IN what appears to be their last full band bill for a while, in Swindon at least, Songs of Praise bow out with a bit of a rock and roll treat for you on Thursday.
Spearheading the attack is Falls on Deaf Ears, last seen opening up for the awesome Last Great Dreamers and now back with a headline slot from which to fire off salvos of sleazy, bluesy, incendiary street rock.
Another local rock outfit, Serafine, opens the night but if you are one of those people who don’t bother watching the unknown out of town middle band, then you will certainly be missing a treat.
Even Nine has found a way of taking the instant hook and inherent melody of a pop approach and weld it onto a driving, urgent and robust rock vehicle. Rock music with a degree in grooving? Pop music on steroids? Who cares, just don’t miss them.
At The Beehive The Travelling Talesman will be in residence and, in his “very much does what it says on the tin” approach, brings the stories, poetry, sagas, fables, legends and folk myths of the world to life through the spoken word.
Friday brings a couple of slices of retro-goodness to the table. The first, Red Hot Trio and The Strays at The Rolleston prove that whilst having one eye on the traditions of the past, rockabilly can also be forward thinking, fresh and laced through with modern touches.
But if you want something a bit more tongue in cheek then you should head to The Beehive for Bill Smarme and The Bizness.
Bill Smarme – international comedy entertainer, builder, and tikka masala connoisseur – will be leading his band through some wonderful plagiarisms, reworked classics and musical jokes taken to their illogical conclusions. And if you think it all sounds a bit silly, it is, brilliantly silly, so lighten up a bit and go and catch possibly one of the top three bands to come out of Twerton.
When not driving the current incarnation of Groundhogs, drummer extraordinaire Ken Pustelnik can be found at the back of Snatch It Back, another brilliant blend of high-octane, psychedelic, blues-rock delivering, timeless standards, classic covers, pre-owned, pre-loved songs, original creations and, if you are lucky, a dip into ‘Hogs back catalogue. Experience all of that at The Queens Tap.
The Faux Fighters pay tribute to Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters at The Victoria, so expect a night of alt-rock, post-grunge… call it what you will, big, accessible tunes that have a wonderfully melodic backbone.
The Killertones bring their bag of ska, reggae and punk classics to The Groves Company Inn and at The Swiss Chalet, Lads, Lads, Lads deliver a set made up of everything you know and love from the radio friendly sector of contemporary music.
Fieldview is the biggest local festival success story of recent times. A careful selection of acts has seen it grow from a boutique gathering to a compact and bijou going concern in just 10 years. On Saturday they will be giving you a little teaser of the event to come with a launch show at The Victoria.
The True Strays kick things off with a set of delta rock and roll and late night, foot stomping, blues hoedowns.
Street Spirit offer a more cinematic indie sound and headliners The Tribe mix up dance grooves, pop infectiousness, hip-hop and reggae vibes and alternating rap and soulful vocals. Sounds like one hell of a night if you ask me.
At The Rolleston, the old allies of punk and reggae get back together with the reunion of Captain Accident and the Disasters, and 2 Sick Monkeys.
One brings the soulful rock, roots reggae, ska, dub & rocksteady, the other brings the sweary, high impact punk onslaught.
Afterwards downstairs at Level III, Doom is a club night offering rock, punk, metal (classic and nu-), goth and more, so all of those people who spend all their time online moaning about how great the club was in the late 90s will obviously be heading along for this reboot of the old
Plenty of covers and familiar tunes to be had elsewhere with The Ultimate Band at The Queens Tap, Echo at The Swiss Chalet and The Shambles at The Locomotive, but if you want a different take on it, then Kova Me Badd at The Groves Company Inn are the way to go. A band that is both a tribute to every song you never want to hear again plus their own ineptitude. What could possibly go wrong? Everything and it will be fantastic.
Finally, on Wednesday, Sheer Music has managed to entice Boston Manor to play Level III. Pop-punk redefined for the modern age and a night that also contains Welsh alt-rockers Casey, local outfit A Way With Words and Heartwork, here in solo mode but do check out his brilliant new full band album.