REVIEW – Jon Walsh @ The White Bear, Devizes – Sunday 27th January 2020

Mr Versatility

Andy Fawthrop

Having got a couple of hours to spare before the evening’s Rockfiles gig at Long Street Blues Club (see elsewhere), I thought I’d pop into the White Bear for a couple of looseners, and to see Jon Walsh, a performer new to me.

Using both acoustic and resonator guitars, Jon clearly had an extensive repertoire of songs. His material varied from old 1920s and 1930s blues standards such as “Crossroads” and “Walking Blues” through to fairly contemporary pop songs e.g. “Walking In Memphis”. In each of his two sets he was joined on vocals by his partner Terie, who lent some bluesy and jazzy phrasing to several classics such as “Crazy”, “I’d Rather Go Blind” and “Valerie”. There was clearly some musical chemistry between these two, and they obviously enjoyed working together.

Jon put in an extremely versatile performance, including a nice smattering of his own original songs. Nice crowd, and nice atmosphere.

Can’t think why I’ve not come across Jon before, but shall certainly be happy to listen to him again.

Future Sunday Sessions at The White Bear:

• 16th February George Wilding

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© 2017-2019 Devizine (Andy Fawthrop)
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Half Term Worries Over; things to do with little ones during February half-term…

Don’t panic, and reach for the crate of wine, it’s only a half-term holiday. Plus, we’ve some solutions to keep them from wearing their X-Box out. So, without further a-do here’s the lowdown on exciting activities and events to engage their little minds, and help keep your sanity!

Events which run through the week are listed on the day they begin, but I’ll put a little OG next to them to let you know it’s ongoing, because we all like an og now and then.

Only a few solutions you’ll note, mind, not found as much as I usually do for other school holidays, but we have the power to amend this, do let me know what I’ve missed, local area only please, and we can always add them, provided you’re nice! Also note, we do this for each school holiday, so don’t forget it for Easter too; let me know, saves my legwork.


Saturday 15th February

OG: At Stonehenge this half-term, they’re running hands-on workshops for all the family all week, with forensic facial reconstruction experts. Learn how to use archaeological evidence to uncover what people might have looked like thousands of years ago, (I’ll give you a clue, a bit like me in the morning) and even have a go at a reconstruction yourself! No booking required; workshops are included with a standard Stonehenge admission ticket.


Sunday 16th February

OG: Pick your own daffodils at Whitehall Garden Centre in Woodborough from Sunday until the end of March, subject to availability and weather permitting. £4.99 per bag – Maximum of approximately 50 stems. Book tickets.


Monday 17th February

OG:CJ School of Music introduces an interesting idea over the half term, starting Monday; a recycled orchestra project will see children make their own instrument out of recycled “things” and create a recycled orchestra together! They promise “it won’t be rubbish!” Bring a lunch as it’s from 9-3:30.

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OG: Scrap Modelling at its finest for ages 3 to 11, at the Holiday Art Club of the Wiltshire Scrapstore & Resource Centre on Bowden Hill near Lacock. Running all week, bring your mini-Monets along to a popular Holiday Art Club, and teach them the importance of reducing and reusing our waste, all whilst having lots of fun using the scrap resources! Each session is run by a qualified trainer. Parents/guardians must stay with attending children during the session, and pre-booking is essential.


Blue Butterfly Yoga Provides yoga instruction for children in Devizes and surrounding areas, and they’re at Rowde Village Hall in the morning with a class for 3-7-year olds. Yoga games and songs, breathing techniques and a short relaxation. Siblings receive a £1 discount. Tea, coffee, squash and biscuits available in the adjoining room so parents/carers can have a little relaxation time too. You are also welcome to bring babies or younger siblings along as there is plenty of space in the next room. Limited numbers for this, payment secures your place; contact here to book a slot.


Meet children’s author Rachel Jane @ Melksham Library at 10:30 on Monday, and hear all about the adventures of Milo and Lil the Campervans! Rachel will be reading two of her books, and this will be followed by a themed craft activity. Ideally 3-7-year olds, this is a free event. Please book your place at the library: Tel: 01225 702039


M4 Stompers is a regular line dance class, every Monday evening at The Town Hall, Devizes and welcomes all ages & abilities. Absolute Beginners Class 6.30-7.30pm £5. Beginners 7-8pm £5. Dance 6.30-8pm £6. Improvers Class 7.30-9.30pm £6.


How about you create a dinosaur or unicorn on Monday? Children’s party organiser, Smarty Party Roxy invites you to fill a 16″ Dinosaur or Unicorn with fluff, a make-a-wish token and love at Shrewton Methodist Church. Complete the birth certificate and take your new friend home in their own carry bag. Squash and snacks available, there will also be a fancy-dress competition for the best Dinosaur/Unicorn outfit or accessories. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times, this activity is best suited to ages 4 and over. £12.50 per Dinosaur/ Unicorn tickets available from Eventbrite.

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Tuesday 18th February

OG: Devizes Tennis Club has a holiday camps, running from Monday to Thursday. Promises to be fun, enjoyable days for juniors to come along, make new friends and improve their tennis skills with coaching activities. They’ll be serving up three days of tennis fun for Minis (aged 3-9 years) this February Half term and best of all, it’ll be indoors. Spaces are limited, just 20 per day, so early booking is recommended! Camp will run Tuesday 18th to Thursday 20th February 2020, from 10am to 3pm daily. Half days are available by prior arrangement. The cost is £20 per day, held in the School Hall at Bishops Cannings Primary School.
Camps are run by experience LTA qualified, DBS checked and first aid certified coaches so you can be assured your kids are in safe hands. No experience, no membership, no racket required! Just a packed lunch, drink and suitable clothing are needed, oh and plenty of energy and enthusiasm!


Holiday Activities at the Wiltshire Museum, Devizes starts off with star splatter pictures in a workshop called “Stars and Space.” Inspired by the ‘Earth and Universe’ photographic exhibition, you’ll be creating star splatter pictures and other space and star themed craft. Two sessions: 10.30am-12.00noon and 1.00 – 2.30pm. Booking essential – £6 per child, no charge for adults attending workshop.


CJ School of Music in Potterne again, with a Feb Sing, today and on Friday 21st too. 9am-1pm, with a performance for the parents at 12:30. £19 per person.

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Wednesday 19th February

Another holiday Activity at Wiltshire Museum, this time it’s Stone Age Discoveries. Art and craft creations for the whole family inspired by cave art and prehistoric animals. Two sessions 10.30am-12.00noon and 1.00 – 2.30pm. Booking essential – £6 per child, no charge for adults attending workshop.

Crafty Kids in the Café: The Cafe in the Park, Hillworth Park, Devizes.

Wally loves to find treasure on his travels! Bring your mini-makers along to decorate their very own wooden treasure box to keep their own riches in!Sessions running at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Tickets are £4.50 per child and include the box, a drink and a snack.

Please note that you cannot leave your child unattended during these sessions.


OG: Meanwhile, over at the Potterne village hall, the Potterne Pantomime presents Jack & The Beanstalk. It runs each day until Saturday, at 7 and a matinee on Saturday at 1:30pm. See the poster for details.

