Sisters Doing it for Young Melksham

I still argue today, that it wasn’t the end of the despondent era in UK music, where attempts to push underground rave culture and indie music to the mainstream caved into this “cool Britannia” era of patriotic bubble-gum pop, or a backlash to its plethora of conventional, clean-cut boy bands which heralded the success of the Spice Girls, rather where prior single-sexed bands conformed to a uniform of style and fashion, The Spice Girls where individuals; kind of like a league of superheroes each with divergent powers. Female fans debated which one they’d like to be, why males debated which one they’d like to be with.

 

For all-girl groups were nothing new, take The Supremes as an example, and their slogan, “girl power,” was blatantly stolen from a feminist US punk zine. I contemplate this individuality as I sit in the Melksham Assembly Room observing five women, from bands of varying genres, sing covers with faith, a sense of inimitability and a whole lot of fun. There was something uniquely different about them all, but their similarity to the Spice Girls ended there, thankfully.

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When, after some great support acts, Jules Morton excused a break in the performances with “while they get the right knickers on,” it was obviously going to be an evening girls governed, not so much in song selection, as Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall, and If you Let me Stay by Terrence Trent Darby hardly define ground-breaking moments in femininity, although Joan Armatrading’s Drop the Pilot and The Look by Roxette arguably do, but their refined execution which had just as much sprinkling of girly attitude as their pink feathered microphone stands.

 

Notwithstanding it was predominantly girls who’ve gathered on the dance floor at the opening of The Female of the Species annual charity gig at Melksham’s Assembly Hall last night, although husbands and boyfriends soon succumbed.

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Variety then is what the punters got, it’s what they were expecting after five consecutive years of this charity fundraising extravaganza. There was an insatiable atmosphere of diversity and timely professionalism which blew this high roof. A moment for all the girls to proudly take back to their respective bands, safe in the knowledge they raised a grand sum for Young Melksham, a worthy local youth community project.

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While Nicky Davis of the Reason, and People Like Us, gave the evening that contemporary pop-rock element, Julia Greenland from Soulville Express bought some classic soul, and while solo artist Charmaigne Andrews added a pinch of punk-rock, Jules Moreton of Train to Skaville, and her saxophonist Karen Potter ska’d it up. If that’s not a melting pot of variety enough for you, Frome’s Claire Perry of Big Mama’s Banned had a variety all of her own, with a natural wit to bind them; taking on the slow jazzy Alison Moyet number, That ol’ Devil Called Love was not taken lightly, but accomplished sublimely.

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Like Spice Girls, I tried to pick a favourite, but this time based on quality of their voices and performances! This was becoming increasing difficult as each one took centre stage, and through an assortment of classic pop songs they meandered, Julia taking my breath away superbly covering Stevie Wonder’s I Wish, Charmaigne belting out Seven Nation Army, Jules Dropping the Pilot, and Nicky exploding from behind her keyboards to execute an absolutely amazing rendition of Heard it Through the Grapevine, I couldn’t single one out.

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Clickbait for me on YouTube was a video promising a duet of Madness by Prince Buster AND Suggs a while ago, taken from the Jools Holland show I believe. But it only disappointed as there was a clear friction between both legends; Buster looked incensed at this guy who’d made a more worldwide renowned career from his songs, and even named his band after one of them, while Suggs, who was clearly upstaged by his idol and knew it, wore an expression that uncentre in the spotlight was not a place he was used to being in. Despite these girls last night all coming from varying local bands there was never the feeling of competition or envy, rather a mutual respect and love, in which they harmonised each other’s songs. This transpired with a breath-takingly exclusive show, combining each’s own talents as, not just a sample of their work with their bands, but an unstoppable amalgamation of female aptitude.

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I was stood outside with a member of the backing band, and Jules and Julia, while he expressed to me the infrequency of rehearsals, being they were all dedicated to other bands, the backing band itself a consolidation, but you’ve had hardly noticed at the show. A fantastic night of which you should attend next years. Annually it’s for a different charity each time, but after this, their sixth go, equally all as awesome. Hats off to all involved.

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Pressure at Trowbridge Town Hall Arts

For a second year, Trowbridge’s Town Hall Arts will open its doors to the public to celebrate Black History Month.

 
This year the Black History Month Celebration will be a tribute to the legacy of the Windrush Generation. It is 70 years since the arrival of the HTM Empire Windrush which was carrying more than 1,000 migrants from the Caribbean who were invited to come to help rebuild war-battered Britain.

 
The free event will start on Saturday 6th October at 12.00 pm with the opening of the exhibition ‘Wiltshire Remembers the Windrush Generation.’ This exhibition consists of eight panels reflecting the story of those who came decades ago to this county: stories of leaving their birth-place, their integration and their identity. This project has been designed by the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre.

Traditional Caribbean food will be served from 12.30 pm and people can enjoy live music. There will be a crèche and activities for children will also be available and two drumming workshops.

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During the afternoon, the popular female Quadrille dance group ‘JANUKA’ will be performing and encouraging the audience to participate in a dancing workshop. They will be travelling from South East London especially for the event.

 
At 2.00 pm there will be the screening of the classic film ‘Pressure’ (1975) by Trinidad-born director Horace Ové. ‘Pressure’ is considered the first feature-length fiction film by a black director in Britain and the first British film with an all-black cast.

 
Set in Ladbroke Grove, West London, an area with a large Caribbean population since the 1950s, the film shows the spirit of the 1970s through the life of Anthony, a black teenager born in Britain of parents from Trinidad and his struggles to find his way and identity in a white-dominated society. The film is suitable for anyone over 15 years old.

 
In addition, two short films will be shown prior to the screening of ‘Pressure’: ‘Hairitage’ (2016) directed by Aisha Sanyang-Meek, and ‘Beneath the Surface’ (2017) directed by Yero Timi-Biu. These short films directed for two talented young women, explore different aspects of black struggles from a contemporary point of view.

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Seats are limited so those wanting to see the films should book tickets in advance online at http://www.trowbridgearts.com, in person at Town Hall Arts, Market Street, Trowbridge or by phone on 01225 774306. There is no charge for the tickets.

 
This Black History Month celebration has been made possible with funds from Heritage Lottery Fund and it is supported by the Film Hub South West through the BFI Audience Network. This organisation has made it possible to run a third season of the multicultural community project ‘Getting Together Through Films’ in October and November 2018 and January 2019.

 
The Celebration has been organised by a partnership between Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, West Wiltshire Multi Faith Forum and Town Hall Arts.

