Weekly Roundup of Events in Wiltshire: 1st – 7th February 2023

Thank the heavens we can kick January out of the door! It’s been a warmer week though, hasn’t it? Still wouldn’t reach for the Hawaiian shirts and straw sunhats just yet. The weather is a tease, loves to give you a taster of the potential of the coming season, then reverts without warning or the slightest concern that you risked lobbing your thermal long-johns in the wash!

Some people prefer winter though, apparently; weirdos! Here’s what we’ve found to do in Wiltshire for the rest of us; hermits stay in, covered in blankets, re-watching Wednesday and praying into a bag of cheesy puffs for season two! Get a life, Wiltshire is not a cultureless void, see below if you don’t believe me!

Links and details can be found on our event calendar: here. Just takes ages adding them in here a second time; ain’t nobody got time f’ dat!

Ladies Day continues at The Wharf Theatre, Devizes until Saturday 4th all sold out now, but the next production hosts improvised comedy Instant Wit, for one day and that day being 18th February. Not forgoing the welcome return of Devizes Film Club showing the 2020 film Minari, about a Korean-American family moving from California to a remote Arkansas farm in search of their own American dream. That is on Friday 9th February.


Pinch, punch, Wednesday 1st February it will be then, and Trowbridge’s Pump celebrates Independent Venue Week with The Howlers, Langkamer and Mumble Tide.

Regular acoustic jam at The Southgate, Devizes.

Seventh Avenue Arts presents Simon & Garfunkel Through the Years at Pound Arts, Corsham. Danny Baker’s Sausage Sandwich Tour comes the Wyvern, Swindon.

The Greatest Magician continues until 4th at Rondo Theatre, Bath, and staying in Bath, Monkey Bizzle meets The Scribes Komedia, Flats & Sharp at Chapel Arts, and Junior Bill at The Bell.


Thursday 2nd Quiz Night at The Devizes Literary & Scientific Institute in aid of Devizes & District Food Bank by Devizes Labour Party.

Moon plays The Vic in Swindon, Truck at The Tuppenny. Ben Portsmouth’s This is Elvis 2023 Tour at the Wyvern, and Limehouse Lizzy at Swindon Arts Centre.

Brennan Reece’s Crowded come to Rondo Theatre, Bath, and for music, find Del Barber & Band at Chapel Arts.

Still Moving DJs at Salisbury Arts Centre, Open Mic at The Winchester Gate, and Jamie Lingham’s regular From The Book at Brown Street, Salisbury.


Friday 3rd and it’s Potterne Cricket Club’s Quiz Night at Potterne Village Hall.

While revellers descend on Weston-Super-Mare for the Incider Festival, Jaz Delorean is at The Pump, Trowbridge, but I believe is near sold out, you’ll need to be quick, or own a time machine for this one!

A new regular feature at The Barge on Honey Street, open mic session continues Friday.

Sophie Duker’s Hag at Pound Arts, Corsham, Phoenix Dance Presents ‘We Are Connected’ at The Neeld, Chippenham.

In the top three flamenco guitarists in the world, Juan Martin is at Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford-on-Avon, Malaya Blue Band at Chapel Arts in Bath, some Impromptu Shakespeare at Rondo Theatre, and David O’Doherty’s Whoa is Me at Komedia.

Wow; Fairport Convention play the Wyvern in Swindon, with Lucy Porter’s Wake Up Call at Swindon Arts Centre. Dohny Jep headlines a triple at The Vic, with Nervendings and Riviera Arcade.

Cressers Last Stand’s The Growing up Tour at Brown Street, Salisbury, while The Jonny Phillips Trio play the Winchester Gate.


Saturday 4th, The Shudders come to The Southgate, Devizes, (Update: The Shudders can’t make it on Saturday. To the rescue, they have laid back dude Grizzly Rhys Morgan at The Southgate instead,)while Devizes Scooter Club hold a Back to the 80’s Party at The Cavalier. But the concentration in Devizes should focus on The Corn Exchange, where we are thinking green. Make a hot-water bottle at Devizes Library during the day, and bring it to the Wiltshire Climate Alliance fundraiser with Seize the Day; preview here. Editor’s Pick of the week? Could be!

