Tag Archive: white knuckle bride


Beans on ToastWell, after a couple of weeks of gig listings that were quite literally an embarrassment of riches, things have calmed down a bit, but there is still a decent selection to be found on the musical menu this week.

 

Starting in our usual kick off point, the entrée on our acoustical a la carte offer, if you want to take the restaurant analogy to its illogical conclusion, Songs of Praise at The Victoria has a wonderfully intimate, seated show. Known the length and breadth of Old Town, Emily and The Dogs have been cooking up a veritable broth (enough of the culinary references now. Ed) infused with folk, gypsy jazz, blues, emotional resonance and late night reflections. Not a bad way to kick the weekend off. Joining them will be Hennesea –  imagine an acoustic Fleetwood Mac turning on to dream pop and Oliver Wilde who blends acoustica with shimmering technology to make wonderfully woozy experimental pop. And to think I used to play support to his dads band back in the day. Small world.

 

Rustic delights of the Americana variety can be found at The Beehive with this months Acoustic Buzz, featuring home grown bands Blind River Scare and The Open Secrets and all the way from San Antonio, Texas, is Rachel Laven touring her debut album, Unwind.

 

On into Friday and our good friends at Sheermusic are putting on a bit of an alt-folk treat. These days Beans on Toast (pictured) may rub shoulders with nu-folk royalty like Emmy the Great and Olympic warm-up act Frank Turner, but you can catch the man along with Oxygen Thief and Jimmy Moore at The Victoria.

 

Something a bit special at The Castle, all the way from Italy come The Sunny Boys, part Beach Boys part bubblegum punk though not to be confused with the Sydney post punk outfit of the same name. Theirs is a sound that will appeal to fans of Blink 41, Sum 182 and any number of North American bands with long shorts and numbers after their name. Jokes aside this is one of the slickest bands you will hear in town this year.

 

And that last sentence would carry a lot more weight if Dave Gregory’s current musical vehicle, Tin Spirits, weren’t also playing that night over at Riffs Bar. Dave, once part of the cutting edge of new-wave underground pop with XTC, these days revels in the myriad sounds of progressive rock.

 

Saturday at Riffs Bar is still about the rock, but this time, something less subtle, more primal. Anyone who hasn’t experienced Lord Bishop Rocks before really should do themselves the favour of catching this brilliant trio who alchemise Beatles melody, Sabbath’s oppressive weight and James Browns funk, the man is a musical shaman, you have to see it to believe it. Support includes the grunge-metal of Burnthru; trash rockers White Knuckle Bride and Latvian metal crew Burned in Blizzard.

 

Pop Quiz: What do Jay-Z, One Direction, Taylor Swift and Dizzee Rascal have in common? Answer: They have all had their songs ritually murdered by Kova Me Badd. If you want to witness the antithesis of good taste, musicianship and decorum, but do enjoy watching people who should know better make fools of themselves whilst brilliantly ruining chart covers, get up to The Victoria. A more serious offering comes with Grubby Jack and their upbeat and vibrant Celtic and American folk at The Tap and Barrell.

 

If a mix of alt-country, rock and folk sounds like your sort of thing, then Bob Collum and The Welfare Mothers at The Beehive is the place to head to, later that same day the voice of Dr Hook, Dennis Locorriere can be found at The Arts Centre and the jazz-heads will want to be at Baker Street for the potent and graceful piano led Dave Newton Trio.

 

More jazz on Tuesday, again at Baker Street this time with the gratuitous sax of the Kevin Figes Trio and Wednesday, The Running Horse plays host to singer-guitarist Ben Cipolla.

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Library - 204I was amused to read today that in an effort to raise his profile, Robbie Williams has agreed to sell his soul for charity. Williams, whose soul will be sold at Sotheby’s next week said, “ I haven’t used it in a while, in fact I don’t think I have ever used it; I’ve always borrowed other peoples, mainly Guy Chambers.” Robbie is not the first musician to sell his soul; blues legend Robert Johnson did so in the 30’s, striking a Faustian pact with the Devil at a crossroads. Johnson’s soul is now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in America and valued at over $40 million. William’s soul has been set at a reserve price of £850 although a spokesman for Sotheby’s said “We hope it may reach £1000 if Japanese bidders express an interest.”

