Tag Archive: two man ting


10568792_671452159600192_7578462626234394886_nIn an effort to keep this column hip and groovy I have adopted a new tactic. I could have grown a beard that makes me look like an American Backwoodsman, bought some plaid shirts and started drinking espresso out of a jam jar but that wouldn’t make much difference in the medium of print. Instead I thought I would get on board with the parlance of a Buzzfeed type article to really show that I’m down with the kids. (Do people still say that?) So….

 

This music journalist sat down to write a gig guide and what happened next will blow your mind. No? How about…Here’s 11 gigs that only real music fans will attend. Or, When I saw what this guy had written I cried. Nah, it’s not really me, is it? What about, get off your sofa, turn that TV off and go and support some real live music before I send a cultural hit squad round to sort you out! That’s more my style.

 

And for all of you concerned that the rotation of the same few bands around town is getting a bit predictable, Riffs Bar have a real treat for you tonight. All the way from San Diego, Black Market III mix soulful blues with red hot Americana, Clash style street punk with old school rock ‘n’ roll and are touted as a real “one to watch” band on the international circuit. Support comes from the doom-rock and art-punk experimentation of Sea Mammal and the soaring, grunge-scapes of D.I.R.T.E.

 

 

More hard, electric blues can be found at The Victoria in the shape of John Fairhurst whose band freely mix music traditions from the Mississippi shoreline to The Ganges Delta with bottle neck blues and psychedelia sitting cheek by jowl with Indian Raga and exotic eastern flavours. Think Captain Beefheart and Tom Waits jamming in a Kolkata teashop. Also on the bill are Cook and The Case and personally it has been amazing to watch them evolve through solo singer-songwriter and chilled indie folk genres into a band of unbelievable dynamic shifts and extremes of light and shade. Their music is both reckless and refined but always beautiful. At The Beehive you can catch the Afro-pop and roots sounds of Two Man Ting.

 

By Friday original music gets harder to track down but you can catch Tin Spirits at The Victoria who channel the sound of 70’s progressive rock with their current writing but often treat the audience to some of guitarist Dave Gregory’s XTC back-catalogue. Support comes from Steve Grimmett’s fundraising, classic rock side project Sound Bites.

 

Tributes can be found aplenty going into the weekend, Beatles fans should head for The Rolleston whilst next-door in Level 3 Jilted Generation return to evoke the glory days of The Prodigy. On Saturday you can catch the music of The Stranglers at The Victoria and Iron Maiden at The Rolleston whilst out at Riffs Bar Hot Flex play a range of classic rock covers with support from rock parody outfit Vinyl Matt.

 

A nice slice of punk history rolls into Level 3 on Saturday as ex-Adverts front man TV Smith (pictured) joins the bill for this years Mick Love Memorial Gig. Since the demise of The Adverts, Smith has carved out a highly respected solo career as well as touring with Amen and Die Toten Hosen, anyone who has heard of either of those bands needs to catch him live. The night opens with the Nu-wave, Bowery street punk from Strength in Blunders and goes out with a bang from Charred Hearts, over thirty years in and still fighting the punk wars on their own terms.

 

Sunday has some great acoustic offerings. The Lazy Sunday Afternoon at The Arts Centre Café features Light Falls Forward a band whose EP Sleeptalkin’ I can honestly say is one of the most gorgeous new musical offerings I have heard in a while. They manage to capture a very emotive vocal sound and layer it over a cinematic soundscape that combines a lush ambience with enough drive to keep it in the realms of reflective and dreamlike rather than melancholy. The equally elegant Faye Rogers and your hosts Mr Love and Justice are also to be found there.

Library - 176Another one of those musical embarrassments of riches weeks, so it’s straight on with the show for a change.

Songs of Praise at The Victoria tonight plays hosts to two of its favourites. Headlining are Witney’s Black Hats and if you have ever wondered what a band like The Jam would be doing today given the new musical fashions and technology they would have absorbed and embraced, then these guys might just be the answer. Support comes from chaps of the moment Nudybronque who make the sort of disposable underground pop that you will want to keep forever.

More rootsy offerings can be found at The Beehive where duo, Two Man Ting, an offshoot from Afro-dance favourites La Cod Afrique, mix bright, looping guitar with djembe rhythms to make wonderous world-pop creations. If blues is your thing, young electric blues rockers, Retramantic are at The Rolleston.

The word legend is banded around far to readily these days, but in the case of The Victoria’s Friday night booking it really does apply. Still regarded as the number one sixties soul man, Geno Washington (not a tribute, your actual, real Geno Washington) still knows how to put on a great show, and anyone who inspired a Dexys Midnight Runners song has got to be a legend in my book, even Jocky Wilson, who also heavily influenced the band Darts. Possibly.

The Furnace is playing hosts to a group of bands who are shaping the current face of rock. SkyBurnsRed don’t even have time to type the spaces between the words in their band name but play grunge meets alt-rock with a classical sweep, raw, emotive, aggressive, elemental, dark and sensuous. The Manic Shine also return armed with a second album just brimming over with great tunes and infectious grooves, think classic rock guitar icons being mixed with sub-prog, indie-dance and techno and all delivered with an intensity that has made their live shows legendary. Middlenamekill and Tides of Change kick the night off.