Damm! play The Bear, Marlborough, meanwhile it will be Vyv & Jackie’s farewell at The Lamb, after over an incredible 43 years they’re retiring and we wish them all the very best. A solemn occasion it refuses to be, as Pants will out! If you don’t know what that means, I suggest you read undoubtedly the funniest interview we’ve ever done, with Pants, last week. Got to be Editor’s Pick of The Week, if Seize the Day is too, I can’t decide this week!

Phoenix Dance presents a second night of ‘We Are Connected’ at The Neeld, Chippenham.

Still Marillion play The Vic, Swindon, with One Chord Wonders at the Queens Tap, The Bellflowers at The Tuppenny, Homer at The Swiss Chalet, and Six O’clock Circus at Coleview Centre. Troy Hawke’s Sigmund Troy’d at the Wyvern, and Paul Foot at Swindon Arts Centre.

Stray Dogs will be ‘Unleashed’ for a Charity Gig for The Music Man Project at Burdall’s Yard, Bradford-on-Avon.

The Roy Orbison Experience at Chapel Arts, Bath, with Akasha at The Bell.

From 11am, Drag Queen Story Time at The Winchester Gate, while the evening in Salisbury gets punked, with Carsick headlining at foursome at Brown Street with Who Ate All the Crayons, Lucky Number Seven, and Seaside Glamour.

Staying punk, The Cheese & Grain hosts the Frome Punk Fest.


Sunday 5th and if you’ve achieved nothing over the weekend all is not lost, the monthly Jon Amor Trio residency at The Southgate, Devizes at around about 5pm, with guest Thomas Atlas.

Also, Julian Gaskell & His Ragged Trousered Philanthropists are at The Bell, Bath, while Stephen Lynch’s The Time Machine Tour arrives at Komedia.

The Psychology of Serial Killers at the Wyvern, Swindon, wraps up our weekend, but do keep a check on the calendar, for updates and planning.


Monday is Monday, not a lot going on. Do a jigsaw puzzle or something.


Tuesday 7th is the Wyvern Theatre Swap Shop at the Wyvern in Swindon, Randy Feltface’s Feltopia at Komedia, Bath, and Wiltshire College FE Student Showcase Samphire at Salisbury Playhouse.


Have a great week, behave yourself, within reason, and don’t forget to keep up-to-date with our calendar, for next week sees aforementioned return of Devizes Film Club, now based at The Wharf Theatre, a triple bill of folk at Pound Arts, Canute’s Plastic Army & Harmony Asia at The Tuppenny, Swindon, Emily Breeze at the Pump, the second stage of Take the Stage 2023 at The Neeld, in which we wish Nothing Rhymes with Orange the best of luck, 50 Years of Fender at Swindon Arts Centre, Ben Borrill at The Three Crowns, Devizes with Junkyard Dogs at The Southgate, and Big Mama’s Banned at the Pilot, Melksham, Adam Ant tribute Ant Trouble at the Vic, the Dub Pistols with Don Letts The Cheese & Grain, Frome, and so much more!

Trust other websites or Facebook pages with what’s to do and you’ll miss truckloads; Devizine is the only one around these darkened backwaters to collate them all; give the man a Twix.


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Weekly Roundup of Events in Wiltshire: 25th-31th January 2023

Oh, hey there, it’s me, here to tell you what we’ve found to do in Wiltshire this week, leading us nicely until the end of January. Second winter month nearly down, one more to go, shorter one, then spring, yay! My feet were so numb from the cold after getting in from work this morning I couldn’t tell if my slippers were on the right feet!

As usual I cannot be bothered spending an age posting links here, you can find them all, with further details on our event calendar: here.


