Though risky, weatherwise, September seems to be the month The Devizes Food & Drink Festival has settled on, returning again this year on this pleasant Saturday with their grand opening of the food market, and gifting the bustling Devizes Market Place with the beautiful aroma of street food; who am I to resist a stroll through, and maybe a brownie or two?
Though the Gourmet Brownie Kitchen has its own shop now in town, still they put their regular stall up, and I felt the urge for their delicious stodgy bites, though I didn’t see any competition for them there, as there has been in the past. That said, a lot of the stalls seemed to be reappearing from previous years, but if you’ve a winning formula why change it?
The circuit had changed slightly, with stalls facing the street, and folding back into the Market Place carparking area, perhaps not containing browsers so well, but encouraging more from their daily shopping. Paella to burger, it’s all there, chocolate pizza, gin and churros, you name it.
If last year I winged “Frome’s eclectic-influenced folk four-piece, The Decades made for the perfect entertainment, but again, they were the same band which played there in 2019,” they were there again this time too, and throughout my time there they were taking a break. I couldn’t help feel, though the array of food stalls were plentiful, sitting and eating is rather dull if there’s no entertainment, and a little more concentration could be taken on this, although I know and accept the focus is on food and drink, being the Food & Drink Festival and all.
Wadworth takes the beer sponsor, an arrangement previous done by Stealth Brewery, who ensured consistency in music, with a selection of local talent, and I’m certain Waddies could take from their example, and provide as they did with their own WadFest in the summer. Otherwise, it’s just, go get some lunch there and wander off.
But it’s far from the bee-all-and-end-all of the festival, with huge options for ticketed side-events, which you’d better be quick to get yourself in on, here. Me? I’m dining on a Georgian feast at SoupChick tonight so didn’t want to overdo it, a brownie I’m out of there, apologies to the organisers but I’d like a further selection of stalls I’ve not seen before, I’d like to be entertained, and I’d like to be buried under free samples, of which maybe a sign of the times, but I saw much less of this year. Still, busy though, and a joy to have in Devizes at the end of summer.
Right then you lot, Devizine is five years old today, or at least it was when I begun this monumental mission of reminiscing on how, why and what the hell I was thinking when I started it in the first place. Question is, do you want the short story, or the long, drawn-out one?
Oh well, that’s just tough luck then, isn’t it?! You can’t stop me in full shit stream, because, everyone’s good at something, mine is endlessly waffling on about crap, so that’s what I’m going to do. In the words of the unforgettable Lesley Gore, it’s my party I can waffle on about crap if I want to, or something like that.
In consolation, I’ve sprinkled this piece with a lot of lovely photos, well, it’s been five years and we’ve a lot to show off about. And what a wonderful ride it’s been; dancing, dodging, meeting so many wonderful and talented people, rattling a few cages, and I hope it will continue to be so, if I do say so myself.
Best, if any, place to start is childhood aspirations. Note, I never had any dreams of writing, let alone journalism. English at school was a pet hate, like every other subject, especially spelling, I was atrochous…… atreechois…. really bad at it.
Though I have to humour the media industry, I’d grow to detest Fleet Street wank-stains. To be a cartoonist was the thing for me, the like of Charles Schultz or Jim Davis favourably, they did, after all, make the most money. But I’d write for magazines, zines and FINs I submitted cartoon strips for in support, because they needed writers…. bloody slave drivers.
As time moved on and I created my own comic, reviewing works of other creative types within it was an aid to networking, and, most importantly, getting freebies. I also suffered with a lack of writers but plenty of artists, so I’d script for them, and gradually the writing took prominence over the artwork.
Self-publishing is a labour of love, and any excuse for procrastination was on the cards. Unpredictably stumbling upon family life was the perfect excuse for giving it up; there were nappies which needed changing before cross-hatching a nudy caricature of Cameron Diaz, and besides, I’d grown out of the psychedelic nature of the zine; fatherhood can change a lad. Word of warning, whippersnappers.
But once bitten, the creative cannot help but create, that’s why they call them creatives, see? I picked self-publishing up again when eBooks came around, as it was easy, and not so time consuming. As an author I spaffed out more books than Boris Johnson did lies, happy as a method of improving my writing skills; though it’s still a learning cuve…. curth… bendy thing. And okay, that’s the same joke, get used to it.
Devizine came about simply for looking at other avenues in which to offload my wobbly words to the unfortunate world. I pitched to satirical, (or “fake news,” to gammons of which satire is above their understanding) websites, but was only sporadically successful, even lesser-so my attempt to create my own satirical website, called Poop Scoop. Until I noticed a new local news-site called Index;Wiltshire. There, finally through this insane waffling lies the kingpin to Devizine.
The editor wrote to me, “you’re the most powerful person in Devizes,” as my weekly rant column amassed a thousandfold more hits than MP James Gray’s did. Dishonest flattery works; I marched on, slagging off everything that was shit about Devizes as I could possibly think of, for humorous effect, you understand? Some didn’t, and Monday morning hate-mail filled my inbox, which was amusing to start with but being grew tedious.
Aside common complaints from any medium-sized market town, the joke wore thin due to decreasing ammo. Devizes is actually a great place to live; could be better, like freewheeling Frome, or like Tijuana, the murder capital of the world, it could be worse. The need to keep the ideas flowing caused me to post a gathering material question on a local Facebook group. It was Jemma Brown who raised the most important point: why didn’t I focus on the positives about living in Devizes? Of course, she was bang on the money, but it simply wouldn’t do, for that’s not the nature of satire, that’s not the idea of “No Surprises Living in Devizes.”
At the time, I’d just crawled out from my hermit hole and seen for myself talent lurking in the mists of this Tory haven. Richie Triangle played The Black Swan, spurring me to meet Tamsin Quin, who was crowdfunding for a debut album. Jemma, naturally was aiming my attention to her productions, as the TITCO theatre company. I wrote of my findings in an ever-increasingly heavily edited version of my rant column, claiming I was spinning the negatives around, though it was lagging in ethos, because to know me is to know I’m happy-go-lucky, and I couldn’t keep the pretence of being some kind of left-wing Alf Garnett any longer.
The column suddenly became more about what events were forthcoming in Devizes, rather then ranting about how rubbish everything was. I think at one point I joked, “what do I look like, some kind of event guide now?!” Not realising I’d predicted the outcome.
Frustrated the column was so heavily edited, now a new editor took over, I took to publishing them on a personal blog, but blogs need love and attention, in other words shameless self-promotion. Devizine though, as I came to knock up a new blog with the idea of doing precisely what we do now, promotes itself, as featured creative types share the fact they’ve been featured, and generally, people seemed to flock to this gap in the market. The first ever article was an unedited version of the that week’s column, the second was about Tamsin’s Crowdfunder.
I never understood, and probably never will, why aside perpetual splashes on national news stories as an aid to fund submissions to scoop sites, regional newspapers here couldn’t at least mention, or give credit to all the talented people here too. There’s room in a newspaper for both surely? But their downfall is our triumph. Devizine is now the go-to to what to do, the rest of it is me just mucking about!
