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Wednesday’s always provide plenty of interesting music and chat as it is the start of my working musical week and kicks off with Live and Local, a radio show that I co-host which champions new music and talks to those who make it, followed by running the first gig of the week.  On the radio show this week was Stu Rowe, a stalwart of the local, and not so local, music scene. Stu has been many things in this town, genre hopping musician, record store owner, producer,music lecturer, mentor and now record label owner and so there was plenty to talk about. Indeed the meandering chat took in trumpet players, Shakespearian rap, The Ballet Rambert, The Future Sound of London, That Sound, Ragdolians, Albuquerque pop, Swindon’s most famous musical resident and the launching of his own record label. Not a bad way to spend a couple of hours and the recording of the show can be found here  –


That evening the wonderful Skins and Strings constituted the first gig of the week at the Songs of Praise acoustic session at The Roaring Donkey. A wonderful blend of acid folk, acoustic guitar from Shaun Barry and exotic tabla beats from Harki Popli which range from soothing, gentle rhythms to crashing, driven crescendos. Hidden in their instrumental deliveries you catch glimpses of well know songs and half remembered riffs, a bit of early Fleetwood Mac or a fleeting Doors passage. The crowd came and went,  it’s always a bit difficult to predict but a good time was had by all and a few familiar faces turned up such as  auralcandy main man Rob Beckinsale and Thom Stark who was coaxed up to sing a few better know songs whilst orient and occident met beneath the vocal lines.

A chat and a drink with Shaun rounded the night off and as the pub finally filled up with revellers looking for that extra half hour in which to pour shots and strong lager down their throats, our erstwhile guitarist jumped into a cab and I popped into The Victoria on the pretence of taking back a borrowed mic. stand but also because I was out and I also felt like pouring shots and strong lager down my own neck. Karaoke night there isn’t really my thing but I did get to see producer and all round good egg, Sam Bates perform some Armenian alt-rock, so that can’t be bad.