This year’s Swindon Shuffle promises to be the best yet as they celebrate a decade of the unsigned music festival from Wednesday July 13 to Sunday July 17 at venues across the town. All events are free entry and open to the general public.
It’s not a secret that Swindon is brimming with musical talent and The Shuffle gives you the chance to get a real taster of the scene.
As the The Ocelot magazine revealed last month, the Swindon Shuffle festival is celebrating its 10th year, and have a bumper line up in place. 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.
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.
The other key sponsor is local craft brewer Renegade Brewery. Already sponsors of the Songs of Praise nights at Baila, their beers are a regular fixture in the town, available on the bar at Baila and The Victoria and the shelves of Magnum Wine. They will also be brewing a special beer for The Shuffle that will be available on the weekend at select venues.
The line-up kicks off with a session on Wednesday July 13 at The Roaring Donkey featuring some of the best local singer-songwriters performing from 8pm. So expect some dextrous playing and intelligent songs from Jamie R Hawkins, Phil Cooper, Oli Norman and Mike Barham.
Thursday is split between The Castle and Baila Coffee & Vinyl. The big story is at The Castle where Gaz Brookfield 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 the unexpected return of eccentric Spaniard Cristof and his flamenco fun duo Gipsy Fiesta.
The serious business starts on Friday 15th when The Victoria host a night of punked up rock music from All Ears Avow, 2 Sick Monkeys, Raze* Rebuild, IDestroy and some crazy psychotic punk from Martyrials. 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 is jam packed, starting with lunchtime 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, The Diagonal People rewrite the musical rule book and The King In Mirrors remind us of the golden days of indie-pop. The Beehive join in with sets from Dead Pheasants, Spida Sense, Black Sheep Apprentice and Luke De-Sciscio. Baila will host some top DJ’s playing out on vinyl on the Friday and Saturday.
Everything gets wrapped up on Sunday with an afternoon chill out at Baila from Canute’s Plastic Army, acoustic Ruby Confue and the return of the spellbinding Matilda. 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.