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Leadership Martial Arts run classes every Wednesday afternoon and Sunday morning at the Cavalier Community Hall on Eastleigh Road, and are open right through the half term holiday.


Thursday 20th February

OG: Jack’s Beanstalk also grows over to the Seend Community Centre on Thursday as Fawlty Players Presents Jack and The Beanstalk. Running until Saturday, tickets on sale at the Post Office and Community Centre.


Friday 21st February

The Hillworth Park gang are throwing open the gates to Wally, Wanda and their friends on Friday!

Have your picture taken with Wally and Wanda, take part in our treasure hunt and add yourself to our very own enormous Where’s Wally poster! The wonderful books will be on sale too from our friends at Devizes Books.

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Saturday 22nd February

Frozen fans need to head to the Cavalier Community Hall where they have a Children’s Frozen Theme Ball, with a special guest appearance from Alsa and Anna, oh and Pippa Langhorne too, who sang with her dog on Britain’s Got Talent. It promises to be an afternoon of songs, stories, photos and a disco to follow. There will be a prize for the best dress girl and boy.

This one is just a fiver, and £3.50 for photos, but it’s all in aid of my favourite 5-year-old, Carmela, who you may recall from my Spiderman outing last summer. If not, she is battling a rare progressive muscle wasting disease which will weaken all her muscles including her heart and lungs, shortening her life to potentially 16. Money raised will go to her Therapy Fund to help with ongoing specialised equipment, physiotherapy and adaptions as she grows. Tickets limited so book online. Photos must also be paid in advance on the ticket line.

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Sunday 23rd February

Nothing new yet, have a day of rest and pray Monday isn’t a teacher training day, or as I like to call them, teacher down the pub day! Have a great half term!


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REVIEW; Long Street Blues Club Weekender

January Blues Banished!

Andy Fawthrop

Two days up at the Con Club this week for Long Street Blues Club’s “Beat The January Blues” Week-ender.

On Saturday night we had a packed room to listen to Liam Ward & Malcolm Thorne (support) and the Kirk Fletcher band.

Ward & Thorne, who are new names to me, were a delight. Their set was clean, fresh, quirky and entertaining. Featuring guitar, vocals and some deft touches on harmonica, these two produced a wonderful set of originals which were laid-back and nicely bluesy. I particularly liked their song “You Are My Medicine”. I’d be happy to go and see these guys again.

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Then a single extended set from the main star Kirk Fletcher and his band. Kirk hails from California and is ex-lead guitarist with the Fabulous Thunderbirds. He’s had some great reviews on this tour so far. Ian Hopkins reports that Innes Sibun said he was amazing when he shared a bill with him last year, and Joe Bonamassa rates him as one of the world’s best guitarists. Well, I didn’t know anything about all that, so I could only judge on what I saw and heard.

Kirk himself was obviously up at the front with some snarling guitar work, but there was plenty of featured keyboards too. It took a few numbers to really get the room warmed up, but once the trio hit their stride, the band were really cooking and in their groove. We had guitar solos aplenty, the band providing a solid platform of driving rhythms. There was minimal chat from the stage, and the guys delivered number after number, hardly pausing for breath. The playing was always technically superb, and at times inspired, and the crowd lapped it up, but (for me at least) it didn’t carry that magic spark of real excitement. Don’t get me wrong – I really enjoyed the gig, but it didn’t quite hit my hot-spot.

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Then just 24 hours later, on Sunday night we had Thompson Smurthwaite (support) and Billy Bremner’s Rockfiles. A slightly smaller crowd this time, but still a great atmosphere.

Thompson Smurthwaite is starting to become a regular in these here parts. Having played support here at the Club a few months ago, Thompson has also recently played slots at The White Bear and The Southgate. It was good to see him back with a large audience again. He was relaxed and confident, joking with the audience, whacking out some great tunes from guitar, harmonica (his “Mississippi saxophone”) and stomp-box. The guy put such heart and soul into his performance. Great entertainment.

Then on to the second main act of the week-end. Billy Bremner was one of the founding members of Dave Edmunds’ Rockpile along with Nick Lowe, and produced some great music during the seventies. Prior to this particular outfit he has had a long track record in session work and a member of Lulu’s backing band the Bruvers. Then a season as guitarist with The Pretenders during the recording of On The Chain Gang – he has always been the guitarist to go to. Billy now resides in Sweden and his touring is carefully rationed so the Club were delighted to be one of a few carefully selected club dates on this UK tour.

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Rockfiles are probably the polar musical opposite to Kirk Fletcher. Whilst the latter was focussed on originality, improvisation and exploration, Rockfiles were just as firmly set on reproducing classic hits of the seventies and eighties. The songs were short, snappy, catchy pop/rock classics. The four-piece hit the stage running, sharing the vocals between them, and never let up for the whole of their 75-minute set. This was Old Skool retro and nostalgia at its very best. And the hits just kept on coming, including “I Knew The Bride When She Used to Rock & Roll”, “Three-time Loser”, “Cruel To Be Kind”, “I Hear You Knocking” and many, many more. The inter-song chat was absolutely minimal, so they could pack more in. The music wasn’t complex, but it was solid, thumping good stuff, and difficult not to enjoy. Absolutely no blues were involved in the making of their performance.

Overall a great weekend of music – four great acts, four different styles, but all enjoyable and great value for money. There was something there for everybody. Devizes is so lucky to have access to so much great live music.

Future 2020 gigs at Long Street Blues Club:

• Saturday 7th March Ian Parker Band
• Saturday 4th April Mike Zito Band
• Saturday 18th April Mark Flanagan Band
• Saturday 30th May Antonio Forcione Quartet


© 2017-2019 Devizine (Andy Fawthrop)
Please seek permission from the Devizine site and any individual author, artist or photographer before using any content on this website. Unauthorised usage of any images or text is forbidden.


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Billy Green 3; Still

On the strength of the two singles we’ve previously reviewed I was in little doubt I’d need to flatter Bill as he appeared at my door, beaming an eager expression and holding out “Still,” the hot-off-the-press debut album from his trio Billy Green 3. He has every reason to be excited, they’ve (Bill Green, Harvey Schorah, Neil Hopkins, Martin Spencer and Matt Clements) worked hard on this project, and it shows.

I wouldn’t give brownie points for a physical copy rather than a spotty-fly or whatchamacallit link, cause and effect of which I need to badger my daughter, as she has an account, and risk the danger of leaving a near-teenager in the house without a phone for half an hour. It just makes it easier for my old-fashioned methods. I don’t need to ask Alexa how to play a CD. But, “Still” needs not to collect bonus points.

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If there’s a hard angle I could adopt, it’s that for me, the rave era bypassed any real appreciation for Britpop, which is what this is best pigeonholed as. While there were times the genres rivalled there were also experimental segments when it fused, and my eclectic tastes would always make me float the surface of any youth culture, to take in other surroundings; i.e. I’ve seen Pulp live, if it helps.