Wednesday 25th Wiltshire Museum in Devizes has The Bookshop Quiz, presented by Devizes Books, where I’m guessing you’ll find tickets! Staying in the Vizes, don’t forget, regular acoustic jam at The Southgate.

The Shing-a-lings play The Bell, Bath, while there’s a Queen Extravaganza at Bath Forum.


Thursday 26th find Jules Hill & Charlie Bath at The Tuppenny, Swindon, and Jim Blair at The Beehive, and the regular Chuckles Comedy Club at Meca.

Stallards in Trowbridge have an open mic night.

National Theatre Live film of Othello, at Pound Arts’ The Crucible in Corsham.

And in Bath we see the opening night of The Greatest Magician at the Rondo Theatre, running until 4th February. A dazzling new magic show, presented by James Phelan, the magician most famous for jamming the BBC switchboards after he correctly predicted the lottery, still he’s charging for tickets! This astonishing, enigmatic, five star rated magic show will leave you aching from laughter and dizzy in disbelief, apparently. Directed by the late Paul “that’s magic” Daniels, the enigmatic show comes to the stage for the first time.


Friday 27th the RSPB will be at Hillworth Park, Devizes, until Sunday, for a Big Garden Bird Watch.

Always great fun, Blondie & Ska play The Pelican in Devizes.

Find the ever-popular Kova Me Bad at The Lamb, Marlborough, while Marlborough Town Football Club has an open mic night from 6pm.

The wonderful Sour Apple are at Old Lane, Chippenham, while there’s one of those grownup pantos of Aladdin at The Neeld; really, though, has anyone been to one of these? Do let us know if it’s any good!

The incredible Jaz DeLorean features at Chapel Arts, Bath, while The Magic of Motown comes to Bath Forum, and Edward Bourne presents Sketchbook, at Rondo Theatre. A play where songs become sketches and sketches become songs as he embarks on his first gig as a jazz keyboardist, only to find the hour overrun by an hour-long string of sketchy flashbacks.

Flow & Hustle play The Winchester Gate in Salisbury.

In Swindon, find Texas Tick Fever at The Beehive, The Jukebox Graduates at The Swiss Chalet, and a triple punk bill at The Vic with Drag Me Down, Mad by Mourning and I See Orange. T-Rextasy tribute at the Wyvern.


Saturday 28th sees Sustainable Devizes at the Corn Exchange for a Think Energy talk from 10-2pm.

The Worried Men play The Southgate, and is quite simply unmissable for you rock fans, whereas B-Sides are at The Three Crowns, and though I’ve not heard these guys before, you’re always in for a great night there anyway!

Find Rob Childs at Woodbrough Social Club, and Josh Kumra at The Bear, Marlborough.

The annual charity 7 Bands in 7 Hours at Calne Liberal Club is happening Saturday, with End of Story, Six O’clock Circus, Homer, Apache Cats, Boston Green, Ukey Dukes and Lonely Daughter; a fiver recommended donation on the door. Think we should make this Editor’s Pick of the Week.

Melksham Rock n Roll Club monthly dance features The Rads, while Sonic Alert play The Pilot.

World Music Club at The Beehive in Swindon, Dury Duty, Mark Colton’s famed tribute to Ian Dury at The Vic, and the most amazing Bob Marley tribute, Legend is at Meca.

From Melbourne, Australia, sister duo Charm of Finches play Pound Arts, Corsham; haunted indie folk, about love, grief and whispering trees, with support from Luke De-Scisco.

Tim Baker plays Chapel Arts, Bath, while a Lucy Lucy and Pameli Benham comedy play, It’s the Hope is what you’ll find at the Rondo.

At Salisbury’s Brown Street find the P45s and Break Cover for a Salisbury Cat Protection fundraiser.

A tad further out, Rage Against the Machine tribute The Machine Rages On play Frome’s Tree House, and there’s the WinterFest at Clevedon.


Sunday 29th and Melksham Assembly Hall have a record fair.

The Film Orchestra play Blockbuster Movie Themes for an audience on Springfield Campus in Corsham.

