NEWS

Mayyadda, That is All

If you ever feel contemporary soul music has lost its way somewhat, do yourself a favour, check out Mayyadda from Minnesota and it’ll instantly change your mind.

Soothing soul that will make those little hairs on the back of a neck stand to attention. Singers who can do this are a rarity, I nod to Otis Redding, Toots Hibbert, Louis Armstrong, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone and Marvin Gaye, yet I find few to take us to the modern day. Mayyadda is that equivalent.

She shares her music freely on Bandcamp, she deserves all the gold her voice personifies. Aware my ageing tastes cannot identify with modern RnB, and detest the notion it’s even labelled thus as it barely compares with the original sound of rhythm and blues, but from the very opening of Mayyadda’s short album, Holding Space, I was captivated, heart and soul.

It is the perfect nu-cool, the musical version of after sun on sunburnt skin, the whirl to uplift a sour Sunday morning start.

It’s grades above whatever soul pops on radio, or stylised in nineties trip hop, from Portishead to Morcheeba, Macy Grey to Heather Small, which while that era’s sound holds me in, Mayyadda breathes it out with a chill of freshness and hope for soul music in the now. It is, in a word; gorgeous.

https://mayyadda.bandcamp.com

Can you Help Sam Bishop’s Quarantine Song “One of a Kind” for Charity?

Formerly of Larkin, Devizes singer-songwriter Sam Bishop has been making use of the isolation period by writing and producing a new song called ‘One of a Kind.’ Sam tells us this single “is about being away from loved ones during isolation. My aim to is release it everywhere, with all profits going to the Trussell Trust, a fantastic charity which provide emergency food and assistance for those in need.”

In order for Sam to release the song, and raise as much money as possible, he requires the necessary funds to cover distribution costs, so he’s started a Crowdfunder campaign. “The amount needed isn’t huge,” he continues, “so any small donation would be really appreciated. I’ve always wanted to release a song for charity, and this is my time to do my bit!”

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Click on the image to donate, if you can, thanks!

Now residing in Winchester to study music, Sam’s solo career really kicked off at the end of last year, with the release of his debut EP ‘Cold Kingdom’ on all music streaming platforms. “It received such an overwhelming response and I was completely blown away but the support and positive feedback from it,” Sam explained. “This song is unlike anything I’ve ever written before, and I’ve never released a demo. I wrote and produced the song in just a day, and I feel like the lyrics really do convey my emotions and feelings perfectly. Being away from the people you love is never easy, and you just want to tell them how you feel. I feel like the demo version is the perfect version to release, as it was made only using software and tools I have, written by me, all during this hard time. It’s raw, it’s rough, but it will hopefully speak to you.”

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You can you help Sam release “One of a Kind,” by donating just a small amount via the link here. Sam has a new band in the workings and we look forward to a time when he can introduce us to the members in what will be a highly anticipated homecoming gig. Until such a time, best of luck with the crowd funding, can’t wait to hear the One of a Kind, which is what you truly are, Sam and here’s to a brighter day.


Adverts & That!

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“Static” Shuffle; Swindon Shuffle Live Streams This Saturday

If you rarely venture into Swindon, July is the month in which to make the journey. Swindon Shuffle celebrates and backs local music, since 2007 hosting a weeklong town music festival at its hottest venues; namely The Victoria, The Beehive, The Hop, The Tuppenny and Baila Coffee & Vinyl. In association with Swindon Link and the West Berkshire Brewery, last year they presented forty-four bands over the weekend, all free, and supported mental health charity MIND.

I was forgiven in thinking this year would be virtual, saving some petrol money at least, but the organisers inform me this weekend’s Virtual Shuffle is only to breeze over this gloomy, Groundhog Day isolation period, and they cross their fingers for the real thing on the 16th-19th July; crossing my toes too!