This, coupled with our policy of brute honesty, will always be why Devizine has become something of a (slightly) respectable local institution. Though it may not have started out this way, because a few who were supposed to be responsible for what’s on sections of local media outlets fell short of lifting a finger, and thought it better to sought to trash Devizine’s pending reputation. Funny world, I thought Devizine would be welcomed, and I opened, and still do, my arms to the chances to work with them regardless; c’est la vie.
I believe it’s levelled now. Hardly anyone posts on local Facebook groups, “any live music going on tonight?” And if they do, rather than being directed to Devizine by yours truly, someone else beats me to the recommendation. Which brings me nicely on to the ten zillion quintillion thank you accreditations.
For aside my waffling, the bulk of this article is nothing more than a tedious clip show, which has taken longer to load up than I planned, probably be the sixth birthday by the time I publish it! Maybe we’ll refer to it as a “photo gallery in dial-up connection speed!”
Cider in one hand trying applause without spillages, my photography skills are best avoided whenever possible. Though I do believe I’m getting better, nothing illustrates a review better than a professional or semi-pro photographer. We’ve used and abused so many, and other than Nick Padmore, who makes me sit on his knee, most of them allow us to use their wonderful snaps for free! Which is handy, cos Devizine has not made millionaires out of us, quite yet.
So, a massive thank you, which would deserve a huge hug, if I wasn’t to wonder if that was a zoom lens in their pockets, rather than them being pleased to see me, and also an apology, there’s so many photos here it’d be a minefield wracking my miniscule mind recalling who took what, so excuse me, I hope that you don’t mind, I’ve not been able to credit them individually. Take it as red, though, the out of focus ones are likely from me. The rest I owe to so many photographers, some mentioned here and now: Gail Foster, Nick Padmore, Simon Folkard, Helen PolarPix, Ruth Wordly, Matthew Hennessy, Abbie Asadi, and Chris Dunn of Inscope Design. Please give them a virtual applause and go check out their work via their websites and social media.
But everyone needs a thank you, don’t they? So many good people have come to my rescue, submitted reviews, scoops and content, to make Devizine both comprehensive, and how I see it; a community-led, erm, thingy. I’d appreciate any help I can get, I’m totally overloaded here, and apologise to things I’ve missed, but Mrs Miggins has to get her pint of semi, also. You know you run a what’s on guide when Facebook pings the notification, “you have 55 events this weekend!”
Sporadically then writers have contributed, and I have Ian Diddams, Jemma Brown, TD Rose, Jenny Dalton, Phil Bradley, and Helen Robertson to sincerely thank too. But none more than our esteemed man in the field, the brilliant Andy Fawthrop, for his constant bombardment of most excellent reviews have been a godsend, to the point we need a statue of the good fellow here, front and centre of the lobby in the prestigious Devizine Towers. Seriously, if I cannot get hold of any marble, though, it might have to be made of paper cups.
All I have to say now is thanks everyone, everyone who has supported us, everyone I missed on the roll-call, contributed in some way, and that’s a long list, folk like the ones who’ve helped us out with technical bobs and bits; Ida McConnell, and musically, Dean Czerwionka, Mike Barham, Cath, Gouldy and the DayBreakers, Clifton Powell and Nick Newman, Daydream Runaways and The Roughcut Rebels.
Or those who’ve given their time to play for us at one of our fundraising gigs, the above mentioned, plus, Chole Jordan, Will Foulstone, Tamsin Quin, Phil Cooper, Jamie R Hawkins, George Wilding, Bryony Cox, Lottie Jenkins, Mirko Pangrazzi, Bran Kerdhynen, Finley Trusler and Sam Bishop.
And I think I’ve waffled enough; sorry if I missed anyone, but they know who they are. Bloody love ’em too, I do; group hug.
Being the Wiltshire Air Ambulance bear, touring homemade breweries, the Palace cinema, spending a day with Clifton Powell with Arts Together, going behind the scenes with DOCA, a day on tour with Talk in Code, press screening of Follow the Crows, riding an E-bike with Sustainable Devizes, meeting Neville Staple backstage, plus all the event invites, and so much more my brain is aching, there’s been so many fond memories, but I think, if you had to ask me to pick just one, it’d have to be the time I did my milk round in my Spiderman onesie and met with Carmela Chillery-Watson and her lovely family. A day I’ll never forget.
It leaves me now, to sign off, you must be tired looking at all those people having fun, but I did pre-warn you about my waffling! Enjoy the remaining pictures in our picture show, maybe you’ve spotted yourself in there, five or less years younger. If so, I want you to know, you’re still that gorgeous, gorgeous for showing us your support and partying with us; here’s to another five years, gorgeous!!
Trivia: What is the most popular article on Devizine to-date?
A: The April Fools Day joke 2021, when I announced, McDonalds was coming to Devizes. I believe that one broke the internet! Sad, but true.
Trivia: When did you first force Andy Fawthrop against his will and better judgement, to write reviews?
A: I believe it was October 2018, and the first review was Joe Hicks at the Three Crowns; I maybe wrong, I often am.
Trivia: Who was that country looking gent who used mascot on Devizine?
A: I don’t know, stop hassling me with inane questions like a fanboy at a Star Trek convention!
Slight seasonal changes, wetter but still warm, slight Prime Minister changes, dryer but still a narcissistic numpty; ah well, let’s see, a day later than usual I know and apologise, what’s happening in Wiltshire over the next week……
The one link you need as usual, is our event calendar, where it’s all listed with ticket and info links, and it’s updated (fairly) regularly, so bookmark the beast and remain as you will be after reading this; in the know.
Thursday 8thand there’s the Swindon Comedy Club at Kioki, with headliner Abi Clarke.
Friday 9th Hedda Gabler begins at the Wharf Theatre, Devizes and runs until 24th September. Hedda Gabler is recognised as one of the world’s great plays written by one of the world’s great playwrights and is generally regarded as Ibsen’s masterpiece. Hedda, on the face of it, is not your archetypal tragic heroine. Starting quietly, and quite humorously, the drama builds to its terrifying and riveting climax, involving the presentation set of pistols that Hedda inherited from her father.
One to watch, Sour Apple play the Pelican in Devizes on Friday, and look out for a new music program called Vamos, at The Old Road Tavern, Chippenham, they’ve got the wonderful Harmony Asia supporting Hoggs Bison. And find Illingworth at The Royal Oak in Marlborough, all free gigs.
“Hurrah, they are back to School” runs the tagline of the end of summer barbeque at Seend Community Centre.
Our renowned house DJ, George G Force is at Marston Park, Frome, while tribute The Smyths play The Cheese & Grain. Festival season hasn’t quite closed yet, it’s The Mucky Weekender Festival at the Winchester Bowl.