No gimmicks required for the music I want to recommend to you this week though, just heaps of talent and originality and it goes a bit like this.

Out at Riffs Bar tonight a bit of a new, local, super group is making it’s presence known. Alice Offley, Tiff Townsend, Evie Em-Jay and Gemma Hill are The Lovers and they deliver quality indie pop bathed in sumptuous harmonies, definitely worth catching. Support is from All Ears Avow, a new band rising from the alt-metal ashes of Mortdelamer.

Also a bit special is Grant Starkey at The Victoria, a man who neatly combines upright bass skills, stand-up style interludes and improvised banter; if something along the folk-roots-blues is more your sort of thing then head down to The Rolleston for Sam Green and The Midnight Heist, an act that fuses bluesy Americana with more anglicised folk, think Duane Allman in a musical arm wrestle with John Martyn. And if none of those appeal then The Beehive features the harmonious atmospherics of Anglo-Swedish combo, We Ghosts.

After a well-attended launch show last month, The Secret Chord, a new gig night at Riffs Bar fires it’s opening salvo on Friday. As a bit of a calling card for the quality you can expect,  they have lined up White Knuckle Bride to headline the first proper show. Old school sleaze rock is on the cards, a beautiful collision of razor wire riffs, big choruses, aggression and attitude. Support comes from The Damned and The Dirty who splice similar vibes with via grunge and metal and Oscillator, now returned to the live fray as an originals band.

Back in town and The Costellos unleash themselves upon The Victoria. Last time I saw them they were a five piece but now they have expanded the brass section meaning that there are now seven of the little blighters on stage now. Their music still promises exotic blends of pop, ska, funk, reggae, gypsy jazz and even a waft of punked up mariachi. Sounds like a good night, especially with SN Dubstation and Sigma 12 kicking the night off. The Beehive opts for funked up blues courtesy of Hiproute.

After the hectic launch last weekend, Basement 73 gets down to the business of backing up the promises it made about moving the venues musical focus forward in fine style on Saturday with a great line up. A mixed bag of rock, indie and punk-pop is on offer from The Dead Famous, Hold The Fight, Sell Your Sky and Starlight City. Meanwhile upstairs in The Rolleston, Laurence Jones represents the sound of the new generation of electric blues.

Cole Stacey and Joseph O’Keefe (pictured) are two great musicians in their own right, which is why when they collaborated on the album “ On Hire” the result was an amazing work that resonates with timeless grace, that connects various eras, styles, genres, cultures and even geographical locations without once sounding like a pastiche or parody of any one part of it’s sum. All that at The Beehive Sunday afternoon and afterward head up The Rolleston for another outing for Hiproute’s, Jim Blair, this time minus the rest of the band but with the same amount of groove.

Finally on Wednesday, a bone fide musical icon descends on The Beehive, probably via an alien craft. Ex-Soft Machine and Gong man, Daevid Allen, brings his weird world to town. Expect the unexpected…and probably goblins.

For a more straight forward serving suggestion catch the dulcet tones, introspective lyrics and wonderful harmonies of The Right Hooks at The Running Horse, a great band…..and probably no goblins.

After my beating on about what a rock show people would miss by not coming to the recent Songs of Praise night, here is the video evidence to back things up.

White Knuckle Bride – full set

Bury The Ladybird

Burnthru

So, here’s an interesting test case for you to consider. Swindon seems inundated with classic rock covers and tributes, nothing wrong with that if that’s your thing. Not for me but then neither do I go to art galleries to view forgeries nor eat exactly the same meal every day. It all depends on your chosen cliché…do you believe in “safety in numbers “ (in this case standard musical numbers you have heard before) or is “variety the spice of life?”

Anyway, I digress. The thing to bear in mind with cover and tribute bands is that they would have no living doing what they do if there wasn’t an original band writing those songs in the first place and giving the ammunition with which to load their musical gun. In order to ensure the success of tribute and cover bands in the future you need to have good original bands in the present.