Comedian Lloyd Griffith presents his One Tonne of Fun tour to Swindon Arts Centre, while at the Wyvern, Buffy Revamped is an Edinburgh Fringe smash-hit fast-paced parody for Buffy the Vampire Slayer aficionados, told through the eyes of Spike.

Rev. James & The Swingtown Cowboys play The Bell, Bath.


Monday 30th is the opening night of Ladies’ Day at Devizes’ Wharf Theatre, running until 4th February, Amanda Whittington play, Directed by John Winterton, previewed here, and tickets selling out fast!

Meanwhile, find Aaron Catlow & Brooks Williams at The Bell, Bath


Tuesday, I got nothing, yet, but do keep a check on our event calendar as updates come in, and check ahead for events in February, here. You need to start thinking about tickets for Wiltshire Climate Alliance’s benefit at the Corn Exchange with Seize the Day, of course, The Festival of Winter Ales, Sheer’s Emily Breeze at the Pump on 10th Feb is another one you’ll need to be quick on, and I like the sound of Adam & His Ants tribute Ant Trouble, who play Swindon’s Vic on the 11th. Seriously though, guys, thinking of trying to bring these guys to Devizes, good idea? Just need a venue, any suggestions?

Have a great weekend, wear an extra pair of socks!


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Weekly Roundup of Events in Wiltshire: 18th-24th January 2023

Back to a possibility of snow on Wednesday, the big freeze makes an unwelcome return, so please, if you’re heading out be careful. For those careful few, here’s what we’ve found to be doing this week. As usual you can find more details, links, and whatnots on our event calendar….

Wednesday 18th sees Winter Gems, a Lawrence Society art demonstration evening by Pam Lewis from Marston at Devizes Town Hall, and the regular acoustic jam at The Southgate.

Meanwhile, Amadou Diagne & Group Yakar play The Bell, Bath.

There’s an adult panto at the Wyvern, Swindon, Cinderella & Her Naughty Buttons. And Memory Cinema returns to Swindon Arts Centre screening The Wizard Of Oz.  Memory Cinema provides a facility where those living with dementia, their carers, friends, and families can watch a range of films.


Thursday 19th the incredible ZambaLando are live at The Beehive, Swindon, while the Wyvern, Arsenal legends Ray Parlour, Paul Merson and Perry Groves give a talk.


Friday 20th is heat one of local amateur musician’s contest Take the Stage, at The Neeld in Chippenham.

Melksham Assembly Hall plays host to Forbidden Nights, ladies, behave yourselves!

In Swindon the A K Poets take The Beehive, Get Carter play The Vic, and there’s Rave On – The Ultimate 50s & 60s Experience at the Wyvern.

Daytime in Bath, Rock the Tots take their Around the World Tour to the Rondo Theatre, and in the evening they’ve The People’s String Foundation Duo. One on my must-see hitlist, Adam and the Ants tribute Ant-Trouble play at The Royal Oak, and From the Jam are at Bath Forum.

They’ll be dancing in the dark at the Cheese & Grain in Frome with Springsteen tribute, Bruce Juice.


Saturday 21st and rock covers band Beyond the Storm play The Southgate, Devizes. Find Homer at The Cooper’s Arms, Pewsey, and El Toro at The Lamb, Marlborough.

At the Barge on Honeystreet, find NFA-TV and BishBosh presenting a night of “musikal mayhem” with the Radical Dance Faction, MC Basher, Doghouse and MCs, tenner on the door, extra £12.50 to camp.

Editor’s Pick of The Week this week must be the Bradford Roots Music Festival at Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford-on-Avon, which we’ve previewed HERE and unless completely snowed in, I hope to check it out personally.

Simon & Garfunkel Through the Years at The Neeld, Chippenham.

Devizes-own blues legend, Innes Sibun Blues Explosion play The Bell, Bath, while the Rondo Theatre has Jen Brister’s show, The Optimist.

The Rolling Clones tribute at The Vic in Swindon, Locomotion at The Swiss Chalet, Voodoo Room at Swindon Arts Centre, and ABBA Forever at the Wyvern.