Meanwhile, In Swindon, Dangerous Kitchen play The Vic, The Salts at Swindon Arts Centre, and A Country Night in Nashville at the Wyvern Theatre.
Saturday 10thand back by popular demand, the start of the legendary Pewsey Carnival, yay! Procession is next Saturday 17th, with the Wheelbeero race on Thursday 15th, but this Saturday is Pewsey Carnival Wine Race.
Our editor’s pick of the week; Party for Life, Melksham
A world suicide prevention day fundraiser in the Sky Bar at Melksham Town FC. The Soul Strutters, Blind Lemon Experience and Roughcut Rebels play this big one, with DJs and pizza and others; sounds fantastic, we did preview it a while back, and I believe a few tickets are still up for grabs, follow their Facebook page for more details.
Staying in the Sham, The Pilot has a Family fun day with music and, fundraising for MIND, see the poster for details.
Crafts, stalls and entertainment are promised at Devizes Rotary Club’s Health & Wellbeing Showcase on the Small Green from 11am-3pm on Saturday, and for a musical evening in Devizes, rock covers band Black Nasty are at The Southgate, while People Like Us do their awesome thing at the Three Crowns.
Time also, for the Burbage Beer, Cider & Music Festival.
Another upcoming local band to watch is Salisbury indie-kids Carsick, who plan to blow the lid off of Trowbridge Town Hall.
Contrasts in Swindon as Rage Against the Regime play The Vic, while Shape Of You brings the music of Ed Sheeran to the Wyvern Theatre.
You might have caught him at Devizes Arts Festival this summer, Alfie Moore’s show Fair Cop Unleashed comes to Salisbury Arts Centre.
No prizes for guessing who Motorheadache is attributing, they’re at the Cheese & Grain, Frome, while Dana Gavanski plays their sister venue the Tree House, with Cornelia Murr in support.
And unfortunately, The International Comics Expo, ICE in Birmingham which I’ve still got listed, has been cancelled, I’m just being too lazy to delete it!
Sunday 11th, after terrible weather last Sunday postponed Devizes Town Band’s Children’s Proms in the Park at Hillworth, it will be combined this week with the planned main Proms in the Park.
And save a Recital Series at Swindon Arts Centre, also on Sunday, that about wraps it up for the weekend, unless you know different? Unless you dare to tell me that I missed something?! Please do, I don’t bite, at least only a nip, on the bum; it’s free to list stuff on Devizine, just message us, we’re in it for the love.
Through the week I’ve not got much, but you know updates of the event calendar occasionally happens, though I’m currently undergoing the arduous task of getting next year’s calendar up and running, so bear with, bear with.
Tuesday 13th, I’ve got Kaleidoscopic at Salisbury Arts Centre and a RSPB: A Victorian Birder’s Wiltshire at the same venue.
Next week though you can look forward to Pewsey carnival, Swindon Shuffle, and the White Horse Opera is back too, along with lots more events to get your teeth into; I’ll catch you around at one sometime, maybe? What else are you going to do, “Simpsonise” yourself with a phone app; get real?!!
It might not be bank holiday, but it’s not blank holiday, if you see what I mean? Nah, forget it; here’s what’s happening over the next week in Wiltshire.
Pinch punch, Thursday is the first of September, and I’ve got nothing, yet! Do keep a check when updates come into our event calendar, the one link you need for info on all the stuff below and for planning future events.
Friday 2ndis the Wax Palace’s Kaleidoscope Festival in Erlestoke, ravers, there’s also the End of the Road Festival, Salisbury way on the Dorset border, and the Punchbowl Festival in Codford.
Closer to us, The Devizes Living Room has a “bloc-party,” on the Green, all welcome. Potterne Social Club has People Like Us, The Roughcut Rebels play The Barge Inn at Seend Cleeve, Navajo Dogs are at The New Inn, Winterbourne Monkton.
Comedy at The Boathouse, Bradford-on-Avon with Sally-Anne Heywood.
And over in Swindon, you’ll find the Groove Club Collective at The Vic, Mac N Cheese at the Queen’s Tap, and The Total Stone Roses playing Level III.
Saturday 3rd, and it’s the start of Salisbury Art Trail, running until 18th September.
It’s Malmesbury Carnival, the Melksham Food & River Festival, and Tripwire Presents Bristol Comic Con over the weekend. Lego fans check out The Cheese & Grain, Frome where there’s a Lego show and market, Brickin’ It!
Editor’s Pick of The Week
In Devizes it’s Confetti Battle time, and the Colour Rush, yay! No tokens this year, so you will just need to line up to buy you confetti so arrive early to avoid the queues. You’ll still need to line up to collect your confetti prior to the 8pm kick-off.
As far as we know Devizes is the only town in the world that has a Confetti Battle tradition. No one can remember the first official battle but we know its roots date back to the old Devizes Carnival in 1913, where confetti and rose petals were thrown by the crowd at people in the procession. The tradition evolved into a fully-fledged battle around 1955 when it was started by Jim Jennings; should make it my editor’s pick of the of the week really.
This year the Confetti Battle continues to grow and the colourful chaos has been added to with the introduction of the Colour Rush, an amazing 5 km mixed terrain fun run – what better way to arrive at a Confetti Battle than covered in multi-coloured powder!
There is no ‘battle’ as such, just a very silly half-hour during which a lot of fun is had, and a lot of confetti is thrown about. Expect to get ‘attacked’ by complete strangers throwing paper! The Battle continues to gain popularity and 2017 saw over 3500 people take part. The event takes place at the finish line of our new Colour Rush 5k run so expect to see some exceptionally colourful visitors in the crowd.
Jennings funfair is in the Market Place on Friday 2nd September until Sunday 3rd of September operating between 5.30 pm until 11.00 pm.
The DOCA website says “keep your eyes peeled when collecting your confetti as one lucky person will receive a Golden Ticket in a confetti bag,” it continues so say, “this will entitle…” and then it ends, so I’ve no idea what the golden ticket entitles you to! Maybe they need to keep their eyes peeled on their typos, but I guess they’re too busy making fun for us all, and I, for one, bless them for it.
Staying in Devizes for confetti free events, Jamie R Hawkins will be at The Southgate, while Paradox plays The Cellar Bar of the Bear Hotel. Tamsin Quin plays the Barge on HoneyStreet.
Wiltshire BKA Honey Bee Health Day at Market Lavington, some Carnival Music by Jenny Bracey at The Crown in Aldbourne. Local Heroes Inc play Prestbury Sports Bar, Warminster.
In Swindon Moonwire and Lung at The Vic, Dragon Eye at The Rolleston, Larkhill at the Queens Tap, Echo at Coleview Community Centre and Dreuw & Will Killen at The Hop Inn.
Sunday 4th September, and there’s a RSPCA fun dog show on the Green in Devizes, and the monthly residency of Jon Amor at the Southgate at 5pm, featuring guest Nat Martin.
