I sat with my kindle, reading back my half-finished book about this time last year. A finale to my sci-fi comedy White Space Van Man. I shook my head, being I’d been preoccupied and sporadically writing it with gaps of a week or so at a time, the continuity was wonky and the personalities of its characters had altered. I knew it needed an overhaul but to be honest my heart wasn’t in it.
I was spending a lot of time at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in Putney, or driving to-and-fro to work early next morning. My Dad was there, after stem cell treatment for myeloma he’d suffered a serious stroke, leaving him completely paralysed and unable to talk. Feeding a yoghurt like a baby to your once very logical and loving father kind of puts your mind off writing comedy.
My column, No Surprises Living in Devizes was equally coming undone. There’s only so much negative satirical shit one can write about Devizes; the conclusion is it’s actually a wonderful place.
It had labelled me as a whinger, “Mr No Fun,” a young lady named me when commenting on a post. Many failed to see I was playing a character, a kind of reverse Alf Garnett, that is what satire and supposed to be taken with a pinch of salt. I’m a nice guy really, no, really.
The direction of it had changed too, when I went at it hammer and tongs, hits went through the roof, but in polling the direction people wanted it to go, most replied “why can’t you be nice for a change?” Course, they were right. I’d learned now that life is too short to be moaning.
So, despite positive thinking not being the ethos of the column, I found myself reviewing local musicians, authors and theatrical productions, stuff like that. Darren likes this, even if you didn’t!
At the time I noticed posts on one of the zillions of local Facebook groups complaining there was no central online resource for what’s on in Devizes. Now not being one to sit watching tele, and unable to concentrate on writing a book, I figured I’d do just that. And here we are with Devizine – ta-rah!
It’s grown into so much more than I originally intended, and now, just a year on…. Well, it’s alright innit? Worthy of a little birthday bash don’t you think?
In order to do this, I’ve enlisted Dean Czerwionka of Dead Kool Promotions and The Devizes Family Club. He’s done all the hard bits and I’ve watched him; fair though eh? So please join us, and a few of my friends who might just be persuaded to give us a song or two; George Wilding, Phil Cooper, Tamsin Quin, the Larkin boys Sam and Finlay, Lottie Jenkins, Dirt Road Diary, and the Day Breakers.
I know right, mega-fantastic line-up!
To be honest, I asked so many others, and due to timing, sadly I had to let them down, I have to thank everyone who offered to play, it literally became a festival line-up. I cannot run before I can walk, and should this be successful then I’m up for doing it all again, with cake.
Now I know tickets for a birthday party is asking a bit much, but at just a tenner a piece you’ll get only the very best of our live local music scene, some of the wonderful people I’ve been bashing on about on Devizine. So, I look forward to meeting you all on November 10th, and please note we’re not taking your cash, stuffing it in our ears and singing na-na na-na-na; all proceeds, including artists fees are being donated to Devizes Cancer Research. In the light of how this story started, and in memory of my dear ol’ pops, I think you’ll agree it’s apt.
Thank you all for your continued support with Devizine, it really has been a blast; a blast which has until now mostly been myself practising my one finger typing; now though, it’s gonna be a fantablous evening which wouldn’t be the same if you weren’t there!