Live music at The Craufurd Arms this April

Posted 2nd April 2024

One of my most favourite albums ever is The Day The Country Died, writes Sammy Jones…

I was a little too young to be exposed to it when it first came out, but when I discovered it during the late 1980s, the influence of this gnarly punk produce was colossal.

In 2024 it is still played here as frequently as it ever was. It’s a masterpiece on so many levels, and there were others; From The Cradle to the Grave was every bit as brilliant. The band responsible, anarcho-punks Subhumans are right up there when it comes to my most influential.
Subhumans shaped my childhood, and were the antithesis of the sanitised pop my peers were listening to.

Heck, I even centred one of my school drama projects around one of their songs!

Culture Shock followed from the ashes of Subhumans, and their gigs at the still-missed Countapoint Club in Bletchley are etched into the memory of all us new city folks who were lucky enough to remember them.

Awesome times where friendships were forged and the grey matter expanded. All of this is a long way to tell you that the Wiltshire mob will be live on The Craufurd Arms stage on Wednesday, April 3.
If punk is your thing, you can’t afford to miss this.

Depeche Mode fans can revel in the output of Dave Gahan and Co. with the tribute mob, The Devout (April 5). They’ll take you back to the early days of Speak & Spell and right the way through their catalogue, with fan favourites, singles and deep album cuts. If you Just Can’t Get Enough, at least this bash will go a long way towards satisfying your Depeche cravings.

MK risers Cusp (April 6), led by talented singer-songwriter Dan Stock, are more than a bit good at delivering top-tier tunes, whether they be festival-ready anthems, intimate ballads, or classic, melodic pop rock songs.

Fans? They have plenty, including Noel Gallagher. They’ve taken up some meaty tour offers too; with DMA’s, The Snuts, Corella and Red Rum Club.

In the coming months, it’s all about continuing to ‘set out their clear vision of how guitar music can still feel familiar and brand new at the same time.’

Soul men Smoove & Turrell (April 12) come out to play with seven albums worth of produce from which to pull from. The Jazz FM favourites are 15 years deep in a career of plenty, with their most recent album, Red Ellen, matching the uplifting intensity of the dancefloor anthems with the emotional sway of slower offerings.

Copies of their first single, I Can’t Give You Up have changed hands for around £160.

It was recorded at keyboardist Mike Porter’s house – his Hammond Organ was ‘immovably wedged in the utility room,’ making it difficult to do anything else, and apparently, if you listen in to that original 7 inch recording, you can hear his mum pulling a pack of peas from the freezer. Completely irrelevant when writing about the Crauf show, but we like the little tale.

A few years ago, we were writing about RavenEye playing at the venue. There was a real buzz around the Oli Brown fronted rock trio, and they were hoisted into the spotlight with some major support; a tour with Kiss is about as good as it gets, and they were supplemented by stage-shares with Deep Purple and Aerosmith.

But the band later floundered with Oli admitting, ‘it just didn’t work out.’

“When I started writing my next collection of songs, I had no idea what would come,” he said, “My subconscious was about to make me more aware of what was happening in my mental health than my consciousness. I realised these songs would quickly take on a more significant meaning to my life,” Oli said, explaining the journey between then and now.

“After a series of traumatic experiences, which led to extensive therapy, I put the fragmented pieces into these new song lyrics. As I began to rebuild my foundations, for the first time as a singer, I could utilise the synergy between my heart and my voice, connecting the performance, expression, and vulnerability of the lyrics with brutal honesty. This is no longer about performing for the sake of performing; it’s a release of everything bottled in for too long, transformed into a monumental delivery,” Oli said.

And that delivery is now given as the leader with Oli Brown & The Dead Collective. As the accompanying PR states, ‘Out with the old, in with the dead.’

DJ Yoda (April 20) marks 50 Years of Hip Hop with an audio visual show on his first visit back in the new city for aeons. Tickets flew out, as expected.

Record Store Day is happening on April 20, and you’ll find more about MK’s involvement in that over the page, but you can never have too much music, as our boxes of vinyl and racks of CDs testify, so the return of the Craufurd Record Fair (April 21) will be welcomed.

The last fair, at the start of the year, was bustling with eager beavers keen to get amongst the sounds, with the bar and the venue room being taken over by traders. Go have some fun and spend a few quid.

Millie Manders & The Shutup – April 27

Yorkshire duo Eevah (April 23) promise lo-fi gadgetry and happy/sad anthems when they pull up for their date, which is part of their debut headline road trek, the Simplify Life tour.

Not that this couple of creators are green and new to the game; when he’s not busy with this outlet, Richard McNamara is guitarist (and a bit more) with the mighty Embrace, the band he co-founded with his brother, frontman Danny.

Having been seen out on the road with the mighty Peter Frampton who invited them to join him on his farewell road trip, Cardinal Black (April 25) had it all going on – tours with Myles Kennedy and The Struts, and the buzz of an apiary surrounding them.

Steve Winwood offered them to record at his personal studio, and riding the wave of success, they then decamped Stateside to work on their debut album, but they struggled to adapt and frontman Tom Hollister called time on the band before coming home to the UK.

“We tried to do the acrimonious split; creative differences and all that. We then quickly realised we were fairly reliant on one another,” says Chris Buck.

And so they are back, and doing great, and later this year they head to the big smoke to headline the Shepherd’s Bush Empire.
Enjoy the more intimate Wolverton show.

When Millie Manders & The Shutup (April 27) play the penultimate date of their Angry Side tour at the venue, they will release their trademark grinding guitars, irresistible horns and pop appeal for the assembled.

Candid lyrics deal with themes from betrayal and anxiety through to environmental concerns and political unrest, and they walk it like they talk it; with sustainability and charity at the forefront of what they do. Big respect to these cross-genre punk players.

CJ Wildheart (April 28) steps into the spotlight with his solo band, in support of the current album, SPLiT, which was issued late last year.
He’ll erm split the set too, between the old and new. Speaking about the show he said: “I promise to keep it punk, up and anthemic.”

Recently announced shows by Creeper and Karnivool flew out, so dilly-dally and you’ll miss out.

Go book at