Tonight, rock fans have the chance to put their money where their mouth is. Forget posting “support live music” banners all over Farcebook, lose the trappings of the weekend rock warrior, catch the music as it hits the streets,  if you really care about rock music then Songs of Praise tonight at The Victoria in Swindon is the place to show that you are not just some fair weather music fan.

Yes, it’s a school night but so what? When you have bands of the calibre of White Knuckle Bride, Bury The Ladybird and Burnthru playing for free then there really is no excuse. Three bands that really kick arse. Three bands who you won’t see saturating the local circuit (all three are out of towners). Three Bands keeping alive original music and rocking it hard. Whilst many of the other venues are squabbling over the same half-dozen acts, Songs of Praise again brings you something a bit special and truely original. Tonight you might just hear a standard cover of the future, they have all got to come from somewhere.

 What to do, what to do? Admit that you are only a music fan when you don’t have to make any effort or prove that you are someone who wants to see the genre thrive. As the famous movie quote goes “one of those has a future, one of them does not.”

Be part of the future.

Swindon Advertiser Coverage

Bury The Ladybird review

Gig Details

Spotlight on White Knuckle Bride

It sometimes seems that these days there are as many sub-genres of rock music as there are bands themselves, as a music writer it takes a lot of keeping up with. To know your Gypsy Punk from your Krautrock, your Doom Metal from your Shoegaze or your Riot Grrrl from your Neo-Prog requires no small amount of homework. Tonight’s Songs of Praise show at The Victoria, however, can be summed up very simply, old school rock and roll, a trio of bands that both kick arse and cut the mustard. White Knuckle Bride revel in the sort of street rock that you associated with The Sunset Strip of the mid 80’s, big riffs, big choruses and a live performance charged with aggression and attitude. They are aided and abetted by current tour buddies, Burnthru and coming down from Derby to join them are sleaze merchants Bury the Ladybird (pictured). Rock and Roll it would seem is back on the menu.

 

If that doesn’t take your fancy then maybe some tongue in cheek country and/or western, for The Badass Cowboys play both types, might appeal. This ever-popular band will be at The Beehive and rather than try to describe the band I will let their album titles speak for themselves. Take Me Home Randy Rhodes; Born in the KFC and the truly inspired Portaloo Sunset, I think you get the idea of what they are about.

 

Friday can be summed up in the phrase “ from the sublime to the ridiculous.” For the sublime you should head up to the Arts Centre where violinist Miranda Dale and pianist Paul Turner will be performing not only that most quintessentially English piece, Vaughn Williams The Lark Ascending, but also music by this country’s other big names, Walton, Britten and of course Elgar.

 

At the other end of the spectrum we find ourselves back at The Beehive for Bill Smarme – king of the social club crooners, love guru, connoisseur of fine wines and marmalades, building contractor…apparently.

 

On a more even keel, The Victoria has a cracking line up featuring three of the bands to watch at the moment. The Icarus Youth do a neat line in alchemizing rock, urban and alternative sounds into a slick and quite brilliant final product and if bands such as The Post War Years or Two Door Cinema Club are your thing, then this is the place to be. But as if that wasn’t enough The Blood Choir bring their atmospheric and bleak soundscapes to life and the cinematic folk meets indie pop of Old Colours kicks the night off. Now that is one hell of a line up.

 

The big event for Saturday takes place at The Running Horse where they have gathered together their favourite acts from the past sessions to create The Acoustic Garden Festival, which does pretty much what it says on the tin. There are far too many bands to mention them all but with Faye Rogers, Alice Offley, Bateleurs, Coach and Billyjon on the bill, you can get an idea of the pedigree involved here.

 

Rock fans are going to be like kids in a sweet shop, as they have to choose between, original Status Quo drummer, John Coghlan at Riffs Bar, tributes to Muse and Iron Maiden at The Victoria and The Furnace respectively and some good old R’n’B at The Rolleston with Dickie Reed.

 

The Sabbath kicks up a couple of more chilled options. The aptly named Lazy Sunday Afternoon at The Arts Centre is hosted by Mr Love and Justice, probably one of the most popular bands of the thriving “historical, socio-political, agri-folk, jangle- pop” scene. They are joined by the Jansch-esque Tim Graham and the soothing and ethereal tones of one of my favourite bands of the moment, Rumour Shed.