 

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Survey: Make Some Noise – help shape the future of accessible music making — The Arts in Wiltshire

Calling all Music Educators, Music Makers, and Music Retailers. Earlier this year, Youth Music entered into a partnership with Creative United (who run Take it Away), OHMI, Drake Music, and OpenUp Music to work together bring more adapted and specialist musical instruments into the mainstream. One of the first things we’re working on is a piece of research […]

via Survey: Make Some Noise – help shape the future of accessible music making — The Arts in Wiltshire

Devizes Scooter Club Donate BBQ Day Funds to The Opportunity Centre

Trilbies off once again to the Devizes Scooter Club, who vroomed their hairdryers down to the Devizes & District Opportunity Centre Friday to donate a grand total of £1333, raised from their hugely successful Charity BBQ day in July at the Conservative Club. The Day-Breakers played, along with Blondie & Ska from Chippenham. There was plenty to do for all ages and the sun shone down on us all. Oh, bring back the summer!

Charity BBQ day. Images by Ruth Wordley

The Devizes & District Opportunity Centre, a small independent local charity with over 30 years’ experience of working to promote the overall development of young children with disabilities and difficulties, opens a world of opportunities for children and their families through high quality early years education, therapeutic care and ongoing support.

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First hand I’ve seen the wonder, delight and care this organisation, and the super heroic staff bring to Devizes and we should be truly grateful for the hard work they put in.

 
Meanwhile the Scooter Club zoom on, with a nine-piece soul band, Gimmie Some Lovin’ on Saturday October 27th at the Conservative Club. Tickets are £10, on sale through the club and Jeffersons. Then their monthly music nights continue with The Brightoners on 24th November. Aside from this though, if you’ve a scooter, or just wish to attend ride-outs and meetings, join them on Facebook.

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Pewsey Carnival Photo Gallery

It’s been a few too many years now since I attended Pewsey Carnival, at one time the largest and most renowned carnival in Wiltshire; I wonder if it’s still as madcap and brilliant as it once was? Ever wondered the same? I mean, howling winds, raining cats and dogs this year; surely they wouldn’t have all……..

If you thought like this, you’re not from Pewsey! Do these excellent images by James Kellar answer your questions?!  Thank you very much for allowing us to publish them James!

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One third of a review, Folded

Glad I popped into The Lamb for a pint now; Vinyl Realm’s maiden voyage into live music evenings, for as I suspected, The Compact Pussycat rocked.

 

What? Devizine is free, so no, you can’t ask for your money back; a third of a review is all I’ve got in me today, be bloody grateful. I’m here for the love people, but duty calls elsewhere and I’m too old (and scared) to call a sicky.

I ask you; that couple from Vinyl Realm, arranging their first evening of live music…on a Friday; did it with full knowledge I was unlikely to attend I wager! Egg on your faces Pete and Jacki, ha- if only for a pint, I made it anyway, with a grump-on to boot.

As much as it’d thrill me, because of fatigue and this off arrangement, to be highly critical of the evening in the function room of the Lamb, hereafter known to those in the know as The Fold, I couldn’t if I tried.

For what do I find on arrival at my old watering hole? A steady crowd gathering with anticipation, the opening act loitering in the beer garden, but a buzz and welcoming atmosphere about the tavern that they were in for a good night. Yeah, cheers then! I’m not bitter, honest.

Still, I was keen to check out Calne’s Compact Pussycat, as just like this fraction of a review my experience of them is fragmented. I.e.; I’ve seen both drummer Jack Moore and front man Jordan Whatley performing as solo artists but never as their group.

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So, think of this as a three-way fold, all you’re getting is the opening third, The Compact Pussycat; deal with it. And my deepest apologies to Pewsey’s middle act, acoustic heroine, Sally Dobson, of whom I had to nip out from and attempt at least ten of my forty winks; even if she’s always so nice and chatty to me, assisting me in my quest to prevent my eyelids from crashing downwards.

Same goes for the headline act, The Cracked Machine, notwithstanding both have recently been under Devizine’s spotlight with blindingly justified album reviews, and of whom I’ve no doubt would’ve put in an outstanding shift at the Fold. Feedback of it has been above excellent.

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Sally Dobson

With the notion the only critical element to Oliver Stone’s biopic of The Doors being Jim Morrison was portrayed as far too serious; yes, responded the surviving members of the band, he was that nuts, but in a good-humoured way the film simply didn’t convey, I enjoyed Jordan’s performance immensely. For he brews in confidence, an attitude of a gothic band of yore, the stage presence of Jim Morrison with said charismatic madcap wit, and the passion of an upcoming demi-god of our local music scene.

Glad I popped in for a pint now, as I suspected The Compact Pussycat rocked, with a stylised and showy performance. It’s a mellowed blues rock of skill which caused Sally concern of how to follow. “Do a lot of floor work,” I suggested, omitting the option of breakdancing for fear of a slap, as Jordan is never motionless in his grand performance. Judge for yourself with my blurry images, he’s either standing on stool, observing the posters on the wall, if not mostly on his knees with passion in his vocals.

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So, you’ve got a fairly good picture of the brilliant night at the Fold hosted by Vinyl Realm, if only a third of it. Here’s to the planned future events there and hope I’ll get a Saturday off work for one of them at least!

So, despite my personal situation, live music in Devizes is predominantly on Saturdays, therefore I’d reason the arrangement is welcomed. And as to the Compact Pussycat with their ironic, I feel, name, as nothing was compact neither Pussycat about them; they’re a lion in the hall of local music, hats off to them.

 

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Don’t go Dutch…go Bavarian!

By Zoe MacMillan

 

Saturday 29th September sees the village of Seend embrace the vibrancy and culture of Germany as we say goodbye to September & embrace October, with the annual Oktoberfest celebrations.

Last year’s games were such a success that there’s sure to be more of the same this year too with traditional Bavarian games & competitions to help you build up an appetite for our authentic German supper and a variety of German beers to wet your whistle.

And if that wasn’t even to keep you entertained it’s an opportunity to get your ‘Herr’ done (I’m sorry, not sorry for exploiting the opportunity for a cheap gag) release your inner Frau und Freuline, Damen und Herron and get yourself togged up in your lederhosen and Wenches finest (not obligatory, but great fun!) In an attempt to support European relations, we will Finnish up with a good ol’ English knees up and disco.

This is a ticketed event. Tickets are £12.50 to include supper and can be purchased from the Seend Post Office & Community Centre. The evening starts at 19.30. I’ll be there…question is, will you?

Facebook Event Page

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Nightlights on a Different Pathway

There’re smooth, emotive vocals from the off with this debut EP from Devizes own Nightlights, “Different Pathway” which prompted memories of Simple Minds, and a solid melody which made me think of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers.