Man of the World presents the Music of Peter Green at The Tree House, Frome, and that’s your Saturday night! Unless you know different? Do let us know.


Sunday 22nd Warmington, Lindley and Webb at The Bell, Bath.


Monday 23rd Eddie Martin’s turn at The Bell, Bath.


Tuesday 24th sees a Fish N Chip Supper & Quiz Night for the RNLI at Devizes Conservative Club.

Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls play Bath Forum, while Cirque – The Greatest Show comes to the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon.


Keep on scrolling through our event calendar to see just how 2023 is blossoming with things to do, far sooner than spring I might add! Have a great weekend, stay safe and don’t go changing just to please me.


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Weekly Roundup of Events in Wiltshire: 11th-17th January 2023

Well into new year and things are building up again slowly, let’s have a little looky at what’s going on locally over this coming week, if you fancy going out to beat the January blues….

As usual, details and links can be found on our updating event calendar; keep checking for future dates, and, some events for this week will inevitably crop up and I don’t often update them on these articles, only on the calendar. 

Wed 11th and I am assuming there will be the regular Acoustic Jam at The Southgate, Devizes. Meanwhile, at the Bell in Bath you can find the Dusk Art Rhythm Quartet.


Thursday 12th is the opening night for Beauty & The Beast, running until the 15th at The Rondo Theatre, Bath. Never too late for a panto!

Mark Farrelly, who you might recall as the creator of Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope, as seen at Devizes Arts Festival last year, has a play at Swindon Arts Centre. It’s a tribute to Frankie Howerd, called Howerd’s End.

Staying in Swindon, Canute’s Plastic Army play The Beehive, Swindon, while UK Pink Floyd Experience is at Wyvern.


Friday 13th might be unlucky for some, but not if you like Chicago blues and you live in Devizes. Editor’s Pick of The Week this week takes us to the Long Street Blues Club, where direct from the US of A, Billy Branch presents at night of Chicago Living Legends, Jamiah Rogers, and John Primer.

Suitable for ages 10+, Living Spit’s Puss in Boots– More Than A Feline comes to The Neeld in Chippenham, which contains a small amount of strong language and awful puns.

Outrageous comedy at Pound Arts, Corsham with Simon Brodkin’s Screwed Up Tour.

One local band to watch out for, Here Come the Crows, they play the Vic, Swindon, while the Calling Planet Earth show is at the Wyvern, a new romantic symphony that goes on a journey through one of the greatest musical eras of all time, the electrifying 80’s. Obviously, I’m far too young to remember that!

Oh, and Absolute Bowie at The Cheese & Grain, Frome.


Saturday 14th and you’ll find Finley & Mark at The Three Crowns, Devizes, and Celtic folk at The Southgate with the Cooper Creek Band.

The Buttmonkies at Stallards in Trowbridge, Legacy at the Pilot in Melksham.

For alt-rock, Britpop, and a dash of punk, check out Static Moves at The Pelican Inn in Froxfield.

Lauren Housley & Nigel Wearne play Chapel Arts, Bath.

Find His Way- The Frank Sinatra Story at The Neeld, Chippenham.

The Beehive in Swindon has an Open-Deck Vinyl Night, while Sister Sister play The Swiss Chalet, and Martin Kemp DJs an eighties set at MECA, plus, there’s a Rapport CIC Performance at Swindon Arts Centre called The Suitcase.


Sunday 15th and The Neeld is the company of Charlie Hides with some Comedy Drag Bingo, while Circus of Horrors: Haunted Fairground is at the Wyvern, Swindon.

For Bath-centric folk instrumental, find The Barton Street Regulators at The Bell, Bath.


Monday 16th sees the first instore session at Sound Knowledge, Marlborough, as Rozi Plain comes to play an intimate set.

Riaan Vosloo’s Uphill Game play The Bell, Bath.


