by Colour the Atlas (pictured) a band whose chilled, cinematic and atmospheric brand of trip-pop (if such a term is allowed) has seen them lauded by critics and touring with the likes of Newton Faulkner. Check out their brilliant new single “That Sound” now and then watch them live, right on your doorstep. Also clutching a new release is Alex Rainsford, who creates a sound that embraces the drive of rock and the dexterity of folk and throws in soaring vocals and heartfelt sentiments. And opening the night is Charlie Bath a singer-songwriter who needs no introduction to the discerning local music fan. If a crystal clear yet warm vocal, emotive lyrics and wonderfully crafted songs are your sort of thing, then make sure you get to this gig on time.

 

If you are after something more visceral, then The Rolleston may have the answers, as The Keith Thompson Band will be firing off salvos on incendiary blues-rock in the style of Moore and Gallagher.

 

And finally the Sunday afternoon session at The Beehive has what can be best described as “3 in the morning, porch blues” courtesy of David Bristow.