 
Another homemade band so far escaped me. Just how many others of you are out there I’ve still to stumble on? Devizine is just as much a learning curve for me as it is for you, which is nothing but a good thing. Ben and Cam jump to my defence though, explaining “We’ve only been together as a whole band for just over a year now, and have been working hard to craft our sound and practice for gigs.”

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For a work-in-progress only stretching a year, Nightlights sound prodigious and tightly polished. There was me thinking this was going to be a run-of-the-mill pub circuit band. And, what’s in a name? I felt Night Lights a tad clichéd, besides not particularly apt coming from a town hardly Blackpool Illuminations, where it’s a tall order to ask the county council to bung on a street light of an evening.

 
Still, I can’t blame twenty-somethings Ben, Nath, James, Tristan and Cam who make up this enthusiastic band, for council spending cutbacks, with the undeniably wonky logic of which switching street lights on when it gets light seems passable. I could ask if they fancy a job at county hall, they seem to have their heads screwed on. Rather though, I inquired if they think their matured sound marries up to my Tom Petty comparison, with nods to an eighties rock vibe, such as U2 and level 42, etc. I mean, what are these guy’s influences for producing such an astoundingly solid debut EP?

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“I think Tom Petty is a fair comparison for Free & Sunshine,” they reply, “not sure if any of us really listen him to be honest, so it could just be something we picked up!” I approve this, for between the three tunes “Sunshine” is perhaps the closest, a country-rock riff. “Free,” however comes over blues inspired; be them Rolling Stones me thinks.

 
“Our influences are quite varied,” Cam expressed, “A few of us are into Blues and Classic Rock, so Clapton, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Knopfler.” This holds no surprises on hearing these tunes, as even though I state one signals blues while the other country-rock, there’s a definite style with Nightlights which bind them. What followed in our chat did surprise, “Then some of us have more modern influences,” he continued, “like Blur, Gorillaz, Bloc Party. Then there’s other bands and artists like Prince, Tool and Iron Maiden.”

 
Maybe my aging ears erroneous, as I hear Blur possibly, but as far as what’s coming across my speaker, there’s nothing too progressive or “dancey” as Gorillaz, and nothing too heavy for Maiden. These are just three enjoyable, evocative, grooving driving tunes performed fervently and with style. “Yeah,” they explain, “it’s a weird one really. I think we try to take inspiration from the past and move forward with it.” I reckon that works; here’s a sound with the professionalism of old fifty-something rockers, but a fresh breezy approach of youth. Impressive.

 
“It all mixes into a musical bucket,” Ben laughed, “and comes out nicely.”

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It neither tinkers with interminable intros or soundscapes for twenty minutes at the close, there’s no special effects, disco synths or samples from a sci-fi movie, just unadulterated rock. Don’t take my word for it, have a listen and I think you’ll agree Night Lights is one to keep an eye on. As while these tunes are fantastically accomplished, it’s an early crease and, I think their magnum opus is yet to come. As with the bands I’ve justifiably compared them too, who rely on that single, signature tune of magnificence, I think it’s only a matter of time before Night Lights trigger that one tune, and you want to be around when it does. Until that moment, Different Pathway is an excellent debut.

 
You can hear with this Soundcloud link; or Spotify link; it’s digital download only, from iTunes and online sources, and they told me, “We usually have copies of it at our gigs where we accept donations for it.”

 

You can catch them at The Churchill Arms West Lavington on 6th October and at The Black Swan in Devizes with Luke Clements-Mitchell on the 20th October. Like their Facebook page for further updates.

 

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Macmillan, who is he and why does he love coffee so much?

Macmillan, it’s a support charity, helping people from the moment they get that dreaded message. It’s a helping hand if everyone’s worst nightmare comes true; Macmillan are there to help them through it. Fit, unhealthy, smokers, non-smokers, binge drinkers to tee-total, cancer doesn’t care, it can devastate anyone’s life.

Friday 28th of September and beyond, some on the 27th, others flowing over to Saturday, all these sperate coffee morning, on a mass scale. You’ve seen the adverts, many have got involved.

Me, I thought it’d be nice to mention it, and let you know the local places taking part. So, I put a post on local groups at the ol’ book of face, encouraging those participating to let me know, so I could compile a comprehensive list here on Devizine.

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I then went over to the website where you can check who is taking part in your area, to see if there was any I may have missed. Boy, was I shocked, that filtered for SN10 results came up with a staggering 5,008 different events; that’s a lot of coffee.

Too much for me I’m afraid, I’m a tea kinda guy and so much as a coffee flavoured chocolate turns my nose up. But what’s in a name? There’s tea and, and, yeah; cake, to twist any arm. The charity even provides a start-up kit with cake recipes. Schools, community halls, pubs and perhaps a coffee shop or three are rallying to the cause.

So, given I’ve no intention of listing them all, here’s the ones who replied to the post, alphabetically so there’s no arguments, cake throwing and crying over spilt latte; but do check the website here, where there’s details of all events taking place. All listed below are believed to be on 28th unless otherwise stated.

The Barge at Seend
Bewitched Beauty Salon in New Park Street Devizes
Bulkington Village Hall (29th)
Charlton Baker in Snuff Street
Ferndale Dental Clinic, Estcourt Street Devizes
Nursteed Primary School
Seend Community Centre
Three Crowns, Devizes (27th)
Times Square, Market Place, Devizes
Wiltshire Museum, Long Street Devizes

But it’s not just organisations taking part, some do a coffee morning in their own homes,  as Nazile Matthews pointed out, it’s all round to her mum’s at 1 Longcroft Avenue, Devizes. Put the kettle on Nazile’s mum, and the best of luck with all these super fundraising coffee mornings.

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Day Breakers at The Scooter Club

Scooter enthusiasts will descend on Woolacombe this weekend for an annual rally. Back in Devizes our own Scooter Club host their monthly do at the Cons Club on Saturday night (22nd Sept), with the brilliant Day Breakers from Swindon.

Let’s be honest here, it’s no walk in the park for them, attracting scooterists with a highly regarded rally on at the same time. This said The Devizes Scooter Club has fast built a reputation in town for hosting some quality and very worthy events, ideal to attract anyone with a passing interest in soul, reggae, ska and mod music of yore.

Also, they’ve actively supported and raised funds for The Devizes & District Opportunity Centre with two free fun days.

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The Day Breakers at the Scooter Club’s charity BBQ this summer. Image by Ruth Wordley.