Yes, I kissed some Britpop and I liked it. That said it’s hard for me to review with precision comparisons and acute contrasts, being no expert. Simplest option is to listen, see if I enjoy it; box doubled-ticked. If this is a grower, I’ll be hooked for sure, as first impressions is impressive, without the aforementioned flattery.

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What polishes that notion is the flow of it, it drifts beautifully. Sixteen tracks heavy, many are short avant-garde interludes, like fragmented thoughts, splinters of concepts. You often see this with trip-hop, like Money Mark’s Keyboard Repair. Here it’s principally experimental on the drum-looped “London,” and “Banus.” The latter rivals the crossover of the Noel Gallagher vocals on the Chemical Brothers “Setting Sun,” if only for a brief moment. Prime example of its tolerant flow; when “Banus” marches into a far woozier but lengthier, “Lose our Way.”

If these interludes splice concept album epitomes, throughout the album there’s subtle soundscapes and samples. To concentrate on the fuller tunes; it’s gorgeous, pliable indie, dipped in Britpop but wrought with all that Britpop was influenced by too, as opposed to being a tribute to the genre.

There’s certainly some tragedy to the portrayals as the genre characterises, “Lose our Way” for instance, but it drips a fresh approach without cliché. Though throughout my evaluation my thoughts immersed with The Beatles to Pink Floyd, and of Madchester to Spaceman 3. They invade my mind. The things I touched close to Britpop are nodded to here.

This could sit comfortably on your shelf with your Suede and Verve albums and not look out of place. But expect to pick out that scooter sound of eighties, of the Jam, or Merton Parkas, while contemporary indie subgenres such as lo-fi or chillwave, rather than grunge, slip through too.

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As my ears wander through the upbeat “Blindside,” to the mellowed and aptly-titled “Drifting,” I ponder comparisons I’m more familiar with, and find the Who rather than Oasis, particularly with the adroit and catchy “I Should be Moved.” There’s a running theme of “why did I have to write that love song,” but it’s whirly romantic, which comes to an apex with “Love Song.”

Just launched on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, and Deezer; you could do yourself a favour and pick this up. With the production value second to none; The Badger Sect is to Devizes what Sun Studio is to Memphis, I’d rather suggest, to keep it local, you march down to Vinyl Realm, Devizes Books, Light & Sound or Mikey’s barbershop with just a fiver in hand and get Still. Get a trim too at the latter, sort your ombre-dyed indie bob out.

Do not fear though peeps, while Billy Green and his significant other two may’ve switched me onto a lost love of Britpop, I have no plans to practise my Wonderwall cover. That’s the deal though, isn’t it? Chestnuts abound with covers and tribute acts, despite we love a sing-a-long, Billy Green 3 knocked them aside like Richard Ashcroft on the let-down of a promise and produced this brilliant original material. Fair shout.


© 2017-2019 Devizine (Darren Worrow)
Please seek permission from the Devizine site and any individual author, artist or photographer before using any content on this website. Unauthorised usage of any images or text is forbidden.


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Asa is Back!

Asa is coming back, this time without the Buddy Holly specs, but as himself. He brings a variety show direct from the banks of the Mersey. It was April last time we saw Liverpool’s swing singer, radio presenting, all-round entertainer Asa Murphy, he filled and thrilled the Corn Exchange with an absolutely marvellous Buddy Holly show. It combined just enough narrative but focussed on the music of this rock n roll legend, and was delivered with passion and admiration.

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It was his friendship with the late Bruce Hopkins which brings him to our town. A man after my heart, though I never had the honour to have met former Devizes Town Football Club chairman, Bruce. He had an appetite for music, and when he was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, he organised a mini festival, the Patney Picnic, in his garden, and raised about £30,000 for the charity. Asa paid tribute to Bruce at the Buddy show, making a contribution towards the Cancer Research from its takings. He plans to do this again, but what can we expect from the show? I asked him.

“It is a variety show, pal,” he explained, “with all the performers and the musicians coming from Liverpool.” He brings Sandy Collins, “a superb sixties singer, very popular and with a great career of performing,” Asa continued, “plus Lennie Anderson, an excellent comic who tours all over the UK.”

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“Myself, and the other acts have worked together many times on the Liverpool Empire and Philharmonic Hall,” he said, “plus on Ricky Tomlinson’s club the Greenroom.” Other than that, and, “it will be a night of singing, laughter and dancing!” Asa didn’t say much more than he does on his video dairy doing the rounds on Facebook. I watched it anyway because I love the way he says the word Devizes in that rich scouse accent!

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Lennie Anderson

It’s back at the Corn Exchange on April 11th, tickets are £15 from Devizes Books. While I’d wager it’ll attract an older crowd, what with it being sixties related, and it being in Devizes too (!) I’d endorse it to our younger population too, if not only because everyone loves the sounds of the sixties, far from antiquated, variety performances are very much the trend given television’s BGT et all, but mostly based on the quality of last April’s performance.

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© 2017-2019 Devizine (Darren Worrow)
Please seek permission from the Devizine site and any individual author, artist or photographer before using any content on this website. Unauthorised usage of any images or text is forbidden.


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Festival of Winter Ales: the line-up….

I’ll hold my hands up, somebody put half an ale in one, because my guilty confession is, I’ve not yet had the opportunity to doDOCA’s annual Festival of Winter Ales. This’ll change this year, attendees will have the added bonus of me sauntering about dribbling piffle, but if I tell you what acts are appearing, it won’t put you off too much!

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If, like me, you’re an apple-a-day chap, you’ll be pleased to note as it’s held in collaboration with Stealth Brewery, they’ve ciders as well as ale. Our man Andy Fawthrop tells me there’s usually ten-twelve types of cider; just enough for me! That said, when in Rome; I maybe, just maybe, open to ale conversion for the duration only. Double-whammy, to soak it up they have to pie too. Andy can’t review it though, as he’s there in a professional calibre, and I simply won’t allow anyone to review an event they helped organise ……ehm …. (okay; in-house joke if you note our last article it might, I said might, just amuse.)

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Matt Barnard

So, down to me then, a harsh critic softened by alcohol. But Matt Barnard I suspect will swing it. DOCA aim to make it cabaret; Matt has performed across the world as a compere, actor, musician, singer and as himself in this unique one man show he brings to the festival.

He was the resident compere of the cult Sensation Seekers Stage at the Glastonbury Festival, starred in London’s oldest variety show in the West End in and performed his unique act at the famous London Palladium. He also appeared in the Hollywood movie Mrs Henderson Presents in which he performed the famous sand-dance with Gareth Jones. Matt Barnard has won many awards for his solo show including at the Feldkircher Gaukler Theatre Festival in Austria.

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Just because Matt Barnard does it, doesn’t mean you should try this at home

It should be noted the festival spans over Friday and Saturday (28th and 29th February.) Saturday is divided into two sessions. While Matt covers all, there’s a different act for each session; pleased to see they’re some of our local favs. I imagine half-cut real ale fans ushered out via a digital sign, like at the Oasis leisure centre, “yellow wristbands your time is up!” But attendees on Friday, for example, might not ever leave (another local joke); Devizes-own Vince Bell booked and all. We need not bio Vince, surely? His emotive lyrics, constructed from personal experience or annotations of the area are always delivered with passion, proper job.

