It was none other than Noel Coward who thought it “extraordinary how potent cheap music is”. Then again he did bang on a bit too much about mad dogs, sunstroke and stately homes, so is he to be trusted?

We may not be blessed with an inundation of big name bands playing in town or have facilities for much classical or operatic music, but we do excel at smaller contemporary bands, at very affordable, often free, entrance prices. I’m sure Noel was being sarcastic when he uttered those words, but maybe the old boy was on to somethng.

A good example of this is the fact that you can catch free music tonight at both The Rolleston and The Beehive. The former has some wonderful traditionalist folk from the Sodbury’s whilst up the hill Dave Gregory’s Tin Spirits will be playing covers and a few XTC numbers from his former days.

Dub reggae stalwarts, Dreadzone, are holding court at the 12 Bar on Friday setting out to prove just why they were firm favourites of the late, great John Peel and why it is now illegal to host a British music festival that dosn’t have them somewhere on the bill. The Erin Bardwell Collective get the party started.

Meanwhile The Victoria are offering something more straight down the line, rock and roll in the form of Bath four-piece, Ulysses.

Some bands like to push boundaries, but these guys are happy to just deliver melody rich, chorus driven, foot stampers, with lashings of cowbells for good measure. Nice!

More Reggae at The Victoria the same night with The Shocks of Mighty Sound System spinning the fab and groovy waxings…that is to say Dj-ing and progressive reggae from live band The Raydiators.

Also on Saturday, The Furnace will be subjected to the dulcet tones of Christian metal, courtesy of hardcore bible-bashers Rising from Death. Up and coming Birmingham band Pray For Divinity are amongst the support acts.

The Beehive has The Immediate Sect playing old-fashioned power pop this Sunday afternoon and all of the smart people will be at Riffs later that same evening for Dan Clews.

After paying his dues as a travelling and busking musician, Dan has been compared to the likes of Rufus Wainwright and picked up support slots with Bloc Party, Jeffrey Lewis, Air Traffic, The Good Books, Clear Lake and The Brute Chorus. Catch him playing a stripped down version of his show before his full UK tour hits the road. He’s not bad for an ex-strawberry farmer!

I suspect I’m not alone in wondering why music shops have never included a provincial, socio-political, agrarian, folk-pop category. I am? Well please yourselves. However, with the release of the Mr Love and Justice’s glorious Watchword album, HMV will surely soon bow under the pressure. Their music is infectious, lyrically astute, with Byrds-esque harmonies and a definite rural feel, but it’s much more than Andy Warhol’s, oft misquoted, adage about being, “farmers for fifteen minutes.” Catch them live and pick up this highly recommended album at the launch party at the Victoria on Monday.

And finally, Blackheart will be mixing various musical strands and genres into their unique “urban folk” sound at The Beehive on Wednesday.

And that’s another week’s worth of which bar you should be leaning against and what date to do it on. See you at one or another of those.