It doesn’t seem a year ago that I was walking down Victoria Hill late at night, in a state of dancing bliss, having just subjected myself to two afternoons and four evenings of brilliant music.

This weekend I get to do it all over again and that can mean only one thing – the Swindon Shuffle is upon us.

These days, due to the fiscal restraints and a general waning of support brought on by a lack of disposable income, the event now centres on just three venues, The Beehive, The Platform and The Victoria.

Every year there is debate about the perceived insular nature of the event, but here’s a context for you: The Shuffle was basically set up by a couple of music fans, built on the generosity of venues, public support and as a vehicle to celebrate local music and raise money for charity along the way.

The fact that it is still here in this, it’s fifth year, in any form at all, is something of an achievement and if you want to see it continue and evolve then all you have to do is get your glad rags on, go out, watch a few bands and have a few drinks. Not much to ask is it?

Imagine if somewhere down the line the Shuffle involved all the venues and music pubs in town all hosting their own event under the one banner... that would be quite a celebration of local musical talent.

Remember, the first 10 years of Glastonbury festival amounted to little more than three camper vans, a bunch of working class hippies playing to a bunch of middle class hippies and a dog on a string call Colin, and look at it now. Get involved people!

The Shuffle kicks off tonight at The Victoria, with legendary punk duo 2 Sick Monkeys and soul outfit The Wildtones taking the top slots.

Friday is when it all really gets moving and the line-up everything from the acoustic-driven world vibes of Coach to the intense garage rock of Hotel 75, the funky power grooves of Body Glass and the euphoric rock rave of Shuffle favourites Old School Tie.

By Saturday there are four sets on offer. The afternoon at the Victoria is a more laidback affair with the chilled acoustic indie pop of The Jess Hall Band, the upbeat Americana of the Doubtful Guest and the glorious indie-folk of The Off Chance.

Also in the afternoon The Platform will be catering for the younger crowd with a line-up including the brilliant acoustic and vocal intricacies of Guitar Stools and Cigarettes and, fresh from rubbing shoulders with Basement Jaxx, The Costellos.

The evening sees The Beehive get involved and their night is based around band reunions – Babytrain, Jacksauce, Zebracoat and Big Casino will be treading the boards one more time in a nostalgia trip par excellence which should bring a few old faces out of the woodwork.

Back at The Victoria for the evening and Napoleon in Rags bring their exuberant indie sounds to bear on the venue, but also ones to watch are the cinematic soundscapes of Anchor and The Wolf, the lusciously dark, heavy rock of So Am I and ska-punk mayhem from Slagerij.

Sunday afternoon at The Beehive has a distinctly chilled flavour to it, with the haunting and minimal sound of Rumour Shed, a rare outing for the slick, musical sophisticates Matilda, all topped off with old school ska and reggae from The Erin Bardwell Collective and wonderful blends of pop, blues, rock and jazz from Kola Koka.

Once the dust clears and the glasses are drained there is just time to head up to The Victoria for the final session headed up by the dark and poetic garage rockers The Dacoits and the ultimate tongue-in-cheek cover band Kova Me Badd. Now that’s a party.

Riffs Bar are also hosting their own festival this weekend, a sort of anti-Shuffle if you like, and the three nights are headed by a Faux Fighters acoustic set on Friday, Dirt Royal on Saturday and Secret Lives on Sunday.

Also in the mix are Nudy Bronque, The Loves plus Him and His Brother.

Without commenting on the timing of this event or the fact that they felt the need to call it The Skuffle, there is some great music to be had here too, but it does seem quite indicative of the disunity on the music scene at the moment. So, if you are not doing any of that what else is there for you? Well, tonight sees the welcome return of The Colorado at The 12 Bar – intricate and atmospheric post rock at its best. Support comes from Cornish alt-rockers A New City and the sonic onslaught that is Mr Hello and His Honesty Club. If the idea of Black Sabbath jamming with The Fall and The Birthday Party doesn’t scare you too much, then check this new band out.

Browfort are an interesting proposition, referencing such post luminaries as Chumbawamba, The B52s and Talking Heads. Check them out at The Rolleston tonight.

The big noise on Saturday is none other than Paul Carrack at the Old Town Bowl, a man who has graced the likes of Ace, Squeeze, Mike and The Mechanics and Roxy Music. Ben Montague and Theo Altieri join him on the bill.

Acme Live bring a whole package of energy to The 12 Bar on Sunday. Flawless pop-punk comes in the form of The Headstarts, Hot Damn and Sell Your Sky plus post-hardcore/rave mayhem courtesy of Let the Games Begin.

Tuesday provides your last time to see Galleries for a while as this eclectic indie, folk, punk, whatever-else-takes-their-fan band will be on hiatus trying to work out what they did with their drummer.

They are at Riffs Bar and are supported by Georgie Vale and The Street Orphans.

To be honest, I have only mentioned a small part of what you can see this week, but with the Gods of The Word Count glaring down from above, all I can say is check the various websites for a fuller picture and enjoy the music wherever you end up.