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So, yeah, but yeah, whoop-whoop, Swindon Shuffle will indeed fill this gap with plentiful live streams this Saturday 11th April, kicking off at 3:15pm. Streamed direct from their Facebook page, expect to catch all local acts; Jim Blair of Hip Route, the bearer of Devizine’s heart Miss Tamsin Quin, Mr Love & Justice himself, Steve Cox, jazz pianist, singer-songwriter Will Lawton, Harry Leigh, frontman of indie-pop outfit Stay Lunar, experimental Karda Estra project runner Richard Wileman, Onze from Atari Pilot, Joe Rose and Nash.

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Mr Love & Justice, Steve Cox

Our favourite Swindonian music journalist, the one and only Dave Franklin, if there’s another he’s a phoney, is all over helping organise this sofa bash. He states “obviously there’s more important things going on in the world right now than worrying about a local music festival, but it is also at times like these that music, art, creativity in general, helps get us through or at least offers an oasis of calm where we can retreat to and forget the day-to-day worries for a bit.”

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Karda Estra

For me personally, I’m continuing to toil with the worth of the live stream against a real gig, ponder it’s currently all we have, worry either punter or musician are forced onto the ropes when it comes to how they should be arranged and financed and have even encountered and engaged in heated debates as we scramble in the dark trying to make this work best for everyone. This said, if anyone can I’m reckoning the Shuffle team will make an amazing job of it. If there is an upside to it, it is that one can check these artists out for when the gig scene does take off, and boy, I’m predicting it’ll go off like an atomic blast, and it will encourage many to take the journey to festivals such as Swindon Shuffle, in this example.

Will Lawton

In the meantime, enjoy the streams and not let it miff us too much at missing the real thing. I tell myself the scene is dormant; it will erupt again. It should go without saying, but I’m going to spell it out; B, for BUY, U for Yourself (sort of,) Y for some local music, (okay, that didn’t work) Look, just support the artists and buy their music from their websites and Bandcamp sites!

Devizes together in Lockdown

This weekend I find myself toiling with the idea of this virtual festival, and essentially, the direction Devizine has to take as a whole. Its awkwardness at bestowing the mandatory features for online presentations, the quality and quantity of online events being released, and my time management in presenting it all sufficiently and fairly, while working extra hard in my real job. Seems every man and his dog are live streaming, and the ones the dogs do often more entertaining.

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What begun as the creative doing what they can, and entertaining us with their talents seems to have been lost in a saturated Facebook feed of drunks bobbing around their kitchen; that’s not, I believe, what you ordered. At the beginning of this lockdown I reserved myself to the fact it’s currently all we have, now I fear, it’ll do worse than bore and advance the party longing to riotous levels.

I took to repudiating Facebook last night, tried to forget its very existence. I relied on the antiquated entertainment source, television. Ah, can’t say it was all bad; money-spinning predictable Hollywood bile that it was, the family sequel entertained me enough to keep my eyelids open. I confess I’m not a fan of gluing myself to the box. In an ever-changing era, I intend to press on with this regardless, pondering where to take the idea next.

I reflect, people warm to Devizine, yet the virtual festival is not the original ethos of it; damn I wanna go to the pub and return with a sore head to write a review of the band who played there! Apologises if this all sounds rather despondent, yet presenting this virtual festival as more than a live stream by added features, I think, is valid. I draw your attention to the artist’s contributing to our gallery pages, and the beer tent and food hall pages prompting local businesses still operating in the area to let me know their details so we can build a directory, of sorts.

All you need do is drop me a message if you’re a business still operating who wishes to take advantage of this virtual noticeboard; few bothers to, though. Making me doubt it’s worth and consider perhaps it’s my total ignorance and incapability at modern websites. I know, dammit Jim, I’m a writer not a web designer; just doing what I can.

On the other hand, I find the mass of guidance, information and entertainment online is wafting past us unnoticed not because there’s so much of it, but from people’s failure, or lack of desire, to want to integrate their ideas. Take the amount of local Facebook groups as symbolic of this, if you disagree with the regulations of one, you create your own. How many Devizes Issues pages do we need? You do realise not everyone bothers with Facebook?

