Who Remembers our First Birthday Bash?

Proof you don’t know what’s around the next corner, I put off doing a second birthday bash last year as we’d run a few fundraising events, in favour for doing a mahossive one this year. As it stands any third birthday celebration for Devizine would constitute me, with a cup of tea, sitting at the computer. Two years ago, though, to the day, our birthday bash was monumental, personally, as it made Devizine feel actual, a real “thing,” so much more than me, with a cup of tea, sitting at the computer!

Still, I can reminisce and remember how so many of us come together at Devizes Conservative Club, made it such a fantastic night, and raised close to four-hundred smackers for the Devizes branch of Cancer Research. But it was down to a Facebook messenger chat with Dean Czerwionka, who now organises Devizes Family Club at The Cavalier. If memory serves me right, unusually, I was unable to draft anything, suffering a hangover. Rapping with da man, I merely suggested the possibility of putting on a charity event, and before I knew what was what, tickets were being sold online.

Such was the nature of the evening, throughout. Dean and Cons Club staff worked hard to make it such a great event. Those fantastic Daybreakers arrived early despite being the grand finale, and set up the system, organised the other acts. My wife prepared a buffet and son helped arrange it on the table. Ben Borrill’s mum Beverly, who had told me about her famous hamsters but neglected to tell me of her musically talented son, made a Black Forest gateau. Local poet Gail Foster entertained intervals between acts. Matthew Hennessy and Nick Padmore snapped the photos and Nick’s wife Joy made an effective bouncer on door duty! Even Resul of the Turkish Barbers gave me a free trim, and Tamsin Quin’s niece Erin rounded up everyone’s loose change for the bucket collection. All the while I swanned around talking toilet, propping up the bar and taking all the credit!

It should be bought to attention, now time has passed and any argument could be condensed to water under the bridge, that it wasn’t really Devizine’s birthday at all! I started it back in the September the previous year, it just took us a while to sort it out and get news out there. In that, it taught me a hell of a lot about putting an event on, all of which I now have…. erm, forgotten.

But it makes me proud to look back at our acts. Lottie J was only fifteen at the time, is now a star, off to music school, and producing some amazing pop. She jammed with the next act, the sadly disbanded Larkin, despite never having met. Sam Bishop of Larkin is studying music in Winchester, and has produced some great singles, solo, and with a new band. Martin of The Badger Set tipped me off he has something new up his sleeve. Then musical partner, Finely Trusler has since worked on solo projects, with his cousin as the duo The Truzzy Boys and now donned a Fred Perry and fronts the ever-awesome Roughcut Rebels.

We had, of course, our darlings, The Lost Trades, collaborating with each other, long before they were the Lost Trades. Jamie joined after an eleventh-hour cancelation, which I was overjoyed to have fit him in. Tamsin wasn’t feeling so good, but still performed to her usual higher than high standard anyway. Cutting her slot short, as things became quite a squeeze, Phil Cooper followed and really shook the place up. Still performing solo, but ever helping each other out, as The Lost Trades they’ve set a precedence on a national scale despite debuting just a week prior to lockdown.

Everyone’s favourite, George followed, with added Bryony Cox for a few numbers. After a move to Bristol, Mr Wilding set up a highly accomplished namesake band, Wilding, of which talents are boundless. Bryony continues working as a fine artist, with a penchant for landscapes.

Aching to get on and get everyone dancing, The Daybreakers did their lively covers thing. A change in line-up, they continue to do so today, composing their first original song recently. Yet really, they’re no strangers to writing and composing, Gouldy and Cath as an original duo are Sound Affects, and they sneaked in a slot at our Birthday Bash too.

It really was a great night in the end, if there was an end, I cannot recall, and I’m eternally grateful to everyone for their help, particularly proud to hear how much they’ve progressed and how far we’ve all come. It’s a crying shame we cannot yet replicate it, but I sure would like to when we reach that better day. So, look at for our fourth birthday bash, all things well by that time. Here’s some photos to get me teary-eyed.

Gimme me Some Tickets!

“We’ve got a two-hour set and every single song is one which everyone knows. You can’t beat the classics,” James, Frontman of Gimme Some Lovin’ reassures me, ahead of their appearance at Devizes Scooter Club.

The 1970s and 80s were not kind to Carmarthenshire’s largest town, Llanelli. Dependant on the coal mines for tin production, it felt the fate of their closure and fell into economic decline.

If Wales isn’t a breeding ground for raw musical talent enough, when hard times befall an area it’s affiliated with a rousing in the creative. I wondered if this was a driving force behind the Llanelli-based soul covers band, Gimme Some Lovin’ so I figured I’d catch a few words with frontman James, prior to their gig at The Devizes Scooter Club on Saturday October 27th.

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But as it turned out, Llanelli is just a base. “If I’m honest,” he replied, “we’re from all over the place. I’m from Cardiff, the guitarist is from the vale, and the brass guys are from Swansea. It’s a big demographic too; from late 20’s to those with bus passes.” While I’m not quite eligible for a bus pass, yet, that’s brilliant news for the Scooter Club, who are quickly building a reputation in Devizes for putting on high quality events, which despite its retrospective ethos, surprisingly attracts a wide age group too.

Gratitude to the Scooter Club, for sourcing recent acts such as the dazzling All That Soul; it reassures when a billing arrives in our town which we may not have heard of. This said, Gimme Some Lovin’ can sell out a show in Wales, as they have next weekend in Cardiff, and as James proudly states, “We had a near-capacity crowd for the Monmouth Festival (5000+.) We sell out the Neon in Newport every year with our Christmas show too.”

So, with status assured, what’s in a name? I denoted the Spencer Davis Group’s classic single in our chat, a song which they wrote and arranged in just half-hour, and recorded the following day, under pressure from Blackwell for a hit. Its attraction, though, is in its simplicity, surely? “Is it a silly question to ask,” I asked James regardless, “if you’re going to play The Spencer Davis Group?!”

“How could we not?!” he replied, yet it was only an inbetweener question to probe James about what we can expect on the 27th. “It’s very much a classic soul set,” he continued, “I’d say that we’re very much like the Commitments; classic soul with a modern edge. I think our front-line vocalists take us a little further away from the originals too, as they’ve all got massive, unique voices that seem to elevate the tracks, especially live!”

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The more the enthusiastic frontman eludes the details the more eager I am to catch this band at the Cons Club. James, a songwriter himself gasps at the idea the Spencer Davis Group could knock out their namesake single in such a short time, “sometimes the best ones just fall out. I can’t say I’ve ever managed anything in half an hour though!” But it’s unlikely we’ll hear any original material, “We tend to stick to covers,” James expressed, “We’ve been considering getting some original tracks in there but, with so many great songs to pick from, it’s impossible to decide what to drop!”

While the trend for original compositions on the local live music scene is a constant deliberation between artist and promoter, the Scooter Club know their crowd, and this closing statement from James: “We’ve got a two-hour set and every single song is one which everyone knows. You can’t beat the classics,” is so pertinent it’s easy to visualise this night being a soul stonker for Devizes.

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I’m smitten; the Club will be so glad if you made it too! Tenner tickets to Gimme Some Lovin’ are at usual outlets, The Cons Club and Vinyl Realm, and even Jeffersons where you can fill your soul with the best breakfast in town (the things I say for an extra sausage know no bounds) While there’s a price given on the door at £13, seizing an advance ticket is advisable, even if your name is Spencer or Davis.

Gimme Some Lovin’ on Facebook

Devizes Scooter Club on Facebook

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