Composer-pianist and creative coder, Larkhall will be taking his innovative live show to venues across the UK this year, he comes to Schtum in Box on Sunday, and playing Pound Arts in Corsham on the 9th.
White Horse Classic and Vintage Vehicle Show in Westbury, and Minety has a Beer & Cider Festival.
Rainbow Fest at The Olive Tree Cafe in Swindon, promises crafts, live Music and poetry for £2 entry (under 12 free) with all funds going to charities supporting LGBQIA+. Meanwhile, local acoustic duo Sweet Nightingale play Queens Park.
And that’s your weekend, folks. Monday 5th sees a live art Demonstration by Artist Paul Oakley at Devizes Conservative Club, organised by the Lawrence Society of Art. And that for now is all I have for midweek, but I promise to do some digging and update the event calendar more often, pinky promise.
Okay, that leaves me with stuff to get prepared for, that means buying tickets, dammit! September 10th sees the Party For Life fundraiser at Melksham Town FC, details here, get yourself a ticket for this, raising funds and awareness of Suicide prevention.
Also, the Wharf Theatre opens for its Autumn/winter season with Hedda Gabler running from 9th to the 24th. Bath Children’s Literature Festival, Devizes Food & Drink Festival, Swindon Shuffle and Swindon Folk & Blues Festival; it’s still happening, summer isn’t through…. yet!
And if you’ve still found nothing to interest you, stay in and listen to our new volume of the 4 Julia’s House compilation album, which we released last week. 35 amazing, locally-sourced songs, and all the proceeds go to Julia’s House Children’s Hospices; thank you!
We can’t wait until roundup Tuesday, when we usually roundup the weekly roundup, it’s the last big summer blowout bank holiday, so we’re simply too excited and thought you might wanna plan early, so here it is, hold on to your horses… or just let them run wild, I’m not worried, just too excited, did I say I was too excited?!
Repetition is fine, but there’s no links here, too time-consuming, so please us this link to our event calendar, and you can grab details and ticket links from there, but you knew that already, I hope. Oh, did I say, repetition is fine?
All quiet on Wednesday 24th, but if you’re eager to get the ball rolling, 41 Fords play the Kilminton Home Guard Club in Warminster, entry by donation, and don’t forget Wednesday s are the regular acoustic jam night down our trusty Southgate in Devizes, and is always a wonderful night.
Thursday 25th then, and Honey Fest kicks off at the Barge on HoneyStreet, and banging out the whole weekend; I believe there’s a few tickets up for grabs.
Meanwhile, unmissable rock soloist Adam Masterson plays The Tuppenny in Swindon with Jules Hill in support. Bath Forum have The Billy Joel Songbook, and lots of lucky people will be making their way to either Reading Festival or GoatFest; have fun!
Warming up to Friday, the 26th August, when our brilliant Irish folk duo, the Celtic Roots Collective are at the Pelican in Devizes.
Over in the land of chips and ham, there’s an August Bank Holiday Beer & Cider Festival at the Three Crowns, and ska-punkers Operation77 play The Black Horse, Chippenham.
Illingworth takes on triple gigs this weekend, catch them at Flan O’Brian’s in Bath on Friday, where Komedia have a night with The Ministry of Burlesque’s Cabaret; ding dong!
Mod band Peloton plays The Vic, Swindon, and wow, the Cheese & Grain, Frome have Morcheeba, yes, I said Morcheeba; show offs!
Saturday 27th, is the big one. Shall I start it with the….
Editor’s Pick of Week: The Full Tone Festival, The Green, Devizes
Yep, you probably guessed it, it’s time for the hills of Devizes to come alive with the sound of music. It is the Full Tone Festival Weekend. Hurry and get your ticket, and say hi if you see me wandering around like a lost puppy. Said what needed to be said about this corker, let the show begin.
Over in Devizes Market Place from 9am-1pm there’s a Mind, Body & Spirit Market. There’s free live music all day at the Crown Inn, Bishops Cannings, with 12 Bars Later, Plan of Action, and It’s Complicated. Later, 12 Bars Later nip across to the Southgate, Devizes!
And where do I even begin elsewhere? Holt Scarecrow Trail begins, it’s Aldbourne Carnival, a Rod Stewart tribute at The Pewsham, Near Chippenham, there’s a Summer Party at Westbury Cons Club with Wade Merritt and Jay, followed by People Like Us, and the West of England Youth Orchestra perform at Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford-on-Avon.
A debut performance, at the Gloucester Road Conservative Club in Trowbridge for soul band Dimensions, and that’s free entry. Kurt Vile & The Violators at Bath Forum, Apollo Ghosts at the Cheese & Grain, Frome, and in Swindon, the wonderful The Daybreakers are live at The Vic, while The Tin Shack Band play the Woodlands Edge. Oh, and The Swiss Chalet has a Harry’s Heroes fundraiser.
Sunday is where things usually start to calm down, but not this weekend. The 28th sees the second day of Full Tone, Great Cheverall Soap Box Derby and Potterne Festival.
Illingworth play The Churchill Arms in West Lavington today, and a young local band to watch out for, Nothing Rhymes With Orange are in support.
There’s a mini fest at the Talbot in Calne with Six O’clock Circus, People Like Us, Wet Frank, End of Story and others.
LodgeFest aptly at Warminster’s Lodge, an M4 Classic Car & Bike Show in Chippenham, and the Hammervilles have a bank holiday beach party at the Cheese & Grain, Frome.
Swindon is gearing up for the Shuffle next month, but in the meantime, Shades of Seattle plays the Vic, highly recommended Atari Pilot are at the Castle, and for the kids, there’s always Milkshake live at the Wyvern.
If you’re still standing in Devizes on Monday, 29th August, here’s what to do…. Black Rat Monday, down The British Lion, with the Celtic Roots Collective and a jam to follow. Or Finley & Mark support The Reason at the Three Crowns; nice either way!
From 5pm Illingworth will be at the Waterfront, Pewsey, and the Beverley May Band play The Milk Churn, Melksham. It’s the Chippenham River Festival, there’s a massive line-up for a free music festival across the entire village of Box, it is Box Rocks. The Lost Trades and Dolly Mavies headline a mini-festival at The Lamb Yard in Bradford-on-Avon, and Abba tribute 21st Century ABBA play The Bowl in Town Gardens, Swindon.
I’m sure there’s going to be more added as the week goes by, so keep up-to-date with our event calendar. That’s the weekend forecast to date, though.
Tuesday 30thand Gently Tender play The Royal Oak in Marlborough, the regular Jazz Knights at Swindon’s Royal Oak has the Kevin Figes Quartet, during the day there’s a Farmyard Circus at Queen’s Park, and Russell Brand comes to the Wyvern.
Wednesday 31st, look out for the Wind in the Willows at the Corsham Almshouses, and phew, that’s me done, dusted and ready for a nap; have a great weekend!
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!
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.
Discover new tipples at a professionally-led tutored tasting.
