Black Uhuru UK Tour Cancelled; The Plight of International Touring Post-Brexit

They can get no time to press,
Because of all the distress that the society leads. What I’m a longing for is some happiness,”

Black Uhuru “Happiness.”

Frome’s Cheese & Grain today annouced the booking of The Counterfeit Beatles in November, which is all fine and dandy, but yesterday it sadly had to notify ticket holders for next month’s appearance of legendary reggae band Black Uhuru that the show had been cancelled.

In fact, after numerous postponements, the entite UK leg of the tour has been axed, due to a backlog in visas. The Cheese & Grain expressed their sorrow, explaining they’ve “been assured that the band and their representatives have tried everything in their power to make this work, but unfortunately there is now no option but to cancel this show.”

Kinda reminded me of my favourite upcoming ska band, Girls Go Ska, from Mexico, proudly posting their European tour dates on Facebook, without a single date on England’s green and pleasent land. I commented, “I wish you could come to England.” And though the South America ska scene developed separately from the retrospective niche of Two-Tone here, the girls are fully aware of our nation’s importance within the roots of international ska, and replied with sad emoji, “so do we.”

Now the tour is reality, all I get is fantastic looking video clips from Germany, of crowds enjoying the pinnacle of contemporary South American ska, when I’ve no hope in hell of ever seeing them live.

Not to moan too much about the divided issue, and as much as I enjoy a Beatles tribute, I have to ponder, is this what Brexit Britain has become? Barricaded in from outside influence, regurgitating archived moments of British achievements in the form of tribute acts, much less, extremely unlikely for upcoming UK artists to export their wares in the same method the flagwaving-idolised achievers of yore once did?

Ironic in considering if we had Brexit in the sixties, we wouldn’t have had The Beatles. Derry and the Seniors were doing well in Hamburg for booking agent, Allan Williams, whilst the young skiffle band on his books, who had recently rebranded from The Quarrymen were paltry amateurs, lost amidst the flooded market of the Merseybeat circuit. So Williams sent the young hopefuls on a similar path, to Hamburg, and what came out the other end was the greatest band ever; every gammon wave your union jack now.

Everything about the Beatles was honed and shaped in Germany, from their performance skills, their association with Brian Epstein, and even the famed hair-do. The ability for UK musicians to tour other countries, particularly in Europe was paramount in shaping pop music, and equally, from Buddy Holly to Kraftwerk, the influence of international acts touring the UK.

I have to tip my hat to Frome’s Cheese and Grain, how such an average sized Somerset town can attract the standard of act usually reserved for cities. On Beatles, the venue has built the kind of reputation whereby Paul McCartney will pitstop for an intimate gig on his way to Glastonbury. But for want of an influx of international artists seems reserved for megastars on the Springsteen level, of which you need a stadium-sized venue, and you’d need to morgage your home for a ticket.

Longleat hosted a Diana Ross concert, and a number of other household names this summer, in the kind of conservative thinktank arrangement which took an average three hundred notes off each punter then told them they couldn’t bring in a folding chair. As if anyone who had amassed that kind of wealth to wantingly throw three hundred quid at one gig, and who would be eager to see a heronie of 55 years past would be of a suitable age to stand like a teenager for four hours; you can bet your bottom dollar a few deckchair hire conpanies rubbed their hands together that night. The young get tetchy when being herded like cattle, I can only imagine the disappointment from their elders.

Live music is big business, I get that, the hospitality industry was bought to it’s knees through lockdown, I get that too, but relaying the deficit onto the punter will not bring a stream of genuine fans, it will only bring an inequality culture of those who can afford to will, those who can’t have to suck it up.

But it’s not just about way to go to whack up the price of a Womad ticket, but more about the missed opportunities for amateur and semi-professional artists to export their talent further afield. What’s the point of extending a reputation internationally online, if you cannot follow it up by appearing live without an unaffordable bill, a financial advisor and a year’s worth of paperwork to fill in just to take a tambourine on a continental flight?

And what do we get in return for this supposed will of the people? An oil rig dragged into Weston-super-Mud and decorated with taxpayer’s much needed banknotes to resemble a pathetic play on words, “See Monster.” Yes, I do see a monster, as I swig from my crown embossed pint margo, pointlessly waving my blue pissport; it’s stranded us on this island with a bunch of self-serving, ignorant bastards.

Best we can do right now, is support the little man, to show our love and support to the burgeoning DIY ethos promoting local live music. This is where fervour remains, in the enthusiasm of imending talent, and pray for a better day when the red tape of
welcoming international acts will be cut.


Drag Me Down are Invincible; Fact!

Ah, hark the beatific resonances of an adolescent choir, in their prime; Swindon’s metal-skater-punk three-piece Drag me Down have a new single out, destined to take no prisoners.….

Released on 26th August (2022) Invincible is fresh loud and proud, if contemporary pop-punk bands like Sum41, just as a for example, are sounding tad commercialised and lite, either/or, Limp Bizkit be too rappy for your palette, this local garage powerhouse packs the punch of metal’s finest hour and plunges the rest of said genre against the ropes.

And they sent it to me for my appraisal, unaware I’m approaching fifty and should be looking over my glasses at them in disgust, complaining about skateboards in the park while sucking on a pipe and adjusting my slippers until the nurse passes me my meds; and I reckon it’s having it.

Its intro is unpredictably electronica, but kicks within ten seconds with a grungy carefree “this is our time” notion, and rolling drums of pop-punk is the hook which confirms it is exactly that, a beguiling up-to-date anthem. If, like me, you were unaware of these guys, this will permanently scar them into your neurons as they go from strength to strength, claiming to have learned “a few new tricks along the way.”

Formed in Swindon, the band have been friends since their pre-teen years and suggest they’ve “gone through every trial a young person could face while growing up in the UK,” yet emerge from the other end as a “no-nonsense unit of friends with only one goal: to put smiles on the faces of everyone who listens to us.” Ah, I can’t give ’em that, sorry, they don’t know they’ve been born!

If there was any truth in what I just said, least they’ve top marks on how to rock.

In true counterculture ethos, they’ve a DIY label, Whatevercords, and have teamed up with The Bottom Line, Hightail, and From Here On Out producer Zac Pritchett to whisk an ever-growing discography. They’ve played Furnace Fest at Swindon’s Level III with the likes of Polar, TRC and our purveyors of noise buddies NervEndings.

I forgo my right to a free bus pass unless it’ll take me to a Drag me Down gig, because based on this single alone, they’ve got every ingredient firmly placed for the lively, youthful denotation you need to be at when it goes off. So, yeah, I’m predicting these kids will go far, and as for pensioner whinges I’ll stop at: if not I want a full enquiry into why not.

Pre-save said ticking-timebomb HERE, and wait for detonation Friday week (26th August.)