Elsewhere The Great Nothing offer The Rolleston a different take on retro-rock classics or you can opt for old-school rock and roll with Josie and The Outlaw at The Beehive  – miss this show and you can catch them at The Rolleston on Sunday.

Something to shout about again on Saturday at The Furnace as Old Colours bring their gorgeous, cinematic pop-folkiness to bear and if their last show there is anything to go by then it is going to be a real treat. Dub vibes come courtesy of Salisbury’s Badrat and opening the night are Armchair Commitee and Charlie Bath.

I’m resorting to using the “L-word” again as new-wave pioneer Wreckless Eric rocks up at the Rolleston aided and abetted by his wife Amy Rigby (pictured). The combination of the Stiff Records stalwart and the New Yorkers effortless pop (just check out Dancing With Joey Ramone from her back catalogue) makes for a finished sound that is as wonderful as it is unexpected.

It’s covers at Riffs Bar with the Hi-fidels, but my tip is get out there early enough to catch support act NewQuay Times who mix covers and originals in a set that conjures the likes of Lone Justice, Tom Petty and even Throwing Muses.

It’s Sunday and its time for: Warning, warning, gross nepotism alert!! Right you have been warned. At the Beehive afternoon session Driftwood Fairy have popped all the way over from Berlin to deliver some quality folk-rock. The nepotism bit comes when I tell you that none other than Rich Millin, ubiquitous drummer, tutor, connoisseur of three for a tenner wines, friend and twit is at the kit. Not only will you get some great music, I’m sure it is going to be a messy sort of re-union.

Fans of more traditional folk music will want to keep Tuesday night free as Jamie Smiths Mabon bring original Celtic folk to the Arts Centre. On Wednesday there is a bit of a tussle going on for the acoustic fans. The ever-popular Running Horse Sessions will be playing host to Ethemia, a brilliant duo, with an effortless stage presence reminiscent of the recently defunct Civil Wars. Meanwhile, almost every other acoustic act in town is at The Furnace for Teenage Kicks Acoustic Spring Break, no space left to list them all, I’ll leave that up to you.

This week might seem like a lull in the tsunami of musical delights that has engulfed the town of late, but believe me it is just a chance to get your breath back (and save up some more drinking money) before the summer really kicks in with a vengeance. But that’s not to say that amongst this week’s small but perfectly formed list of recommendations there aren’t a few real gems.

Such as at The Beehive tonight were the combined efforts of John Lewis and Jah-man Aggrey, better known as Two Man Ting, weave a magic tapestry of acoustic afro-pop and reggae rhythms which often includes a cover of Willi Williams classic Armagideon Time (punk fans with long memories or their parents record collections will recall this being the B-side to The Clash’s London Calling.)

More roots music farther up the hill with Roots Night at The Victoria with Jim from Hip Route heading the bill, which also contains the acoustic, harmony-fuelled, surf vibe and folk twist of Bournemouth trio Willowen.

The rock option to ease you into the weekend comes at STFC’s The Legends Lounge with an appearance from Limehouse Lizzy. I normally don’t big up the tribute acts but as this is one of the finest re-visits to the classic days of one of my all-time favourite bands – Thin Lizzy, it had to be done.

On Friday in support of their recent album release, The Blood Choir will be playing in Rise Records. Part Portishead atmospherics, part The National’s slow burn grooves and many parts literary references and poetic explorations, this is a great band. And if you like that then you might want to head up to The Victoria that evening for some more truly original bands. I managed to see the headline, Will and The People (pictured), when they were just getting going and they were great then, all reggae vibes youthful exuberance and brilliant moments of vocal harmonics that are shot through with the spirit of Teenage Fanclub or even The Beach Boys. Imagine how good they will be three years on from that.

Support is from Old Colours, cinematic, fragile, windswept and brilliant. In fact, find them online now, play the song Centre Line and try telling me it’s not only the most wonderfully fractured and beautifully layered soundscape you have heard in a long time…unless you actually have no soul.

Having dabbled with everything from space–rock to old-fashioned bogie blues, not to mentioned being touched by the hand of Hawkwind; it’s difficult to know what The Michael Burro Band will have on the menu. The only way to find out is to head along to The Beehive.

Saturday sees something for the young and the …err, not so young down on the corner of commercial road. Downstairs at The Furnace, Teenage Kicks will be offering up the best of the younger element. Rock and metal played out in the form of Wreckoning, Without Consequence, Brink of Reason and making their Swindon debut, The Faint and The Fallen. Meanwhile upstairs in The Rolleston it’s quiffs set to stun and time to dust off the brothel-creepers as psychobilly legends, The Corsairs hit town.

Something a bit more cultured takes place at the M.E.C.A. in the form of a two-course meal and entertainment by The Three Degrees, a group as big as they ever were despite having not boasted an original member since 1976.

One man who has really explored the roots of blues music is Ramon Goose. Having grown up on pre-war Delta Blues in 2010 he turned his attention to it’s West African origins spending time playing with musicians in Dakar and Senegal. The results of that trip and the album that captured its essence can be heard in The Beehive Sunday afternoon.

That evening back at The Rolleston, punk-popsters Disclosure will be mixing up the covers and original tunes in their own brilliant fashion and you never know if you talk to them nicely you might even bag a job as their new bassist.

Finally, Tuesday night Jazz at Baker Street will feature The Kevin Figes Quartet and guitar improviser extraordinaire, Mike Outram.