Communion wine won’t be among the offering at a tutored tasting in St Mary’s Church, Devizes, on Friday, 19th August, but instead look forward to exploring an eclectic mix of interesting wines chosen by renowned local vintner Casper Bowes. There will be something to appeal to every palate at the masterclass, which will provide the opportunity to sample a range of fine wines from different parts of the world in the unique historic setting of the Grade 1 listed building in New Park Street.
Co-founders of Bowes Wine, Casper and Victoria, who describe themselves as a ‘healthily wine-obsessed husband and wife team’, started the business in 2002 and focus on sourcing new and exciting wines from both the classic and lesser known regions of the world, with both young and older vintages in their sights. The tasting will enable those imbibing to go away with a better understanding and appreciation of a wide range of specially selected wines. The evening starts at 6.30pm and will end around 8.30pm with a glass of sparkling wine and nibbles.
Tickets, which are limited and cost £20, can be purchased through St Mary Devizes Trust website at: www.stmarydevizestrust.org.uk where you can also find further information about future events in the church and learn more about the plans to transform the building into a vibrant community arts venue for future generations.
If I said of the Full Tone Festival, last year, “and in the history of events in Devizes, the magnitude of what The Full-Tone Orchestra achieved yesterday will forever be imprinted,” it was for two reasons; that it was, and also, aside their free gig in the Market Place, it was inaugural. Still, there’s a number of annual events well established in town, already historically imprinted.
One firm favourite, The Devizes Beer & Cider Festival returned post-lockdown, yesterday, for it’s 21st anniversary, a day which can be best described as monumental, if more expected to be than first timers, like FullTone.
I’ve been to a few drinks festivals, where you can choose from top to bottom, left or right, from the displayed kegs, work your way through the lot and return home a tad tipsy. Not so here, unless you’re Oliver Reed. There was just too many to choose from, and I’m only a cider drinker, beer drinkers would’ve needed Norris McWhirter on standby for a Guinness World Record.
You will need to join Devies branch of the beer trainspotters club CAMRA for some detailed analysis of indivdual brands on offer, I took the pin-in-a-map system and came out on top with such a variety of appley tipples I couldn’t begin to list, unless you have all day? Which you might have, being it’s Sunday, and if you attended, you’re probably not feeling motivated to cut the grass!
The main concentration here should, I believe, be focussed not in review of the contents of my souvenir glass, but in sincere thanks to the volunteers who had this huge beer hall running like clockwork.There must have been a pile of socks around the back, because they sure worked them off, and like robots with charisma programming as standard, they served proper job.
The most common verbal appraisals to Devizes Wharfside being transformed into a beer top-heavy festival, on the day, was, like Christmas day after the Grinch, ones of sheer delight that said monumental occasion has been returned to them after the triple year break.
But it’s far from Devizions just loitering, downing this vast selection and singing the event’s praises. Rather than hoist in hired food vans of varying quality, Devizes Rotary took care of the nosh, superbly. With standard barbecue favourites and king sized woks of meat or vegetable chilli, and the ice cream van was busy too.
Busy is an operative word for the event as a whole. Rapping with organiser Don Jones, I was informed attendance figures were very much governed on how much beer they had to sell. Yet by the end, the approximate 1,700 strong crowd prioritised drinking that colossal beer tent dry, and should you be new to town, welcome to Devizes!
It must take experienced organisers to estimate so precisely how much a crowd of this size will drink without too much waste or predicted riot if underestimated. I have trouble guessing how much pasta to plop into the pan when cooking for four!
Anyhoo, rain didn’t rear its ugly mug, and under shaded skies of tolerable temperature, surrounded by deck chair city, sat the main attraction aside the beer tent, ah, some musical entertainment; twist my arm why don’t you?! Atop transport company Garrbutts’ trailer the stage was set for a host of locally-sourced acts. Devizes CAMRA made a wise move to bring in local music aficionados, Ben and his partner Victoria to arrange the entertainment. Being their first time coordinating they knocked it out of the park, or at least, the wharf!
Devizes Town Band opened. I rolled up to Tom Harris and Claire’s rather sea shanty set, inspired by the neighbouring canal I gather, giving it Chicken on a Raft, and other joyful sing-a-longs, they never fail to please.
Followed quickly by Devizes favourite, unpretentious singer-songwriter Vince Bell, who’s intelligently crafted songs and guitar skills shines with every tune. Not content with showing his spellbinding aptitude with self-penned songs rich in emotion and often topically local, he covered David Gray’s Babylon, and proved talent is hereditary, when his, also all-singing (for Devizes Musical Theatre) partner, Lisa’s daughter, Evie, joined him for a homely enchanting tune, Lisa’s kitchen. The finale was the icing, his audience participation unofficial Devizes theme, which if you know, you know!
New to me, Warminster’s Dr Zebo’s Wheezy Club was up next, proving the timelessness of classic olde timey Americana. They were a highly skilled trio, guitarist, double-bass and fiddle authenticity breathed life in 1920s swing, tango, and a touch of bluegrass. Something different and welcomed, Tom Waits covers and revised banned rarities, shockingly more effective than it sounds.
With the only warning from “voice of Devizes,” compere Ian Diddams, we were next whisked away to Irish taverns with popular flute and guitar combo, The Celtic Roots Collective, who never fail to engage an audience with isometric Irish folk dance, and seem to me to improve tenfold with every day that passes.
Headlining was the rock classic covers band, Triple JD, from Chippenham, yet a welcomed and regular feature of Devizes’ Southgate’s never-ending musical rota. Cover bands aplenty and available for hire, but if you want something mindblowingly above average, Triple JD put the overtime in. Even dropped from four-piece to three on this occasion, sublime covers of Cream, Deep Purple et al, came thick, fast and acutely delivered with unsurpassed accuracy. But it’s the plethora of Hendrix classics which both dominate the set, and astound; any band who can do that without offending the legend is a cut far above the rest, and Triple JD really push the boundaries of what a cover band should produce.
And so came the end of a hugely successful and highly entertaining day here in Devizes, putting The Beer & Cider Festival firmly back on the event calendar, where it so obviously belongs. It’s affordable, enjoyable through variety, and it’s already historically bookmarked, yesterday served only to reaffirm it.
“It’s not really a reggae crowd,” Nick Newman professed to me, “so, we’re just going to play some Bob Marley and popular tunes.” But if the finale was the wildcard, it proved though a show of heavy dubplates might be niche, everybody loves reggae and it moves the crowd like nothing else.
Dancing broke out across the Wharf as Knati P and Nick Razah did their sound system ting. Knati toasting the crowd, a majority perhaps unaware of “rewind” Jamaican DJ methods, but nevertheless feeling the vibes of a set akin to a breif history of everything that’s great about reggae, from Marley to Millie Small, from Two-Tone to contemporary subgenres, like Groove Amarda. In this they showcased the diversity of a misunderstood genre around these backwaters; causing me to uncaringly spill my cider down my t-shirt in gyrating to the Wailers inaugural ska hit, Simmer Down!
