When a better half browsing Facebook, tells her husband about an event in their own town, that’s informative. When the husband runs a local what’s on guide, it’s a tad embarrassing! But that is the unusual way I found out about Devizes’ cornerstone industry, the Wadworth Brewery putting on a mini-festival in their carpark.
This added a droplet to my overall scepticism as to what a do at Wadworth might involve, but what I overlooked was Jim Smith, frontman of local flightless bird rock covers band, Rockhoppaz, was a valid employee of the institution, so there you go. Now, in our last partial review of last weekend’s entertainment before looking to the next, I’ll tell you I did manage to pop along whilst juggling this and Saddleback, by hotfooting the tow path. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Once informed about this by the good lady wife, I despatched an enquiry as to acts booked, and the usual promise of free promotion, but the only reply I received was something about a free T-shirt. Promoters should note, local rags seem preoccupied with national headline clickbait, and a preview on Devizine is worth a zillion self-promoting Facebook posts, but c’est la vie; when I saw the lineup I was immediately reassured this was a worthy venture, and apologise to Waddies for any aforementioned scepticism.
Upon arrival the wonderful folk acoustic soloist and Visual Radio Arts presenter, Sue Harding, one third of Devizes’ two-thirds of the folk harmony trio on everyone’s lips, The Lost Trades’ Jamie R Hawkins, and the incredibly unpretentious Vince Bell had already played, the latter shrugging I missed him as I approached. How can I excuse the plain and simple fact I need my beauty sleep? But I can take it as red, due to past experience, this is a brilliant way to kick off the proceedings of any local do.
Of great consolation, the fantastically cool Ben Borrill was doing his thing, sublimely covering those tasteful classics. Duty called though, when you’ve an invite to a ticketed event where Ruzz Guitar and his Revue were about to begin, you’re more than obliging. My apologies to RockHoppaz, the first full band on. Again though, this is such a renowned local circuit lineup, it may’ve been seen before but of a quailty worthy of all the repeats of the Dave TV channel.
What I did glimpse of Wadfest was just enough to know, this was Devizes’ surprise freebie event of the summer, central, communal, with both pizza and hog roast, and anything where those dynamic retrospective RoughCut Rebels rocks the finale is a-okay by me.
The only nitpicking to let Wadfest down were not the blame of anyone. Firstly, the natural elements’ temporary weekend pause in a record breaking heatwave will always reduce footfall, unavoidable clashes with other similar events in Devizes added to it. A fair crowd of local music and beer afictionardos gathered nonetheless and an enjoyable afternoon was had, cut short by a medical incident of which we wish the person involved all the best for a speedy recovery.
Just prior though, the drizzle did its worst, as the Roughcuts did their cliché but refined Wonderwall cover, and I ducked into The Tap Shop and Bar, grasping a perfectly baked hot and spicy pizza, breaking my Woodland Pizza Kitchen cherry. Ha, this appleman justifes drinking Frome’s finest Lilley’s Cider in the Waddies Tap Shop as being one of my five-a-day. But have to say, the Tap Shop is a thing of beauty, doubly so with such a tasty pizza.
On a better day, free of other town goings-on and a tad clement, Wadfest would’ve been an absolute blast, as it was it made the best of bad situations and did the town proud. I sincerely hope this will turn into an annual event to look forward to in the coming years, and fully praise Wadworth for hoisting in the community spirit and bringing us this delightful lineup of locally sourced acts.
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