Five To Watch with Linda Gulliford

Next up to help you decide who to watch at this year’s Swindon Shuffle is former bar manager at The Victoria and now owner of The Tuppenny, Linda Gulliford…


I have witnessed the madness that is the shuffle for the past 8 or 9 years, mainly through the events at The Vic of course, but it has not been an easy task to pick my five to watch out for. I am not a musician nor an obsessive fan of any particular band or genre, but I know what grabs hold of me or surprises me. Having seen so many of Swindon’s original bands over the years (including 27 of this year’s line-up so far) at least I had a decent shortlist to start with.


Diagonal People

Friday – The Victoria – 22:45

It is difficult to pigeonhole these guys. Their energy on stage is astonishing, and the music, though like nothing I’d really listened to before, really pulls you in. There is so much going on during their performances, it is hard to separate what sounds are coming from where, but somehow it all combine into a fascinating happening.


2 Sick Monkeys

Friday – The Castle – 22:15

If you have not seen this pair before, where have you been hiding? Pete and Fred have created something quite unique with their Punk with punch and a barrage of opinion and attitude. Pete out front with his obscenely low -slung bass is the ultimate punk frontman – the performance is as much about social commentary as the music. Listen out for classics No Brakes and Fuck Off, although often my favourite part of their gigs is Pete getting on one and telling it like it is.


True Strays

Thursday – The Tuppenny – 21:45

I saw these guys first on their home turf in Bristol, although through bands like Old School Tie and Sam Green & The Midnight Heist they have a long history with Swindon. The full band show is a party, a bluesy hoedown that gets the whole crowd stomping. The songs are so well crafted that even in a stripped-down show like they will play at The Tuppenny you’ll see James and Joe perform with incredible energy and a sense of fun that will get at the very least your toes tapping. Plus, I am a sucker for a double bass – I hope it fits on the stage!


The Shudders

Sunday – The Beehive – 19:30

One of my all-time favourite Shuffle moments was when The Shudders closed the event (and The Beehive!) 3 years ago. The crowd was pretty much hanging from the rafters in the old place (Paj certainly was, whilst trying to get the ultimate photo). They play accessible Country Rock, with plenty of surprises, always put on a great show and have been Shuffle supporters for years – it is their fault Neil Youngs’ ‘Rocking In The Free World’ is the Shuffle Anthem.


Ruby Confue

Sunday – The Tuppenny – 15:30

There is so much talent in this collaboration – the result of amazing musicians working with an incredible singer and performer. Mesmerizing urban jazz is the order of the day, with hip hop and soul influences chucked in to spice things up. This is not normally my thing but it’s clever, it’s witty, it has meaning and it will entertain you without fail – you cannot fail to love her voice and performance. Shuffle gold, guaranteed.