So, here’s an idea developing, which was my original intention of writing today, I genuinely hope it gathers pace. A free, one-stop directory for local small businesses who don’t have the clout of the big guys has been set up. Presenting In-Devizes, not my pet project, so expect a website superior to this strung-together-with-virtual-string one!

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The creator of In-Devizes, Ida McConnell “hopes it will evolve into a much bigger thing,” hence my notion to integrate. Could this be the ideal opportunity to highlight and promote your business through this hard time? I hope so, but it needs your attention, it needs all to contribute details in order to make it comprehensive and therefore a valid resource. The ethos goes along the lines of, “if you don’t have a website, don’t do Facebook or are otherwise suffering from competing with the big guys during the COVID lockdown, this is the place for you.”

I submitted details of Devizine on there, a simple and quick process, I urge you to do likewise. A building directory open to categories, prompt people towards your business. As I really feel it’s time to stop spamming Facebook individually and crossing your fingers that someone will browse past it. If this lockdown has presented us with anything positive it’s the notion that if we work together, we can provide a service, we can entertain and help each other out.

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Stay safe, as the saying goes, but also, contemplate my thought for the day, let’s integrate our resources. Please support upcoming projects like In-Devizes, and of course, Devizine too. Use the resources set up, such as Devizes Covid19 Support. Please, do click on our links to Bandcamp or other and buy local music, phone a local business and grab a takeaway, brighten your walls with some art from our gallery, and most of all, inform us your ideas, businesses and projects. Let’s stay safe, yes, but let’s also keep our heads up and enjoy our days too; virtual hugs, for all they are worth.

Boris to Replace Danny Kruger as Devizes MP

Our recently elected MP Danny Kruger told Devizine exclusively he will stand down next year and allow Boris Johnson to take control of the Devizes constituency.

Danny messaged the office yesterday, sadly heartfelt he informed Devizine he planned to stand down and hand the baton to Boris in a move predicted by fleeing local conservatives during the election. “Being as Devizine has supported my campaign from the beginning,” Danny expressed, “and there’s little doubt those Gazelle & Herod rascals will plagiarise this story anyway, I thought it best to tell you about my decision first.”

We are saddened to hear of Danny’s decision, but look forward to being treated like vermin by the Prime Minster himself. Mr Kruger explained, “it’s not just about the lardy cake, though it is pretty rank. I just feel I’ve not really made an impact on the people of Devizes. I tried to belch up kebab meat and chips along Morris Lane on a Friday night after twenty something Bacardi Breezers down the Crown, but it’s just not me. I’ve hung my dog poo bags on the trees in Drew’s Pond woods like everyone else, I’ve even climbed Rose’s facade and pretended to drive the lawnmower on top of it, but I’m just not cut out for life in Devizes. It’s either a miracle or via Google maps that I even know of these places, and I’m just not at home without a Starbucks drive-thru.”

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Mr Kruger, who is nicknamed Danny K by his infamous amateur rap band, went onto explain, “I never felt I could replace Claire, just haven’t got the legs for it. Nor does my good-stock babyface allow for malicious stares and random outbursts, as she was so well respected in the community for.” Danny took the example of when Claire Perry was viciously tapped on the shoulder by a dangerous leftie snowflake during a surgery in Morrisons. “How she called the police that day, to inform them of her attack was nothing short of heroic. If it had been me who was assaulted like that, I’d only have given off a sound akin to a squeaky dog toy.”

His frequent visits to the neediest entrepreneurs and wealthy businesses will be sadly missed. Upon being quizzed about our homeless charities and food banks, Mr Kruger replied, “it was on my to-do-list, but then we had this lockdown thing, honest. Stay in your homes homeless people and I’ll get around to seeing you in a local wine bar soon, but I insist, it’s your round.”

