All Photos used with the permission of Gail Foster, except the one of Gail herself!
Gimme a samba band, throw me an avant-garde minimalist techno breakbeat and then chastise me with a euro-pop grunge fusion played by an antelope on a washboard, I couldn’t give a donkey’s kidneys, all music is better than no music; shit, imagine a world without music.
Perhaps my taste too eclectic. I respect my supervisor’s dedication to one particular band, it’s borderline obsession; but me, see, I couldn’t reduce my tastes to a particular genre or era, let alone group. Bite the bullet, I can hold a conversation once tuned to wavelength, yet cause angered debate if I venture off your playlist. Bollocks, I say, any modern popular musical genre has been wired from the same machine, track the branch you sit on beyond the earth, and you’ll find the same roots.
For me, last night was a learning curve, as I staged our first “Devizine Presents” evening at the Cellar Bar. In communication with all these event organisers it helps me to comprehend the issues they face, and it’s not so simple as propping up the bar all smug, though I attempted to! All said, we had a great night I feel, but refrain from giving my own gig a review, treat this as a diary-fashioned blog post, but compulsory to give you the heads up on the guys who did all the real work.
Diverse the line-up may have been and contradictory to each other in style, I knew that, these acts slung together by an inexperienced promoter, me, under a banner of kindness to freely give their time and effort, for which I and Devizes Opendoors are both extremely grateful for. What the acts did bring was their own inimitable panache, and from Saturday Night at the Palladium to Britain’s Got Talent, variety is the spice.
Local, the Roughcut Rebels have been on the circuit a while, playing mod-rock and indie classics from sixties to today, however with major changes to the line-up, including Jamie, the new frontman it was a chance for them to showcase their modifications. Regrettably, I’ve never caught the original group, but confirm now the alteration is a transformation; they rocked with confidence, panache and flair through Animals, Small Faces and Kinks sixties blues-rock classics to benchmark eighties mod, resting particularly on The Jam, and progressing to Britpop anthems including a sublime take on Wonderwall.
Ha, I ain’t making no money writing this crap, so just cos the gig has our tag doesn’t mean I’m here to flatter, you know I’ll tell it as it is. The Roughcut Rebels are highly bookable, would make a great band for a lively pub, scooter club, indie night or even are diverse enough to satisfy the multiplicity a wedding reception would crave.
With the moderate crowd building, (I need YOU at these nights, you know you bring the party, you little party-head, you!) and roused, having a poetry interlude could’ve been a mistake, as you could hear a penny drop; who was unaware that Gail Foster would charm and entertain with poignant verse and witty interims? Because I had no doubt, having do exactly this at our birthday bash back in November, and she did this time with equal appeal.
Now the cobblestone stage was set for the dreadlocked guy parading around attired bizarre, for Jordan Whatley is his own, is the wildcard and as noted in our interview (here) will bring something curious, peculiar to the show, but shine with original brilliance. Armed with just electric guitar, the ambience he set was spellbinding as he went through a set from his new works, previous tunes from his EP …… such as The Forest, to making Pink Floyd’s Another Brick his own.
The Hound is truly back on the Mountain, appearing alternative but positive, he’s the character you cannot deny his talent and showmanship, as his expressive spectacle sends him to the floor in an intense display of vivid gothic splendour.
Then it’s all change akin to the circle line at Edgware Road, as after a poignant Brexit verse from our Gail, The Truzzy Boys are raring to stamp their brand of acceptable pop covers on us. Speaking to Finley about his partner in crime under the Larkin banner, Sam Bishop, who unfortunately couldn’t make it, the DIY ethos of being unsigned means they’re not tied to their namesake. A contract would detail it’s Larkin or nothing, split or together, but Larkin continues albeit while Sam is away studying it’s on the backburner, they still hailed a welcomed night at the Southgate recently.
What Finely’s grouping with cousin Harvey Trusler brings to the show is contemporary pop-indie covers and floor-filling anthems with wide appeal, which did exactly that in the most practical means possible. Confident and harmonious they performed a set more than adequate for any age-ranging function, like a wedding. To boot, the musical family’s prodigy would also supply a disco set-up to complete any such function. This is industry, yes, but within the commercialism of it the boys maintain a positive love of performing, and this shines across the audience, sparking them with equally good vibes.
You can catch the Truzzy Boys this Saturday (18th May) at the Devizes Conservative Club, where for a mere three quid you’ll witness just what I mean; it’s catchy pop fun, with enjoyment throughout and the expertise not to meander into cliché pop mush.
Though I could tell you nothing else is going this coming Saturday, being we’re back at the Cellar Bar, Devizine exists to inform all of local events. It will not and does not favour any category or genre, will treat a church jumble sale and a four-day mud-fest gypsy rave with equal affection. Suitable then is my aforementioned eclectic tastes, or it would be bias, and that wouldn’t do. I aim to cast variety for these charity gigs, using the various venues at hand, if it’s to become a thing now.
Starting same time, same place this coming Saturday, is my “for instance;” Knati P, renowned on the international reggae scene with right-hand man, Razah I-Fi will be stacking up a sound system down that Cellar Bar, bringing us a dynamic dub party, something of a rarity here in the Vizes. They say, they might even let me operate the controls as a warm-up, where you can expect a set of original Jamaican ska, as my favoured palate, which will wind into lively ska inspired dub; that’s the plan at any rate. You will dance, you can be sure of that young fellow-me-jig.
But again, I’m asking for donations, preferably a fiver, as I’m not out to hang myself on the music promoter vocation, not with the wonderful experienced ones we already have locally, from Mr Moore of Sheer, The Blues Club, Scooter Club, and Dean of Dead Kool now at the Cavy, to namedrop a few. I do however, ask for a contribution so we can hand it to our chosen charity, this time the homeless aids, Devizes Opendoors, who work towards making life that tad nicer for our rough sleepers and those in sheltered accommodation. I’m not here to get political on your ass, but with the way the country is going, this is more in need than ever.
So, delighted to say, Saturday night’s musical jaunt has raised £140 which will be banked along with takings to next weeks and handed to the charity. That in itself is a grand job, and I thank the Cellar Bar for having us, and to Harvey, Finely, Gail, Jordan, and The Roughcut Rebels; Doug, Jamie, Mark and John for giving a diverse and amazing night; cheers guys!
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