And Tuesday I got nought, so far, save the first councillor’s surgery at Devizes Town Hall from 6pm, with Devizes Town councillors Chris Gay and Ian Pennington.


Unless I missed anything? Do let us know!

By now you should be thinking about tickets for Bradford Roots Music Festival at Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford-on-Avon, happening next Saturday 21st, The line-up can be found HERE. There’s also The Neeld’s Take The Stage happening next weekend. At the end of the month The Wharf Theatre’s production of Ladies Day, and lots more good, good stuff happening as ever, but you’ll only find them all collated and neatly folded together as one on Devizine!

 Have a great weekend!


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Former Devizes Resident Brings His Broken Hearts Club to St Johns Church

Brave New Broken Hearts Club is the acoustic folk-indie project of Neil Phillimore, who might sound as cockney as Ray Winstone singing Any Old Iron on his Facebook videos, but says he’s a former Devizes resident, and he’s returning for a one-off gig at St Johns, Friday 10th February…..

With his trademark brand of “engaging storytelling and warm, affecting songwriting,” he brings waterways London folk poet-singer Pearl Fish with him too.

Promising “an intimate evening of beautiful songwriting and human connection,” tickets are a tenner, HERE.


Breaking Hibernation; Adam Woodhouse at The Three Crowns

Arising like a brown bear from hibernation, now the Quality Street tin is all but empty wrappers and toffee pennies, I dropped briefly into The Three Crowns yesterday, to catch Adam Woodhouse strumming George Michael’s Faith….

Admist a quiet Devizes town, the faithful central perk was modesty busy under the circumstances, and this lively acoustic sololist was breaking January blues in the alcove. Perpetual drizzle reasoned me to drive, ergo it was more dipping my little toe into the live music water again, rather than the awakening of a standing dive; I’d rather be writing ‘Barbadoszine’ this time of year!

Though it was plentiful to acknowledge, through misty memories of the utterly spectacular show at Long Street Blues Club last year with Errol Linton, which could’ve obscured any support act, Adam Woodhouse is worth his weight in gold when it comes to putting a man with a guitar in a pub.

My reasoning thus; this guy’s repertoire is carefully selected not to be cliché, but still covers songs the audience will love. I collared him during his break, to question this; does he even do Wonderwall if requested?! He joyfully replied words to the effect of everyone had to have that under their belt in case of emergency cliché request, but asserted he favours an assortment of songs not so commonly covered.

In this, Petty’s Free Falling or Dylan’s Knocking on Heaven’s Door might not be the best examples, though Adam still comfortably rinses them with finesse. No, what I mean is Dire Straits’ Walk of Life, or Billy Bragg’s New England, but more so his affection for early rock n roll classics.

I noted a fair quantity of Elvis Presley covers when I saw Adam play Long Street, but was unsure if this was playing to the audience. Delighted to affirm now this wasn’t the case, when last night he knocked out great covers of rock n roll singalongs, Dion’s Runaround Sue, Cochran’s Summertime Blues and even some Monkees. But as I said at the beginning, I sauntered in to George Michael’s Faith, and he covered The Cure’s Friday, Im in Love too.

Confining himself to an era simply isn’t a thing for Adam, as we mutally agreed those rock n roll classics are timeless, but equally will any cover choices he makes be a delight to the audience. He does this comfortably, with slight banter, making Adam Woodhouse a perfect booking for the universal type pub where age demographics don’t exsist, and everyone enjoys singing along. And that’s precisely
the spirit in The Three Crowns, it’s forward-thinking, fresh and hospitable and caters for everyone.

Food is being served, tasty pub grub, but music is live and frequent. It is, however, elongated enough to hide away at another end for communal chat or eating, and its spacious fully-covered garden with heat lamps acts as a perfect extension to the pub, rather than the unsuitable and unkempt allotment-fashioned beer garden of others. Yeah, I feel at ease in the Three Crowns, it’s nice, and their affection for supporting local acts on the circuit is both popular and welcoming. Check our event calendar as shows at the Crowns fill most weekends.