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Citizen’s Advice’s Plea for Funding From Local Councils as Wiltshire Council Slash Their Budget

Do you take Citizen’s Advice for granted? For many it’s a lifeline, the first port of call for any issues rising from legal, debt, consumer, and housing, yet Wiltshire Council has slashed £100k off its funding, about one-third of their budget. Makes you wonder why they ever dropped their slogan, “where everybody matters,” really, doesn’t it?!

The independent organisation has been rallying local town and parish councils for support. A spokesman from Citizen’s Advice was heard at the Devizes Town Council Committee Meeting on Tuesday 16th August, to plea for financial help.

The trade publication Third Sector states around 60% of Citizens Advice funding comes from government sources, but Citron contends there’s tension between Citizens Advice and the government, because while the charity relies on government funding to survive, it’s most effective as a high-profile critic of government policy. As if the government has any policies worthy of criticism! But cuts like these forces the bureau to seek much more funding from other sources. Locally, they’re approaching major towns and parishes for support.

As well as rising prices, Devizes Town Council explained the spokesperson was keen to point out this was “unfortunate in timing as they anticipated a rash of applications for help when the next raise in energy caps occurs, as well as coping with the other challenges of inflation.”

Councillor Ian Hopkins rightfully criticised the savagery of the cut and the timing, suggesting the town council “were not the authority to whom they should be appealing but, in suggestion a more rational approach, suggested an application in the autumn, prior to budget setting.”

Our local branch is situated in New Park Street, yet serves a wider community across villages and other local towns, so, Councillor Burton’s enquiry if funds would be spent on supporting Devizes people only could not be reassured by the spokesperson. She did however confirm they had received some responses offering various sums.

Councillor Hunter asked whether any other of their services could be redirected back to Wiltshire Council or other agencies. The representative confirmed that Age UK has been supportive but CAB remains the first port of call during which they hope to empower clients to follow up themselves, leaving it unlikely that Wiltshire Council would be impacted.

There was a surge amidst Devizes Town Council of favouring grants which would be kept for local use, but the councillor Hopkins suggested that £1,500 should be given, pending a more formal application for better funds, a proposal that was carried unanimously.

So, well done DTC, you’re officially in my good books (were you ever not, you need ask?!) No, really, I’ve applied some Lynx Africa and I’m coming in for a group hug, asap! Citizens Advise is a sustenance for so many, providing free advice and help is essential even more in this day and age, yet it’s a sad reality of a failing government when Citizen’s Advise needs its own advice on how to fund itself.


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Wadworth Put Best Paw Forward with Wadwoof Walkies!

Wadworth are raising money for Dogs Trust on International Dog Day with their very first Wadwoof Walkies event!

On Friday August 26th, dogs and their humans are invited to take a stroll starting and ending at the Wadworth Brewery Tap & Shop, in aid of the charity. The UK is currently experiencing a dog welfare crisis following an increase in ‘lockdown dogs’ bought during the pandemic and now being abandoned due to the cost-of-living.

REWARDS FOR THE TAIL-WAGGERS

The first five people to sign-up will receive a special ‘thank you’, a ceramic dog bowl personalised with their pooch’s name by Wadworth’s super-talented sign-writer, Wayne Richings.

Wadworth will also reward every dog that completes the walk with a rosette, as well as some treats and a much-deserved glug of dog beer that’s guaranteed to get tails wagging at the finishing line.

TREATS FOR THE LEAD-HOLDERS

For the humans, there’ll be hand-made pizza, available to buy from The Woodland Pizza Kitchen between 4pm and 8pm, as well as beer and other drinks to wash it down with from the Brewery Tap. Wadworth recommend pre-ordering pizzas before setting off on the walk.

Participants will also get the chance to have a professional photo taken of their dog looking their best with their Wadwoof Walkies rosette. Wadworth will share these with event-goers after the event.

SIGN UP TODAY

Entry costs £10 per person and is payable by card only on the day. £5 from each ticket sale will be donated to Dogs Trust. Sign-up HERE.

The walk starts promptly at 5.30pm and event-goers can choose from a 30-min or 1-hour route.
The route is mainly shaded with few roads to cross.
There will be a water station en-route.
The Woodland Pizza Kitchen will be open between 4pm-8pm and pizzas can be pre-ordered via direct message on their Facebook page.


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Weekly Roundup of Events in Wiltshire: 17th-24th August 2022

Ah this is more like it, the English summer we know and love! Tad wet, but here’s what we have to do this week and the last weekend before the big summer blow-out which is the August Bank Holiday.….

Don’t forget, more info and all links for bookings are on our event calendar, where you can also plan ahead, so long as it keeps updating, which I’m trying my best to, honest!

There’s a floral demonstration at Devizes Town Hall on Wednesday 17th August, by the Devizes Flower Club; opens at 7pm, £5.

Parents head for the Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford-on-Avon where there’s a messy art session and a singing day ahead.

Manchester’s noughties art rock band Everything Everything play the Cheese & Grain, Frome.


Thursday 18th, and again, kids can visit The Musical Zoo at the wonderful Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford-on-Avon. Three bands at The Beehive, Swindon on Thursday, The Acoustic Buzz 52, Larkham & Hall and Jol Rose. Also, at The Vic the have Monasteries, Creak, Persadian & Chasing Dolls. The Summer Youth Project performance of Legally Blonde is at the Wyvern.


Onto Friday 19th, and it’s the Wine Tasting event at St Mary’s Devizes, previewed here.

If you’re lucky you can still book a fantastic Survival Camp for any young adventurous children who are aged between 10 years old and 12 years old, with the Wild Edge Survival Camp at West Lavington.

Folk duo Fly Yeti Fly are at The Bear Inn, Bradford on Avon, The Beverley May Band at The Kings Arms, Melksham, Hayden Lloyd at Komedia, Bath. @59 play The Wellington in Marlborough.

In Swindon, Judas Rising plays the Vic, while Bobbi Nicholles is at Woodlands Edge.


Saturday 20th, it’s my pick of the week; the Bath Comic & Gaming Festival at Bath Uni. Full of UK based comic artist guests, some film and tv guests and cosplay guests, a dinosaur zone, Stranger Things, Ghostbusters and Star Wars props, and lots of stuff for kids to empty fanboy dad’s wallet! Lord, help me!

Roots and folk at the Southgate Devizes, with Barney Kelly, and the welcome return of Long Street Blues Club with Skinny Molly, I believe is a sell-out. Worth checking though, I might be wrong, as, I sometimes am; I said sometimes!

Dutty Moonshine Big Band play The Barge, HoneyStreet, Emily Barker is at The Pump in Trowbridge, and another successful Pipe & Slippers Rave at Trowbridge Town Hall goes off; I have to see this for myself; dust off the old whistle and white gloves! Oh, and if Sausage & Cider is more your thing, there’s a Day of it at The Brewery Inn, Seend Cleeve.

Shame Live at Lydiard had to cancel, but People Like Us play The Swiss Chalet, Swindon and Click! are at Woodlands Edge.


Sunday afternoon on the 21st August then, has another Fantasy Radio Lark in Hillworth Park, Devizes, though I’ve no idea who’s playing, because they never say. But Chaz Throughgood is at the Southgate.

