As you may have noticed, there is someone different at the helm of this column this week. I will be keeping the seat warm for a few weeks as Mr Franklin has a break, but fear not, it will be business as usual, albeit perhaps with less eloquence and simpler words.
I know Dave usually starts with a sometimes witty, sometimes irreverent and often allegorical introductory paragraph, but I find myself drawing a bit of a mental blank. Maybe it is first week nerves, possibly the fact that the bank holiday chocolate-fest has somewhat beaten me and is certainly in part down to the brain frying research conducted to populate this column. My one tip to promoters and venues in the area is make sure it is easy to find out what you have going on. If I can find out about it easily, chances are, so can potential customers!
Anyway, I am here to talk about gigs, so here is my round up of where to direct your attention if you want to catch some live music this week. We start things off at The Victoria as tonight they present classic punk band UK Subs (pictured), one of the original class of ’77 who are still going strong and releasing decent new material. This is all the more impressive when you look at the state some of the other icons of punk are in these days. Support ably comes from brilliant local ska-punkers Slagerij, who are regular features on the national circuit themselves.
Out at Riffs there is a fundraising show to help some local charitably-minded young folks head out to Kenya to do some good. The line-up so far appears to be mainly acoustic and features the guitar gymnastics of Jimmy Moore, acoustic indie- pop of The Illustrations and Abi James with more to be confirmed. Down at The Beehive they host Claude Bourbon, a brilliantly named finger-pick guitarist who fuses jazz and classical styles with all sorts of other folk influences.
The most interesting show of the night is to be found at The Arts Centre as self-styled “Fip Fok” act Coco & The Butterfields come to town (that’s a blend of Folk, Pop and Hip Hop for those not genned up on the genre). A Kent based 5 piece, their colourful, energetic & crowd-stamping songs should raise the roof of the venue.
Friday throws up the standard covers fare with Toxic at The Victoria and Karl Brookes at The Tap & Barrel both churning out a variety of modern tunes. Meanwhile, original music can be found down at The Rolleston in the shape of Jelly, a band playing their own punk styled songs, supported by local punk covers act The Useless Eaters. This week’s Acoustic Session at Riffs features one of Ethemia’s regular appearances along with the excellent folk infused country-rock of The Shudders.
There is plenty happening on Saturday, especially if you like your big-ticket tributes. The Victoria has Foreigners Journey, which does what it says on the tin – the songs of MOR legends Foreigner and Journey whilst Riffs have The Red Hot Philly Peppers, again, what it says on the tin, whilst there are Johnny Cash covers at Brookhouse Farm and modern pop and indie covers from Humdinger at Woodlands Edge. Down at The Rolleston there is the charming sounding “Southern Cider Punk With An Irish Twist” of Mick O’Toole. So if the folk-punk of The Pogues, Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys is your idea of a cracking night out then get down to this with your best drinking trousers on.
Also on Saturday, The New Inn are hosting the always excellent Erin Bardwell collective and their original 60’s inspired reggae / rocksteady sound whilst at the Arts Centre is the nomadic pairing of Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate who perform a mad fusion of afrobeat, hip-hop, folk, and reggae, and combination that sounds like a must hear to me.
The weekend tails off on Sunday with original songs, guitar instrumentals and classic ‘folk’ covers from Pete Jagger at The Beehive, Charlotte Fox at The Castle and Oliver Wakeman & Gordon Giltrap’s Ravens & Lullabies play at The Victoria – something of a prog-rock supergroup so dust off your wizards outfits.