With the dust of the Swindon Shuffle finally settling over the musical landscape and a sense of normality returning to the routine, I thought I’d add some more blogatry to the site. (That’s a word, right?)
So, what’s been happening in and around Dancing Towers, the literal ivory tower from which I cast down my musical judgement on the mortals below? Well, my first post-Shuffle gig found me back at The Tuppenny in Old Town, Swindon, for a rare hometown appearance by David Marx for a solo show. I have been watching David play for decades, yes, we are both that old, and we have been good friends for the latter half of that. Having seen him front full bands driven by everything from frantic folkiness to raucous rockabilly and more recently filling the vacant guitar spot with local punk icons, Charred Hearts, it is always great to catch him musically stripped back and acoustically plugged in.
I think the thing I admire most, alongside his deft lyrical turns and his quality songwriting, is his ability to play an acoustic guitar like…well, an acoustic guitar. What I mean is, that you watch so many players settling for the same chord-driven strums and four-four adherent grooves, that his often off-beat, funky, Latin and just plain adventurousness style is a revelation when cast against the competition. And within those rythmic patterns and silky styles, he runs the full gamut sometimes throwing in the a complex, jazz-infused run or just finding the perfect single note to underline his lyrical point.
If you think you are a singer-songwriter, entertainer or acoustic troubadour, it is people like David Marx that you need to set as a benchmark. Many have done so and been found wanting.
And talking of benchmarks, having reviewed the recent Starry Skies album, Small Wonders, it was fantastic to receive both this and the previous album, Do It With Love, on viny through the post the other morning. Thanks to Warren and the band for such a generous gesture, its lovely when you stumble across people who remeber that creativity is a two way street and that as people who make up various elements of the grassroots music community, we really all are in this together. You should all buy it, you’ll love it. And if you don’t, then don’t consider us friends any more. Sorry, that’s just the way it is.
Also, a shout out to All Ears Avow, who have just announced the imminent arrival of their latest release. If you are new to their perfect blend of addictive, pop-aware, incendiary alt-rock, or even if you are an old hand, bookmark the new one, Feel The Push HERE.
New additions to the review pile (which is starting to block the light through the office window, in case anyone fancies doing a bit of writing in return for a stack of fab and groovy waxings…I mean latest release CDs) include a new album from The Suicide Notes, which goes by the name of Tramp Stamp,(lovely to catch up with you last night DB) a whole bundle of weird and wonderful experimental music, including Izzy and The Black Trees‘ latest, from those good people at Five Roses Press, and a sludgy, stoner four track from 30,000 Monkies which is already picking up rave reviews.
So that was my week, I hope yours was equally as groovy.