While it’s that quiet month of January, when all that remains of a festive season are a couple of abandoned coconut creams in an otherwise empty Quality Street tin, a lone Christmas cracker novelty moustache sluggishly gliding under the fridge and a tree dumped in the street with a single streamer dangling, it’s a good opportunity to highlight forthcoming stuff to do, and look forward to summer festivals and extravaganzas.
If you’ve not yet discovered the news that Devizes has its very own scooter rally this summer, prearranged by The Devizes Scooter Club, then you’ve been living either on the moon, or Pewsey. But you might be forgiven to assume that an event of this magnitude will render the Scooter Club void of its usual crazy, crazy nights at the Conservative Club; you’d be very much mistaken.
Not content to sit on their laurels and await the rally in July, they’ve been busy revving engines, and perhaps safe-bet gigs with two nights of returning favourites and also, a new-comer to Devizes. So, it begins; on Saturday February 23rd, tickets for this a mere snip of a fiver in advance, for possibly the most renowned northern soul DJ in the UK, Mr Terry Hendrick, precisely one day under a year from the last time he graced us with his presence, rather splendid two-tone suit and braces.
Devizine reported a blinding night as thus; “Northern Soul aficionados from far and wide mingled with Devizes natives for an evening of cheongsam dresses, two-tone suits and quality northern soul on the talcum powdered dancefloor of the overflowing Conservative Club last night,” as it was indeed a cracking night, nearly cracked the old knees! Terry Hendrick does not disappoint, with a blend of rare groove and classics for all fans of soul. I suspect it’ll be a heady night with bar staff rushed off their feet!
The end of April, Saturday the 27th, also sees a soulful return of a favoured night last year. Bedfordshire’s finest, All That Soul’s reappearance also marks an anniversary of their original visit to our town. At the time I intended to flick between the club and a band at the Southgate, but once I heard these divas sing, I stayed for the duration, wedged in the groove!
Of all the fantastic nights the Scooter Club have owned, I’m reckoning All That Soul was perhaps the best, of which I described at the time as thus; “I kid you not, they were the soul cover band equivalent of Star Trek’s Borg, in matching frocks; resistance was futile. They assimilated me, half the population of Devizes, and reassigned our honky booties from the bar to the dance floor. With irresistible charisma and panache from the off, they filled the Cons Club with a plethora of chic Motown and Atlantic soul classics.”
The two most celebrated acts we’ve seen at the Scooter Club are separated by a newcomer to Devizes in March, Saturday March 30th to be precise. The Decatonics change the genre, a nine-piece ska band based in Bournemouth. Formed in 2012, they’re female fronted, loud and proud. See, you can apply as much soul as you like guys, but when it comes an evening to whine up mi waist like I was young again, it’s good to hear a bit of ska has also been included. Look forward to this night; tickets are a tenner.
I think, after April the Club understandably ween off the Cons Club nights, to work on this forthcoming rally. July really will test them to the limits, with eights acts plus DJs, it’ll be a heady weekend for scooter enthusiasts, but more importantly I feel, an awesome opportunity for locals with a passing interest in the scene to sample the diverse range of music on offer. It’ll all be covered there, from mod, to rock steady and ska to northern soul.
Not to mention it’s in Rowde, and you know what we’re like! So, yeah, like groovy, while tickets are available at the Cons Club, Vinyl Realm and Jeffersons for Terry’s night in Feb, wristbands have also gone on sale for the Rally; now that should cheer your otherwise gloomy January night up a bit…. better than a squashed coconut cream.
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