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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Devizes Scooter Club’s Grand BBQ

All images used with kind permission of Ruth Wordly

@ MoongypZy Creative Photography

 

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If last weekend in Devizes belonged to rockers, as the Sports Club shook by the awesome Saddleback Festival, it was small mercies for the Mods this Saturday as Devizes Scooter Club hosted a more moderately proportioned charity BBQ day, which wasn’t without equal summer fun and frolics.

The corner of Hillworth Road and Long Street became a haven for scooter enthusiasts, who’d travelled from far and wide, and local lovers of soul, reggae and ska who gathered outside the Conservative Club to raise some funds for the Devizes and District Opportunity Centre.

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How much was raised at this tender morning moment (at the time of writing this on Sunday) is unconfirmed, majority of organisers I’d wager are taking a fully-earned rest, if not nursing a sore head!

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I’ll let you know the grand total as soon as I get some feedback, but cake stall helper Paula told me she’d sold twice as many as last year’s family fun day, as husband Andy, whose task it was to man the barbeque looked vacantly into space through sheer tiredness. “I reckon he’ll be flipping burgers in his sleep,” I imagined.

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The bar and garden packed out by lunchtime, extending to the car park, which converted into a showroom of lamberttas and vespas, with an added parts stall. As enthusiasts admired each other’s “hairdryers,” their families enjoyed the plethora of side stalls, the hall of bouncy things (castle and a Gladiators-styled battle arena) and the quality music.

Contrary to their name, Swindon’s Daybreakers turned up early afternoon. Thank heavens I figured, lesson learned that day; a cider breakfast does no good when attempting to operate a mixer. Thanks to Tony who danced around me doing all the technical wizardry and gave our musical show a voice.

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By 2pm The Daybreakers were off, with no one willing to stop them they revved through a glut of benchmark early 80s pop, the likes of the Specials and Dexy, to sublime renditions of crusty rock, such as the Levellers. Wherever Cath, Gouldy and gang land there’s guaranteed to be a blinding show and today was no exception.

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An awesome team effort blessed the event with an uncompromising community spirit. From face-painted kids guessing names of teddies, shooting footballs and munching cake, to adults estimating the weight of a ham, shooting down beers and munching burgers, a village fete atmosphere ensued with a retrospective, hedonistic angle, as opposed to being all vicars and teacakes on the lawn.

By late afternoon Chippenham duo, Blondie & Ska had pitched inside and began their dazzling show; a precise Blondie tribute meshed with other two-tone classics in a style as if Debbie Harry would’ve covered them. They made a fantastic sound for just a duo and relished every minute despite fatigue setting in with the punters, who tended to loiter outside to begin with.

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With most exhausted from the day’s affairs already, it took a while for the show to push the audience into gear, hangers-on remained in the shadows of the garden to begin with, or those with families retired home with worn-out youngsters. I thought it a shame the club could’ve shown how we welcome acts as good as Blondie & Ska, but the thought abruptly ceased as the evening took hold and sweltering members graced that dance floor.

I offered a rock steady break for the band, but dancers yearned for some Northern Soul, so that’s what I did. Then Blondie & Ska continued and took us to into to the close. If you need more of these guys, or if you missed this thoroughly enjoyable show, I strongly advise you check out future gigs on their website. Closest to us, is The Wroughton Club on August 11th, The Royal Oak Corsham the day after, and the Gladstone Road Club in Chippenham on October 27th.

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As for the Daybreakers, well they’re never to be missed. Catch them again for an afternoon in Devizes, when they’ll be at Vinyl Realm on August 4th, and check their Facebook page for an extensive gig guide.

Back to the BBQ Day though, it was in observing the quantity of people gathered, and their enjoyment of the day which gave me both enormous optimism for a very successful Scooter Rally next summer, and a pride in our small town’s Scooter Club, where everyone contributed a gallant effort to ensure a grand day out was had by all, most laboured until they dropped, notwithstanding, some money was raised for our preschool for children with disabilities and learning difficulties. So full steam ahead for the Scooter Club now, as tickets for a brilliant sounding, soultastic Motown-eske band, All That Soul, are now on sale at the Cons Club, Jeffersons and Vinyl Realm.

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