One of the things I have noticed during my time compiling this guide, has been the over-abundance of music that appeals to the older generations – classic rock, Blues and Jazz etc, whilst there seems to be a dearth of new music that should appeal to younger audiences. Now, I realise that in part this is because most of our venues are pubs and other licensed venues that under 18’s are not welcome in, and the older generations tend to have more money, but it leaves me wondering what the younger folks are doing musically these days? What are they listening to and where? Surely they are not all hidden in their bedrooms streaming free music online and playing Xbox? When I was in my late teens and early twenties I was constantly at live music events, checking out anything that appealed. Are venues and promoters missing out on a whole slice of the market? Or do the younger generations really not give a monkeys about live music anymore? I wish I knew. In the meantime, as I ponder this dilemma, let’s take a look at what is actually going on this week.
As is recent tradition, we kick off proceedings for tonight at The Victoria where the latest Songs Of Praise show is a bit of a loud one. Headlining are Swindon metallers Sleep Inertia – formerly The Dead Lay Waiting, a band who had started to make serious progress nationally with slots at Download Festival and the like. Since parting ways with their vocalist and reforming, they have shaken the goth-metal tag and gone more growly and grown up. It is a welcome return to Swindon for the support acts The Manic Shine and Mind Museum, two bands playing brilliant slabs of energetic and melodic alternative-rock in the vein of Biffy Clyro but with more oomph.
If you prefer your music with less crunch then Riffs is the place as indie-pop band Talk In Code launch their new album of stadium ready anthems. Support is from the excellent A Way With Words, a Swindon band who have impressively managed to worm their way on to the main stage at Wychwood Festival later this month.
Also on Thursday The beehive host Oxfordshire Singer / Songwriter Rachael Gittus and Candian Violinist Dave Allen, who has some pedigree having toured with The Cowboy Junkies, whilst down at The Weighbridge Gilmore & Jaz return.
Friday presents an eclectic line up of bands. There is Rockabilly at The Castle from Corsairs, class local folk music at The Rolleston from Grubby Jack and The Ramonas, a superb all girl tribute to the mighty Ramones at The Victoria with support from indie-grunge lads The Starkers.
This week’s Acoustic Session at Riffs is eclectic, featuring Antoine Architeuthis, a bouzouki playing folk singer / songwriter from Salisbury alongside With Nell & I, a six-piece soul and funk band from Devon via Bristol, although as this is the Acoustic Sessions I presume they will be somewhat pared back?
Saturday you can catch pop and rock covers all over the place with Tin Shack Band at The Woodlands Edge, Angel Up Front at The Royal Oak and The Hyperbolics at The Waggon & Horses in Basset. There is more rock, less pop from Bad Obsession at The Rolleston and The Ray Jones Band at The Castle and rock with rhythm from The Roadhouse Roosters at Riffs, a brilliantly alliterative gig. The Victoria has The Four Fighters, a top drawer Foo’s tribute.
Meanwhile pick of the night for original music lovers is the great line-up of acoustic acts at The GW Hotel, including Gilmore & Jaz, York Gibson, Kirsty Clinch, Jack Moore, Onyx Duo and the brilliant Faye Rogers, one of the biggest talents in town at the moment. The Arts Centre also continues to bring fantastic musicians to the town as they host acclaimed folk musician Chris Wood whose CV includes working with the likes of Billy Bragg and touring with artists like Joan Armatrading.
We wind the weekend down with a few contrasting shows. There is some high quality classic British metal at The Victoria from touring band Absolva, a band formed by two members of Fury UK, who were hugely popular round Swindon in the 12 Bar days. Support is from Babylon Fire and locals In The Absence Of Light. The Plough has some excellent Jazz with The Jonathan Taylor Trio, a band led by the band leader of Tango Siempre who are the touring show band for Strictly Come Dancing dancers Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace, whilst The Castle has an Elvis tribute.
We finish the week in gigs on Tuesday at Baker Street for Dom Franks, a former winner of the Daily Telegraph Young Jazz Musician competition.