What a May Day! Things to do This Month; Part 2

Hark, the darling buds of May. Already looking quite blossomy isn’t it? Well, blossoming too is stuff to do in and around our local neighbourhood, and a few weeks ago I presented you with a lengthy look at what’s on during the first fortnight; see here.

Now though, sit down and brace yourself for some shocking news. I have, actually produced the second part of the monthly preview, and here it is! Though promised with previous months, I tend to side-track, or just plain scatter-brain and not carried it through. Not so this time, you don’t have to thank me, unless you have a choc n nut Cornetto.

Week 3: Mon 13th – Sunday 19th May

Regular sing-a-long at Devizes Folk Club in the Lamb, Devizes on Monday, similar on Tuesday if your go to the Bradford Folk Club, 8pm in the Cellar Bar of the Swan Hotel. Meanwhile, St James Wine Vaults in Bath where Radical Westie Productions presents Daisy, Television Villain, Ravetank and Devizine favourites Nerve Endings; £3 door tax.

Wednesday 15th, and Peter Vaughan does pasta at Vaughan’s Kitchen Cookery School, later don’t forget the acoustic jam at The Southgate, Devizes.

There’s Bach Suites by Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment: Young Artists Anima Fidis Quartet at the Wiltshire Music Centre Bradford on Avon.

Thursday’s is acoustic night at The Royal Oak, Corsham. Hannah Rose Platt and Black Sheep Apprentice at The Tuppenny, Swindon or tribute night with The Quo Experience at The Cheese & Grain, Frome.

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There’s a barn dance on Friday 17th at the West Lavington Hall. Usually wouldn’t make a song and dance out of such, but all proceeds go to the wonderful charity Arts Together; read about my visit, and the great work they do, here. Please support Arts Together, they’ve music, buffet, bar and raffle, see the poster for details. Future Devizine Presents nights will also like to donate to Arts Together.

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Sheer Music is back in Devizes, the Cellar Bar has Smokin’ Donuts; one-part Carter USM and t’other festival cult hero, Doozer McDooze. Brilliant indie-pop Talk In Code and the talented Jezilyn Martyn support. £7 advance from Sheer Music, a tenner on the door.

But if you thought Devizes was a one-gig Friday town, you’d be very much mistaken. There’s Johnny 2 Bad, an eight-piece boasting to be the UK’s number one UB40 tribute at The Cavalier Community Hall. Except the reggae train-spotter in me upheaves that Johnny Too Bad is actually by The Slickers and only covered by UB40, eh? Bit of reggae in the Vizes, though; never going to knock it. £10 in advance and should be great night.

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It’s rather retrospective in the Southgate too, with sixties garage and Mod band, Absolute Beginners at The Southgate playing a debut in the town. Three-piece playing covers of songs by The Who, The Small Faces, The Kinks, The Eyes, The Creation, The Jam, Secret Affair, Squire, and The Purple Hearts.

Without a cinema, the Assembly Hall in Melksham shows movies, The Favourite is on Friday. Break Cover are at The Talbot, Calne. An Open Mic at The Pump, Trowbridge. Comedy Night at the Boat House, Bradford on Avon. Tensheds live at the Rolly in Swindon and amusingly named Antarctic Monkeys at the Cheese & Grain, Frome.

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Back on reggae for Saturday, although other events are available, it’s Devzine’s second gig of the month, a reggae and ska night at the Cellar Bar with Knati P and Razah and I’ll be warming up for them with a ska show live. Look, again I’m asking you to come along, listing door damage as a fiver but as long as you give us what you can, that’s good enough. For all the proceeds go to homeless charity, Devizes Opendoors. For want of a quieter evening Opendoors also have a Quiz Night from 7pm at Nursteed Community Centre.

Those Truzzy Boys play the Conservative Club in Devizes, £3 on the door, Drew Bryant at The Southgate, and Sound Affects support the Dusk Brothers at the Cavalier’s Ameripolitan Music Club. Meanwhile, The Wharf Theatre welcome back Hancock clone, James Hurn, with new scripts.

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Brother from Another at the Woodbridge Inn, Pewsey, and Woodborough Social Club has Humdinger. Blues Bros & The Commitments at Melksham Assembly Hall. Còig at the Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon while the Neeld Chippenham has medium Derek Acorah.