Notwithstanding the repertoire of The Day Breakers doesn’t just confine itself to the genres of the Scooter Club, but expands to include a diverse range of retrospective anthems; Dexys, The Cure, Echo and the Bunnymen, to name but a few, and also have an element of folk-rock and Irish classics from The Pouges and The Levellers, for example.

Together their blend creates a buzzing atmosphere. I’m delighted to announce them appearing at our Birthday Bash event in November, that’s how passionate I am about these guys. You may also have seen the band’s duo act of Cath and Gouldy under the pseudonym Sound Affects, also prolifically gigging locally.

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So, perhaps it’s the ideal opportunity for you to throw caution to the wind, and give it the sociable Scooter Club events a go; help them fill the large venue, as it’ll only attain said buzzing atmosphere if we, Devizes bohemians support it! Don’t arrive at the break of day though, what’s in a name? Doors will open at 7:30pm…I think! Tickets are a tenner, expected to be on the door or in advance at the club, Jeffersons and Vinyl Realm.

Facebook Event Page

 

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Beaux Gris Gris on the Saddleback

Just three points between them saw the Saddlebacks lose over Walcot this Saturday, but by the evening the Sports Club came up trumps as the polished sound of electric blues blessed wall to wall; Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse came to rock, and did with a passion. Not before local blues legend Jon Amor eased the crowd in with his own entertaining, and often amusing compositions, one such inspired by shenanigans of his youth in Devizes, “Just Another Stitch in You Party Dress.”

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There was tight professionalism and even balance for a band only formed a year ago, with members spread across the pond. Smiling in an airy back room, dynamic front girl, Greta Valenti clarified she grew up in Louisiana, hence the New Orleans blues label, but now lives in California. “That’s how it all started,” she begun, “because Robin wanted to do a blues project, so I said only if it’s in a Louisiana style.”

Guitarist and UK British Blues Hall of Fame inductee, Robin Davey of The Hoax, who had worked with Greta in the band Well Hung Heart, has dual citizenship, now residing in California. “Technically,” Greta informed, there’s four Americans and one British in the band.”

Already smitten with her iridescent azure bob and striking accent, I was keen to ask Greta how they overcome the distance. “Well, the first time we started writing songs it was just me, Ali, and Robin,” she explained, “just doing recordings with our phones and sending them over to Bob Fridzema, and Mark [Barrett.]” I shrugged, yep; so easy now with the internet. But Greta continued, “we had one practise before we went on tour. This time though, we flew Mark over to California to do a couple of shows over there and, yeah, now we’re here!” Opening their new tour only for a night in Devizes though, as this morning saw them land in Holland for the Breda Barst Festival.

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Not hanging around, the tour is promoting their debut album; “Don’t let the Bastards Drag you Down,” surprisingly released just, “a couple of days ago,” Greta smiled. “Yeah, and we’ll go from there, we needed the album so people know who we are, as we’ve just put out a video for Heartbreaker.”

The only reference I came into the interview with though, was the video of the title track, which, to me, heralded an evident country inspiration to their blues panache. So, I was surprised on asking Greta the band’s influences that Motown popped up. She stumbled on this question, but without pretention, more pride in her band, she replied, “umm, this question is always hard; everything, I dunno, everyone here, our band!” Still struggling she murmured, “Nick Cave meets Louisiana Blues meets, ermm, gypsy and a little bit of Motown soul.” The third song into the set, I could sense the soul influence, with a sprinkling of swing too, divergent from the punk attitude I preconceived; still, it was kick-ass!

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We continued to discuss, how when it came down to blue’s level, all these genres blend effortlessly, as it is, after all, the root of all of them. For some reason I babbled a bit about friends arguing over ska and metal, but with this in mind, mentioning how Fats Domino would’ve influenced both, it’s all one and the same thing at base level; Greta agreed. Here then is why we need to throw off preconceptions about blues as a genre, and Beaux Gris Gris are a prime example, breaking that down and redefining blues with nods to its contemporary offshoots, and bringing those genres crashing back to blues, stylishly. For no matter what offshoots this band referenced, it always returned to raw and spirited electric blues.

There was clearly a connection akin to Ray Manzarek and John Densmore of the Doors, with (drummer from the Hoax,) Mark Barrett, and Bob Fridzema (of King King and Joanne Shaw Taylor) on keys, as members subjugated entrancing and convoluted instrumental breaks. Vocally Greta and Ali mimicked this, stripping down a track, Thrill Me to the minimum and spellbinding the crowd.

 

Meanwhile Robin broke the fourth wall by stepping into the dancers with sublime guitar solos, at one point gathering chairs for the few still sitting to be moved closer to the action. Irish-American singer-songwriter in her own right, Ali Coyle shone on bass guitar and support vocals, and binding the team together for this awesome show, Greta has the kick-ass attitude of Gwen Stefani but the style and grace of Lulu, and a powerful vocal range to prompt me to think of Aretha Franklin performing Rock Steady.

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Still, the punchy title track, which was performed with grace last, I had to ask, I mean, not paranoid or anything, just to elucidate, “who are the bastards, or is that a too obvious question?!”

“Well,” Greta considered her answer, “I think we all have our own bastards, in America there’s probably a particular bastard, an orange-coloured bastard.” I assured her he’s not predominantly liked here either. An interruption broke our chain of thought, I tried to clarify, it wasn’t a direct link to Trump, rather more general. “We just felt like it’s a way a lot of people feel at this time, in a lot of different places. But if it’s not those bastards, it’s your boss at work, or, you know.”

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So, who’s writing? “A lot of the songs I write the melodies and lyrics, Ali wrote one she bought into the group, others we wrote together, Robin wrote Bastards.” So, like the composition of the band, it’s an amalgamation. It’s this shareware ethos which bonds the band and gave us this unforgettable performance. The encore of which saw Jon Amor invited back, concluding with a mutually respectful guitar-off for want of a better term, against Davey.

 
While I chatted to John about the prospects of another Saddleback, which was confirmed for next summer, I was keen to ask organiser Mirko, if this was part of a series of smaller “Saddleback Presents” nights, of which he confirmed another is due in November. If this then, is the only the beginning of autumn for Saddleback events, it’s going to be a most welcomed stormy fall.

 

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The Cracked Machine Works

Watching a program on TV, set in the 1990s, the other day I noted a poster for Pink Floyd’s “The Division Bell,” on the wall of the teenage protagonist. If it wasn’t for that, it’s an album I’d have long forgotten.