Boris-Johnson

Boris Johnson is said to be thrilled to be moving from the Uxbridge constituency, what he deemed full of “deplorable chavs” and plans to buy a second, or maybe third home in Urchfont, which is so swanky even the road signs are thatched. “I have visited Dewotizits,” he stated, “and didn’t see any Remainer scum, walking letter boxes, or one watermelon smile, which is nice. Just lots of happy Brexiters, so if Brexit doesn’t work out in the UK maybe Dewotizits could get Brexit done on its own.” Then he waffled some impenetrable baloney about Lord Horton’s relationship with an ancestor of his, pledged to save our NHS twenty-seven times over, and how delightfully working-class Chick-o-Land is, until our reporter dropped dead from boredom.

We look forward to seeing Boris’ gold-digger, sorry, I meant girlfriend, Carrie Symonds shopping in Lidl and ranting about spitting teenagers on the Devizes Issues. Admin of the popular Facebook page, Sir Iain Wallis, praised the decision and gave a rambling announcement basically declaring, “anyone who dares to criticise Boris or Carrie on my nonbiased Facebook page I’ll verbally dice into small pieces with my academic wit, so there.”

Boris expressed on social media, “Locally, I will personally build a supermassive train station, airport, and ferry port, just off Sidmouth Street. I also want to get to the bottom of this place in the parking of the market, or whatever you bumpkins are on about with that, whatever it is,” and called for “Dewotizits, Marlborough and Pewsea” to have Boris bikes, as in London; “just with fatter tyres to withstand all the potholes.” Unaware we already have plenty of usable town bikes, at the Bin, for the cost of a vodka & Red Bull.

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On social media, where Boris initially announced the plans, he was promptly welcomed by all, expect for Amanda Attwood who banned him from The Devizes Issue for using the word “bottom.”

Mayor Judy Rose will welcome Boris to our constituency on 1st April 2021, aptly All Fools Day, with a plush champagne reception and town council ceremony, kindly paid for by council tax revenue. All councillors will be present to give Boris virtual hugs, but the public will not be invited. Local businessman Iain Wallis was angered by the news. Crying outside the Town Hall, he whispered, “it should’ve been me who kissed his ring, that is the final straw, teddy bears assemble!”

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Recently converted fascist, Morrissey is said to entertain at the event, with party games such as pin the slander on Corbyn, pass the NHS parcel to a US medical company and a Donald Tusk pinata, as hosted by filthy Islamophobic Katie Hopkins. “I usually cry in the kitchen at parties,” Danny said, “but this one should be an awfully spiffing blowout bash, and we’ll end up down Spoons, no doubt, or any other commercial pub chain which doesn’t pay its employees, if there is one.”


© 2017-2020 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.

Summertime with those Truzzy Boys.

I predicted a week ago, our local musicians will be planning and writing during this surreal isolation period. With a lack of distraction from gigs, I’m hoping the coming months should deliver some surprisingly remarkable releases. Bring them on. For now, Fin tells me this was written last summer, but there could be no better surprise then to take a listen to Summertime, the debut single from Finley and Harvey Trusler, aka The Truzzy Boys.

Prolific on the pub cover-band circuit with a nonchalant ambience, those Truzzies always bring a smile. Live they distribute a contemporary, happy-go-lucky indie-pop atmosphere, squishing you into a makeshift dancefloor on a tipsy evening down your local. Yet if there’s something blithe in their performances, have no doubt, Summertime will twist your perspective on this family duo.

Yeah, immediately catchy it is, I expected this much. What did surprise was the resolute grittiness and maturity of the vocals, the breezy feel-good eighties blues-rock conjuring comparisons to Chris Rea or Tom Petty, and the ingenuity of an uplifting style, akin to the Style Council. Kind of feels to me as if the boys have taken onboard the favoured elements of their live covers show, squeezed them into an original single and sprinkled it with the genius production of Martin Spencer.

