We announced the basics of our hook-up with the guys at Songs Of Praise Live and Baila Coffee & Vinyl to put on some live music a little while ago, but left out the important details like who will be playing. But we are very pleased to now be able to give you all the skinny on what is going on.
Baila is a really cool little place, the antithesis of the identikit chains which are taking over the high street, much like us at Renegade. Along with the very friendly vibe of the place there is a rather tasty vinyl rack, which follows the shops quality over quantity way of operating, stuffed full of seminal albums and underground collectibles, the cream of the leftfield, everything from rock and soul, dance and hip-hop, funk, pop and even more offbeat and unexpected treats. But it was their recent acquisition of an alcohol license that has resulted in us getting involved, as alongside some other great craft beers, classic cocktails and mental gin’s you will find Renegade brews alongside some West Berkshire Brewery beers! The Songs of Praise guys have 10 years experience putting the best local, regional and national acts on in Swindon and the surrounds, so are the perfect team to make this all happen.
We are starting with two shows a month, one downstairs on a Sunday afternoon and one upstairs in what is “baby Baila” during the day. The upstairs show will be a ticketed affair, on a Thursday evening and will be strictly limited numbers whilst the Sunday shows will be free entry. For both, the SoP team are curating a diverse and eclectic line-up and hoping to throw in things other than music when possible. Regardless of who is performing, you can be sure that it will very high quality and not the sort of thing you will see elsewhere in Swindon. If you are fed up with trying to experience the joy of subtle, intelligent and satirical music against a backdrop of Saturday night noise, then these gigs are the answer.
We kick things off this Thursday, 28th April with a a wonderful mix of smooth acoustica, poignant observations and downright weirdnesss. It’s a challenge to know how best to describe an artist like Grant Sharkey in just a few words. Musician who incorporates humour? Stand up comic who writes songs? Environmentalist cabaret? Mirthsome agitator? Arch-Liberalist? Poignant and insightful buffoon? It’s all in there somewhere. Falling between fringe theatre, satirical revue and regular music venue act and armed with his trusty bass, a bag of unique and often challenging songs, and a score of brilliant between song interludes and anecdotes, it is difficult to think who wouldn’t enjoy his show.
Local support comes in the very able guise of Canute’s Plastic Army, well crafted acoustic folk-pop vibes, very accessible and wonderfully memorable and the wholesome blends of West Country Folk and West Coast Paisley Underground pop that is Steve Cox, normally to be found fronting leading lights Mr Love and Justice. Tickets for this are priced at £5 and will be available from Baila or on the door, numbers allowing. Full details to be found on the event page here.
Our second show, the following Sunday 1st May, is a very different proposition to the first, marking a very welcome return to town for Vienna Ditto. Theirs is a pot-pourri of sounds, mixing rockabilly riffs with creative electronica and beats and soulful vocals. One of the most unique, original and exciting bands we have heard. In support, the creative and intelligent songwriting and electronica of Grasslands. Entry is free, be there for 3 pm, full details here.
Baila’s website is here.
Songs of Praise Live’s website is here.