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.

ShuffleTonight 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.

Full details of the festival can be found on the Facebook page HERE or website HERE.

This month’s Renegade Sessions live music

Yes, it is that time of the month again when we decamp to the marvellous Baila Bar in Swindon for our live music sessions. We have some proper treats lined up for you music fans as well, so we leave you in the capable hands of our buddies at Songs of Praise to explain what is going on.

Thursday 26th May – Franc Cinelli, Monkfish (Acoustic) + Oli Norman – The Renegade Sessions in The Loft @ Baila Coffee & Vinyl

12801474_967430416685843_7496377762084199365_nFranc Cinelli (pictured) has has been on Dave’s radar since he reviewed his album last year (which he thought “a sublime mix of all that is familiar but crafted together into new shapes and presented with a masterful touch”). He has carved a niche for himself in the industry by bucking trends with his free-wheeling alternative folk and doing things his way. Considered by many the songwriters’ songwriter his style ranges from uptempo torch songs to blues laden road journals and love struck serenades to defiant, prison outlaw ballads.

Ed’s contribution to the line up has been to procure a rather special acoustic set from Swindon / Oxford band Monkfish. As a full on electric band they sound like the bastard sons of Johnny Cash and The Sisters of Mercy, with a dash of The Gun Club thrown in for good measure. Their acoustic set therefore promises to pitch somewhere around The Handsome Family but that is just a best guess. What ever it sounds like I think it will be something dark, lush and wonderfully unique.

Our opener, Oli Norman, kind of found us and is very much a raw prospect. Helping new talent gain an audience is one of our main drivers though, so it is a pleasure to be able to present an artist who so far has been only really been seen at open-mic slots. So let this be a lesson to all you other new faces out there – keep on getting up at open-mics and similar to hone and perfect your songs and performance, know your scene, network, ask for shows, get yourself out there and heard. Anyway, Oli presents simple songs sung with heart, and what more could you ask for than that from a guy with  a guitar?

Entry is £5 and strictly limited in numbers. Music starts around 8pm. Full details to be found here.

Sunday 29th May – Phil Cooper + TBC – The Renegade Sessions @ Baila Coffee & Vinyl

12186682_627036667437884_8953069292337318079_oSop regular Phil Cooper (pictured) is a contemporary singer/songwriter with thought provoking songwriting and energetic, often unpredictable live performances. Phil has regularly (especially from Dave) drawn comparisons to Neil Finn, Glenn Tilbrook and Ben Folds, which is a very good thing.

Having been the frontman for The Haiku for 6 years, 2012 saw him go it alone, and since he has played a host of solo shows, including highly successful support slots for Mark Morriss (The Bluetones) and Dave McPherson (InMe). During his live shows, he makes a real connection with the crowd, often starting and finishing the shows entirely unplugged and shunning the stage to stand right in among the captivated audience.

Entry is free, music from 3pm. Details here.