It’s the August Jam for the exclusive Wiltshire Blues & Soul Club, in their hiding place at Lacock, while the fantastic Sarah C. Ryan Band play a lazy afternoon at Richard Jefferies Museum, Swindon, and Jim Blackmann plays Komedia, Bath.

And that’s your weekend over. On Tuesday 23rd Radio Banska play Jazz Knights at The Royal Oak, Swindon, and at this moment in time I’ve nought else in the week until Thursday’s opening of HoneyFest at the Barge on HoneyStreet.

But it will be bank holiday next weekend, and there’s much to be looking into and planning. We’ll be at The Full Tone Festival on the Green in Devizes, and that one, I promise you, will be awesome, but not the same without you, so get your ticket as soon as possible!

But yeah, same weekend you can find Reading Festival, GoatFest, Potterne Festival, Holt Scarecrow Trail, the Great Cheverall Soap Box Derby, Mini Talbot Fest at The Talbot, Calne, LodgeFest at The Lodge, Warminster, an M4 Classic Car & Bike Show in Chippenham, Chippenham River Festival, a live music festival at the Lamb Yard in Bradford-on-Avon, 21st Century ABBA at The Bowl, Town Gardens, Swindon as well as multitude of smaller gigs at just about every local pub and venue you can mention; and it’s all here on our event calendar, just hope the rain gives it a break!


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Really Got Me Now; The Roughcut Rebels Storm the Three Crowns

Prince Akeem of Zamunda, that’s the bugger, least the fictional character played by Eddie Murphy in Coming to America, who walks over a shower of rose petals; that’s the Roughcut Rebels gigging in their hometown right now, but replace the petals with “party!” Yes, they dance over a bed of party, waltzing the crowd with them, and punch above their weight for the mod covers championship belt.….

For a band that know they can switch from the Beatles’, Hard Day’s Night, to Jack Bug’s Lighting Bolt, a local crowd will lay the petals for them. More so, they bring the party, as they saunter through them with a breeze of confidence. Confidence in their younger frontman, Fin, but also in the tightness of the knowledgeable band; it’s one not to be missed, as it was in the Three Crowns last night.

In pub with a McDonald’s-paced drinks service, due to its cashless agenda, there’s a marvellous outside venue completely covered with sparkling canope. The boss here knows his customers as he flicks me through his diary; The Three Crowns pays particular attention to accomplished local live cover acts it knows will bring the party, such as People Like Us, Illingworth, Paradox and, as clearly evident last night, those Roughcut Rebels.

They push the boundaries of eras, spanning in comfort any anthem with a mod tinge, and saunter from sixties to eighties, from Rolling Stones to The Jam, yet slide equally as neatly and timelessly as a Fred Perry shirt into Britpop and into contemporary indie sing-a-longs.

Polishing the evening off with the Stereophonics’ Dakota, it’s a scooter rideout through time, from The Who to Oasis, and everything in between. This equates to a highly entertaining show, akin to a Now, That’s What I Call Mod Music compilation album, but live and with Wiltshire hint; I honour Fin doesn’t attempt a cockney accent when reenacting Phil Daniels’ Parklife monologue, because it’s a little west country thing, and it rocks!

With a extensive gourmet burger type menu, The Three Crowns is a golden nugget on our pub circuit, and Finley and Mark of the band are the next stop musically, playing the bank holiday Monday in support of The Reason.

The Roughcuts can be seen again at The Barge in Seend Cleeve on September 2nd, and appear at the highly anticipated Party For Life fundraiser at Melksham Town FC on the 10th September.


Sour Apple’s Kate Goes Diva at The Pelican

Safe to say, I’m reckoning, we’re now back to full velocity for live music and entertainment in Devizes post-lockdown, and once again, for a small town it’s punching well above its weight for choice.

Rare for me to be out on the tiles on a Friday due to real work commitments, but I’m off the hook and starting my adventure in a pub I also rarely frequent, Wadworth’s The Pelican Inn.

An historic stalwart in the Market Place, The Pelican reliably never changes its spots because it needn’t. It’s that testament to the community-led tavern you’d usually find in villages, housing estates or hidden away in a city alley, but in the centre of our market town. It’s welcomingly local, with a maze of decorative and comfy cubby holes, if you’d favour privacy from the lively communal area.

Kate stands close to the bar, singing along to well-known backing tracks, a practical method that while common and not really my cuppa, is a far, far stretch from Karaoke, with such a powerful and soulful voice at the helm. One half of acoustic duo Sour Apple, Kate can deliver a note crisp as if Alison Moyet came after Celine Dion, and affirmed regulars on the circuit, Sour Apple, onto my must-see hitlist.

Power ballads of era-spanning exceptional divas proved no challenge for Kate, and engaged the crowd to join in.

Friday is live music night at The Pelican, as landlady Sarah explained Saturday is a no-go, preventing a rude awakening Sunday morning to prep the kingpin of The Pelican’s agenda, the popular Sunday roast. With a takeaway option, capped under a tenner and with vegan alternative, the Sunday roast maybe the icing on the cake at the Pelican, but weekday specials make for a tantalising tradtional pub grub menu.

Considering comedy, but revealling their live music lineup up till Christmas, there’s a good variety of worthy local talent at The Pelican. On Karaoke, Confetti Battle night, 3rd September, sees the regular and ever popular Krazee Devil Karaoke, but not before Bran and Mirko’s unmissable Irish-folk duo, The Celtic Roots Collective play the bank holiday weekend, on Friday 26th August.

Kate returns as the aforementioned duo Sour Apple on September 9th, and master of all trades, the amazing Adam Woodhouse, regular support act at Long Street Blues Club, pays the Pelican a vist on 30th September.

Saxy local elders, Funked Up arrive on 14th October, followed by Krazee Devil’s Halloween Karaoke on the spooky 29th, again on Lantern Parade night, 25th November, and Funked Up provide a Christmas party on 25th December.

Though the real beauty for my personal tastes comes on Friday 18th November, when Chippenham duo Blondie & Ska play the Pelly. Part Blondie tribute, part classic Two-Tone covers with a hint of Blondie makeover, it’s orginal, progressivly acomplished, but more importantly, a whopping chunk of fun. Throughout lockdown this wonderful duo kept fans entertained prolifically live streaming, and for that alone, I bloomin’ love ’em!

With offerings as good as this, The Pelican is a welcomed return to the live music circuit, aside it’s cracking menu and cheery hospitality.


Weird, I Find Myself Agreeing With Danny Kruger Over Station Road Carpark Closure!

It’s quite alright, you’ve not entered the Upside Down from Stranger Things, or another theoretical parallel universe. Station Road carpark in Devizes will be closed overnight to cars, effective immediately. MP for Devizes Danny Kruger pushed for this Wiltshire Council order, and in hindsight, I happen to agree with them and wished it had come proir to the terrible incident which spurred the notion….