Fresh from Montreal LG Breton and drummer Marco Dionne joins Phil Cooper for his Vise-Versa tour, closet to us is Saturday at the Village Pump, Trowbridge, other dates here: http://phil-cooper.co.uk/tour-dates

Sunday 19th sees the Chippenham Soap Box Derby and John Etheridge’s Sweet Chorus is at the Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon.

Week 4: 20th -26th May

 

Devizes Folk Club down The Lamb on Monday, An Evening with Graham Gooch at the Neeld, Chippenham on Tuesday. Acoustic Jam at The Southgate, The Royal Ballet’s Mixed Triple Bill at Wiltshire Music Centre, and The Waterboys @ Bath Forum on Wednesday.

Thursday is Acoustic Oak night at The Royal Oak, Corsham. Boxing Day and All Better play Level III in Swindon, and Carus Thompson is at The Beehive. But if you ever doubted summer is on its way, the bank holiday truly kicks off festival season, with Bearded Theory’s Spring Gathering in W. Midlands, or most fruitfully funky and stunningly popular dance fest, Shindig starts in Bruton. Shindig Festival is a glorious mash up of a gig, a house party, circus show, comedy night, a wellbeing retreat and kid’s party. No main stages, just an arrangement of stretch marquees, so you can be in amongst it, or chill on the grass. Kids can learn to DJ, breakdance and urban art.

This crazy weekend sees Chippenham Folk Festival starting Friday, as does Lechlade Festival. With Salisbury Live beginning, and Frome’s R&B festival with Frankie Miller’s Full House at the Cheese & Grain, you’re spoiled for choice.

Back in Devizes, Friday 24th, Bob Drury pays tribute to Neil Diamond at The Wharf Theatre. Adriano Adewele, Gwilym Simcock and Jason Rebello are at the Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon. While in Swindon, the Wyvern Theatre presents The Rolling Stones Story, Sheer Music has Press To Meco at Level III and there’s a Ska’mageddon at the Vic with SN Dubstation and King’s Alias @ The Vic, but for real roots adventurers, try RDK Hi-Fi meets Roots Inspiration @ Black Swan, Bristol. I’m steering clear of Bristol as there’s too much to list, but that one will go off.

Saturday then, the 25th. Long Street Blues Club celebrate the music of one of rock’s best-loved icons Paul Kossoff, with May Kossoff the band. A chilled but robust night is promised at the Southgate, with Nick Tann’s British folk take on Americana heartland traditions.

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It’s also time for Bromham to host the second combined cider and music extravaganza, OwlFest at the Owl, obviously. Did this last year, loved this last year, although I’ve no line-up info for you, you can bet your Bromham dollar this’ll be great. Another to watch is Marland’s showpiece, Gladstonebury at the Gladstone Arms, Chippenham, expect Steve Morano, the Sweet Swing Trio, The Chicken Teddys and Burbank.
Loud soulful, happy vibes will come from The Pilot, Melksham where Big Mama’s Banned play. The Gimme Gimme Gimmes and Devizine favs, The One Chord Wonders are at St James Wine Vaults, Bath, Frome’s R&B Festival continues at the Cheese & Grain with Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band.

The old English spelling of Savernake Forest, Safernoc inspires an intriguing event in Marlborough on Saturday too; “violin, voice and banjo music from the 16th century to the present day, world premiere of Paul Elwood’s Safernoc; a series of compositions for mezzo soprano Alice Simmons and violinist Tam Coates by composer Paul Elwood. Both Simmons and Coates live near the forest and both have found inspiration in the shadows of that ecosystem. The text by the composer is a play on trees and an imagined impression of Savernake taken from Dante, Bernini’s sculpture of Daphne transforming into a tree, and Mexican painter (Sister) Juana Beatriz de la Fuente’s, “The Tree of Life.” Admission £10, email contactamitytrio@gmail.com for tickets.

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Alex Roberts Live at The Southgate on Sunday 26th, the wonderful Sugar Motown returns to the Three Crowns. While Dr Feelgood plays the Frome R&B Festival at the Cheese & Grain.

End of May, Mon 27th – Friday 31st

Proper West Country, it’s the Coopers Hill Cheese Roll at Brockworth on Monday, Frome’s R&B Festival has Nick Lowe & Los Straightjackets.

With Bandeoke at Chippenham’s Neeld and Jackie & Felix Byrne at the Bradford Folk Club, that makes up Tuesday, while Wednesday it’s the World Music Club at The Beehive in Swindon, and of course, an acoustic jam at The Southgate, Devizes.