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You ain’t ever leaving.  Our Vince. Image by Nick Padmore

Swindon-based folk-rock five-piece, Splat The Rat slap the Friday late slot too. Taking songs of old and giving them a modern going over, they’ve nailed many great gigs locally, none I’ve personally witnessed, but they’re high on my things-to-do list. Expect lively arrangements, singalong songs and a rousing good time. https://www.facebook.com/splattherat/

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Splat the Rat

Things get complicated Saturday afternoon. An extensive cross-section of original songs and rearranged covers, It’s Complicated make them their own. Yet it’s not just what they do with It’s Complicated, it’s the way that they do it! Take it from me, it’s not complicated at all, in fact it’s simply enticing, marvellously professional, and when Jacqueline sings Etta James, oh my. https://www.facebook.com/Its-Complicated-364813334370698/

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It’s Complicated

Worthy to note, if you do this slot, you could jog over to the Town Hall and catch them again, with Daydream Runaways. I’m planning to; you could carry me! Devizes Town Hall plays host to a black-tie Casino Royale evening for Just4Children’s ‘Carmela’s Fight to Stay Mobile.’ See here for details.

NOTE: UPDATE

Unfortunately, the Casino Royale night at the Town Hall has been cancelled due to poor ticket sales.

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Kris Dollimore

Back at the Corn Exchange Saturday night is all about Kris Dollimore. He’s played with many international bands and artists including The Godfathers, The Damned, Dee Dee Ramone and Johnny Thunders. He’s also a member of Del Amitri. As a solo artist Kris has toured the length and breadth of the UK & Europe performing at clubs, venues and festivals. He has also released four critically acclaimed solo albums. Kris’s guitar skills have always been admired in whichever genre he has played. A man, a guitar and a voice. With a largely acoustic repertoire, precision playing is expected and delivered, earning him a hard core following of loyal fans and admirers. Expect bluesy guitar playing, soulful singing, and foot stomping sounds. https://www.facebook.com/KrisDollimoreMusic/

I’m looking forward to (hic!) breaking my Winter of Festive Ales cherry, be there, tickets here, see if I can handle it!


© 2017-2019 Devizine (Darren Worrow)
Please seek permission from the Devizine site and any individual author, artist or photographer before using any content on this website. Unauthorised usage of any images or text is forbidden.


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Night for the Waiblingen Way Fire Fund

Featured image by Gail Foster.

All Images by Nick Padmore, unless otherwise stated.

Reviewing my own organised event being a slightly naughty and obviously bias idea, I’d still like to notify you how it went. View this then as a journal entry of my weekend as opposed to a review, per se, and the opportunity to thank everyone who kindly offered their time to help…. 

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Chloe Jordan

Returned now from a frosty Sunday morning in Potterne; my son had a taster piano lesson at CJ School of Music. Andrew Hurst presented a one-on-one introduction to music in such a friendly and humble manner he was immediately absorbed, and playing a simple tune in under half-hour. It’s something I cannot help him with; not a musical note in me, but I have a fascination and respect for those who can; you knew that much.

Coincidently his lesson should be the morning after the originator of this wonderful and newly opened music school, soprano singer Chloe Jordan, held a surprised Cellar Bar spellbound. Not before thirteen-year-old piano prodigy Will Foulstone, a pupil of CJ’s music school did likewise. Will featured on Devizine back in April 2018, when a video of him playing attracted the interest of Danny O’Donoghue, frontman and pianist of The Script and coach on the Voice UK. A surprise meeting with Danny saw Will jamming with The Script at the O2 arena.

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The Amazing Will Foulstone. My dodgy photography!

Well, our Cellar Bar may not be the O2 arena, but Will was welcomed, and his piano interpretations of era-spanning pop was the perfect opening for our fundraiser. For though it maybe a January night where the temperature nose-dived, a fair crowd turned out, in what I wanted to be a celebration of how our town can bond and support in crisis, rather than a sombre occasion. Yet with the collaboration of an assorted bunch of local acts, it reflected both moods equally, I feel. For Liz Denbury has already done a sterling job, raising £4,000 for those affected by December’s fire in the flats of Waiblingen Way. If this could top it up it would’ve been nice, but I was determined not to pressure for any contribution, as so many have already chipped in. Delighted to report then, the evening raised a further £292 for the cause.

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While the Cellar Bar hosts the brilliant Open Mic nights, every last Thursday of the month, I’d wager such diversity to appease my eclectic taste buds and especially, a soprano singer casting so wonderfully into the air the sound of opera, has not been seen in the venue for many-a-year. Though accompanist Susan Braunton and Chloe best played to the crowd, and wowed them with popular offerings, such as the Frozen theme, a Greatest Show song, and an own-penned amusing children’s song, as well as opera. Best heard in a church or concert hall, Chloe won the hearts of an alternative crowd, if leaving us with a dilemma of how to follow such a class appearance.

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Liz Denbury who set up the Waiblingen Way Fire Fund. You can still donate here.

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Mirko & Bran; The Celtic Roots Collective

Contrast, the order of the day. A switch to folk with Mirko and Bran of the Celtic Roots Collective. A duo who simply improve with every gig, in confidence and technique. Their brand of an Irish folk style throws known foot-tappers and rock songs into the melting pot. Through Whisky in a Jar, Dirty Old Town they rode, to traditional songs and the Irish Rover; with their help, things were beginning to return to the Cellar Bar’s usual ethos.

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Unscheduled but always welcomed at our gigs, poet Gail Foster arrived with two poignant sonnets, relating to the cause and delivered with personal emotion, “You didn’t see me, right?” and “Come, Friendly Bulldozers to Wobbly Way.” Thank you, Gail, spot on as usual; I’m so glad you made it.

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Gail Foster

Time for acoustic singer-songwriter, Ben Borrill and guitar to step up to the cobblestone stage, and he did with gusto, humour and his untroubled attitude to performance. This cool and modesty grounds underestimation of Ben in some, I feel, who launched into covers with ease, causally making them his own, and it exhibited in eminence, skill and entertainment value, which was also touching, considering why we were there.

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It’s no wonder our headline act looks to Ben as their choicest support act. After a few words of thanks from Liz Denbury, it was time for the band who’d been hanging around all afternoon setting up gear, to finally conclude the night. Doubtless was I, that Daydream Runaways would capture the audience with a lively finale, but with augmented professionalism since I last saw them live, they exceeded my expectation.

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Daydream Runaways. Image by Gail Foster

I was honoured, as prior to the opening, I was treated to a taster while they tuned, and retained the secret they’d cover Blur’s Song Two, for instance. It was there we spoke of future plans. Being we’ve fondly reviewed their singles, I asked whether an album was in the pipeline. It’s never a simple question in this era of changing formats, I know some hold favouritism of EPs, whereby others strive for an album. This caused a differing opinion between drummer Brad Kinsey and guitarist Cameron Bianchi, but without tension they debated the idea. Diplomacy between gentle banter displays strong unity in this Swindon-Devizes amalgamation, both on and offstage. Despite powerfully-themed tunes such as Closing the Line, with despairing narrative of the closure of the Honda Plant in Swindon, I sense unison, but figure they’ve not reached their magnum opus yet. Hold tight for that moment.

