Renegade Brewery (renegadebrewery.co.uk) may be the strangers in the room to many of you, but they are sure to be your best friends by the end of The Shuffle, as they brew a lot of the beer that you will be drinking this weekend, and through their big brother brewery West Berkshire Brewery (www.wbbrew.com), also have a hand in 5 Knuckle, the official Shuffle ale (available at all venues).
Self-Confessed music nuts, they already knew loads of the bands playing and were happy to research the rest, so we just had to ask who they were most wanting to check out.
Friday – The Victoria – 22:00
Okay, slightly biased pick this one as Renegade brewer Griff plays in the band, but luckily, they are damn good. Energetic proggy math-rock with psychedelic undertones are the order of the day, all played with an infectious energy that makes you forget that it is instrumental. Yeah, it is a bit OTT and pretentious, as all good prog should be, but we don’t care – come join us getting all wired.
Friday – The Castle – 20:00
Continuing our love-in for more progressive, psyched out noise, we have a thing for this clever bass and drum duo who make a sound like nothing you will have heard before. Utilising all sorts of gadgetry to twist, distort and generally bugger around with music they themselves describe as punishing distorto-riffs + math-slam drums + swirly voice confusion. Quite unsettling but very exciting.
Friday – The Castle – 20:45
Another bass and drum 2-piece combo, this time taking a straighter but no less radical path. Who says you need a guitar? These guys build everything you need for savage melodic punk rock songs from two instruments and a voice. Shambolic but brilliant live you can’t help loving them. Or is it sympathy? We get confused.
Cupcake Diaz & The Felt Tip Pens
Saturday – The Beehive – 21:30
The brilliantly whacky name works, it made us check the band out, and we are glad we did cos they are utterly brilliant – providing you like spikey garage riot grrrl post-punk pop. 30 We do, and promptly fell in love with their infectious sound and sense of fun. Make sure you check these guys out live – it’s a riot!
Saturday – The Victoria – 19:45
If you thought Ed Sheeran was the cutting edge of loop performance get down to check out Alex Taylor, as he makes the stadium filling megastar seem distinctly below average with his clever combinations of instrumentation, rhythm, harmony and melody all produced live by just him, his guitar and loop pedal. This is pure pop musically, silky and smooth and fun to sway along to. But it is cut with a lyrically harder edge that contrasts and keeps things oh so very interesting.