 

Other laidback serving suggestions are available at The Beehive under the enigmatic title of Incarnations of Matilda. Presumably this will be not only the usual Matilda display of harmony driven blends of folky piano jazz, but after a quick game of musical chairs will feature songs by Emily Sykes and Friends also. Two bands for the price of one, what a bargain.

This may not be the busiest week for music but it is certainly one that pound for pound (can we still say pound and not be fined by the grey suited autocrats of Brussels?) carries a lot of clout. So we will start as we mean to go on with a band all the way from Milwaukee, a city famous for good beer, a life-sized statue of The Fonz and Direct Hit! who play The Furnace tonight. Part Ramones, part Andrew WK it’s raucous punk pop at it’s finest. Who better to support such an act as our own ska-punk superheroes, Slagerij, the almost unpronounceable Priceduifkes from Belgium and intense local hardcore super group, Scythes.

 

And if you think that’s good, wait till you get a load of what’s going on further up the hill. The Victoria plays host to a band who seem to be quickly rising through the ranks and it’s easy to see why. SkyBurnsRed (alloneword!) manage to mix the majesty and sweeping grandeur of the violin with raw alt-rock guitar and complex, eastern vibed rhythms. If that isn’t enough then support comes in the guise of The Naturals, up from Bristol and sounding like a collision between My Bloody Valentine and Sigur Ros, if you can imagine such a thing and The Playmakers who also have more than a touch of the post punk guitar swagger about them and who will be a playing a lunchtime gig at Rise Records before kicking this all off.

 

Middle Earth comes to The Beehive with the story telling meets folk-prog strangeness of Ash Mandrake.

 

Pun of the week must go to Fridays Beehive booking, the legendary Alan Clayson and the Argonauts…geddit? a strange and quintisentially English mix of John Otway style R’n’B, Tom Robinson song crafting and the camp and quirk of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band.

 

A bit out of town but a gig so good it really deserves a mention, The Bell on The Green in Devizes has a great slice of old school rock, headed by ex-Terrorvision man Danny Lamberts current musical vehicle, Hellbound Hearts, a three piece forged of an industrial strength rhythm section and buzz saw guitars. Support comes from White Knuckle Bride, a band who I can’t recommend highly enough and Burnthru.

 

Saturday has something for every one. Back at The Victoria and Cheltenham’s finest alt-country punks Jim Lockey and The Solemn Sun who sit somewhere between the agit-folk of Frank Turner and the anthemic rock of The Gaslight Anthem breeze into town. If that wasn’t enough, Support comes in the shape of the haunting and haunted, sweeping and cinematic Old Colours and new kid on the block Mike Bezzer.

 

Teenage Kicks at The Furnace will cater for the young pop-punksers in town with a cracking line up headed by Beyond The Break and Hands Down with Year of The Thief and Post 12. For the really heavy serving suggestion however, the place to be is at The 12 Bar. South West Hardcore celebrate their first anniversary of running the heaviest sounds in town and as is only fitting they have an all-dayer where you can experience Rising From Death, Lifeline and Sleepwalkers to name just a few.

 

 

For the laid back Sunday lunchtime vibes, you can either head up to The Arts Centre to catch Mr Love and Justice and their blend of retro-pop melodies, folky vibes and socially aware lyrics or The Beehive for Cole Stacey, who not only matches skilful folk arrangements with heartfelt soaring lyrics, but who also comes with Steve  “Show of Hands” Knightley‘s seal of approval. More rootsy music can be found that evening at The Rolleston with the welcome return of ex-Alarm guitarist, Dave Sharp and his brand of blue-collar bluesy Americana.

 

 

In a week of originality, the best is left to last. Detroit popsters, Johnny Headband (pictured), blend synth driven space pop jams with soaring atmospherics and alluring warped disco grooves. It’s as much about the theatricality as it is about the dancebility and if one of the guys on stage at The Victoria looks familiar it’s because he used to be in Electric 6, though for some reason has changed his name from the very reasonable Smorgasbord, to the more unlikely Keith Thompson. Hardly the stuff of rock and roll!

