REVIEW – Lark In The Park (Hillworth), Kimberley Rew @ The Southgate, Eddie Witcomb@ White Bear, Devizes

In The Wet And The Dry

Andy Fawthrop

Another busy Sunday afternoon of free music gigs around the town.

First to Hillworth Park for the much under-advertised “Lark In The Park”. I’ve heard of stealth marketing, but sometimes I think Fantasy Radio can take this too far. I saw/ heard very little about this, apart from one post on Facebook, so I wasn’t surprised to turn up an hour after the start of this event to find very few people there. Granted the weather forecast wasn’t great, but I suspect they’d get bigger audiences if they told a few more people what was going on. I managed to catch Clare doing a short set before the heavens opened in mid-afternoon then, like others, took refuge in the café for a coffee. Once it became obvious that the rain wasn’t going to stop any time soon, the few brave souls who’d turned up just melted away. I decided to join them. Bit of a wash-out.

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Fortunately the Southgate is just round the corner so I settled in there with a pint, and was soon joined by friends. The entertainment was provided by Kimberley Rew on guitar, and his wife & partner-in-crime Lee Cave-Berry on bass. Rew’s main claim to fame is having been guitarist and song-writer with Katrina & The Waves, having penned their big hit “Walking on Sunshine”, followed later in 1999 by “Love Shine A Light” when the band won the Eurovision Song Contest (remember that??). Since the band’s demise, Rew has produced a string of solo albums, and has clearly not lost the knack of writing catchy tunes.

The duo served up plenty of bop-along material, blending riffs from pop, boogie-woogie, rock and blues. There was some fine lead guitar from Rew, and solid vocals from both. If anything, it was a bit too exciting for a rainy Sunday afternoon, but absolutely nobody was complaining. It certainly blew out the cobwebs.

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By the end of their first set, the weather had started behaving itself again, and the sun made a belated appearance. So I made my way back down into town, and to the White Bear to catch Eddie Witcomb.

Eddie hails from up the road in Marlborough, and he’d pulled along his dad and a mate or two. So we had the start of a small, but beautifully-formed, audience which grew in size as the afternoon turned into early evening. Eddie did two sets, nicely blending his own very personal material with some carefully selected covers. We were treated to his versions of “Paranoid”, “Roxanne”, “Tears In Heaven” and “Stand By Me”, amongst others. His own songs were well-turned, featuring some fine playing, and delicate vocals. It was a mark of the quality of these songs, that they were as strongly received as the covers. His style was relaxed, and he was fully ready to engage in banter with the audience. He did confide that he was playing with a bit of a hangover, but if he was there was very little sign of it.

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So another great (free) Sunday of music around the town. I think we just shaded it – Weather 1, Music 2, and we all went home happy yet again.


© 2017-2019 Devizine (Andy Fawthrop)
Please seek permission from the Devizine site and any individual author, artist or photographer before using any content on this website. Unauthorised usage of any images or text is forbidden.


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REVIEW –Rockin’ Bandits @ Hillworth, Jamie Williams @ Southgate, and Ian O’Regan @ The White Bear, Devizes – Sunday 28th July 2019

Another Free & Easy Sunday Afternoon in The Vize

 

Andy Fawthrop

This is getting to be a habit now. It’s a Sunday, the weather is balmy, and there’s lots of free music on offer.

Firstly to Hillworth Park for Fantasy Radio’s final Month of Sundays, featuring a live on-air radio show, showcasing the talents of a local artists. Today it was the turn of the Rockin’ Bandits, who delivered their usual performance of swing, country and rockabilly. Mixing a few of their own numbers with plenty of covers – Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, Johnny Horton, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash – you name it – the crowd really lapped it all up. Perfect nostalgia music for a sunny afternoon in the park.

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I couldn’t stay quite to the end because I wanted to get along to The Southgate to catch Jamie Williams & The Roots Collective – a five-piece band who really dress the part. This Essex-based outfit knocked out an altogether more get-down-and-boogie kind of sound, with a blues and Americana edge to their original material. Their set also took a tour around some nice country-rock licks. It was a good atmosphere, with all the windows thrown open, the crowd listening both inside and outside of the pub.

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And finally, back down into town to listen to Ian O’Regan at the White Bear. Ian doesn’t really do his own material – he’s not yer usual singer/ songwriter – but what he lacks in the song-writing department he more than makes up for in the quality, range and sheer versatility of his singing and guitar-playing. His skill lies in the interpretation and delivery of other people’s great songs. His repertoire is eclectic, covering blues, folk, “Irish & Western”, country and rock. Occasionally sipping at his water, he established his usual friendly bantering rapport with the audience. And he played his heart out to a very appreciative audience – for two hours solid without a break! And even after that he had enough energy left to play an encore. Amazing stamina and dedication!

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Yet another great afternoon – three gigs in five hours – and all of it free!

So keep your eyes peeled over the next few weeks, both before and after the Devizes International Street Festival there’s loads more (free) music scheduled in Hillworth Park, The Southgate, The Three Crowns, The White Bear and other venues too.


© 2017-2019 Devizine (Andy Fawthrop)
Please seek permission from the Devizine site and any individual author, artist or photographer before using any content on this website. Unauthorised usage of any images or text is forbidden.


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