I GUESS it is only natural that after a couple of weeks which have included a full on, long weekend, in house festival, a battle of the bands heat for a major festival, has seen musical heroes reliving past glories and more than one US artist pass through the parish boundaries, things would seem a bit quieter afterwards.
The post-gig drop, as it is known in some quarters. Quieter, yes, but not devoid of musical options.
There are a lot of Beatles tribute bands out there. There are almost as many punk tribute bands out there. There aren’t many that combine both. The Beat Holes are the sonic result of what might have happened if history had take a different path, one resulting in Johnny Rotten or Dee Dee Ramone finding themselves in the place of Lennon and McCartney. Beatles tunes delivered via incendiary guitars, punk swagger and tongues firmly in cheeks. Catch them at The Victoria tonight.
Level III offers a night of fantastic alternative rock headed up by the lo-fi slacker grunge of Brighton reprobates Broadbay, and check out their EP Long Term Plan, especially if you like the idea of stumbling across a long lost 90s college rock record that somehow fell through the cracks of history.
Leeches bring wonderfully meandering, fuzzy alt-rock to the party and Gender Roles play with similar hazy rock vibes. Local lads GETRZ open the night and I would like to tell you a bit about their sound but they seem to have cultivated an on-line anonymity normally reserved for winners of The Voice.
As the names suggests The Dylegans (a hybrid of Dylan and Donegan?) play songs from the early rock and roll, skiffle and folk revival era via acoustic guitar and upright bass, with a particular penchant for the songs of his Bobness and the aforementioned Lonnie. Catch them at The Groves Company Inn. Go crazy bring a washboard and rattle along.
At The Queens Tap on Friday there is a second chance to catch The Beat Holes and Pyrates! bring their own brand of folk to The Victoria. These flying Dutchmen not only deliver sea shanties, old folk traditions and sing-along songs, they do so in full pirate regalia. Maritime mayhem ahoy!
WMD can be found at The Castle with a whole set of iconic hits and party favourites from across the years and deftly hopping any generic divides as do System D who are at The Rolleston.
Saturday is Record Store Day, a chance to pick up any number of exclusive pressing and rare releases issued just for the occasion. On top of that Red House Records will have a couple of special guests to mark the occasion. Experimental folk guitarist and one of the most mesmerising and charismatic acts you will come across, Nick Harper will be performing in store and NWOBHM stalwart Steve Grimmett will be there to sign his back catalogue.
Nuttyness bring all the crazy antics and memorable hits of Madness to The Victoria whilst a similar vibe from a similar era can be found at The Castle with Going Underground and their tribute to all things ska, punk and new wave.
Rock is also on the menu as Stop Stop brings its own personal take to The Groves Company Inn. Think 80’s hair metal, The Sunset Strip, big riffs...bigger hair, raw grooves, guitar excess and a bag of killer tunes. This band has got it all. Glam, bam, thank you mam!
And finally the other end of the broad rock spectrum can be found at Level III when punk survivor and musical legend Charlie Harper unleashes UK Subs on the public at large. Furious old-school punk and visceral rock and roll from a man who has been there right from the start.
Like I said, not the busiest of weeks but something to keep everyone happy.
All about... No One Knows Me - Billy Roberts and The Rough Riders
SITTING here slightly fragile after a night watching Dallas rocker with a country swagger, Tommy Hale to be precise, tear a hole where The Rolleston’s stage used to be, the latest release from Billy and the boys feels like the perfect after party music.
Not that I have the energy to party. But that same blend of southern groove, garage rock grunt and country licks seems very appropriate right now.
Know One Knows Me drives on a solid, relentless backbeat and bass pulse, time and tide may wait for no man and neither does this song. Alex Quinn’s spiralling guitars and Billy’s vocals, a combination of world wise and world weary, vie for the lead role and then settle for compromise and harmonise as the song builds.
If California has The Blasters, a band that captured the country vibe but then represented it to the world via a harder, punk edged rock and roll delivery, Billy Roberts and The Rough Riders are doing the same job on the other side of the world.
Okay, it isn’t going to please the purists but I’m sure it will turn a lot of people on to the idea of what country music can be, whilst delivering some consistently solid tunes along the way.
If there is such a thing as alt-country, then this is definitely it.