Tag Archive: ultimate band (the)


1957678_404715793024462_9220940296262886703_oAs is often the way, we have to skip over tonight’s options, or lack thereof, and head straight on into Friday and to make up for such a gap in the calendar let’s start with something pretty special as Level III sees one of my favourite alt-rock bands of recent years hit the stage. Rewire The Time Machine (pictured) is a hard-hitting four-piece, weaving desert-blues and grunge intensity through dynamic and constantly shifting rock music. Doesn’t sound a bad way to start the week if you ask me.

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16807137_10155794267854056_5740058919034121743_nWhilst most of the music on offer this week is more concerned with reliving past favourites, of offering sonic comfort zones and reminding you why you fell in love with music in the first place, the week does start out with some strides being made into new musical pastures. One such band is Lewis Clark and The Essentials who can be found at The Beehive tonight.

If you have not yet seen this regular visitor to the local circuit, I can assure you that this is band you really need to check out. Although on paper you would have to describe them as an acoustic folk and blues fusion, in reality they are much more than that. They are soulful, dexterous, effortlessly cool, and musically economical, they make every note and lyrical line count and are the perfect band to restore your faith in creativity and originality.

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10838049_805409206181876_6692365775109408289_oThe Beehive is renowned for giving new things a try, and never more so than with the music that it books to grace its compact and bijou playing area. Tonight is no exception as The Fresher and Angel Collective will be doing their thing there. And if you thought that acoustic music is largely the territory of bearded, ageing folkies, hipsters in wide brimmed hats and Ed Sheeran wannabes, then these guys and their blends of pop, soul, funk and hip-hop will give you a whole new perspective on things.

There has been a real buzz lately about the new musical happenings from a couple of the ex-XTC chaps under the TC&I moniker. I’m pretty sure if you are following those developments with keen interest or are just a fan of the original band in general then you will want to be down at The Rolleston on Friday for Fossil Fools. This, the UK’s only tribute to Swindon’s most famous sons, will relive the nature of those early gigs and of course given their premature move away from live performance give you a chance to appreciate many of the later songs beyond their recorded confines.

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22050281_1509919725735598_1001761715661952264_nStuck as we are between the recent Bank Holiday glut of live gigs, heading into the heart of the summer sporting diary and with festival season about to go into full swing, not to mention having a rare run of good weather that means that people are opting for pub garden and home barbecue’s rather than heating for the hot and claustrophobic gig environment, has resulted in not a great deal to report on this week from the live music trenches. There is also the small matter of pubs gearing up for that World Cup that seems to be all the rage these days. But to make up for the lack of choice, the options you do have dictate that it is a week where quality, not quantity, is the order of the day.

Like The Sarah C. Ryan Band at The Victoria tonight. Just as often found performing in solo mode, her blend of rootsy pop is taken to new levels when she has both the additional nuance and extra drive wielded by a full band. Expect a mix of her own deft creations writ sonically large and a few pre-loved classics along the way.

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27503378_1049985821809631_747397107544723842_o.jpgIt’s a controversial issue for sure and at the risk of sounding like one of these music snobs that you always hear about, I am going to raise the point anyway. You could consider covers and tributes as the mass entertainment of the live gigging circuit and original music as the way to ensure that things keep moving forward. Both are required. The former largely keeps venues and music pubs in business these days, the latter feeds into the wider music system and bigger, further flung venues to keep musical evolution a going concern. I only mention this because this week I have been unable to find many original gigs to fill this column and that does beg the question that without that input of new creativity what does the future look like? Is new music taking place outside the traditional live venue circuit? Are we locked into a rose-tinted era of comfort and familiarity? Where will new music come from if not the small, grassroots venues? Enough speculation, on to business.

Blues is on the menu at The Beehive tonight as Built For Comfort offer up the sound of traditional Chicago blues with a few detours through the Memphis and New Orleans scene, expect sultry guitars, organ flourishes (steady) and some solid grooving music. Also following a traditional route but this time down an English folk pathway Splat The Rat take rustic songs from the days of yore and update them for the modern audience at The Victoria.

The one totally original show I could find this week takes place at The Tuppenny and features the welcome return of Phil Cooper (pictured) as he promotes his most excellent and highly recommended new album Thoughts and Observations. He blends the likes of Crowded House and David Gray’s deft pop through his own enlightening songs. Also on the bill is Sarah C. Ryan and her own take on folk and roots infused guitar pop.

Friday sees two helpings of old-school rock for your enjoyment. Firstly at The Victoria Rorke’s Drift and Black Rose line up a set of iconic numbers from the halcyon days of the genre delivered with all the power and the glory of those original bands. Those of a less nervous disposition might wish to head over to The Swiss Chalet for a slice of The Chaos Brothers. They aim to “play the Three Chords of Freedom to an unsuspecting and largely uncaring world” but the reality is that they generally play punk, rock, glam and metal to a rowdy and drunken gathering.

If something smoother and more considered is required then The Soul Man at The Grove’s Company Inn is the gig for you, especially if the golden age of soul, Wilson Pickett, Sam Cooke, The Drifters and the like is your cup of honeyed sonic tea. The Ultimate Band bring the wide appeal of the function band and a diverse and infectious mix of music to The Queen’s Tap whilst Monkey Dolls at The Castle play songs which you probably know but are less likely to hear from your average cover band.

Nuttyness pay tribute to Camden Town’s finest skanking, 2-tone revivalists, Madness, at The Victoria on Saturday so expect a night of ska-pop fun and frolics and all the hits and iconic songs that you know and love. Also playing some groovesome and accessible tunes is Felix and the Funk who will be filling the Haydon Wick Club with all the iconic sonic moments from funk (natch) pop, soul, reggae, dance and disco. Rugs will be cut, wigs will be flipped and dance floors filled.

Funk and rock pair up at The Queen’s Tap as Patsy Gamble and Wishbone Ash’s Muddy Manninen mix up groove, blues, funk, rock and soul into covers and originals at The Queen’s Tap as they lead Hipkiss through their musical moves, Penfold break out the party tunes at The Castle and Stripped take things down a notch or two with acoustic renditions of all your favourites at The Manor.

The Coleview Community Centre starts two days of music with Locarno Beat’s 60’s hits package followed by Get Carter’s pop rock and indie covers on Sunday. Also on Sunday The Revolvers will be bringing a touch of ska to The Duke of Edinburgh.