Without Waters (who had strong words to say of it) but tipped to be a return to traditional Floyd, I never got on with this release of vacuous glib, despite its popularity. Maybe after 14 albums the band just went through the motions for avarice, Gilmour sang like he didn’t give a toss.

In 1994, with trance and ambient house forerunning The Division Bell was the final nail in the coffin for mainstream prog-rock, a detachment indeed. Farcical to call it thus, mundane rock would’ve been apt. For example, The Ozric Tentacles were Frome guys actually progressing the genre, but in underground circles it was techno offspring, Eat Static which really pulled advances in music.

Times had changed by 94, never dreaming I’d be here in 2018 listening once again to space-rock like a Hawkwind throwback. But here in our humble Devizes is a band which had so far escaped my attention. It’s a sound worthy of attention though, for Cracked Machine’s debut album released on PsyKa Records in May, “I, Cosmonaut,” is the album I’d have wanted to hear when I clicked play on that Division Bell CD.

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Whaa, I hear you cry, wait just a cotton-picking minute here. Yes, I did say that. As they play the Lamb’s Fold next Friday (21st September,) I wanted to check this album out, despite knowing Pete and Jacki of Vinyl Realm wouldn’t muck about with Sheer Music’s treasure, still I was left surprised and overwhelmed at how good this band are.

Self-described as “an exciting four-piece band who weave together hypnotic grooves, infectious riffs and layers of sonic texture to create compelling and original soundscapes,” Cracked Machine was formed in 2015 by skilled musicians, and it shows. Introducing then, Bill Denton on guitar, Chris Sutton on bass, Clive Noyes on keys/vocals and Blazej Gradziel on drums, Friday night at the Lamb is set to sooth, with support from Sally Dobson aka the Salamander and The Compact Pussycat too.

From the off, the opening track, “Twin Suns Rising,” akin to a fantasy book’s introduction, lets you know what to expect. Lucid free flowing rock, restful and spellbinding.

Ingeniously composed, aforementioned Floyd springs to mind, from the slant of “Echoes” from the “Meddle” album. Despite this comparison, these otherworldly sounds are contemporary rather than archaic, or retrospective of a psychedelic era of heavy Hawkwind, Tolkienesque interpretations, hand-made bongs and Gilbert Shelton comix, but with a pinch of trance, replacing Tangerine Dream synths with sublime space-rock guitar riffs and solid basslines, it takes you on a journey few albums do these days.

There’s even a spoken sample akin to ambient house opening “Svetlana,” but again with wailing guitar it’s mellow driving rock for a twilight ride. Again, with the final song, “Transorbital,” shards of dance music’s side of mellow repaid me a call, almost the trip-hop of Nightmares on Wax, least The Orb’s trance method. But by the time it’s done, the wailing guitar riff returns you it’s space-rock predominance, gorgeously.

We wait until the 4th tune, the title track, for vocals but it doesn’t matter, it’s the soundscapes which you’ll blanket you and submerge you into pillows of fluffy ambiance. While there’s these clear influences of prog rock classics, the Ozric and Cream, to name but a few, it’s undeniably unique and a double thumbs-up from me. You can get it at Vinyl Realm, even on vinyl, naturally!

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www. facebook.com/crackedmachineband

https://psyka.bandcamp.com/album/i – cosmonaut

www.psyka- records.com

 

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Riding Along on an E-Bike, Baby!

I try out an e-bike, chat about environmental issues and Green Drinks events with Sustainable Devizes chairman, John Schofield.

 

Firstly, a massive shout out to Jenny Dalton and the other members of the Seend Pork Pie Cycling Club, who, pie-fuelled, are zooming through the Deloitte Ride Across Britain, again! Last social media post saw them on day 4, from Ludlow to Haydock. In a couple of words; “bugger that,” perhaps adding “for a laugh,” for good measure.

 
As I’ve harked on previously, cycling is simply not my cup of tea; a cup of tea, maybe a bourbon biscuit is much more my cup of tea. An attempt to cycle the couple of miles to work a few years ago confirmed my loathing and total handicap for the pastime, when the handlebars collapsed on me.

 
This followed an episode where I struggled to cycle the steep track to the Caen Hill Lock carpark, only mounting the darn thing upon arriving at a break in the bushes, so people wouldn’t see me pushing it with an expression of failure smeared across my sad and exhausted mug. I just haven’t got what it takes; fact. I got as far down the canal as Foxhangers but, stuff the fox, I was the one hanging. An elderly couple breezed past me, the gent telling his wife, “we’ve done eight thousand miles this morning, maybe we should stop for a quick break?” Go on, geroff with yer!

 
Never say never though; the chairman of Sustainable Devizes stands at my front door in his Lycra, missing one bicycle. John Schofield has cycled from Bromham this clement afternoon, to let me try his e-bike; I did warn him past experience on this mode of transport was as wobbly as my balance.

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So, I’m taking a quick trip around my estate, passing by the house and yelling, “this is so much easier!” Because it is; I could, at a push, make it to work, and back, alive, perhaps even further. “E-bikes are great at flattening out the hills!” John told me. So, if a slob like me can push extreme boundaries, just think what you could do with an e-bike; save the environment, not forgetting zipping past all those frustrated drivers, wedged in traffic in Devizes; the only movement they make is their fingers across phones, tapping out a whinging post for Facebook.

 
How apt under current traffic conditions in town, for the first in this season’s talks from Sustainable Devizes, on October 17th, on the subject of how to convert a bicycle into an e-bike. “Basically, it’s a bicycle with an added electric motor and battery,” John explained, and for all intents and purposes it resembles an average bike, the water bottle replaced with a battery and a neatly hidden motor at the pedals. “Legally the motor should only be activated when you pedal, so it gives assistance,” he continued, averting my fear it’d zoom away like a jet-ski! “Also, the motor must cut out when you reach 25kph,” as if I would contemplate that speed!

 
As it’s still a bike, you don’t need a license or insurance. But the million-dollar question is cost. After browsing a website and noting to buy an e-bike weighs in over 3 grand, John stressed it’s around £400 for a conversion kit.

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We moved onto my own electric work vehicle, my trusty milk float. I was keen to ask, without getting overly political, “if a vehicle in the 1970s can be electric, shouldn’t they all be by now?” Does John think it’s oil industry backhanders preventing the growth of this, and many other greener solutions? “It is interesting that even after Tesla showed the world how to make great electric cars,” he replied, “the main manufacturers really haven’t got on with it. There has to be some pressure on them from the oil industry.”

 
Like many green issues, they don’t get the funding, something is amiss.

