I have spent part of this weekend wondering why we can’t spread our bank holidays out a little bit more. With Easter being late this year we are in the midst of a quick-fire sequence of three long weekends within six weeks or so, and this appears to be doing nothing for the fortunes of live music in the town as schedules get packed for these dates, dividing an audience who are already looking at saving their pennies for the other upcoming long weekends, and the family time these bring. From what I saw and have heard about from venues there have been some mixed attendances with some shows not drawing anywhere near the numbers expected or deserved, which is a shame and potentially puts bands off returning. And it has also resulted in that other by product of the bank holidays, a pretty quiet week this week with very little to enthuse me personally. But, let’s get on with it and see if there is anything going on that inspires you lot!
Let’s start our Thursday options at the top of the hill and work downwards. The Victoria has a revivalist punk show on tonight as another original member of the class of ’77 roll into town in the shape of The Lurkers, known for some cracking socially conscious songs, which they still chuck out with little regard for propriety or advancing years. Support is from excellent local retro punk band Strength In Blunders and Scottish pop-punkers The Murderburgers (band name of the week surely?).
Half way down the hill is a very different show at The Beehive featuring Warren James, a guitar and banjo player with a neat line in turbo charged acoustic-roots, country, skiffle & blues. Thursdays offering finishes off at The Weighbridge where Gilmour & Jaz will be entertaining with their own blend of Jazz, Blues and Latin guitar songs, a brilliant and fun show that really does conjure up that holiday feeling.
Moving in to the weekend The Victoria have a grunge tribute double header with Sirvana – a tribute to Nirvana from local originals band The Starkers, and Earl Jam, an excellent nod to Seattles other massive musical export. The Beehive provide us with pointed social commentary from Kitchen Sink Dramas as Steve Leigh proves that the art of protest and political observation in song has thankfully not died out. The Queens Tap feature the fantastic rootsy slide guitar antics of Hip Route, the sort of act that generally leaves you wondering just how the hell did he do that?
Meanwhile, The Rolleston offer us Rockabilly Rumble, a band that does what it says on the tin, although with The Corsairs playing at The Messenger on the same night this audience is going to be a little divided! The New Inn have rock, indie and punk covers from The Hyperbolics and this week’s Acoustic Session at Riffs features fine song writing from Pete Taylor and another outing for regular face David Waddington.
Plenty of covers around on Saturday as is traditional starting with The Monkeydolls own special take on popular and not so popular indie, punk and rock songs at Woodlands Edge. The Castle has 80’s style rock covers from Hot Flex and ska, mod and punk tunes are the order of the day from the always popular Going Underground at The Rolleston.
Meanwhile The Victoria have the bawdy boys of Pyrates to entertain with a set of Pirate themed folk songs and fancy dress. Support is from the brilliant indie-country-rock of The Shudders.
There are three picks on Sunday unusually, with Acoustic Country and Bluegrass at The Beehive from the Kelly Lee Band, Michael Ian Brown at The Castle and Jazz Pianist Adam Biggs and the rest of his trio at The Plough in Old Town. It is more Jazz for our final stop of the week, this time at Baker Street for Ian Bateman, a highly regarded trombonist (a word that always brings a smile to my face, childishly).