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With youth on their side, Daydream Runaways need not daydream at all, and it seems plans are little more than to continue on the current path. Thoroughly relishing every moment projects to the audience for The Daydreamers, they lap it up. Frontman, for want of a better term as they’re glue, Ben Heathcote oozes enthusiasm and unveils this joyful aura over the crowd, with the talent to back it up. Meanwhile bassist, Nath Heathcote seems quietly confident of their astounding impact.

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Fused with a selection of classic indie favourites, they slide in their own compositions unabridged and without complaint, as if these are equal in importance to the crowd, as they obviously are to the band. After just over a year, I honestly think they’re fast becoming so. This comes from hard work and dedication, and it really shows in this lively indie-pop four-piece. I may have high hopes for these guys, but after tonight the crowd at the Cellar Bar have joined those at Vinyl Realm’s stage at the Street Festival, and the Southgate in understanding why I crowned them best newcomer this year.

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Phew, what a blinding finale to an awesome night, I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for their absolutely brilliant and individual performances. I also thank the staff at the Cellar Bar, to Liz, and obviously all who braved the winter chill to join us. It’s heart-warming and makes Devizine feel actual to me to stage such events. A big thank you also goes to Mike Barham, for despite having to venture off with his band Nerve Endings and not getting to fulfil the bill this time, rolled in earlier than I to setup and do the tech stuff. With quality such as this, I’d welcome the idea of future fundraising gigs which celebrate all that’s amazing on our local scene; cheers to all, see you at the next one!

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© 2017-2019 Devizine (Darren Worrow)
Please seek permission from the Devizine site and any individual author, artist or photographer before using any content on this website. Unauthorised usage of any images or text is forbidden.


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First Devizine Presents gig of the Year on Saturday, see you there!

We’re getting all excited here at Devizine towers, as the band I tipped best newcomer of last year, Daydream Runaways are heading the Cellar Bar on Saturday night in an event we’re proud to put our name to. In fact, I take no credit, it was the band’s idea. I’m there purely to prop up the bar, which would be better than allowing me to sing, and encourage you to bundle me if I was to even contemplate it.

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It’s been a rather rushed-out and impromptu gig, and now I find myself disquietingly anxious you will be there. January is a quiet month, people strapped for cash and the weather doing its wettest. It’s your job, and all I will ask of you, to prove me wrong. I look forward to meeting you all on Saturday night. We’ve stated we’re kicking it off at 7pm, might start a little later, I don’t wish for anyone to be playing to minimal audience, so I encourage you to get early tucker and pop in as soon as possible.

January it is though, as we’re urgently fundraising for the Wailblingen Way Fire Fund which Liz Denbury has worked so hard to promote. It’s been a huge success already, that is why the event is free. If you’ve already donated, we thank you, and welcome you to this treat. There will be a chance to contribute to the fund at the door, but without hassle. I’d be the world’s worst chugger! View this, though it may become a sombre occasion at times, being for an issue which has touched us all emotionally, but I ask we view it as a celebration also, of how at times to tragedy we can bond and raise such a wonderful amount of money. Liz will be on hand to explain how and why she has fronted this cause, and will give us a few words on the night.

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I’m delighted to announce Chloe Jordan will be performing, adding especially to the eclectic nature of our line-up. Chloe is a local soprano singer with a breath-taking voice and blossoming career after training with internationally renowned soprano Janice Watson. She has also recently opened a new school of music in Potterne called CJ School of Music of which I’ll tell more about in the coming month. I do not know exactly what to expect from Chloe at this stage, as to what she will sing, note it will be classical-related and know it will be awesome!

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Sadly, Mr Mike Barham, who is billed, has had to decline last minute. Nerve Endings won a competition in Bracknell, I’m told, and play the final heat there, or least something like this. I congratulate Mike, Rob and Luke; knew you could do it. But, dedicated to this gig from the off, Mike has agreed to drop in early in order to set it up for us prior to setting off for Bracknell; so, cheers, Mike, total legend.

To replace Mike we had two, as the guy takes the space of two, but if you heard the fantastic Patrick Goodenough was coming, I said those words but I lied them. Unfortunately, Patrick has had to pulled out, but local singer-songwriter, Ben Borrill will be there. Ben, a regular support for Daydream Runaways, brings an accomplished acoustic set with a passionate delivery and a charming persona; can’t wait to catch up with him.

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Slotted somewhere in the middle we will be treated to Mirko and Bran’s Celtic Roots Collective, who are gathering local bookings with their brilliant take on Irish folk fused rock. Foot-stomping sing-along tunes that they are! All we need now is you, watch those slippery steps and please, come on down, as despite all these great acts kindly contributing their time and effort, it wouldn’t be the same without you, especially if you bring me a cupcake.

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Three-time Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee, Josie Long Coming to Bath

Three-time Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Josie Long brings her latest show, Tender, to the Bath Komedia on 20th February. Josie is back on the road with a brand-new show about the mind-bending intensity of new motherhood, but it is also about kindness, gentleness and joy.

A cult-optimist herself, Josie wants her audiences to feel optimistic about the future, although in this current day and age, that’s a big ask. But at the very least there will be some silly voices. Society’s biggest issues that we’re facing today, from climate change to Boris Johnson, cannot be ignored, but Tender’s main focus is about bringing new life into this ever-changing world.

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Image by Idil Sukan Draw HQ

Having started performing comedy at just 14, Josie went on to win the BBC New Comedy Award, Chortle Best Newcomer, Best Newcomer at the 2006 Edinburgh Comedy Awards and then was nominated for Best Show at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards three years running. She has since sold out West End runs, performed at the most prestigious comedy festivals in the world, written five solo tours and sold out shows in LA and New York.

On screen, Josie has been seen on 8 Out of 10 Cats (Channel 4), Never Mind the Buzzcocks (BBC2), You Have Been Watching (Channel 4) and Skins (Channel 4), for which she also wrote. She has presented on BBC 6Music, was nominated for a Radio Academy Award for her adventurous short documentaries Short Cuts on Radio 4 and earned a BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award nomination for her two short feature films, Let’s Go Swimming and Romance and Adventure and her recent feature film, Super November, was nominated for a BIFA Discovery Award.

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Josie Long Image by Giles Smith

In 2011, Josie started an ongoing project called the Alternative Reality Tour; an anti-cuts, pro-youth, no-profit performance in a bid to fight for social justice and support public art, and is co-founder of the Arts Emergency Service, a charity which aims to support students from underprivileged backgrounds who wish to study arts degrees.