Wiltshire Council has today (11th August) obtained a Closure Order for the carpark to help prevent anti-social behaviour in the area. It will mean the car park is closed between 6pm and 6am every day for a period of three months, for anyone other than season ticket holders, buses, lorries and coaches.

Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council, said “This will be enforceable by the police, who will be regularly patrolling the area to ensure that people are abiding by the Closure Order.” And yes, that’s the same police force recently put into special measures, red in all areas. One cannot help but think about the word “proactive” here, and perhaps regular monitoring of the carpark should’ve been a priority before said terrible incident.

Sadly, if it has to be, and does what they suggest it will do, “help prevent anti-social behaviour” in the area, then I agree. Yet I cannot help but feel they’re putting a plaster on a severed limb, and this will only push activities elsewhere. Proactive policing, engaging with youth, providing facilities they want, and building trust with them is a better way to deal with the situation than bricking them in.

And no one shrugs at the hypocrisy, where an MP takes a stand on youth crime yet backed a criminal Prime Minister. So you may’ve raked back a few popularity points with the constituency after using your political position to voice your relgious beliefs on abortion, Danny K, but to be honest it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans, really, now does it?!


You’ve Only Got Until Monday to Sound Your Opinion on the Devizes School Land Sell-off

You’ve only got until Monday to sound your opinion on the Devizes School land sell-off, the consultation ends Monday 15th August. Go give your verbal muscle, here, for all it’s worth.

I’m not well-travelled but I did once go to Barbados, where people live in humble breezeblock shacks yet their schools are immaculate. How this system works on such a small island with its eggs only in tourism and sugarcane baskets is beyond me, when we surrive in a so-called developed nation in which our state education system is flawed and failing.

Education is a service, should be funded by taxation, not a flipping business, yet sad reality is so, Federations like White Horse are running them as if they were a business, and I can only point the finger at the Conservative ethos of Parliament, as the buck clearly stops there. The fact a school needs to sell land to repair the building is a shining example, surely?

So if you’re wondering why I haven’t used Devizine to cast a rant-like opinion on the selling of Devizes School land, it’s because, as an individual issue I’m sitting on the fence. But it’s a windswept, broken fence I’m due to fall from, because the rabbit hole is deeper than if they should, or  shouldn’t, sell off land to housing in order to carry out needed repairs of the school and its infrastructure. It goes as deep to suggest it’s part of a bigger, national disaster that we are sadly, failing our children.

Something which has frustrated me long before this niggly local issue, which as we speak is thrown around for political pointscoring on bias local social media groups, in a Boris Johnson era where nothing is sacred, and nothing is off limits. Let’s not debate, rather open new Facebook groups with hidden agendas, and delete valid opinions because they don’t match ours, while our children suffer from this uncaring and wonky shitstem.

There was even a point in all this which made me contemplate that’s my angle, to join the pathetic parade of keyboard warriors, waffling political propaganda for the sake of saving their beloved party in blind faith. But I thought, no, focus should be on those affected, the children.

By selling off the land The White Horse Federation says they hope to “release a significant amount of capital to reinvest into maintaining and modernising school infrastructure; enhancing school and community sports and performing arts facilities; and working more closely with the local community to support better physical, mental and economic well being,” and for that I cannot argue with, if I could trust the Trust as far as I could throw the Trust, to spend it wisely in favour of the children’s education. Then I’d sigh, suppose if it needs to be done, sadly, it needs to be done, and perhaps the loss of conservation is the unfortunate price to pay. It is, after all, a reality of any building project. But hey Joe, did you even know there was a conservation issue? Were residents actually consulted in the expected manner?

It’s come to our attention, once your only chance to be heard runs out on Monday, meetings will be run behind closed doors. It’s suggested there’s definite transparency in this consultation, the Trust accused of explicitly stating at a resident’s meeting they had no plans to sell, when evidently they did.

The White Horse Federation also faces accusations that appropriate organisations and councils have been ill-informed and unable to comment on the website. Residents of Pans Lane, Festival Close and Edward Rd, say they got no letters, and only residents of Nursteed Rd did. With Devizes Town Councillors also saying they’ve not been informed about the conservation issue, it seems the consoltation is not as public as it should be.

No reference has been made by The White Horse Federation to loss of conservation, though we’ve suggestions the matured woodland near the nursery on the Leisure Centre road, which they plan to flatten for cricket nets and softball is home to foxes, deer and badgers.

We sacrifice our town’s green spaces for extended carparking, disturb an established wildlife habitat, possibly for astroturf, and while considering the need for improvements to the school building to better aid the pupil’s education, are these really necessary?

I, for one, am still shaking my head, and would suggest townsfolk require to be better informed. White Horse Federation need to extend this deadline, and invite further public consultation.

Here we have a Federation-run school which reprimanded and punished pupils, by including time spent off self-isolating due to a positive Covid result on their attendance records, when they were only obeying the law. When questioned the headteacher at the time pushed the responsibility onto the Education department, and dared me to contact MP Danny Kruger with a laughing emoji, suggesting I wouldn’t get a response.

Though the last laugh was on them, as Danny knows better than to not respond to me, he only threw the butt back by suggesting the Education Department had no such ruling, I find myself forced to wash hands on the issue. Pushed from pillar to post, I can’t figure out who to believe, and I’m aghast I’m possibly having to take the word of a Tory MP over my own local school! Now, I ask you, does this sound like the type of organisation who has the best interests of the children’s education and wellbeing at heart? There’s butterflies in my stomach, that I’d rather trust Captain Birdseye, because his captain’s table doesn’t sound quite so fishy!


Weelky Roundup of Events in Wiltshire: 11th-16th August

The heat is on, as Glen Frey once said. Whatever did happen to Glen? You don’t have to answer that, we’re here to find out what’s going on in the wonderful wilds of Wiltshire, not to discuss the heroes of eghities power-pop.

Thursday 11th, then, and James Kirkby plays Chapel Arts in Bath, ans Lone Bear is at The Beehive, Swindon.

School still out, and Aston Court have the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, on Friday 12th. Something on my bucket list, a hot air balloon, just so you know.

There’s a very interesting Lego stop-frame animation workshop at Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford-on-Avon, also on Friday, and it’s got later dates available should you not get in on Friday.

In Devizes those ever-popular mod covers band, The Roughcut Rebels play The Three Crowns, up against Peppa Pig in Hillworth Park, they are! Not sure about you, but I know which one I’d prefer to visit…. Roughcut Rebels, without doubt, need to be jumping in more muddy puddles, for point of reference, guys!!

Update, due to hot weather, Peppa Pig has been postponed until Monday, to prevent the event turning into an upsetting hog roast!

For more live music in Devizes, try a night of power and soul, with Kate at the Pelican.

The Reason do their thing at the Green Dragon in Market Lavington, and great to see Illingworth appearing at the Barge on Honeystreet; both highly come recommended from us here at Devizine.

Libre Stone play Komedia in Bath, and if you’re down that way, check out an earlier session from Devizine’s favourite singer-songwriter school teacher, N/SH in the bar.

