Swindon Shuffle Music Festival is go!
The Renegade Brewery sponsored Swindon Shuffle music festival is celebrating its 10th year this week and has a bumper line up in place across multiple venues in the Old Town area of Swindon. Already sponsors of the Songs of Praise nights at Shuffle venue Baila, our beers are a regular fixture in the town, available on the bar at Baila and The Victoria and the shelves of Magnum Wine.
Tonight there is a warm-up event in the shape of a music quiz to get in the mood but it all kicks off in earnest tomorrow night (Wednesday 13th July) with the first session at The Roaring Donkey featuring some of the best local singer-songwriters performing from 8pm. Expect some dextrous playing and intelligent songs from Jamie R Hawkins, Phil Cooper, Oli Norman and Mike Barham.The other key sponsor is local craft brewer Renegade Brewery.
Thursday 14th is split between The Castle and Baila Coffee & Vinyl. The big story is at The Castle where Gaz Brookfield (who opened the very first Shuffle 10 years ago) returns to the shuffle after a 6 year absence. He is ably supported by the brilliant George Wilding and band, the piano-indie of Familiars and the blues shuffle of Fake Walnut Dash. Baila, meanwhile, has a headline set from The Shudders who will be acoustic for the night, with Jim Blair of HipRoute playing some slide blues and local songwriting siren Emily-Jane Sheppard. Of course, there will be plenty of Renegade beer available here too!
The really serious business starts on Friday 15th when The Victoria hosts a night of punked up rock music from All Ears Avow, 2 Sick Monkeys, Raze* Rebuild, IDestroy and some crazy psychotic punk from Martyrials. Renegade Craft Lager is available on tap here! Over at The Castle you can catch a headline set from heavy shoegaze outfit Rain, some cinematic dream-pop from Polar Front and indie-pop from Misfires and Break Glass To Open.
Saturday 16th is jam packed, starting with lunchtime singer / songwriter sessions at The Central Library (in the courtyard if the sun shines!) followed by a night of crazy madness at The Victoria from the mental ska party that is SN Dubstation, Ruby Confue’s urban jazz Psychedelia, more upbeat ska from The Hat Club, Chaney with his dance-indie crossover and atmospheric dreamy acoustica from Dreuw. The Castle get rocked up with A Way With Words and the brilliant stoner riffs of Rewire The Time Machine whilst The Harlers take blues to new places, Horizon show indie music is alive and kicking in Swindon and The King In Mirrors remind us of the golden days of indie-pop. The Beehive join in with sets from Dead Pheasants, Black Sheep Apprentice, Luke De-Sciscio and the weirdly spelt Spida Sense. Baila meanwhile will host some top DJ’s playing out on vinyl on the Friday and Saturday.
Everything gets wrapped up on Sunday 17th with an afternoon chill out at Baila from Nick Felix, Canute’s Plastic Army, acoustic Ruby Confue and an upbeat closing set from young hip-hoppers Mutant Kids. This is followed by the traditional roots music closing party at The Beehive that stars Tamsin Quin, George Wilding & Stu Rowe, Mr Love & Justice, Splat The Rat, Auralcandy and finishing it all off the amazing music hall Americana of Kid Calico & The Astral Ponies.
Headline sponsor are The Swindon Robins Speedway team, who will not only provide the festival with the backing that helps to keep the festival free entry to the public, but they will help further establish the Swindon Shuffle name as an important part of the Swindon community, in the same way the Robins have been for the last 70 years. The Shuffle will also be helping Swindon Robins to raise awareness of the team and the sport to a younger audience who may not be aware that Swindon has a speedway team, especially an Elite League level team who have won the GB league title as recently as 2012.
As usual all events are free entry, and following a few sad losses to the music community in the last few years, money will be collected for Mind, the amazing mental health charity.
The Renegade Sessions – live music with your favourite beer!
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.