Electric Overview


Cambridge's electric rock scene embraces a vast array of great sounds, self-penned and covers. It's hard to think of a category neglected: you'll find bands playing good old rhythm and blues, classical high-power rock, Clash-like punk harking back to the 70s, indie rock, art rock and archetypal heavy metal. There's computer-generated electronica, new rock - incorporating the influence of Bon Jovi, Aerosmith and Guns 'n Roses - and mod bands trying to rekindle the glories of the Who, Small Faces and Jam. There's death metal, with giant stacks and impossible levels of reverb, and serious depresso crooning à la Morrissey.

You'll find it all in Cambridge, and then you'll run into full-tilt Irish music, classy soul divas and more recherché offshoots like ska. There's no shortage of urban DJs purveying funk, house, hip-hop and the like. Venues? The big visiting acts usually appear at the Corn Exchange - everything from transatlantic heroes of the 50s to stars from Africa - and the Junction, just slightly younger in outlook.

But the mainstay for local players are the pubs and bars. You'll find them all listed here - the Graduate, the big back room at the Locomotive, the bar at the Haymakers, the dark and brooding innards of the Man on the Moon and more. Some of these places put on regular jams, where brave souls can step up and screech the heart out of your (or if you're lucky, somebody else's) Strat. Other venues might put on three or four acts a night. Others, just the one.

There's also a healthy ration of jazz and funk being produced in the city - the jazz in particular has been noticeably growing of late with an influx of skilled practitioners making a great fist of Parker, Davis and Coltrane. Improvising, yes! Noodling? Absolutely not.