And find a triple punk bill at The Vic, Swindon, with Riot City Radio, Street Outlaws & Two Sick Monkeys.

Saturday 13th, and there’s a soy candle workshop at Chippenham Museum, and The Trowbridge Weaver’s Market at the Town Hall.

Always one of the best village fetes around these parts, Seend Fete on the green Saturday 13th.

The Duskers play the Southgate, Devizes, and there’s the Unlock Reset festival #2 at the Consti Club in Chippenham.

Open Mic at 23 Bath Street, Frome, and The Dung Beatles play Chapel Arts, Bath.

Not a great deal listed this Saturday, to be honest, all eyes on Swindon, where my Editor’s Choice this week is Swindon Pride.

Arrive at H&M in Swindon Centre for 11, as the march starts at 11:30am.

We also wish Darren Simons all the best, as he stands down from The Rolleston and Level III, to concentrate efforts more The Vic. That said, you know it’s going to go off at both venues on Saturday, as Level III presents The Chaos Brothers, and there’s another loud and proud triple bill at the Vic, with Here Come the Crows, NervEndings & Something Underneath.

The Woodlands Edge in another venue worth venturing out to, Swindon direction, and Mark Colton will be entertaining there, with Ska , Punk , New Wave covers.

On Sunday 14th August, Fantasy Radio are back in Hillworth Park, 2-5pm. The lowdown on this is, despite me having a moan last week about not announcing who was booked, meaning I missed Phil Cooper play, because I wasn’t informed, I’m glad to have wandered through Hillworth, on my way to the Gate, and overhear them say another third of the Lost Trades, Jamie R Hawkins is playing this Sunday. Even if Fantasy want to keep these things quiet, for whatever reasoning, I believe it’s important for the artists and visitors to know, so I’m telling you now!

And breath; Luke De-Sciscio plays Komedia, Bath on Sunday too.

Monday 15th, and it’s the postponed arrival of Peppa Pig at Hillworth Park, Devizes, and Rock the Tots Summer Party at Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford-on-Avon. They have a Name that Bunting session on, on Tuesday, a singing day and Fidgety Feet will br there too, with a children’s play, The Little Tin Soldier.

The new season on Jazz Knights starts on Tuesday, and they have The Alan Barnes Quartet, at their usual venue, The Royal Oak, Swindon.

And that’s your blooming lot! That said, our event calendar is forever being updated, at least when I’m not chained to the sink by Mrs Devizine, doing the washing up, picking my nose or asleep, probably dreaming about being chained to the sink by Mrs Devizine, or picking my nose.

Oh yeah, and, while we’re here; you got your ticket for The Full-Tone Festival yet? Get a jog on if not, it’s probably going to be last great summer blow-out in Devizes this year.

Have a great weekend ahead, apply sunscreen, and if we missed your event, we apologise, but ask yourself this; did you tell us about it? Did you? Really?!

It’s free to get listed here, we’re in it for the love, and cake, and maybe for the love of cake too, so either message us or don’t moan if I missed it!


Jon Amor in Residency – August 7th 2022 – The Southgate Inn

By Ian Diddams

After eight months of being other engaged on the first Sunday of each month, with run throughs of self-authored radio plays, Rugby weekends to Edinburgh, and rehearsals for Pirates of Penzance and Macbeth, I finally had a spare slot to come and see Jon Amor in residency at The Southgate Inn, Devizes.

Given this was Jon’s EIGHTH appearance this year at the venue it’s a somewhat daunting task to review him following in the footsteps of Messrs Worrow and Fawthrop .. but here I am in an attempt to not regurgitate the same old cliches and fawning sycophancy.

Errr… ummm… hmmm… ahhh…
So much for that attempt then! So leaving that aside …

Jon – the lanky piece of piss from the Hoax according to Jeff Beck – was as ever at his ease in his manor. Joining him were his constant companions (at least at the Southgate!) the incomparable Jerry Soffe on bass and Tom Gilkes on drums – more of them later. And after a couple of shoulder loosening openers of superb class this month’s guest … Muddy Manninen of Wishbone Ash, Patsy Gamble and Black Pearl fame. And even with the superb introduction to the gig, the class rose yet again as Muddy strummed his way through the first joint number.

And the evening just got better and better and better. Swapping between themselves on rhythm and lead, Jon and Muddy led us through raucous numbers to classic blues over and over again. And no sooner had it seemed they’d just begun … it was half time and a chance to replenish glasses and take a breather from the heady atmosphere outside in the delightful beer garden of the Southgate.

Soon it was however time for more of the same, and what a second half. How anybody can say they don’t like blues always defeats me and the guys took us all to even more stratospheric delights. Aside from the phenomenal talents of our two strummers, the backing boys shone though. Jerry every bit the standard bassist with t shirt, shorts and trainers had his own moment to shine with sublime solos and interjections, the coolest member of the quartet (well, he IS a basis 😊 ). And Tom… well… BLOODY HELL! I recall the first ever drum solo I saw aged about twelve maybe, at the Chatham Central Halls of the Dutch Swing College Band – the rest of the band left the stage – no doubt to toke and drink up – and the drummer did his thing for several minutes. I was mesmerised. I’ve loved a good drum solo since and I wasn’t disappointed as Tom got his chance to demonstrate his sublime skillset for many minutes until he finally begged for release from his band mates as he tired, to a standing ovation.

A chum I grew up with a million years ago is no mean drummer himself, and runs a recording studio in Southern California now; I sent him a video of Tom’s work and he replied “He’s a very good drummer. Those little grace notes he’s playing on the hi hat in that last clip is classy.” So there you have it – not only a brilliant drummer but also a Devizine review from San Diego!

All good things eventually come to an and we said farewell to Jon and Muddy and – of course! Tom and Jerry! The connection between all four of them was palpable and the joy palpable. Jon has always come across as a genial easy-going guy of course, but I commented to him afterwards that he looked really happy on set. Broad grins and smiles all round. Muddy was a total delight to see and hear play, true class again. We are so fortunate to be able to draw upon Jon’s circle of friends in the business in this manner, and it’s no small kudos to Dave and Debs at the Southgate for the residency slot and the concept of “And Friends”.

As a final world then, it’s only fair to quote my chum from SoCal once again …

“It’s a good day when you stumble upon players of this calibre down the pub!”

Isn’t it just?


Steeple Ashton Summer Spectacular Fundraising for Motor Neurone Disease Association and Others

Steeple Ashton’s Summer Spectacular at the church paddock on Saturday 10th September promises a three-course street food feast, with an auction from Paul Martin of TV’s Flog It, a casino, and entertainment from a magician and Abba tribute, Angels.

Tickets are £45 from the Steeple Ashton village shop, or online here, and proceeds go to a number of chosen and worthy charities.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance needs no introduction, but you should be aware it relies entirely on fundraising.