 

 

The bottom line, I feel, is the need to obliterate the concept that environmental issues are a bunch of whinging tree-huggers making a whole lot of fuss, and except change is overdue. I ask you what has a scientist to gain from lying, his pursuit only to discover how and why things function? A two-part question, the latter half being, now consider what a politician, hell bent on elevation up the ranks and wealth, has for lying? Beggar’s belief, it really is!

 
Still, knee-deep in water middle-Americans adopt the ethos it’s God punishing them for electing a Muslim president, and good old Trump will don a cloak, wear his underpants on the outside and save the day. It is no hoax, you blithering idiot. It’s not a paranoid hippy trip-out. Sustainable Devizes is not a registered charity, not a company out for financial expansion, least simply a social committee of likeminded individuals keen for change.

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Electric cars and bikes just one of the many issues they discuss. “The previous chairman did petition the council for more charging points,” John explains, “Some of the members have written to various supermarkets to try to get them to put in charging points.” For I feel batteries running out is a point many worry about with electric vehicles. For John’s trusty bike though, with a range of 25+ miles, the battery has never run out, and if it did, he’d just cycle it home!

 
I sigh, wondering if I’m only preaching to the converted here, pondering if anyone who needs to change their ways will read thus far. For John has organised a regular social happening, aside from the Sustainable group, called “Green Drinks.” It’s basically a less formal pub beano where anyone with so much as a passing interest in environmental issues can meet and chat. “Green Drinks is more about socialising with people who either work in environmental fields, or who just care about the environment. It’s nice sometimes not to feel that the meeting has to be organising some way of changing the world,” John clarified.

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“Such events happen in towns all over the world,” (http://www.greendrinks.org/) “So I thought I’d see if anyone in Devizes was up for it.” The first meet saw five turn up at the Vaults, discussing a range of topics from the political situation, to how to cope with slugs attacking your vegetables. John is aiming for the first Wednesday of every month, although this subject to change as it may clash with meetings from Sustainable Devizes.

 
For now, the next green shindig will be at the Vaults starting at 7:30pm on Wednesday 3rd October; all welcome, just look for the Green Drinks flag!

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For info on Sustainable Devizes and details of upcoming events Click Here.

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Strange Tales which are Unknown to Science

One of the older kids, super-cool, least I thought at the time; now I’d label him as a poser! With lengthy-hanging fringe, he’d habitually flick back with the frills of his cuff, he’d slide rather than walk, in winkle-picker pixie boots. On the eve of breakdancing, when I was duty bound to be attired in whatever my mum chose, normally hand-me-down stay-press and Fred Perry shirts, this kid was one step ahead; a “new romantic.” Like the pensive look of Simon Le-Bon, it was a trend I fell short a few years from.

He gave my brother a mix tape, while I marvelled at the computer-generated sound of electro from the US, this cassette was filled with synth-pop, and with it I realised there was already a definite electronic sound the UK charts only simmered over. Thanks to Ministry of Sound eighties compilations for the reminder, I realise I was “into it” all the time, as the pop of the era nestled it, prior to selling electronica out to the hit factories later in the decade.

Electronic music in its infancy heralded a new realm, which old rockers despised and punk groups tuned into or else fell into obscurity. Say what they liked about Adam Ant, he was filling his dandy purse and they weren’t. But why burp all this up now? Well, for nostalgic purposes this Strange Tales CD, “Unknown to Science” is outstanding. Its opening track, “Strange Tales Theme,” flew me back there, nicely. I kept it in my jean’s back pocket right through the Saddleback Festival, after singer Sally Dobson handed it to me. No matter how many ales I sunk, I remembered to take it out of my pocket before I sat down; I’m glad I protected it.

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It’s lived on the CD player in my kitchen since, a review overdue, but its brilliance took me by surprise. Few months prior Sally sent me a track, “Not a Witch,” to add to our online Now spoof of local music. While I liked it, I have to admit it was a tad gothic for my taste. Whilst I’d approach Joy Division in the eighties, to dye my hair black and apply eyeliner would’ve been a substantial number of steps too far. Once relocated to Wiltshire in 87, I noticed a trend we didn’t have in Essex; the goth-look. To me the corridors of St Johns looked like the school scenes in Uncle Buck.

I found by default I had to worship Robert Smith if I wanted to get off with Marlborough girls sozzled on Cinzano, but venturing further wasn’t for me, and I alienated myself away from fields with anything Nephilim in, veered clear of Sisters of Mercy, in case they bite. It just felt so gloomy and miserable.

Glad to say by subject matter Not A Witch is the most gothic fashioned on the album, other tunes of melodic, bass and synth-driven sounds were more satisfying to my ear, more upbeat, prompting memories of Depeche Mode, The Human League and the plethora of eighties pop bands on the aforementioned “hair-flicking” cool kid’s mixtape. If you send me back to 1985 I could add a track like “Entropy” onto it unnoticed, it bounds with retrospective indulgence.

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“Unknown to Science” then is a keeper on my shelf; overflowing with baroque ardour, admonitory narrative inspired by the darker crooks of essence, but absorbent of pop, with tracks like the catchy “Human Forest” and beguiling “Nanobots,” and utilitarian punk, like “Wolf Eyes,” rather than overtly gothic like “Not a Witch.” The band describe it thus; “musical curiosities from the darker side of the street,” it only swerves close to being gothic, and if any comparison needs to be made, I’d tinker on Yazoo.

While it’s a tall order to assume Sally’s vocals to be as commanding as Moyet, they caress the band’s élan and balance the nature of Strange Tales powerfully and stunningly. Fronted by Wiltshire’s Sally Dobson on synth/drum programming as well as aforesaid vocals, reinforced by the characteristic basslines of Paul Sloots, resident of West Sussex and veteran of the Crawley music scene, they’re now joined by guitarist Lea Truckle.

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On speaking with Sally, who locally regularly gigs acoustically, I was curious which she preferred, solo or as Strange Tales. Indirectly she explained that due to location of its members, Strange Tales was a rarity. I am however keen to hear them perform live as a three-piece, as “Unknown to Science,” is a worthy treasure and dissimilar to our current local scene. Give it and try and I’ll guarantee you’ll feel the same way, even if you were absent from the era of lengthy-hanging fringes, frills on cuffs and pixie boots.

You can pick a copy up at Vinyl Realm, or for more info check their website here.

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Lego & Steam

The week before the end of the school holidays and it was time for the attack to commence. A Lego spaceship was poised over Lego town, lasers set to kill. The suburban metropolis I’d taken all holiday to create was about to meet its annual apocalypse. Dad called it to action; “tidy up your bricks, now!”