Josie’s new podcast Speaking with Shadows is available now at: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/inspire-me/speaking-with-shadows/episode-1/ Her previous show, Cara Josephine, is available to watch on Soho Theatre on Demand at: http://www.sohotheatreondemand.com/show/josie-long All The Planets Wonders and Josie and Jonny Are Having a Baby (With You!) are available to download via Josie’s website http://www.josielong.com

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Click to buy Tickets

PRESS ON ‘TENDER’
★★★★★ “Riotously hilarious…such a uniquely optimistic hour of comedy…it is a dose of medicine which is so very needed” THE SKINNY
★★★★★ “A playful and intelligent hour” ONE4REVIEW
★★★★★ “Beautifully written… you leave feeling hopeful, with enough energy to keep fighting and a good dose of joy and silliness” FUNNY WOMEN
★★★★★ “Incredibly funny… a joy throughout” YOUNG PERSPECTIVE
★★★★ “The mother lode of love, joy and laughs” THE GUARDIAN
★★★★ “What a delight it is to have Josie Long back… the perfect cure for a spot of November SAD” THE TELEGRAPH
★★★★ “In Long’s hands, the material is revitalised… there’s something refreshing and sort of revolutionary about it” THE i
★★★★ “Articulate, passionate and intense, but heart-warmingly funny, too” EVENING STANDARD
★★★★ “Her relentless cheeriness would win over even the most cynical of hearts” THE ARTS DESK
★★★★ “As infectious as always…Tender is explicitly personal and positive” THE SCOTSMAN
★★★★ “It’s a genuine joy to spend an hour with Long” THE LIST
★★★★ “Long’s skill as a comedian is undimmed… so personal and so humorous with it, too” FEST
★★★★ “There is so much love in the room for Josie Long” EDINBURGH FESTIVAL MAGAZINE
★★★★ “We need people like Josie Long now more than ever” BROADWAYBABY
★★★★ “A cleverly constructed and thoughtful show” THE WEE REVIEW


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Celebrate Chinese New Year with Alzheimer’s Support, Chef Peter Vaughan & Indecision

Celebrate Chinese New Year and support one of Wiltshire’s best loved charities.

 

What better way to celebrate the Chinese New Year than a 3-course Chinese meal cooked by Chef Peter Vaughan of Vaughan’s Kitchen and dancing the night away to the ever-popular local live band, Indecision?

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Alzheimer’s Support have a fundraising dinner and dance at Devizes Sports Club at 7pm on January 31st, and it promises to be a fantastic evening out to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Cor, I love eating Chinese food; if it was an Olympic event I’d get a gold! But I’ve never tried any of food magician Peter’s, although, unlike a magician, he intends to show you how he does some of his tricks. Guests will be treated to a cooking demonstration from Peter before the dance.

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Warning: do not read this next bit on an empty stomach, the menu looks like this:

Starters: Prawn crackers; Assorted Dim sum; Yuk Shung (Chinese Lettuce wrap)
Main course: Aromatic Wiltshire pork Szechuan Pepper; Crispy tofu hoisin sauce (vegetarian); Egg fried rice with Chinese 5 spice; Stir fry of Chinese leaves with pickled ginger
Dessert: Chinese pineapple apricot cake with mango & lime cream

The evening comes at the end of the winter’s bleakest month, so why not jazz up January with a great night out? Tickets at £30 a head include a three-course meal and drink on arrival. All proceeds will go to support people living with dementia in Wiltshire.


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A Dirty Harry, some Ex-Men, a One Love Orchestra and more @ MantonFest 2020

Tickets for this summer’s Manton-Fest are up for grabs, a one-day festival I’ve heard only good things about.

The date is Saturday 27th June. A £20 Early-bird ticket will guarantee you’re in for this previously sold-out mini-fest, this year you can book a plot for your gazebo for £5, parking has been moved to a separate field allowing more space, but let’s see what your money will get you this year shall we?

The headliner is Edinburgh’s Blondie tribute, Dirty Harry. While there’s Blondie tributes aplenty, the band say, “the essence of Dirty Harry is to put on a show Blondie would give the nod to and in true punk style.” Call me, I’m convinced, and slightly hot under the collar; with the advantage of YouTube you can judge for yourself, modern technology eh?

The Ex-Men are next on the hierarchy, as the name suggests, it’s an amalgamation group made up of Alan Sagar ex Big Country, Graham Pollock ex The Hollies, Peter Barton ex the Animals, Phil Bates ex ELO and Geoff Hammond ex Denny Laine; you get the idea. A stimulating sounding assembly with a wealth of experience between them couldn’t possibly go wrong.

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The Ex-Men

Vintage blues with a hard edge groove is the ethos of Barrelhouse, who promise up-beat original tracks and classic covers. You be forgiven for assuming the Swinging Blue Jeans would headline, but this classic-sixties rock n roll group have no members of the original skiffle sextet. Yet the band went through constant changes throughout its expansive history, with replacements dating back as far as 1963, when they had their memorable hit, “Hippy Hippy Shake,” and frontman Alan Lovell has led the band for over twenty years.

London-based Bob Marley tribute, the One Love Orchestra could well be my arm twister. Formed in 2010, by musical director and lead guitarist Marcin Bobkowski, One Love Orchestra comprises of reggae musicians who’ve worked with legends like The Wailers, Max Romeo, Johnny Osbourne, Lee Scratch Perry, and UB40, and bring a moving tribute to the legend.

Lancashire singer-songwriter Joe Martin returns after being a hit last year, Manton’s own mellow blues-based Ed Witcomb will also appear, along with local rock covers band @59, and Skedaddle open the show with their mix of soul, blues and jazz. More are promised, if this isn’t enough to be getting on with, and I dunno, it just sounds like a splendid day. For what begun as an event to aid much-needed restoration funds for Manton Village Hall, its grown into an important occasion on our local circuit and aids other local charities.

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Ed Witcomb

More info and for tickets look ‘ere….

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@59

© 2017-2019 Devizine (Darren Worrow)
Please seek permission from the Devizine site and any individual author, artist or photographer before using any content on this website. Unauthorised usage of any images or text is forbidden.


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PREVIEW: Bradford Roots Music Festival 17th – 19th January 2020 @ Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford

Andy Fawthrop

If you’re looking for a whole week-end of music-based events, with lots of sessions for children too, then you should do yourself a favour and head over to Bradford-On-Avon. It’s a bit out of D-Town I know, but it doesn’t take long to just tootle over to the really splendid Wiltshire Music Centre.

Now in its eighth year, Bradford Roots Music Festival, now extended to three days, is all about two things – showcasing the vast array of musical talent that has any connection with Bradford, and raising (lots of) money for good causes. This year’s beneficiaries will be Dorothy House Hospice, Zone Club (creative club for disabled young adults) and Wiltshire Music Centre. All the artists play for nothing and the event is administered and operated wholly by volunteers. That way all the funds raised go to the good causes.

This year’s event starts next Friday night (17th Jan) with a concert featuring Louie Millar, Crossing The Rockies and Verdisa. This concert is almost sold out, so get your skates on!

Then the main two-day Festival spreads itself across Saturday and Sunday from 11am each day. Saturday’s programme goes through till 10pm, and Sunday’s programme finishes at 4pm. There are four stages in operation, including the superb main WMC auditorium. Over the two days there are more than fifty different acts scheduled to play, including music concerts, shanty sessions, children’s concerts, jazz, blues, poetry, morris dancing and much more.