The organisers are keen to add the event is also supporting Motor Neurone Disease Association, which focuses on improving access to care for those people and their families living with or affected by this fatal disease that affects the brain and spinal cord.

And Evie’s Gift too, which was set up by Bryan & Patsy Clover after their 13 year old daughter, Evie, tragically died of an aggressive brain tumour. During the time she was in hospital they saw tired and anxious parents of very sick children sleeping on chairs, or even in their cars, as they couldn’t afford hotel accommodation.

The charity pays for accommodation and help for parents in these stressful situations. All very worthy causes for what sounds like an awesome party; tickets are on sale now.


Chippenham MP Boasts about Appearing on Far-Rightwing TV Channel

Being politically correct, a near-naked rotund fellow with obesity issues mopped his greasy body with a sponge, being certain to cleanse all areas by slipping it through the gusset of his swimming trunks. Another moronic daredevil then raised the sponge above his tilted head, opened his mouth and rinsed the contents into his gullet, on a regular section of eighties TV show The Word, called, “I’ll do anything to be on TV.”

I was, as were many others, shocked to see Chippenham MP Michelle Donelan bragging about appearing on the renowned far-right extremist TV channel GB News this week. The dire channel, which dresses up propaganda as ‘news,’ sacked a presenter for condoning a gesture of racial equality and replaced them with Nigel Farage, known nationalist extremist knobjockey who, though might look like Sam the Eagle from the Muppet Show, is far more sinister than him. The man marched with the National Front, the offspring of Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Facists who would’ve taken control of the country if Hitler had’ve won the war, and who addressed a neo-nazi conference in Germany, of which the leader is Hitler’s great granddaughter.

https://fb.watch/eKeEdWFJ8T/

I’m sorry but it doesn’t take a genius to suss out, any media outlet which willingly gives this milkshake-wearing pissant, who would be dangerous if he wasn’t so gullible as to be fooled by the joke name ‘Hugh Janus,’ airtime can only be far-rightwing; I’m not out for you to futility attempt to change my mind on this plain and blatant fact, keyboard warriors, so don’t bother trying.

Credit where it’s due, Michelle responds well to her constituents online, and was there to big-up her wish for Thatcher-infactuated Liz Truss to win the PM race. As if I care at all which unsuitable spanner is hoisted into the toolbox, for what it’s worth, I agree with her choice, as I believe she’ll bring the Conservative Party to their knees far quicker and more effectively than Sunak; we live in hope Labour can rid themselves of their novelty nodding-dog toy and find a respectable and electable replacement in time. As let’s face it, without their worst criminal to wear a clown’s mask since Stephen King’s It at number ten, they’re nothing; if he, his goldigger and taxpayer-funded gold-crested wallpaper ever goes.

But all this is beside the point. That being, Michelle Donelan thought it would be worthy preaching to the converted on national issues, on an extremist TV channel which makes the Daily Fail look like Socialist Worker magazine, rather than address those sitting on the fence in her own constituency; you have to chortle at that much alone. And from it I can only deduce she’s either akin to our dirty sponge-drinking nutcase who will do anything to be on TV, or is a closet facist.

Should it be a case of the latter, I suggest Michelle takes a timeout from local politics to read some world history and finds me an example, from anywhere, from any time, where a far-rightwing philosophy has done anyone, any good, at all. Then returns to the drawing board, remaining faithful to the original Conservative ethos, which is alleged to be middle-of-the-road rightwing, or else feel the wrath of millions of souls who gave their lives to prevent fascism spreading across Europe, as they turn in their graves.


Rowde Parish Council Takes on The Kremlin!

What in the wonderful world of fudge cake is going on here? Aside the appalling attention to primary school grammar, have you ever read such a bizarre Facebook post from a Wiltshire parish council?! Seems like either Rowde Parish Council’s Facebook page has been highjacked by a lone Councillor eager to battle ze Ruskies, Rocky Balboa-style, or the entire council are out to lunch!

It stems from one villager, questioning why the Ukraine flag is flying from their village flagpost, when other invaded country’s flags have not been given the same honour. The opinion comes across rather wonky, I agree this much, only so much space on a flagpole, and in this era where everything sensationised hinges on this one conflict, and refugees of other nations are being shown the door to make way for Ukraine ones instead. When, of course we support the Ukraine refugees and of course we sympathise with their predicament, as we should anyone from any country which has faced such atrocities.

But, this is a tiny Wiltshire village, why has its parish council gone all Tony Blair on us, and taken on the world’s problems when it exists to deliver on local issues, and local issues only?

Would it not have surfficed to just explain to the disgrunted villager the flag is there to show support for the Ukraine refugees, as it should be, and get on with processing farmer Barleymow’s application for a new barn roof, rather than start flaffing on about international politics and picking a side in a conflict which is clearly not as cut and dry as it’s made out to be?

Suggesting the Ukraine was invaded “without provocation” is not only questionable, but is unnecessarily stating which side of the fence a supposedly impartial parish council is on the issue, when there’s no valid reason to cast assertions or get involved at all; that’s the lunacy of the shebang, without regards to the consequences.

Did Putin not threaten to act if we waged retaliation for his invasion? Admittedly he might not be sauntering down Marsh Lane,
browsing Rowde All About It Facebook page, and Russians wouldn’t attack our county anywa….hold on, just got to sneeze… ahhhh-skripallll!…sorry about that, where was I?

Ah yes, it’s a concerning bandwagon to enforce an entire village to jump on, what with a prime minister who willingly handed top secret Nato documents to ex-KGB lieutenant-colonel, Alexander Lebedev, without his security detail or Foreign Office officials, at the height of the Skripal poisoning crisis, hand his son a lifetime peerage in the House of Lords, and still deny Russian money laundering through Londongrad funded Brexit and the Conservative election campaigns despite the Pandora Papers revealling irrefutable evidence it did, because, take a breather…. none of it has anything to do with the day-to-day runnings of a Wiltshire village!

So, a poll is added to the local Facebook group in which 86% said they’re happy to keep the flag flying. All’s fair in love and democracy, I agree with the outcome, but comments flare in a witch hunt for the person who questioned it, calling them a “bully” and the poll even has the option to vote that they’re “unpleasant trouble,” of which a remarkable 1% voted for; could that be our Rocky?! Cue, Eye of the Tiger….

It’s all gone a bit pitchforks at dawn in a sleepy village, in a country of free speech, like a poor man’s reenactment of a Simpsons cartoon.

Forgive me for suggesting it’s neither here nor there for a parish council to involve themselves with international politics, but it does raise a valid point. Rather like Christians wearing a symbolic cross when it’s likely to be the worst symbol Jesus would wish to see if he returned, if I’d been lucky enough to have claimed asylum from escaping a war-torn country, I’d favour facing my new life with a clean sheet, archiving the bad memories, and wouldn’t wish to see the flag of the troubled nation I’d just come from, not in favour for honesty and respect from those around me. But that’s subjective and ill-conceived, thankfully never having to have been in that situation.