And on that point, it surely clarifies my point about Ben and Victoria’s devotion to bring as larger quality and variety to the music program as the selection of beers and ciders, in what was the perfect denouement to a wonderful evening; in my honest opinion, naturally!
Yes, it’s that time again, stay-at-home parents. Time to either max your Majestic Wine warehouse loyalty card or fight school holiday boredom like a boss. Here’s some ideas in Wiltshire and around and about, to occupy your little devils and demigods; you know, save them climbing the walls, and save you some hair...…
It’s not exhaustive, check back here from time to time for updates. There will be those who despite my asking on social media, will suddenly materialise from the woodwork screaming news of their events, workshops and other ideas. And to them I say, the more the merrier, message us, we have the technology to edit this, so please send us details.
Fuel & Wilshire Council Activities
FUEL was supposed to be for young people who are eligible for benefit related free school meals, are of school age and either be a resident of Wiltshire or attend a school in the County. Camps will be running in Melksham, Trowbridge, Westbury, Amesbury, Salisbury, Royal Wootton Bassett, Calne, Chippenham, Devizes and Warminster. Links to Fuel’s survey seems to be broken, and have left people confused how to book. Clearly WC have not provided enough places, but there’s lots of other activity camps across the county, to be found here.
“Somewhere in Britain, a long time ago, a very, very, very long time ago. So long ago that nobody quite knows whether it happened or not. Or where it happened or not. A boy pulled a sword from a stone and became King. A story of the old world, with knights, wizards, mist and magic”.
This fun and farcical adventure is a deliberately anarchic re-telling of the Arthurian Legend with live music, physical comedy and lo-fi acrobatics. And some silly jokes…
Kids Summer Art Club at Wiltshire Scrapstore & Resource Centre
All children must be accompanied by an adult. Adults must wear masks throughout the workshop. Numbers will be limited to ensure social distancing measures can be adhered to. Booking is essential and due to limited spaces. Book early to avoid disappointment. Sessions are £9.50 per child.
Groove and Move in Great Cheverall
A music and creative workshop for kids on the 8th and 9th of August in Great Cheverall. The days are intended to be a really fun day that will include listening to music, writing songs as a group, singing, dancing and a bit of drama added in. It will be a chance to let off steam, whilst joining in fun workshops intended to educate and stimulate literary skills, musicality and physical exercise.
Braeside provides safe, inclusive, fun and challenging experiences for young people aged 8 -14. A whole range of activities take place. For a full detailed programme, for the current school holidays, please click the link. New dates have been added due to popular demand!
Devizes Tennis Club Summer Camp
If watching all the action at Wimbledon the past couple of weeks has put your little ones in the mood for tennis, be sure to book them in for Devizes Tennis Club’s Summer 2022 Tennis Holiday Camp.
Trowbridge Rugby Football ClubSummer Camps
On Sundays beginning 24th July until 28th August you are invited to join Trowbridge Rugby Football Club to give rugby a “TRY!” Boys and girls aged 4-12 years are welcome to come along to Doric Park from 11am-12 noon to take part in games, make friends, and learn what rugby is all about – FUN!
For more information about 𝐅𝐑𝐄𝐄 Summer fun sessions, please contact Andy Evans on 07872 065499 or email@example.com
A range of sporty holiday activities for children, aged 4 upwards. Active Kids Camp, Soccer Schools and the Girl’s Football Camp, run in February Half Term, the Easter holidays, May Half Term, across the summer and finish for the year at October Half Term (excludes Bank Holidays). Offering sports and entertainment for your children for the entire day throughout the school holidays. They also offer breakfast as part of our extended day offer that will fuel them for the day ahead! Details HERE.
Summer Holiday Camps at The Farm Cookery School
A wide selection of cookery classes at The Farm Cookery School Netherstreet Farm, Bromham, to browse, book and then cook, see HERE!
Multi Sports Programme at Hardenhuish School
Up and Under are running their popular Multi Sports Programme to all abilities aged 5 -13, offering a fantastic variety of sports & activities each day. The course will run from 9am – 4pm daily from 25th to 29th July.
£30 per day / £135 for all 5 days / 10% sibling discount is available
Sports include Trampolining, Climbing, Archery, Inflatable obstacle course, Football, Mini Olympics, Tennis, New Age Kurling, Handball, Hockey, Cricket, Ultimate Frisbee, Dodgeball, Multi Skill – Martial Arts, Lacrosse, Basketball, Tag Rugby, Team Building Challenges along with daily competitions, prizes and certificates.
Summer holiday climbing sessions at The Arc, Chippenham
Climbing and games with expert coaching from one of our experienced instructors available over the summer holidays. These sessions will allow our younger climbers to work on their climbing skills, NICAS logbooks as well as engage in other activities and games. No experience necessary.
Bristol’s biggest retro video game and retro arcade experience is back and now fully open with 300+ games at the Galleries Shopping Centre, Bristol.
All day tickets with a wrist band so you can come and go.. (no coins required) – the Ultimate family and friends fun day! advance booking only. Buy one get one free (saving £14!) including weekends for all of the summer holidays July 24th – Sept 11th.
Family Space Day in Bath!
Coming to Bath this summer, enjoy a guided tour of the night sky; travel to the International Space Station; zoom across the Solar System; and handle a famous meteorite from outer space. Details & tickets
B-Smart B-Ballers: Fantastic football skills for kids age 18months – 6 years; at Trowbridge Town Hall
Football is an amazing activity for children and most children will be kicking and throwing a ball of some sort as soon as they can walk.
At B-Ballers, We recognise that parents and guardians are by far the most important influence in a child’s life. Including parents in our mini and mighty Bee classes has a real positive impact on their football training. What better way to be involved and support their development whilst having lots of fun together
The Royal Society of Beastologists are a group with one mission: to track down mythical beasts. They can’t wait to come to Trowbridge Town Hall, meet their new members and capture the Terrible Beast of Trowbridge. They’ve heard it’s been causing all sorts of nuisance.
But Jessy, the youngest Beastologist, has her doubts about beast hunting. What if beasts don’t want to be found? When Jessy is left behind at camp, an encounter with the Beast could help her transform the ways of the Beastologists for good…
Catch That Beast! is a magical, deliciously silly show about how we interact with wild things and how the youngest among us might bring about change. Full of humour, live music, inventive puppetry and audience participation, it is suitable for everybody aged 5+.
Art & Drama Workshops for aged 11 upwards at The Cause Arts Centre, Chippenham
Work with Charlie on colourful still life drawings, or play lots of fun games, exercises and make up short scenes with Laura.
A great way to spend a couple of hours and to find out if we’re for you before enrolling for a term. We’re buzzing with ideas and can’t wait to get back to it! See you there.
4.30-6.30 on Wednesday 27th & Wednesday 3rd August. Find out more here.
Devizes Hockey Club Summer Camps
Junior Summer Sessions are here – limited places so get in quick!