Particular acts to look out for are The Magnificent AK47, Will Lawton & The Alchemists, Lee Broderick, Billy In The Lowground, and The Yirdbards, although there’s so much going on that it almost seems invidious to pick out individual artists.

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Apart from all the music events, there are several spaces given over to craft workshops, merchandising, tarot readings, a Peculiar Gin Company gin bar, a Box Steam main bar and an artisan fair. Just outside there’s a huge marquee hosting JC’s Kitchen, which runs all weekend serving hot drinks and great array of home-cooked food.

I can’t recommend this event highly enough – there genuinely is something for everyone to enjoy, with great food, great beer and a great atmosphere. It’s superb value for money and there’s plenty to do and see for children and for adults. If you’ve never been, I urge you to check it out. You can buy tickets online, or on the door. Day tickets for Saturday or Sunday are available, as well as a 2-day Weekender Ticket.

The Wiltshire Music Centre is also a superb venue in its own right, hosting a year-round programme of top UK and international artists from all genres – classical, folk, blues etc. Worth checking out if you are after top-class entertainment.


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Splashpad, I’m all over it, Pal!

Word of the week in the Vizes; Splashpad (apparently Word sees it as one word) So, who wants to splash and who wants to whinge? I ask Town Clerk, Simon Fisher the questions which need to be asked…….. 

Once upon a time there was a slash-pad on the Green in Devizes, dubbed a drug-hatch, it was a public loo popular with vandals, in a pretty shabby state and kept closed much of the time. Now it’s a haven for the youngest of our community, who on summery days can play and splash until their hearts content. What a wonderful prospect if this could be a reality, yet despite a huge response to a Gazette & Herald article last week, which only stated “Devizes COULD get a splash-pad on the green,” both speculation and hope have seen an unprecedented online reaction.

Are we just “keeping up with the Jones’,” namely, Melksham, shouldn’t we be conserving water, is it an open invitation to vandals? There’s a sure quantity of negativity surrounding the idea, and personally I’d like to ensure a budget for children’s activities is equal for all ages and not just the toddlers, in an era where we’ve seen the closure of youth centres et all. Though my hand is swayed by my own fond memories of how the two mini-mes enjoyed splashpads, obviously me too, a little!

Hats off to Melksham, their largely Lib-Dem council have made a success story from the project. Water used in a splashpad is a tiny percentage of a town’s supply, no more than a swimming pool and no one is rallying outside the Leisure Centre, are they? There are two approaches to splashpad mechanics; a flow-through system and recirculating system. A recirculating system operates like a pool with chemicals, filters and pumps. Water is sent to the pad from a tank roughly four to five times the system’s flow rate; in short, it’s recycled, people.

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Splashpad in the Sham

As to vandalism, I have to cough. While it’s possible, and certain lengths will have to be introduced to ensure it isn’t, what we have now, a toilet block is a far cry from pristine. Litter, yes, litter happens there anyway, splashpad or slash-pad; surely, it’s a matter of trust and education, added on top the concept if you give the young something to do, rather than lounging on vacant grass bored, perhaps they’d repay it with gratitude and consideration. A long shot you may cry, but it’s a presumptuous cry, isn’t it?

Are we getting ahead of ourselves here though? I thought I’d play Devil’s advocate and fire some questions, Town Clerk Simon Fisher dared to answer them! “The project is still at a relatively infant stage,” he begins. “At the end of last summer, the Town Council was approached by a number of parents who asked if Devizes could have its own Splash Pad and therefore the Council needed to determine if there was a general demand for such a facility and also if a suitable site could be found. That initial phase of the project was completed just before Christmas, with a report to Council identifying a potential site, cost implications and evidence that a Splash Pad facility would be well used.”

“As you would expect, whenever we evaluate the need for a facility there will always be those who have no need for it and therefore resist its delivery,” Simon continued, obviously unable to name them fuddy-duddies who wouldn’t know fun if it came up and slapped them around the chops with an inflatable banana, but hey, I will! “But that is very much in the realm of public service provision, therefore whilst we must not ignore non-users, what is important is that we ensure that if money is spent on facilities they will be well used.”

I agree, we must not ignore them, we must splash them!!

“One of the comments you have raised, about the time of year it will be used and the assumption that it will only be used during the summer is a fair one,” said Mr Fisher. Oh, yeah, I did ask that; hardly Hawaii, is it? “However, this facility is not unique in this, with most of the outdoor facilities we provide seeing a massive drop off in use during the winter.”

See me screwing up my face, which is never a good thing, my Nan used to say I’d get stuck like it, but our other outdoor facilities aren’t a massive new cost; they’re football goals and swings. Sorry, that’s unfair; Hillworth park’s renovation is wonderful. Let’s look at that shall we? Summer days I go there, I see kids of all ages, really active, enjoying every minute, and I never see them dropping litter; coincidence? But money, innit, that’s what it comes down to.

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Artist’s Impression of how Devizes Splashpad will look

“There is clearly a cost implication attached to providing any capital project and we still have to determine how a Splash Pad will be funded,” Simon explained. “There are two elements to this, one is the capital cost, for which we will seek developer contributions and grants but this will need some Town Council seed funding. The other is revenue funding, ensuring any facility is well maintained and this will come from the Council; however, this funding may also support the upgrading of services more generally in the area and the Splash Pad will do this for the Green. Many of the services we provide are free at the point of delivery and a Splash Pad is likely to be such a service.”

My note on spreading the budget equally on all ages of youngster, Simon seems positive such a project would impact on the area as a whole. “The Splash Pad project may well see the provision of a café facility on the Green, which will enhance the area as a place to “hang out”. Many teenagers already do this; therefore, this will enable us to manage the space and keep it clean, which is a current criticism.” Yep, jobs too; a parkie, like Ranger John Smith; he chased bears smarter than the average, away from pic-a-nic baskets, though; we’d need Dwayne Johnson on the nightwatch!

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Keep off the grass!

He also expressed the projects already in place for older kids. “Whilst youth services remain principally the responsibility of the Unitary Authority, Wiltshire Council, whose budget for this purpose has been progressively cut in the last few years, Devizes Town Council does seek to provide facilities for all ages.” A major downer, as in another story, I’ve been waiting two years for a response from Wiltshire Council about when they’re due to repair a bouncy chicken and swing in a Rowde playpark; so I wouldn’t blow up your arm bands just yet.

“A few years ago,” Simon explained, “we built a large skate park for older children at our Green Lane site at a cost of over £150k and we are in the middle of a £1.7m investment for new football facilities, again aimed at older children and adults.” I have to take off my hat here, with or without Wi-Fi, satisfying most teenagers is near impossible, for the record I was a right stroppy one, though I’d imagine you’d find that hard to believe.

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You kids have got lots of splashpads already, be happy!

One thing is easy though, satisfying younger kids. Babies will play with a box, a set of car keys, toddlers happily play in a muddy puddle, why get a splashpad, just section off our road’s potholes?! Honestly, I’m certain that’s the pompous attitude of many of us. Toddlers though, soon learn how to whinge and whine to get what they want, or don’t want. Where do they pick this stuff up from? I’ll remind you, shall I? They get it from us, so quit your selfish whinging, just because you’ve outgrown your water-wings and spare a thought for the kids. Splashpad, I’m all over it, pal!