In order to fully assess whether flying the Ukraine flag is welcomed by the refugees parhaps actually asking the refugees themselves might be a solution; just a thought. Otherwise, this is isn’t Rowde at all, but Bizarro World!


The Story of Plastic; Sustainable Devizes Free Film Event

It’s okay, do I look like, Kenneth Williams?! You don’t have to answer that. This is not Jackanory, I’m not here to tell you a story, other than an ickle trip down memory lane. I am here to announce the rescheduling of a film event by Sustainable Devizes….

Sustainable Devizes inform us that 38.5 million plastic bottles are bought in the UK every day. It makes no sense, plastic takes hundreds of years to break down, and yet we use it to store products that we consume within minutes. I’m guessing most of us are guilty, it’s hard not to be in this day and age. I know I am, and I’ve been reminiscing about when I was knee-high to an elf, being dragged unwillingly along a neighbourhood house, where us kids were expected to entertain ourselves while the mum’s had a Tupperware party.

That’s was the start of it, right there; mums persuaded by a friendly sales rep to ditch their old biscuit tins, because these unbreakable beauties would preserve your food forever! They bought them by the truckload, of all shapes and sizes. Though they were durable little buggers, compared to today’s throwaway abominations, they kept for generations, if slightly moulded.

Now my daughter frowns at me, when I try to justify it all; but as Yazz said, we were the plastic population, bought up with it; we honestly didn’t have a clue, and any dictation that the planet may be at risk would’ve been intuitionally ingrained into us as “hippy rubbish.” Sad, really, isn’t it, and likely propagated by the plastics industry.

The plastic crisis is part of the climate crisis. 99% of plastics are made from fossil fuels. One in every ten barrels of oil is being used to manufacture new plastic. We need to drastically reduce the amount of plastic we produce.

And I know this, I hear you, but changing the habit of a lifetime? I try; I’m recycling like a boss now good enough, eh? But Sustainable Devizes say, “it’s clear that recycling is not enough of a solution either. Only 9% of plastic ever produced globally has actually been recycled. We need to ditch disposable plastic and embrace reusable products wherever possible. We can free where we live from single-use plastic.”

So, I’m glad to see the rescheduling of a film screening at St Andrews Church in Devizes, which was cancelled due to lockdown. It’s free, there’s cake promised, it’s on Wednesday 28th September and it’s about the Story of Plastic. I’m going, hoping it will hammer the final nail in my archaic habits. You can come along too, but you need to book a free ticket online, HERE, just so they know how much to cake to make….in which case perhaps I should book two seats for myself! Hope to see you there.


Of course, without too much a of plug, you can ditch your plastic milk carton as of tomorrow, if you order a gert lush glass bottle of Plank’s new organic range, and it’ll be delivered by a gorgeous bloke with a smile and an electric works vehicle, made in 1981! Send them a message on Facebook, here, shameless promotion over!   


Talk In Code Return to Swindon for a Homecoming Show & Album Release

We love ‘em here at Devizine, and Swindon-based indie pop quartet, Talk In Code are set to return to The Victoria in Old Town Swindon on Saturday 23rd September for a massive homecoming celebration show following a packed summer of festival appearances at Lechlade Festival, Minety Festival, Home Farm Festival, Taunton Pride, Box Rocks, Great West Fest and many Foodies Festivals all over the UK…..

The band have spent the summer playing to packed audiences across Wiltshire and all over the UK, supporting esteemed names such as Jesus Jones, Cast, Scouting For Girls, My Life Story, Blue and The Feeling.

Talk In Code, recently signed to London based Regent Street Records, released their instantly danceable, upbeat single “Illogical” in June of this year, playing a headline set at Pimms In The Park at Lydiard Park on release day.

Image: Helen’s PolarPix

The gig at The Victoria on 23rd September will also see the release of the bands new single “The Big Screen” and also their third album of the same name which will be available to purchase on CD on the night.

Chris Stevens, lead vocalist said “Swindon is our home, and it feels so right to be returning to The Victoria, which is one of our favourite venues to play.. Darren and Violet from The Victoria have been incredibly supportive of Talk In Code over the years and we cannot think of a better place to showcase our new album than The Vic! We are proud to be Swindon!”

Join Talk In Code for what promises to be an incredible night of live music, with support from Riveria Arcade and Tom Moore.

Tickets are just £6.00 in advance from https://www.seetickets.com/event/talk-in-code-riviera-arcade-tom-moore/the-vic/2319587 Listen to Talk In Code here.

Ah, my road trip with Talk in Code!

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Sad Day for Melksham Assembly Hall

The stalwart venue of Melksham is being viewed more like just a wart by town councillors, in a sad day which could see the closing curtain for the Assembly Hall.

Melksham News reported on the rumour I’ve been trying to hold back on, hoping the day wouldn’t come, that Melksham Assembly Hall and the Town Hall could be sold off under controversial plans being considered by Melksham Town Council.

More than once, Conservative Councillor Phil Alford contradicts himself in conversation with Melksham News, in the very same sentences!

Here he defends his case by telling the newspaper, “the Assembly Hall needs £400K for refurbishment,” but adds “we should build a new facility.” Is it just me being thick, I mean I’m no building contractor, but wouldn’t building a new facility cost more than repairing the one you’ve got?!

And does it even need this colossal cost for a refurb at all? It looks fine to me as it is, lick of paint, job done. Face it, Melksham, other than a handful of excellent local pubs, like the Pilot and Foresters supplying the town with live music, you’ve hardly any few entertainment venues as it is.

The Assembly Hall is a pillar to the community, with a brilliant programme and variety of events to suit everyone. From top class tribute acts, massive fundraising events such as the legendary Female of the Species gigs, which had to be shifted to Seend, to regular clubs such as the twenty-five year strong Rock n Roll Club drawing crowds from across the country, and even the popular male stripper nights. Perhaps it’s the latter offending Mr Alford; feeling somewhat inferior?!

Has the smokescreen got in your eyes yet? The new campus project has seen closure of the library and historic Blue Pool too; how many eggs does this Councillor want to put in the same basket, I sigh. “We now have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to do something about it,” he continues his pitch, why is it “a once-in-a-lifetime chance?” is there no chance of a backhander in the future?

He said this, He. Actually. Said. This. “Now is the time to be creative, trust residents, decide on a plan and move forward for the benefit of the town,” regardless of the simple fact, next Tuesday’s meeting to decide upon the fate of the hall has the proposal it should be held as a closed session, preventing the press and public from attending. If that’s the best method of involving public opinion then I’m the Queen of Sheba.

It’s begger’s belief how closing a venue would “benefit” a town, but the cavalry comes in the form of independent councillor Jon Hubbard, who told Melksham News, “we don’t know the details of the options yet, but the Assembly Hall is a massive asset to the town.

It’s one of the largest halls in Wiltshire, there is nothing else that can compete with it in terms of capacity and I think we would be quite mad to even contemplate getting rid of that without replacing it with an equivalent facility.