Running weekly on Tuesday nights, from 12th July to 16th August, at Melksham Oaks astro, from 7pm-8pm. These sessions are suitable for U11s, U12s and U13s (Y6, 7 and 8 ) and for both boys and girls. Cost for all sessions: £30.
A fantastic Survival Camp on Friday 19th August, for any young adventurous children who are aged between 10 years old and 12 years old. Small groups of only 12, with a maximum intake of only 24 children; get in quick!
Devizes Netball Summer Camps
Mini netball Summer camps on Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th August, open to members and non-members of the club. These will take place outside on the netball courts at Devizes Leisure Centre.
Each day there will be two age groups:
9am – 11am – current years 2-3 (going into years 3/4 in September)
11.30am-1.30pm – Years 4-5 (going into years 5/6 in September)
runs from the 27th to 31st August. In its tenth year, Holt Scarecrow Trail welcomes everybody. Main trail with 50 scarecrows to be found and guessed! Children’s trail will be run separately but can also be done alongside the Main trail too.
Summer Swimming – Crash Course at Starfish Hydrotherapy Pool, Chippenham
Neptune Aquatic’s small-group intensive swimming crash courses at Starfish Hydrotherapy Pool are suitable for children aged 3 years+ and are the perfect way to introduce your young child to a swimming lessons environment or build on skills learned in weekly lessons. We currently offer crash courses (with a maximum of 6 children in each class) for our Ducklings, Turtles and Jellyfish stages (equivalent to Swim England Stages 1-4.) All courses are 5 days, with children swimming every morning for 25 minutes. We welcome all swimmers, including those who do not currently swim with Neptune Swim School.
In the words of the King, “lord almighty, feel the temperature rising,” it’s set to be scorchio this weekend; here’s what we’ve found to occupy yourself, but remember the code portmanteau…. sunscreen! I’m a kinda radish colour now as I didn’t listen to my own advice, which you didn’t need to know, but I’m telling you anyway….
I’m also telling you, as usual I ain’t, as ain’t nobody got time for adding links to this here overview, find all the addition info you need and ticket links on our Event Calendar HERE.
Don’t forget Marlborough Open Studios ongoing until 24th July. On Thursday 14th July find Ray Cooper at Marlborough Folk Roots club.
By Friday 15th you should be prepared to get your booties movin’ with a bit of Salsa dancing at The Muck & Dundar, Devizes.
Dan Whitehouse plays the Pump, Trowbridge, Holly Carter at The Royal Oak, Bath, Road Trip at The Vic, Swindon, and this one needs no clarification; MeatLoud – Bat Out of Hades at the Neeld Hall, Chippenham! Ah, and breath, the fabulous Chicken Teddys gig at the Railway Inn, Yatton, The John E Vistic Rock N Roll Sound System at The Three Horseshoes, Bradford-on-Avon, and there’s outdoor theatre at Trowbridge Town Hall with Wuthering Heights.
Saturday is start of the Market Lavington Vintage Meet & Family Weekend. Rumours about cancelation is rubbish, this is going ahead, deffo, and tickets are still available.
Devizes sees its first Italian Auto Moto Festival in the Market Place on Saturday 16th and take Frunch at The Muck & Dundar with a pop-up kitchen. Staying in that lovely holiday-at-home rum bar, DJ James Threlfall plays a set in the evening. Live music spoiled for choice Devizions can find The Reason playing The Three Crowns, Rockhoppaz at the Southgate, or take a downhill walk to The Cross Keys, Rowde for The Life of Brian band.
It’s good news for Attack! The Wargames Show, as it finally makes a return to Devizes School on Saturday and Sunday. Over 30 trade stands with Military books, brushes, paints, terrain pieces and supplies (good for model railway enthusiasts too), models and figures. They have 100 competitors playing in 8 competitions and 12 participation games, to come and try. Plus, canteen and bar (provided by the British Lion). The show usually brings around 1000 people in so do come and see what the hobby is all about. This is the Facebook group to join for more details.
Or, for a rare opportunity these days; you can go to a record fair at Melksham’s Assembly Hall on Saturday.
Menu and Music at The Crown in Marlborough, Bottfest continues at The Seven Stars, Bottlesford with surfers Hooch, and a beach barbeque, although I’m not sure how a lorry carrying a beach is going to be able to squeeze around Bottlesford corner.
Billy in The Lowground play Trowbridge Town Hall, lovin’ the name, The Invincible Pigs at The Three Horseshoes, Bradford-on-Avon, and Green Day tribute Green Haze at The Cheese & Grain, Frome. BlitzKidz at The Vic, and Miss Kel’s Dance Academy’s Legends at The Wyvern, Swindon.
But eyes of Swindon should be on our pick-of-the-week this week, the town’s tribute to Dave Young at the Old Town Bowl, the ingeniously titled My Dad’s Bigger Than Your Dad Festival.
The Swindon Shuffle, in partnership with South Swindon Parish Council and Dave’s friends and family are very pleased to bring you the 2nd ‘My Dad’s Bigger Than Your Dad Festival’ – a tribute to Dave Young.
The event is once again happening in the beautiful surroundings of Town Gardens Bowl on Saturday 16th July, from midday until 10pm and is being held in tribute to Dave Young, the former landlord of The Victoria and 12 Bar, who sadly died last June at the Prospect Hospice after a hard-fought battle against cancer. Profits from the event are being donated to the Prospect Hospice in Dave’s name – last years totalled over £14,000!
The event will take the shape of an all-day community music festival with a stellar line up of live acts, finished off with the high-energy Rave Against The Regime, a live band who play reinterpretations of synth-heavy dance music classics with no synths…
The rest of the line-up is headed by local alternative pop-rock act All ears Avow and also features Soul band Joli and the Souls, indie act Stay Lunar, Irish folk-punk outfit Mick O’Toole, Swindon Americana stalwarts The Shudders, Wiltshire Folk collective The Lost Trades, indie band Kicking Edgar and more. Plus, on the Bandstand stage acts like Baths Concrete Prairie and Swindon’s own Canute’s Plastic Army and Si & Matt Hall.
Alongside the music there will be plenty of activities for all the family, a huge local maker’s market courtesy of Swindie Makers Markets and food and drink from a variety of locally based vendors like Streets of India and a licenced bar by The Tuppenny.
Tickets are available online via seetickets.com (booking fee applies). Physical tickets are available from The Tuppenny and Holmes Music in Swindon and Tesco’s in Calne.
And that’s about your lot; bit of a quieter weekend, especially in Devizes; save some pennies for Beer Festival the next weekend. Find Marty Wilde & The Wildcats at The Wyvern, Swindon on Sunday, the Infant Voice Festival same place on Monday, with Sarah Millican’s Bobby Dazzler tour on Wednesday.
In Devizes on Tuesday 19th, it’s the Devizes Community Choir’s first performance at The Bear, The Big Sing; break a leg, guys!