Music is full of potential; the potential to push boundaries, to boldly go and all that (pardon the split infinitive,) to move forward with and even ahead of current imagination, to challenge and make you think. It is indeed a wondrous thing. Sometimes however all you want is something familiar and a bit lowbrow, something that connects with the heart and the foot rather than the head and that is just what Songs of Praise has on offer for you tonight.

Forget following the fickle fashions of music that come and go faster than Kerry Katona’s boyfriends, tonight at The Victoria, it is all about old school rock, albeit dressed in some nice, cliché free contemporary attitude. You may remember White Knuckle Bride from their support slot to Thin Lizzy when they graced The M.E.C.A stage last year: a wholesome blend of rock aggression and glam sleaze. Up from Portsmouth  are Kodiak Jack who sound just like Nickleback think they do and Frome’s Indie-Punkers, Haters.

New kids on the block, Imperial Promotions have their first outing at The 12 Bar, featuring the funked out vibes of Sasquatch Walk (pictured), another outing for those dark and poetic garage rockers, The Dacoits, plus the alt-pop sounds of Lionstate. Add to that acoustic sets from Callum Martin (who was awesome a few weeks ago opening up for Tripwires) Bianca Politzi and Days On Juno and you have the potential for a brilliant night).

The Rolleston is playing host to a band that I really haven’t seen enough of in the last few years. Coach, for it is they, mix up world music grooves, classical sass, laidback vibes and soulful folky pop melodies. Just add a warm evening and a chilled drink and you have everything you could want. And blues aficionados must not miss the chance to catch Kent DuChaine at The Beehive, the real deal in Delta Blues all the way from the Deep South.

Something a bit different at The Victoria on Friday. Dead at 27 is a tribute to all those iconic musicians who were determined not to see 28, but then you know rock musicians and how they feel about the septemvigesimal positional numeral system? Anyway, the great and good of Swindon will be paying tribute to the likes of Brian Jones, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse and more besides.

If you prefer something a bit more heart warming then Prita at The Beehive might be your preferred option who neatly blends layers of looped harmonies, percussion and acoustic guitar into wonderful washes not a million miles away from Norah Jones or a laid back K T Tunstall.

Saturday is all about The Furnace. System of a Clown recreate everyone’s favourite Armenian technical metal-heads and believe me if you think that it would be difficult to do justice to such complex music then you obviously weren’t at their debut outing last year when they nearly destroyed the 12 Bar. A must see.

Loads to do on Sunday, which obviously might interfere with your church commitments, but then God is a big music fan. Joshua had his own jazz band and people are still talking about his gig in Jericho, brought the roof down, apparently.

The Beehive afternoon session is a mix of folk and jazz tinged blues with Sara Coffield and ex-Dr Feelgood front man, Pete Gage. The 12 Bar plays host to an all-dayer with a host of great acoustic acts before it relocates to the main stage for the full on show. There will be punk from The Useless Eaters, Indie from The Fixed. Alice Offley’s piano driven dream pop will be adding a touch of elegance to the proceedings and SkyBurnsRed will be dishing out wonderful swathes of Gypsy Metal. The whole night is rounded off with the beautiful cacophony that is The Racket. And that’s not even the half of it.

The Furnace has a night of rock and hardcore headed up by The Amsterdam Red Light District and The Rolleston has those local rhythm and booze icons, The Hamsters From Hell.

Culture Vultures will have are spoilt for choice mid week between jazz with The Theo Jackson Trio at Baker Street on Tuesday and folk darling Maddy Prior at The Arts centre on Wednesday. Also on Wednesday acoustic entertainment comes courtesy of Drew Bryant and Rich Maya at The Running Horse.

Having a slight break from the usual indie and folky based stuff that forms Songs of Praise’s core, the next show, 5th April to exact is all about THE ROCK!

Last seen opening up for the mighty Thin Lizzy at The MECA, White Knuckle Bride are an intriguing mix of Bay areapunch, Sunset strip sleeze and a decidedly English vibe. Joining them are Angry Badger Records signings Kodiak Jack who mix grunge with classic rock and have been described as “Soundgarden, Velvet revolver and Pearl jam having a fight”. Up from Frome to open the show are Haters who grind indie and punk together to form a sound somewhere between Billy Talent and The Hives.

More info here