We bring you four of the best bands around on Friday June 15 from 8pm at The Vic in Swindon for Free!!
Hip Route + Crash and the 'Coots + Black Hats + The Erin Bardwell Collective
It’s quite a scary thought really. This magazine is celebrating its Sixth birthday this month. That makes us all feel very old here at Castle Ocelot.
That’s six years of our lives writing about the local music scene, comedy, beer, fart jokes and Terence Trent D’arby. To put it in perspective, Agony Boy who hadn’t even started school when The Ocelot began will be going to secondary school next year.
To celebrate this momentous occasion we’ve taken a cue from The Avengers and put together a superhero team-up of the best bands around for one quality night.
Our sixth birthday bash is going to be our most ambitious event ever and as always you can come along and help us celebrate for free. That’s right it’s not going to cost you any money to come and see the four brilliant bands that we’ve assembled for your delectation.
We’ve chosen this year’s bands with care to try and cram as many different genres into one night as possible. All of this takes place at The Vic in Old Town, Swindon. One of the best venues around.
We’ve managed to get folk, experimental art pop, indie and reggae all into one brilliant night. Every band that we’ve picked should be a headliner in their own right.
Right in no particular order we’ve got Hip Route, Crash and the ‘Coots (formerly Crash and the Bandicoots), Black Hats and The Erin Bardwell Collective. That’s going to be one hell of an evening.
Add to all of that your usual hi-jinks from The Ocelot team including crap jokes and CD giveaways and then you’ve got the perfect recipe for what should be an unforgettable evening.
Oh, and did I mention that it’s free? Yes, all of this will cost you absolutely nothing. You don’t get better than that! Here’s to the next six years....
We first saw Hip Route at last year’s Swindon Shuffle and were completely blown away. They are made up of the very talented Jim Blair, Jon Millard and Steve Lodge. If you like your music suffused with laid back folky blues then Hip Route are for you. They are quite a prolific bunch and are regularly found gigging their way around the region. They have built up a huge name for themselves and have got themselves quite a following. Jim said: “Feel. Write. Play. Play some more. We are just trying to do the same as everyone else - play as much as possible to as many people that will listen!” Individually and collectively Hip Route has shared the stage with Newton Faulkner, The Hoosiers, Alabama 3, Them Is Me (ex-Reef and Basemant Jaxx), Two Spot Gobi and Carvin Jones among others. This hard working rootsy band, originally from the Swindon area, will bring a spot of folky blues genius to the night’s proceedings. If you’re a fan of good music this lot should definitely see you right. FB/Hip-Route
Crash and the ‘Coots
This foursome have already made quite a name for themselves across the South West despite only starting a year ago. Having caught the attention of the BBC they’ve been playing the BBC Introducing stages at various festials across the region including Onefest and by the time they play The Ocelot’s birthday they’ll have only just played at Wychwood Festival. Crash and the ‘Coots, formerly known as Crash and the Bandicoots, is the hyperactive and slightly warped brainchild of Chippenham brothers Callum and Ewan Merrett who have a unique style of lo-fi alternative pop. Ever since the pair recorded their first two songs in one of their bedrooms, they have embraced this DIY ethos, recording their tracks using simple recording equipment, homemade instruments and noisy toys. Since their first demos they have also added two more ‘Coots’ to the lineup; Jamie Hancock (guitar, backing vocals) and Olivia Dimery (drums). Be warned these guys are very different and are full of surprises. Brilliant stuff. crashandthecoots.bandcamp.com
We’re expecting big things of this intelligent pop punk threesome from Oxford and are absolutely thrilled to have them playing for our birthday. These guys are good. Very good. Part Young Knives, part Hard-Fi, all-Black Hats, they’ve got their own sound that will totally get under your skin. If you haven’t heard them already this will be a great introduction to the sound of Ian Budd (Bass & Vocals), Nick Breakspear (Guitar & Vocals) and Mark Franklin (Drums & Vocals) who have built up a solid fan base on a vibrant and competitive Oxford music scene. Their reputation has recently seen them booked for the main stage at Truck Festival. The band have also been building momentum via online support from sites such as This is Fake DIY, Muzu.tv and radio support from BBC Introducing Oxfordshire and BBC 6Music (Tom Robinson) as well as Oxford’s respected music journal Nightshift, which has sighted Black Hats as ‘ahead of the current crop.’ The band’s brilliant debut mini album Austerity for the Hoi Polloi is now available. http://www.blackhatsmusic.co.uk