You can Meet the Gruffalo at Hillworth Park in Devizes on Thursday 30th, for his 20th birthday, Devizes Books bring the books, with a trail around the park, a prize draw and guest appearances, should be fun for kids of all ages.

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Acoustic Oak at The Royal Oak, Corsham and Jonathan James is Discovering Music at the Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon, while tribute The Commitments Experience are at the Neeld, Chippenham and Gaz Coombes is at the Cheese @ Grain.

That’s the month of May done, Friday 31st the Brodsky Quartet are at the Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon and Salisbury Live continues. Other than this, seems like a quiet Friday, save for the fact it’s time for the opening of the Devizes Arts Festival, I think it’s the best line-up yet, starting with An Audience with John Simpson at Corn Exchange. Check our preview of the festival here, and I will be highlighting some of the separate events as the month goes on.

More details of all events here are on our event calendar which makes up Devizine’s busy home page, but bear in mind this is not a exhaustive list, the calendar is updated (nearly) every day, so keep checking for updates; too much of it to continuously post to Facebook, you need to check in every now and then, or you might miss something you need tickets for.

Have a grand and blossoming May, it’s building up to a great summer ahead!

 

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Birthday Bash, Birthday Bash….

Alrighty then, not to blow my own trumpet, it’s time to mention our Birthday Bash again; case you forgot! Concern that it’ll be just me, crying into a packet of pickled onion Monster Munch, and Dean trying to pinch one is waning, as attention for our little party grows evermore, like a zit.

 
While I’ve asked nicely if The Gazette & Herald would be so kind as to give it mention, being it’s for charity, and I’d thought that’d bury a hatchet, it seems I’m talking to a brick wall, so I’m relying on word of mouth, and Facebook of course; you know what to do, sharing is caring!

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Oh, in addition, Sue Davis is going to ring me without inkling how grumpy I can be Saturday mornings, to allow my Dorset tones to ring over BBC Wiltshire radio-waves; I shall be live at 9:45ish. And of course, a special thanks goes to DJ Emma D, on the ones and twos at Fantasy Radio, who’s already given the bash a plug. While I’m unsure if she’d appreciate the tag DJ Emma D, I think it suits; make it a “thing!”

 
The best thing about it, this birthday bash I mean, other than we’re raising some Wonga for Cancer Research, is that all the acts playing were featured, or least fondly mentioned, back in the early days of Devizine, that long, long year ago.

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There was one which hasn’t been mentioned, the wildcard, Dirt Road Diary, but unfortunately, they had to cancel. Suggested by Dean, as we’re in conjunction with Dead Kool Country Promotions, which basically equates to Dean doing all the hard bits while I sprout gobbledygook and take control of insuring the drinks behind the bar are suitable for you; I’m nice like that.

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I’ll be honest with you, (as you know I always am!) I had deliberations about a country band playing our gig, as it’s not to everyone’s tastes, until I downloaded their EP, “Our Country,” released Spring 2018. You can download it here from their website, free; it has that tender slice of rock, like Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, particularly tracks like “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye.”

 
While I’ve no plans to don a ten-gallon hat and rustle in cattle with a lasso, I love it, there’s a great many references to Americana, box-cars, highways, etc, which may seem cliched given Dirt Road Diary are from Calne, but its authenticity overrides this notion and it drives a convincing country vibe. “The EP’s been receiving great reviews,” lead guitarist Mark Allen tells me, “culminating with us being nominated for the BCMAs people’s choice award to be announced during the awards ceremony on the 24th November.” I don’t do hard feelings, and I wish Dirt Road Diary all the best with this and future ventures.

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Our Country certainly convinced me to change my mind about Dirt Road playing, plus it would’ve given certainty to the times here that I’ve mentioned the ethos the Devizes Country Music Club, recently renamed Devizes Ameripolitan Music Club, likely for the very reason that it is not as one might at first suppose; line dancing is just a slither of the scope on offer, and the club plays host to some experimental and interesting bands. Dean Czerwionka has also recently launched The Devizes Family Club, also operating out of the Cons Club, so as one busy guy, I’m extremely grateful for his time on our birthday bash project.

 
So, are we one act missing I hear you screech, am I down to ten men? Not likely pal, is the answer, as the wonderful Jamie R Hawkins has been on the warmup bench for the whole season, unsure if trips to Switzerland for his recording his new EP might disable his availability to join us, but I’m delighted to announce, he can do it! Adding Jamie to our bustling line-up of local talent really is the icing on the birthday cake.