“I thought I would release now, as we can’t gig at the moment,” explained Finely, “so something for everyone to enjoy!” and it is just that, very agreeable, with all the rudiments in the right locations; proficient guitar solo bang on cue, enticingly unpretentious lyrics, but if I had to pick one reason why I like it, it’s got to be the elevating, easy-going summery feel. It is the Eddie Cochran “Summertime Blues” for the era, and will leave you dripping with anticipation for the promised forthcoming album. Well done, boys, grand job.

Sun tucked itself behind a cloudy sky somewhat today, hasn’t it? This is out on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify and Deezer as of yesterday, so, give it a download, guaranteed to brighten your day.


© 2017-2020 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.

Short Story: Dizzy Heights

The silhouette of a fledgling businessman clutching some paperwork apprehensively entered through the light of the doorway, and eased the door shut behind him. Sealed in darkness now, he couldn’t be absolutely certain, but he whimpered nonetheless. “I know you’re in here, Dizzy….”

He received no reply; the only sound was the gentle hum from outside. The young man sighed, fumbled his hand along the wall to find the light switch, eager to rid the space around him of this gloomy ambience.

He detected the slight sound of a stomach beginning to rumble, deeper it grew, hastily. Then, the shuffling of an uncomfortable posture. “D…izz…y?” the man questioned slothfully.

Still no answer, save this emerging rumble. Abruptly, and unwillingly it detonated a deafening belch, deep and booming. What followed was an ingenuous snigger. And what followed that was the repercussion, a comforted sigh of relief.

It was this convenient conjunction in which the fellow located the switch, and hastily flooded the room with light. It showed a smoky haze, and through it the man detected the outline of Dizzy. “Like, hey man,” protested Dizzy mellowly, “like, kill the lights man!”

The young chap did not obey, rather thrust his hands on his hips and ogled the obscured figure as it sloughed in a corner, reluctantly tugging one side of some headphones away from an ear. “What are you doing in the dark?” grimaced the fellow.

“Like, meditating,” clarified Dizzy, as if it were obvious. “To some, y’ know, some Pink Floyd, and that, man.”

“I thought you had gone,” groaned the young man.

“Dude,” Dizzy gurgled, extending his elongated arms, then tucking them back in to shrug. “Like, where is I supposed to have gone to, man? You answer me dat!”

“You could have left.”

“We are on a, like, plane, dude,” informed Dizzy, in confused amusement. Smoothly and professionally his voice harmonised a growly melody, “like, flying high, up in the sky, you and I!”

“You could still have left,” insisted the youthful entrepreneur, maintaining his frustrated posture.

“Gary, Gary, Gary,” Dizzy exhaled.

“Yes?” inquired the man.

“Gary, man, Gary, that’s, like, my point, Gary, that’s like the, the, well, this whole shit-stem, I ain’t going out like that, like Puff, man.”

“Puff?”

“He was like, my bredrin, man, from Honahlee, I, like, thinks, but that’s beside the, erm, the point! The point is,” Dizzy now pointed an authoritarian yet unkept finger at Gary. “In a, like, a, erm, a nut…shell, Gary. You still, after being my manager for, how, erm, long is it, like, been now, man?”

Now the man lamented, as he recounted his years of service. “Five years, Dizzy,” he extenuated the number with an interminable sigh, “five. Long. Years.”

The pointed finger became more proficient at pointing. “Five, man,” Dizzy nodded, “five, as you say, you say, that’s what you said, like man,” he giggled to himself, “five years, and in all those years, in all that time, Gary-Gary, you, Gary, never understood me, did you?”

Gary rubbed his chin, “I’m sorry,” he nervously whimpered, “I, erm, I….”

Voice raised in slight anger, but retaining depth, Dizzy interrupted. “You don’t, man,” he paused, “you, like, don’t understand, do you? I like, man, I know, I know, and I have to say, it’s alright, man, really it is. You never took the time to understand where I’m coming from, and that, young fellow-me-gig, that, right there, is the like, the erm, the, yeah, that right there is the definitive and, like, abso-fucking-lute issue, that is.”

Gary was lost for words, observing the bottles of tequila surrounding his client, as the beast bit the end from a Cuban cigar.