All of the plans I have seen have been talking about significantly smaller facilities and Melksham already has a wealth of smaller halls and I see no reason why the town council should invest taxpayers’ money into facilities which will compete with existing assets that the town has.”

Well said Jon, it goes in line with the original rumour circulating, that some councillors wanted the hall to be only for events which they feel benefitted the community, in which case they’re in the wrong job and should be an events coordinator rather than a councillor. The Assembly Hall is the brilliant venue hosting self-propelled events I wish we had here in Devizes. The running at a loss argument is piffle in a peroid of economic decline, they all are unfortunately. Especially when said peroid is a direct result of appalling national decisions of the political party Mr Alford himself supports.

The irony is blinding, but folk have hijacked the Facebook post to express their disappointment and point out the significance of the Assembly Hall. One said, “The Town Hall is the very fibre of this town’s history. Its location at the heart of Market Place is the embodiment of the pride we have for our town. To sell the building for private ownership is beyond conscionable.”

Another said, “The town hall is the focal point for nearly all the town events. Selling it off is 100% short sighted. People travel for miles to see melksham Xmas lights and other events, if the town hall goes we would lose those or they would move to melksham house which doesn’t have the same focus in the town.”

The post is here, you can comment, but I’d advise to take your opinion to Mr Alford himself, his email is: Phil.Alford@wiltshire.gov.uk


Weekly Roundup of Events in Wiltshire: 3rd-10th August 2022

Bit cloudy, still hot, what have we got, for the coming week, quite a lot! Welcome to August one and all, nights slowly closing in, apples taking an early dive off trees, make the most of summer, though there’s no links, you can find more details and ticket links on our event calendar, plus of course you can skip ahead, early bird and all that; you know how it works by now!

Schools out, but there’s another art session, or play days at the Cause, Chippenham on Wednesday 3rd. Meanwhile Devizes kids can build their own bird box at Hillworth Park; costs £7.50 but lunch is included at the Café. Older Devizes artists need join The Lawrence Society of Art, who are at Marden, thatching harvest and stooks.

Thursday 4th and there’s a talk at Chippenham Museum on Robin Tanner & the Arts & Crafts Movement.

Three emerging local indie bands play the Vic in Swindon, Thursday, Kayble, which features Ben Kay, formally of Kaleido Bay, I See Orange and PX.Music; free entry.

And the Outcider Festival 2022 kicks off near Mendip. Still a few tickets, be quick, Dreadnought headline this awesome festie which promotes itself with the slogan “no tribute bands. No X-Factor. No Carling lager. No tossers!” Love it!

Closer to home Purton’s Festival on the Farm begins the next day, Friday 5th, with Queen tribute Flash headlining, other acts include a generous handful of local acts; Shades of Seattle, Rude Mood, Sebastian and Me, Rave Against the Regime, Get Carter, Groove Club Collective, Blind Lemon Experience. Tickets still up for grabs, an adult weekender is £50.

Meanwhile, Swindon legends, Penfold appear at The Vic, and here’s an artist on my must see hitlist, appearing at the Pump in Trowbridge, Lille Rode, also on Friday.

Marlborough College Summer School presents The Rocket Man: A Tribute to Sir Elton John, and over the Wellington Arms find popular folk acoustic duo, Bodge it and Scarper.

There’s Beatroot Jazz at The Bear, Bradford-on-Avon, and contemporary blues guitarist Aynsley Lister at Cheese & Grain, Frome.

Saturday 6th August then, there’s tours of Trowbridge Town Hall, and Braeside House, Devizes have a Summer Fair and Family Open Day. And don’t forget I mentioned earlier this week, if you were paying attention! Bromham’s fundraising Family Fun Fete, see here for details.

Salisbury’s, highly recommended by us, Strange Folk return to The Southgate Devizes, while the wonderful People Like Us go up against Smooth at the wonderful Crown in Bishop’s Cannings; just a whole lotta wonderful in that village at the moment!

Editors Pick of the Week!

Best of luck to Marlborough Town Football Club, holding their inaugural festival, Elcot Festival on Saturday, FREE ENTRY, with a great line-up, so good, so free, I’m making it my pick of week, an honour only bestowed to the best!!

Party parody band Kova Me Bad headline, with Marlborough’s finest ironic metallers, Pants. Ska-punkers Slagerij, and punk-indie The Vooz, alt-rock with Meeking, and Navajo Dogs, and Young Vintage. What’s surprising is to see The Dirty Smooth at bottom of the listing, maybe they’re unaware of what a brilliant Malmsbury band they’ve booked, yet, truth be told, there’s some great acts there.

The Barge at HoneyStreet pay homage to popular boater Beatrice, and they’ve Dub The Earth, Drop The Gun and True Earthers.

There’s a “supersonic Saturday” at the Neeld in Chippenham with The Britpop Boys, while the Consti Club clash a little with a Blondie tribute, Call me Blondie.

The Pump in Trowbridge is unusually open Saturday, with Steve Wickham of The Waterboys, and support from Joe Chester, and there’s local grunge at Stallards with The Black Hole Sons.

Spoiled for choice, Swindon, with a female-fronted ska, mod, new wave covers band Reboot at the Queen’s Tap, highly recommended The Worried Men play The Rolleston Arms, and here’s something which sound interesting; Siouxsie and the Banshees tribute Painted Bird at The Vic.

Devizes Fantasy Radio start their first annual Lark in the Park on Sunday 7th, ongoing for the next three Sundays, free music starts 2pm. A great picnicy afternoon in Devizes, but I do wish Fantasy would tell all about who they’ve booked; it’s pot luck I’m afraid. If you wish to promote and support local live music, you would surely announce the performers so people can earmark them in the future. Sigh, maybe it’s just me on a bad hair day, but I have to question, are the bands even getting paid for this?!

Nevertheless, you can be sure of one thing, the first Sunday of the month will never be the same again. Those who know, know; get down the Southgate at 5pm, for it’s the Jon Amor residency, and he’s bringing Muddy Manninen as guest. This is NOT a recommendation; this is a direct order!!

And that’s your weekend wrapped up, have a good one. In the week you can find some piano concerto with the Graham Dent Trio at il Fiume, Italian restaurant in Bradford-on-Avon on Tuesday 9th, and the following weekend starts early if you’re off Boomtown on Wednesday. But our list is never stagnant, constantly updating, so please check in regularly.

The coming month is packed, the big events to plan ahead for are Bristol International Balloon Fiesta Friday 12th, Swindon Pride, Unlock Reset Festival at Chippenham’s Consti Club, and Seend Fete on 13th. Bath Comic & Gaming Festival on 20th, and the start of the new season for the Long Street Blues Club, Honey Fest at the Barge from Thursday 25th, and bank holiday treats such as GoatFest, Reading Festival and of course, our very own Fulltone Music Festival 2022, Great Cheverall Soap Box Derby, Potterne Festival, Chippenham River Festival, and great mini-fests at Calne’s Talbot, and Bradford-on-Avon’s The Lamb. Top up your sunscreen!


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