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Have no concerns, we do have cake, a black forest gateau should arrive, made by the Harcourt Hamsters of Chirton, and kindly donated by Beverly Borrill; I kid you not, check out our hammie feature story from earlier this year!

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Not forgetting Matthew Hennessy of Hennessyimages, who is our official photographer; as official photographer for DOCA and The Wharf Theatre too, provided he doesn’t upskirt me on the dancefloor, we’re delighted to have him.

 
With Dean, Matthew and Bev done, there’s so many others to thank, Carol and the Cons Club staff, of course, but especially Pete of our brilliant record shop and musical hub, Vinyl Realm, who’ve stepped in last minute to provide the PA, and hopefully operate too, as it’s way over my head.

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Most of all though, let’s thank the stars of the show, as no matter if I get my haircut for the special occasion or not, it’s not about me, it’s about the wealth of talented musicians who have kindly agreed to play for nothing but the love of their craft. Lottie J from Swindon you may well know; only fifteen with such a mature, soulful voice and keen writing ability. She’s one to watch, so get there at 6:30pm as she’s opening our show.

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Our Devizes lads, Sam and Finley, aka Larkin are next up, you got to love ‘em; we’ve been following their progress through the brilliant Set You Free debut album to their new EP. After this then, I treat you to the masterful song-writing of that porkpie-hat-wearing Trowbridge living legend Phil Cooper, who sent me his album “Thoughts and Observations of…” to review many moons ago. Phil’s been working closely with our recent addition Mr Jamie R Hawkins, they bounce off each other nicely and so, I think we should extend Phil’s slot, slide said Jamie in and let them play in whatever formation they wish to; it’s a win-win.

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Tamsin follows Phil and Jamie, Devizine’s middle name is Tamsin-Quin-Fan-Club, our first ever article was about her crowdfunding project for an album, which came to fruition as Gypsy Blood, so it wouldn’t be the same without her here.

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I’m also so delighted George agreed to come too, when I first met photographer Nick Padmore, he tipped me off about George Wilding, even prepared I was in awe of his natural ability, and I’d sing his praises to the moon and back, but they’ve probably heard of him there already. I have asked the amazing young painter, Miss Bryony Cox, who is also known for her love of singing, if she would like to join George for a song or two, appearing together in the past has proved to be a wonderful combination; not sure how far we got with this idea but I guess it’ll turn out whichever way on the night.

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And what an awesome night it’s due to be, with Swindon’s The Day Breakers as a finale; Cath and Gouldy, who now also gig as duo Sound Affects, I first discovered through the Devizes Scooter Club as the then Killertones, with their awesome brand of classic covers we can all have a dance at the end; honestly, I insist. Dean has even offered, unofficially, to show us how to dance the floss – another good reason not to miss it.

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Of course, I might be persuaded to say a few words of gratitude, alcohol levels permitting, but you know I’m not best in the spotlight; has to be a very dull spotlight, 20watt or less. We do, however have the brilliant Devizes poet Gail Foster, to entertain us with some witty verses during any tuning and downtime from the acts, so a massive thank you also, to our Gail.

 
A few have asked if they can bring children, whilst I confess, I’ve not arranged provisions or entertainment specifically for the kids, of course they are welcome, and free for under 16s. Who am I to deny kid’s entrance, after all I’m a big kid anyway?! There will be balloons, provided by Cancer Research, and maybe, if I get the time, or someone else could bring some pens and paper, I’d be more than happy to spend as much time as I can on the night, doing some doodles with them.

 
Any other questions or queries you may have, do send them as I’m not an event organiser and probably have overlooked a number of things.

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All I need now is you, oh and a buffet, which I’m working on, but no guarantees; if anyone would like to take this on, with the promise of free advertising on Devizine, I’d be enterally grateful if you get in touch asap. So please make sure you’ve had your dinner early, as it kicks off at 6:30pm, on Saturday, 10th November, and please come and enjoy yourself!

 
Tickets are £10, all proceeds, save a beer each for our acts, will go to the Devizes branch of Cancer Research. Get ticket at the club, at Vinyl Realm, online here, or message me if you’d like to reserve some, but there will be some on the door. Anyone on the guest list are welcome to donate to the charity if they so wish to do so, at the door.

Tickets Online Here

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