“Picture this,” Dizzy continued, spanning his hands mysteriously through the air. “If you, like will; you, right, are, on a boat on a river, a river, man, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies. Then, right, somebody calls you, and you, right, you answer quite slowly….”

Gary huffed. “Is it a girl?”

Dizzy snapped his finger, “yeah, man, you see it too! But, dig this, yeah….”

“She has kaleidoscope eyes?”

Dizzy let out a bellowing laugh which reverberated around the room. “That’s it, man, finally! Finally, you see it, finally you appreciate it too, man, like definitively and, like, abso-fucking-lutly, man! You do, you understand! Here,” he threw a baggie at Gary, “roll up a fat one, knock yourself out, man, gee-whizz, you understand me now!”

“I understand how much this is all costing us,” replied Gary. He shimmered over to the round windows, observed the cloud formations below them, to confirm he was on a plane, with this blathering idiot.

“Cellophane flowers of yellow n green,” Dizzy pointed at Gary, gesturing him to sit. He wobbled the baggie in the air, “towering over your heaadddd. Look, right there, for the girl with the sun in her eyes…….”

“I said,” started Gary.

“And she’s, like, gone,” Dizzy expressed and stopped in astonishment, as if a manifestation of a girl really did just disappear. He observed his manager’s frown. “Sheez Gary, you worry too much, I need me this plane,” Dizzy stressed.

“You do not need a plane!” Gary firmly stated.

“Wha’ you mean I dun’t need me no plane, dude?” replied Dizzy, rather bitterly but still maintaining his generally cool tone. He dipped his dark sunglasses to get a better look at his manager. “I’m tellin’ ya, I need dis here plane. Everybody that is somebody need a plane these days.”

“Why do you need a plane?” Gary snorted.

“I am who I am,” Dizzy wafted, “da social elite, man, the god-damn star of the god-damn show, and the star of the god-damn show needs a plane,” Dizzy maintained.

“You had three downloads of your last album, Dizzy,” Gary reminded, “and one of them was by your mum!”

“She know good mu-sic,” Dizzy pondered silently, and took a sip from a fresh bottle of tequila. “Damn it, man, I’m done with tequila! Get me some Champagne!”

“Really?” Gary threw the paperwork at Dizzy. “Final demands, Dizzy, final.”

“Take a chill pill,” he ordered. “Sheez, man you, like, you know better than me; there ain’t no readies in recording these days man, the bread and butter is in performing, you gotta do da festivals man, that’s what it’s all about. And for that, man, I needs me a plane.”

Gary swung his head with ease to take his gaze from the window and aim it towards Dizzy as he slouched in the chair, swigging from an expensive bottle. He gestured to Dizzy that he did not agree. “You need a hundred nights, to pay your last bar bill!”

“Don’t you dare, dude,” Dizzy spat, “like, talk to me about knights, with their, like, chivalry and their fuckin’ shiny armour! Give me one good reason, Gary-Gary, one god-damn good reason why I don’t need me no plane?” Dizzy pointed an accusing finger at Gary.

Gary confirmed by moving just a step closer, “Just one?”

“Yep, just the one will be, like, acceptable,” calmly said Dizzy, confident with his side of the argument.

“I’ll tell you one, shall I?” the manager took another step towards him.

“Yep man, that is, like, all I’m asking, big-shot rock star manager,” giggled Dizzy, replacing his shades completely over his eyes.

Gary was now so close to Dizzy he could smell his breath, and it wasn’t nice. It had the stench of an expensive tequila, true, but overpowering this was a smoky charcoal funk. “Because Dizzy,” the uncompromising flow snowballing, “because…. you…. you are a, you a dragon, Dizzy. You are a bloody dragon, and dragons can fly!”

“Technical details,” replied Dizzy. “Technical details,” he repeated to make it sound even more prominent. Then the dragon waved his hand at Gary to pass off his comment, and blew fire from his nostrils in order to light his cigar.