TODAY marks the birthday of a number of people whose contribution to the musical canon was nothing short of brilliant.

Nazareth’s Pete Agnew, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Steve Gaines and Paul Kossoff from Free represent the rock and roll contingent but also on the list are Morten Harket of Aha and The La’s main man John Power.

The most recent name on the birthday call is Amy Winehouse, whose trials and tribulations during her music career can maybe be best summed up by the iconic Tony Bennett who said “You’ve got to live long enough to know how to live.” It is intriguing to try to imagine what the last 6 years since her untimely death would have yielded for her musically.

Still, on to more positive thoughts and although there are fewer musical options on the table than last week’s flurry of all-dayers and big name happenings, there is still a wonderful mix of music to suit most tastes.

For example, if you don’t have any prior engagements tonight, how about a Pryor engagement? Lee Pryor, for that is his name, will be easing you into the weekend at The Groves Company Inn with some deft and delicate renditions of classics from the 60’s and 70’s, Bowie to Bread, Neil Young to “Sweet Baby James” Taylor.

I often find the term “British-Americana” a bit of a strange term, but anyone who has toured with Steve Earle and The Handsome Family (gothic Americana anyone?) and recorded his latest album in Nashville itself is more deserving of the title than most. Christopher Rees can be found at The Beehive tonight blending those two musical worlds into his own unique sound.

And very much in the style of a Spotify recommended artist list, I will say that if The Beehive’s Thursday offering is your cup of Java then their Friday option is probably also for you. Open Secrets are a blend of modern big country vibes and old time mountain music, bluegrass and campfire songs; it is original, emotionally deep and highly recommended.

At The Victoria something from the other end of the musical spectrum is on the cards. Slagerij are the pop-punk success story of recent times, the last ten years has seen them tour the world... and beyond, reminding us that music doesn’t always have to be clever when it is this big! They bring their current tour with Los Angeles stalwarts Orange to town for a night of infectious punk-pogo-power-pop of the infectious, incendiary and intense kind.

The Groves Company Inn will be jiving and jumping to the beats, bounce, twang and twist of The Hepcat Trio, raunchy and raucous rockabilly from the hippest felines in town and Penfold bring a party of their own making, from iconic pop to slick R&B and from anthemic rock to emotive indie and everything in between to The Queen’s Tap.

Saturday night features more than its fair share of rock bands such as Evolution who blend originals and covers from The Cult’s biker goth post-punkery to Bon Jovi’s stadium ready sing-alongs at The Fox and Hounds to recently reunited, legendary Stroud outfit Kaos playing visceral and original classic rock at The Groves Company Inn.

The Hamsters From Hell can be found at The Queen’s Tap, a mix of ragged R&B (that’s the pre-punk, pub rock, Dr Feelgood variety rather than the lip-synched girl group, pop pap that makes up todays chart fodder) punky attitudes and grit and groove if ever there was one.

The Victoria sees the return of its, always popular, Bands and Burlesque nights; dance, sass, cheek and a touch of sauciness can be found on stage with music from the eclectic Spidasense; winners of Horsham Battle of the Bands People’s Choice Awards (covers), Ichiro and retro rockers Nemesis, all helping to raise money for Swindon Night Shelter.

At The Sun Inn at Coate you can find acoustic folk from The Parsons, the new musical vehicle for Jenny Bracey and Jimmy Moore.

Finally, Sunday offers your last two musical fixes in the form of WMD, a veritable ten-legged party machine, at The Tap and Barrel and Down and Dirty bringing their encompassing rock menu, from prog. to punk and from metal to country to the aforementioned Sun Inn.