© 2017-2019 Devizine (Darren Worrow)
Please seek permission from the Devizine site and any individual author, artist or photographer before using any content on this website. Unauthorised usage of any images or text is forbidden.


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Talk in Code; Like That

Swindon’s indie-pop four-piece Talk in Code have a new single pending, which will blow your diddy-boppers off…..

Okay, six seconds into Swindon-based anthemic indie pop darlings, Talk in Code’s new single “Talk Like That,” and these old ears are blessed with an intro which drifts me back to electronic synth-pop of the eighties. If I stated near on a year ago, when mentioning their second album Resolve, their sound wouldn’t feel out of place in a John Hughes movie, with Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall sauntering an American high school corridor, this only cements the imagining in concrete.

What you had in that era is unchartered territory; electronics in music was nascent, but cradled by the inspired it swept a new wave over yearning youth. Misunderstood by the elder generation and abused later by the hit factories, the essence of the eighties sound we typecast today was built on those early foundations, why? Because those songs were beguiling, catchy and danceable, and that’s why Talk in Code compare.

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Let’s talk Simple Minds, Blancmange, Tears for Fears, yet I beg to differ to a contrast to the Pet Shop Boys on their press release, arguing their expansive success drew on a rather timeworn formula, and Talk in Code maintains an element of contemporary indie freshness. Retrospection maybe big business, this is far from an eighties tribute act. Though, akin to my comparison of Hughes’ movies such as The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink, the subject offers a romantic ‘chase,’ and as the band put it, “a feeling of longing.”

Make no mistake, this is a blooming marvellous and natural progression for Talk in Code, and I expect great things from them this year. They’ve notched up fifteen festival appearances over the UK during last summer, most notably opening the main stage for Years & Years at M for Festival and playing the main stage before Scouting For Girls at Wychwood Festival. They’ll be supporting Matt Owens (Noah and The Whale) at the Frog & Fiddle, Cheltenham on 31st January before heading out on a string of festival dates this summer including Minety Festival, Daxtonbury and many more.

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But this single, Talk Like That, from a forthcoming EP to be released later this year delivers. Recorded and mixed at Studio 91 in Newbury (Supergrass, Fickle Friends, Bring Me The Horizon, Amber Run), will be released on 27th February and highly anticipated by their fans, dubbed “Talkers.” Do yourself a favour, become a Talker!


© 2017-2019 Devizine (Darren Worrow)
Please seek permission from the Devizine site and any individual author, artist or photographer before using any content on this website. Unauthorised usage of any images or text is forbidden.

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Devizine Presents Daydream Runaways, Mike Barham, the Celtic Roots Collective and a special guest in Aid of the Waiblingen Way Fire Fund

I know, January is a quiet one, let’s shake it up a whole lot! Finally got around to sorting out a new Devizine Presents night at the Cellar Bar, it’s coming up real soon, 18th January, so stick in your diary.

We have the fantastic Daydream Runaways, Mike Barham, The Celtic Roots Collective and another surprise guest to entertain you down the legendary Cellar Bar of the Bear Hotel, Devizes.

The event is free, but we ask you kindly donate to the Waiblingen Way Fire Fund, which Liz Denbury wonderfully has set up. It has raised over an amazing £3,500 to date, let’s see if we can top it up a bit and have some fun while we do it; what do you say? Be there for 7pm. Say you’ll be there, it wouldn’t be the same without you, yes, you.

9 people were injured in the fire in a block of flats in Waiblingen Way, Devizes Tuesday 17th December. They included one woman who suffered serious injuries whom later passed away. Detectives are treating the fire, which started shortly after 1am on Tuesday, December 17th, as a suspected arson attack.

The funds will be spread out between the families who need it for food, supplies, clothes and other costs of living. I will not withdraw the money until I know how many it is to be shared amongst as some do not know the extent of damage until the assessors have been.

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Nerve Endings Love Muddy Puddles!

Local indie-rock outfit, Nerve Endings have a debut single, out last week…..

At the distal end of every axon lies the conclusion to a nerve. They message sensory neurons, bleating “you’re hot,” “or cold,” or “oi, that hurts!” Around these waters a personification are the nociceptors of noise, chiefly guitarist and lead vocalist Mike Barham, bassist and vocalist Rob McKelvey and drummer boy, Luke Bartels, and their stimuli definitely sends threat signals on the ears, in a premium possible manner.

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When they step on stage expect a little horseplay, then an explosive set of twisted blues riffs combining the elements of all contemporary alternative and indie rock subgenres. It leaves one intrigued by the news, which was drunkenly fed to me one summer’s evening at the Southgate, what will become of the progression towards recording the sound; we now have confirmation. Muddy Puddles is a Peppa Pig free song, which howls all that’s prodigious about Nerve Endings; unless Peppa is one who wears her heart on her sleeve.

Players, I shit them. Relationship annoyance by those who view romance as a sport, if being an archetypical subject, this alarm-ringing debut single of thrashing guitar riffs, with howling vocals that meet a near-sixties blues melody composes it with freshness. And as the gritty theme takes no prisoners, wailing “you won’t change, get your head out your arse and you might see,” analogous of actual nerve endings, sending a powerful warning to those who dig the dagger deeper into their victim’s heart. The result is boundless energy I might’ve expected, but executed professionally and agreeably adroit; great start to the year, guys!

See, I once pondered if the rave era ended youth culture as without conviction, I couldn’t assess any post-genre apt for the idiom. Perhaps the most stimulating conversation I’ve had with Mr Mike Barham, over a decade my junior, was at a Saddleback Festival, where he proclaimed grunge and emo proceeded my era. I was saturated in the fact younger people considered them youth cultures, concluding just like the teddy boys, punks and skinheads before me, my epoch was blindly trapped in the renaissance of a particular era.

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For the record I wouldn’t change it for the world, we partied harder, faster and longer than any predecessor, and I’d like to wager more than any “emo,” whatever that was, had to Google! Yet his statement not only aided new exploration in me, but a liking for this gentle giant who explodes with passion and fiery temperament when on stage. A specific style of the genre, that much I am aware. I know who Kurt Cobain was pal, blanketed by an era maybe, but not living on the moon; just a few miles closer to Earth.

My eclectic taste was never faulted by the overindulgence of the youth culture which engulfed me for a period, and I emerge open-minded and prepared to accept anything. Intrigue took me to a Bowling For Soup gig at Bristol’s O2, that and my son’s need of a lift. Yet if I felt out of place, searching for another sober, taxi-driving Dad as youths collapsed in the heat and the frontman made stagediving a cliché, I still enjoyed it. As is Nerve Endings, I’m not dying my hair black with a neon streak, neither are they, but this rocks with competence, appetite and enjoyability.

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Here’s the spotty-fly link, I know my system needs updating, here’s one if you’ve an apple; but Mike, thanks to my son’s Christmas present I now know where Bowser’s Castle is, and I like it; getting there, I just take the long way around!


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