Linking Inkings – 26th March ’15

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writingA few scribblings that have helped keep the wolf from the door over the last week…and by wolf I mean the the gas bill.

Sounds Around Town – gig guide (Swindon Advertiser)

After All The Wishing  –  Jim Johnston – Album Review (The Rock and Rock Report)

Suicidal Bunny – Taffy – Single Review (Dancing About Architecture)

Searching For the Supertruth  –  The Dreaming Spires – Album Review (Dancing About Architecture)

Bad Jack and Other Stories  –  Nasty Little Lonely – e.p. Review  (Dancing About Architecture)

Start At The Finish  –  The Sums  – Album Review (Dancing About Architecture)

The Door Behind The Door  –  The Black Ryder – Album Review (Dancing About Architecture)

Foxes Tales  –  Foxes Faux – Album Review  (Dancing About Architecture)

Sleep Tonight  –  Robb Murphy – Album review  (Dancing About Architecture)

The Literary Hangover

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thAs the painfully deafening sound of the Alka Seltzer plink plinked into the glass and the fizzing sound was even enough to reach my pain threshold, I had time to reflect on the nature of the hangover, having the energy to do little else. Is it possible that Christianity is really an analogy of alcohol or possibly the other way around. It seems to me that both seem to proffer the idea that easy pleasure is followed by painful retribution or as Hank Williams would have put it, a Saturday night spent honky-tonking has to be followed by Church on Sunday…not that I think old Hank spent a lot of time in church. However it works it is still a truism that the more complete the bar-room excess the more wretched the suffering the next day. The only consolation is that the hangover has been responsible for some fine writing. But isn’t that just the way it is with pain? Just ask Iris Murdoch or even the Marque de Sade.

Writing about the hangover is surprisingly easy, far easier than trying to write about being drunk unless you happen to be Hunter S. Thompson and we won’t see his like again. It is the clarity of the ever present pain that makes it so accessible and the degree of pain is probably related to the level of enjoyment you experienced in getting to this point. There was a time when the hangover was a badge of honour, but slowly peer pressure and twelve step sober celebs led the way to a new healthier way and now anyone who even mentions they like a drink is tarred with the epithet of “having a problem.”

Anyway, so best literary hangovers? High on the list has got to be Tom Wolfe’s alcoholic journalist in the Bonfire of The Vanities or Larry Underwood in Stephen Kings The Stand. My favourite has got to be the monumental and wonderfully described headache that Mike Hammer awakes with at the start of Spillane’s The Girl Hunters. In the movies this state of gracelessness is portrayed brilliantly by Jack Nicholson in Easy Rider, Dean Martin (and he should know) in Rio Bravo and Nick Nolte in North Dallas Forty.

So  people may look down on the wasted day that follow a night getting wasted but as I said it is a process that has produced some inspired writing. Where would Kerouac have been without a bottle of cheap rose and a stolen car?

Linking Inkings – 19th March ’15

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writingLinks to a few of the scribblings that have bought the odd round of coffee and cake in Baila Coffee and Vinyl  this week.

Sounds Around Town – gig guide (Swindon Advertiser)

Wear & Tear – False-heads – e.p. review (The Rock and Roll Report)

Everything Changed – L.A. Davis – album review (Dancing About Architecture)

17th Century Japanese Aviary – Inti Rowland  – album review (Dancing About Architecture)

Golden Road – Laney Jones  album review (Dancing About Architecture)

Imperfect  – The Frayed Laces – e.p. review (Dancing About Architecture)

Linking Inkings – 12th March ’15

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writingA quieter week on the reviewing front due to some real world commitments but for those who are interested here is last weeks efforts.

Sounds Around Town – gig guide (Swindon Advertiser)

Gig of the Week – gig recommendation (Total News)

Lazy Sunday Afternoon Vol. 3 –  album review (Swindon Advertiser)

Wear & Tear – False-heads – e.p. review (Dancing About Architecture)

Primatives – Art Nikels e.p. review (Dancing About Architecture)

The Adventures of Self-raising Lazarus – X: Scenic Views

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10846096_414199215401466_2017759178674567909_nThe great irony of Swindon’s music scene is that for all this talk of supporting live music and people posting banners to that effect on (anti)social media sites, the fact remains that it is a very small proportion of the population of this town who seem to have any musical curiosity, though I’m sure the same argument could be levelled at any number of parochial, non-university, dormitory towns. Stick on a nostalgia trip such as a Green Day tribute band or a bunch of punk survivors who have been playing the same set since before The Clash called it a day or a band featuring someone your brother-in-law works with and the effort seems to be made. Bring something new and genuinely furthering the cause of new music and people seem to have better things to do.

 

Last nights Songs of Praise gig showed a lot of the problems very clearly. The line up was always going to be a bit of a gamble anyway. The headliners, Steel Trees were down from Sheffield for this one gig, though the fact that they were stalwarts of prominent festivals like T in The Park put them a few ranks above your average itinerant wandering minstrels. Nasty Little Lonely, from Bristol, were similarly new to the town and it was only openers I Am In Love who were local and even they were an up until now studio project playing their first live outing.

 

The local draw did just that, had a decent crowd and lapped up their 90’s college rock meets melodic end of grunge and things looked like the makings of a good night. But the typical thing took place. After their set there was an en mass exodus that the night never recovered from. One of the great things about Songs of Praise is that the line ups are always very compatible, the idea being that if you like one of the acts on the bill you will probably like the others, none of this eclectic line ups borne of desperation that some other promoters seem happy to run with that sees heavy metal bands on the same bill as folk singers. Yet still most people didn’t feel the need to stick around and support the visiting bands.

 

Nasty Little lonely ran through a superb set of warped, industrial post punk, meandering from Ministry style mayhem to aggressive L7 style Riot Grrrl salvos as thick with tangential noise bursts as it was laden with solid grooves and tribal back beats. Steel Trees managed to crank things up a gear even from here and their punked out grunge wandered into more metallic deliveries and crossed boundaries into hardcore territory.

 

Great sets from all concerned but the point I’m coming too is this, if you only make the effort to support the bands that your mates play in, won’t you end up with an isolated and incestuous scene, untroubled by visiting out of area bands? It seems to me that most of the moans and criticism about the state of Swindon’s music comes largely from those of a heavier musical persuasion, so where were they all? The grunge fans who turn out for the Nirvana tributes, the rockers who can’t get enough of badly played forty year old classic rock tunes and those who claim that the local scene is stagnant whilst sitting at home listening to Dark Side of The Moon on endless repeat.

 

With the likes of The Cadbury Sisters, She Makes War, Gaz Brookfield, Brawlers and many more great original acts lined up to play in the next few months, we seem to be building up to a healthy musical situation, something we have been missing for quite a few years but the momentum will only be maintained if people make the effort and show the promoters and venues that they want something more than the same local Ellie Goulding wannabees and metal tributes. Time to take a side people!

Live and Local – 4th March ’15

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thOn this weeks Live and Local we were joined by Chris Stevens from Talk in Code and Alex Secker and Nick Pavone from Swindon Filmmakers Network. Plus music from Talk in Code, With Ghosts, Jess Vincent, Josie and the Outlaw, Lew Lewis and the Twilight Trio, She Makes War, Dark Black, Bruce St Bridges Control The Storm, Rocket Box. I am in Love.

Listen Here 

 

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