At the start of the summer break each year I’d plan my town. Sadly, I actually drew up blueprints of the road layout, considered the geographical position of essential services such as the train and fire station and strategically designed its infrastructure; no slapdash, nothing left to chance. It was Sim City before Sim City. It was in fact, also Minecraft, Roblox and at times like this, Grand Theft Auto.

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To say I loved Lego was an understatement; it’s was beyond a toy, it was the outlet for creative juices to flow, it was a magical realm where I could play out all my imaginings, it was, in short, whatever I wanted it to be.

My Dad saved up for a holiday in Denmark because of this obsession; no Legoland in Windsor back then. He drove to Brighton to stop my pleas to visit the Lego Show, and spent a small fortune so that I may have two humongous boxes of bricks, a train, and much more. But it seemed I wasn’t alone, it took him some convincing when I became the Dad that he should surrender the boxes so his grandkids (and I) could play with them.

His argument, it was something they could play with when they came to visit flawed upon arriving; he sat up for what must have been weeks, constructing the train, the garage et-all, so, he claimed, it was ready for when they came; he wasn’t fooling anyone.

Seems those inventive bricks are adored by all who connect them, Top Gear presenter James May made an actual house with them, Bugatti recently made a real working car too, and I’m glad my children now love them, building on the collection I passed down. If they ask me to help I’m down on the carpet before you can say Ole Kirk Christiansen du er en gud.

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Seems my Lego licence has expired slightly and I’m now building illegally. You could call the Lego police, but their police station is in bits in a box somewhere…. 

What astounds me as a grownup is their business acumen. Their ideas hidden from competition with military precision, their marketing second-to-none, and in all my years of buying Lego models never once, ever, has the product been faulty or missing a single tiny piece. Lego is flawless.

But if I thought I was an obsessive, I hadn’t seen anything until I visited the Steam Museum’s Lego show a few years back. There were “adults” there who paled my interest in Lego by comparison. They built a wide variety of awesome models, some pitched their own compatible ingenious inventions, or sold collections the like you’ve never seen.

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But the outing was a double-whammy, for you get to explore the brilliant interactive museum of the GWR; where curators worked the factories, only too pleased to elucidate their fascinating memories. In fact, I think my son, six at the time, enjoyed the museum more than the Lego, least if not, just as much.

This is Swindon at its absolute pinnacle, for kids from ages 1 to 101.

Make no mistake this experience wasn’t cheap but if you have even so less as a passing interest in Lego, it’s worth every penny. It’s coming back; the 2018 Great Western Brick Show at Steam is on October 6th and 7th, 10am-5pm. You know everything there will be awesome, and if you’ll ever help Emmet find the piece of resistance, it’s there.

 

Click for the Great Western Brick Show website

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Quality Home-Cooked Pub Grub in Rowde

Must’ve been months ago now, when I dropped into The Cross Keys in Rowde for a feature on the theme of how village pubs need to be the hub of the community, and how landlady Kelly was planning, and so-far achieving that.

 
I confess I only browsed the menu then, propping up the bar and chatting with Kelly, therefore I only passed comment on how appetising it looked. Now, as a family birthday treat, of which I had no intentions of writing a review about (got have some time off eh?!) I’m glad to post an update, simply because it was, as I suspected at the time, so good.

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Seated in the bar area, as the Saturday night bookings filled the restaurant area, was no bad thing; the football was on, my daughter’s ideal viewing, Man City (yeah, I know, I can’t expect her to transfer to West Ham on the best of seasons let alone now.) Also, the bar area is, as we wished for, the hub of our village, inviting and friendly.

 
Save it to say, in the past when chef Rob Philpot run that kitchen like clockwork, producing the best pub grub I’ve tasted, the Cross Keys has a reputation to uphold. It’s a rep that has waned at times, but risen like a phoenix out of the ashes again. If high standard home-cooked pub grub is what you favour, that is what you’re going to get, in ample quantity.

 
The better half had a burger, homecooked and stacked with onion rings it made me ponder if I’d made the right choice with the lasagne. Lo-and-behold though, the lasagne was also a homemade beauty. In a deep dish using mozzarella as opposed to some felonious pubs which use cheddar, it was positively oozing with flavour, with garlic bread toasted to perfection.

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I don’t why I needed to order sweet potato fries and onion rings as a side order, because even though they were fresh and homemade too, I couldn’t finish them. One of my Gran’s annotations, “Yer eyes are bigger than your belly,” is most apt on this occasion, despite the confusion in taking it literally as a child.

 
Talking of kids, my daughter was catered for, chips swapped for a jacket potato as she required, and it was plentiful. She reported it as tasty, and it only ended in a clean plate, allowing room for a sundae, naturally. Pudding would’ve been dangerous for me though, I was close to exploding and half a bowl full of sweet potato chips still peered deviously at me, inviting me to pick at them as pudding. they were sweet enough, but imaginings of Mr Creosote from Monty Python’s Meaning of Life haunted me.

 
If this is what the everyday menu is like, it leaves positive dreams of the renowned Sunday carvery . I’ve been recommended the pizzas here too, but we’d had pizza the previous night; spoiled rotten I am.

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Kelly herself was assisting Dan in the kitchen, but popped all smiles only to notice it was me, and as so often happens these days, her expression changed to “please, be nice!” I don’t know why people do this, I know I’ve built a character which tells it as it is, for if I didn’t it’d get boring and unreliable, but especially I don’t know why when they’ve nothing to fear, as the commitment they put in, prior to realising it’s that nasty bloke who writes that darn website, is excellent! I gave her a thumbs-up across the bar and the smiles promptly returned.

 
The menu may be standard pub dishes, but there’s been no corners cut to bring to a level of high standards, price-wise is also standard but with quality as generous as this, we left a couple of pints down, content and intending to return. As for Kelly and her welcoming staff, they seem to enjoy breathing life into these walls, which only comes as a valid bonus.

 

Cross Keys, Rowde: booking recommended; click here

 

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Mahoosive Carnival Photo Gallery

Images used by permission of Gail Foster

 

Here it is then, none of my inconsequential ramblings, just some lovely photos of Saturday’s carnival procession, which sadly spells the close to the annual Devizes Outdoor Celebratory Art’s fortnight of festivities. I think I speak for all when I congratulate and thank everyone involved, and as I said to the mayor, it just seems to get better every year.

 
A mahoosive thanks too, to shutterbug Gail Foster who sent us these pics. As a poet Gail’s words often accurately depict life here in Devizes, sometimes caricatures it, but with equal dedication her photographs capture the scene wonderfully.

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A Little Look at What’s Happening in September…… Part One!

“Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty.”

Oh, do one Wordsworth; we’re due for another heatwave till November; it’s as true as I sit here in my khaki summer shorts…. read it in the Sunday Express. Autumn ain’t arrived yet I tells you, summer is having a laugh.

 
Talking of having a laugh, we kick this month off with The Moonrakers Comedy Night at the Cellar Bar on Thursday (6th) Check out the preview for it here. Same day Festival Number 6 begins in Wales, see, festival, still summer!

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Friday 7th sees the opening of a new season at The Wharf Theatre, Devizes, with The Johnny Cash Story.

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Also, there be stuff happening in Poulshot, ‘Between You and Me’, is an evening of words, songs, comedy and audience participation, with ‘the Bard of Barnsley’ Ian McMillan and Luke Carver Goss. Ian McMillan is a poet, journalist, playwright, and broadcaster. He is known for his strong and distinctive Barnsley accent, and his incisive, friendly interview style on programmes such as “The Verb”. A frequent national TV and Radio star, Ian is including Poulshot as part of his UK Tour.

 
Goatfest kicks off Friday for the weekend. No, you don’t need to bring a goat, it’s called that cos it’s at Goatacre, Dumbo. Acts include Jenny Bracey, The Chaos Brothers, The Shadow Monkeys, Leon Daye, Six O’clock Circus, The Ukey Dukes, Spidasense, Ruff Diamond, Manhattan Nights, Clark & The Kryptonites, Mick O’Toole and Catholic Action. There’s camping available, book here.

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English-American songwriters Jack Rose and Dom Sky are Govardo, they started writing songs while living in rural India, inspiring a fresh sound rooted in classic finger style guitar and harmonies with soaring vocals and a unique falsetto; catch them at the Pounds Arts, Corsham.

 
If it’s a bit of upbeat reggae and ska you’re after, get down the Vic in Swindon where the SN Dubstation will skank you till you drop. Failing that, Bon Jovi tribute Wrong Jovi is live at the Swiss Chalet. You’ll be lucky to get tickets for this one but Garbage play St Phillips Gate in Bristol too.

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Saturday 8th the park will be glowing at Longleat. Here in town, you can catch country legend Zenne for an afternoon in Vinyl Realm, until she plays the Ragged Old Flag in Calne.

 
The legendary Long Street Blues Club kicks off its 11th season in style, with Hamilton Loomis. Alternatively, Sunset Service are live at The Southgate.

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Hamilton Loomis

There’s a Summer BBQ (see!) in Easterton, the Melksham Assembly Rooms have Fleetwood Bac tribute band. The Triple JD Band are at Three Horseshoes, Bradford, and Mike Vernon & The Mighty Combo @ Market Lavington Community Hall.

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Over in Swindon, check The Roughcut Rebels at the Brown Jack, and there’s Swindon Dub Club at the Afro Caribbean Centre….. or if dub isn’t your thang, how about the Frome Cheese Show?

 
Sunday 9th starts the legendary carnival period in Pewsey with the Carnival Light Switch On and a Band Concert. If you want bands though, Devizes Town Band are at Hillworth for the Proms in the Park.

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Over in Bromham, it’s a free food fest; Taste Wiltshire 2018; preview here. Run it all of at The Nationwide New Swindon Half Marathon; not for me, if you’re in Swindon I’d only run as far as the Kings, where Gouldy and Caff (aka Sound Affects) are performing. The The at St Phillips Gate, Bristol though; cool.

 
Skip to Wednesday 12th as with every Wednesday there’s an Acoustic Jam Night at The Southgate, Devizes. Carnival Whist Drive @ Hillcott. Murder On The Orient Express (12A) @ Marlborough Town Hall.

 
Thursday 13th and those Sheer Music lot Presents Crazy Arm with 2 Sick Monkeys at the Vic, Swindon.

 
Friday 14th is the start of Sky Safari, Longlet’s Balloon Festival which continues all weekend. In town, The Astral Ponies & The Bone Chapel come highly recommended, at The Cellar Bar. But spoiled for choice, I’ve got The Roughcut Rebels at the Lamb, Devizes, but also Sheer Music are at the Fold with Nick Parker, Olivia Awbrey & Mike Barham.

 
Melksham Assembly Hall has Voodoo Room, a tribute to the music of Hendrix, Clapton & Cream. Or check out, Big Country with The Chaos Brothers as support @ Swindon Meca. The Urban Lions @ Golden Lion, Bristol.

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If you love your comics, Saturday 15th is for you; get to The International Comic Expo, Birmingham. Or maybe just pick up a book at Rowde Village Hall’s Second-Hand Book Sale; 2pm-4pm, Entrance Fee 20p!

 
Pewsey Carnival Duck Race, and Four-Legged Event is a sight to be seen though!

 
Saddleback are back at Devizes Sports Club, with the incredible Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse; preview here. There’s the return of the Under 16s Disco @ The Exchange too.

 
Just out of town, Indecision play The Owl, Bromham, and it’s The Seend Summer Ball.

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Marlborough goes mod, with Peloton live at The Lamb. While The Village Pump in Trowbridge hosts Sheer Music’s Jacob & Drinkwater with our Tamsin Quin.

 
Further out, it’s the Berwick St John Country Fayre, The Big Thirst at Bradford on Avon, and the wonderful People Like Us can be seen at The Messenger in Swindon.

 
Polish your Saturday off with a Bath Moonlight Walk for Dorothy House.
Let’s mention Sunday 16th then my dinner will be ready! Pewsey is the officially the place to be: The Great Pewsey Bake Off, Pewsey Flower & Produce Showcase and the Feast Tea at Bouverie Hall.

 
That is unless you’re up for The Foxtrot 5 Road Race at Boughton Gifford, or getting down to some country, as Angels With Dirty Faces are playing the Devizes CMC down the Cons Club.

 
I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand my angels with nice clean faces.

 

 

Check out our event calendar for more details and links to these fantastic events, and if you think that’s about enough, you’ve not seen how the second half of September hots up……… TO BE CONTINUED……………….

 

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Wiltshire Boy Takes One-Man Protest to County Hall…..

Proper job; welcomed return of The Wiltshire Boy sees our intrepid Swampy-in-Harris-Tweed taking his protest to the highest officials, County Hall in Trowbridge. Have no concern; our heroic dissident’s solo campaign about the roadworks in Devizes will be heard…. save one minor hiccup.

wiltsboyheaderdevAll afternoon I was raising awareness at ‘County Hall’ for the suffering commuters in Devizes, but I don’t think any councillors work on a Saturday, damn it.

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