Another recommended option for Wednesday is at Wiltshire Rural Music Centre, Trowbridge, where Daisy Chapman & Amelia Wise play an intimate set.
Full throttle into July, then; here’s what the weekend looks like around these parts. These parts of cultural void, so it’s claimed, we say otherwise…. You want proof?
As usual no links here, the only link you need is here, our event calendar. Have a great weekend whatever you do!
Ongoing from Wednesday until Sunday the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon has got Shrek the Musical. Thursday and Friday, Devizes Musical Theatre presents their Summer Concert, Miss Fortunes at The Wharf Theatre, see the poster, always see the posters!
I’m delighted to hear Devizes LGBTQ+ group’s first big event, Drag Bingo at the Exchange has sold out on Thursday 30th; well done to them and here’s hoping for some similar events in Devizes in the future.
One of folk music’s greatest innovators, Martin Carthy is at Trowbridge Town Hall Thursday, Paul Jones Live in Concert at Christ Church, Swindon while Swindon Arts Centre has a play called Blithe Spirit, running until Sunday.
Friday is pinch punch. Chippenham Comedy Festival at The Old Road Tavern, starts, running all weekend. Limited Weekend Tickets £60, individual shows are all £7 each. Friday 1st July: 7pm Sam Michael & John Matthews: Cister Act, 8.30pm Juliette Meyers: Passport Face,10pm James Dowdeswell: Beers of a Clown. Saturday 2nd July: 5pm Jo Caulfield: Here Comes Trouble, 6.30pm Sooz Kempner: Playstation, 7.45pm Katie Mitchell: She Festers, 9pm Andrew O’Neill: We Are Not In The Least Afraid Of Ruins; We Carry A New World In Our Hearts, 10.15pm Wil Hodgson: Barbicidal Tendencies. Sunday 3rd July: 5.30pm Jessie Nixon, Dannie Johns & Millie Haswell: Dumb Belles,7pm Joe Wells: I am Autistic, 8.30pm Beth Black.
Devizes School Summer School Concert in the main hall. Minety Festival kicks off for the weekend. Melksham’s One Love reggae night has been moved from the Assembly Hall to Spencer’s Club on Beanacre Road, I just haven’t changed the poster, so forget all I said about paying attention to the posters!!
The Ukey Dukes play The New Inn, Winterbourne Monkton. Ska punkers head to The Barge at Honeystreet, for Slageri J headline there, and surfers should wipe-out at The Three Horseshoes, Bradford-on-Avon, where they’ll find the highly recommended Palooka 5. Rorke’s Drift play The Vic, Swindon, and fresh(ish) from Glasto, Jo Whiley plays 90s Anthems at The Cheese & Grain, Frome.
Saturday 2nd, Longleat continues showing off; those who don’t mind standing for hours, with a bottomless wallet and advance planning can see Tears for Fears, the rest of us are not left without options…. like Salisbury Pride at Queen Elizabeth Gardens.
Arts Together fundraise with a day painting at Bowood, see the poster for real this time!
Six O’clock Circus headline The Vale of the White Horse Scooter Rally at The Cooper’s Arms, Pewsey. While there’s a reggae day at The Wheatsheaf, Calne; the Bee Skas play at 3pm!
The Seven Stars in Bottlesford has a Burger BBQ for twenty quid, but you do get The Reason playing.
The amazing Jack Grace is at Southgate, and popular covers band Paradox are down the Cellar Bar in Devizes; yes, I did say The Cellar Bar, glad to see this venue back on our listings.
Band X at the Three Horseshoes Bradford-on-Avon, Siren at the 12 Bells, Trowbridge, with Hatepenny rocking the Town Hall. @Fest mini-festival at the White Hart in Attsworth. Down & Dirty at The Vic, Swindon.
Swindon’s Midlife Krisis sound system was due to setup at The Barge at HoneyStreet, however, due to issues with their secondary camping field it is unfortunately cancelled. We wish the Barge all the best with this issue, and hope it can be resolved as soon as possible.
Sunday 3rd July is DOCA’s Picnic at Hillworth Park. British Blues with Trevor Babajack Steger from 12pm, from 1pm, find some jazz-tinged klezmer and old-world Yiddish folk, from Mozzle Brocha, branch of the collective, Chai for All, who we tried to get to play a Ukraine fundraiser at St Mary’s, but it unfortunately fell through. It will be good to meet you, guys.
Eastern European folk traditions follow that with East of Eden at 2:40, South African at 4pm with Otto & The Mutapa Calling, finishing off your Sunday entertainment. Also look out for Rose Popay, the “Art Tart,” sounds hilarious, and various carnival workshops, suitable for all ages; see the DOCA website.
Elsewhere, People Like Us headline free live music for Inspire Warminster, preview here. The Cosmic Sausages play The Bell, Bath, The Lost Hills play The Tap & Barrel, Swindon. Blues legend Andy Fairweather Low plays The Cheese & Grain, Frome, with Ruzz Guitar in support, and oh, it’s Aldbourne Doggy Day!
That’s your weekend wrapped up, unless I missed anything? Did you let us know? It’s not too late, I can edit our event calendar, if you’re nice and send cake!
Through the week you can catch a Live Art Demonstration by the wonderful Caroline le Bourgeois at Devizes Conservative Club on Monday 4th, meanwhile David Olusoga presents A House Through Time at The Cheese & Grain, Frome.
Tuesday sees carparks in Devizes closed for the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay; for a whole half-hour! Heaven help us! Keyboard warriors, I’d advise you walk or bus it into town to get your garibaldi biscuits!
The New Forest Folk Festival starts Wednesday, while there’s a bit of Shakey at Bath’s Rondo Theatre, Macbeth; all proceeds go to Marie Curie. Best of luck to the two Devizes actors appearing in this, Lucy Upward and Ian Diddams; break a leg!
Next weekend you need tickets for a fundraising concert for Devizes GAC’s chosen charity, Julia’s House Children’s Hospice, at Devizes School Hall, on Friday July 8th at 7.30pm. Special guests at the concert will be the Pewsey Belles Ladies Choir. Tickets are priced £8 and available from 01761 472468.
Both Readipop Festival and Cornbury Festival, next weekend, and of course, Devizes Carnival and Trowbridge’s ParkFest, both on the Saturday 9th. I believe I’ll be painting the whole village purple at Bishop’s Cannings mini festival at The Crown; please come and support this too. And on Sunday, give our Essex country-rocker favourites, Jamie Williams & The Roots Collective a warm Devizes welcome at the Southgate.
And if you’ve read this far I salute you; people like you who pay attention really need to grab up tickets to the Full-Tone Festival August Bank Holiday, AND Devizes Scooter Rally, AND Devizes Beer Festival too!
Sitting by a controversially purple outside bar, contemplating my debatable definition of the term “festival,” yesterday in Bishop’s Cannings, while Freddie Mercury sauntered past and … Continue reading “Top Marks For CrownFest”