That’s it, broke the seasonal spell, I’m back on the streets after yule, looking for quality entertainment, and Adam is one to watch.


Full-Tone Festival Announce 2023 Line-up

The Full-Tone Orchestra have released details of the 2023 line-up for their annual extravaganza, The Full-Tone Festival on Devizes Green, August bank holiday. It’s all on a rather smashing looking poster, unalike darker past posters with neon text, this time with a fresh use of pastel colours on white background, all very Degas I must say. While rain drizzles down our windows, let’s have a nose at what it says on there, shall we, and think of summer?!

A couple of years ago I published one of many list-type articles on the topic of forthcoming local festivals. Ah, phooey, it sparked a debate on social media because I didn’t include Devizes-own Full-Tone Festival, though the event did receive a sovereign preview of its own. My argument at the time was my definition of a festival was of multiple activities happenings across multiple sectors, therefore classing Full-Tone Festival, despite being named Full-Tone Festival, more in line with the word concert.

A technicality I’ve since altered my perspective of, and aside pigeonholing, for recent similar articles I’ve adopted the more causal, universal, and a smidgen double-entendre tagline, “Big Ones,” to encompass largescale events without categories, precisely so we can include things like Pewsey Carnival, and of course, The Full-Tone Festival. And in this, here’s the thing, who wants their event to be typecast and categorised? The Full-Tone Festival is what it is, and that “is” is something spectacular, annually happening now on our very turf, but mostly for point of this argument, something totally unique.

And of my technicality, Full-Tone acts as both sides of the debate, yes it shows off the incredible talent and togetherness of the Full-Tone Orchestra, an ensemble which will voyage to impressive venues like Wells Cathedral and Bath Abbey this year, but also showcases diverse local and national acts. Their social media posts boast “it’s going to be SUCH an amazing weekend of music! 50 musicians and singers, over 100 rotating over the weekend, plus some pretty amazing guests!” If you got it, flaunt it, darling! But honestly, it’s a highly impressive weekend, and they’ve every right to show it off!

Full-Tone Festival opens on the Saturday, for example, showcasing a set of classical proms, and features Full-Tone chief organiser Jemma Brown with her new vocal quartet, The Four Sopranos, consisting of Lucia Pupilli, Tabitha Cox, and Teresa Isaacson too.

Local rock n roll legends and regulars at Full-Tone, Pete Lamb and The Heartbeats are the first guests, followed by the orchestra taking off again for the ever-popular “big TV and movie themes” section, of which I always look forward to Jurassic Park the most, don’t know why, just do. Any comments on social media suggesting it’s because I’m a dinosaur will be deleted!

If, so far critics could cough up the “samey” tosh, I’d argue possibly, but certain elements of this event have become welcomed stalwarts, and why change it just to please them? We love it just the way it is! Besides, here’s a totally new one on me, The House Iguanas promises “massive bonkers brilliant sax, DJ and bongos,” and with that, could you ask for anything more diverse?

Saturday night closes with the reappearance of the orchestra’s The Ultimate Dance Anthems, which being they only scootered around last year with nineties pop hits, for me, personally, and literally from the sheer eruption of enthusiasm of the crowd of previous years, I’m sure will be a very welcomed return, with glowsticks.

If Saturdays showcases the orchestra foremost, I must say it’s more diverse this year, and, Sunday tends to focus on other acts more, anyways. Though the orchestra opens the day with the “Big Sound” section of this remarkable concert manifold, North Wiltshire big band 41 Degrees take over straight after. They’re the wedding function band of the wedding you’d never forget, with a spanning repertoire from Duke Ellington and Glenn Miller, through Rat Pack and Weather Report, to the Killers and Oasis. There’s nothing like big band pop covers, often showing shame to the originals, and this sounds cool as.

A highlight of last year’s Devizes Street Festival, those funky mavericks of Mardi Gras and New Orleans jazz, The Brass Junkies revisit our soil, and remember; brass is class.

Time for the Full-Tone Orchestra to finish off their pizzas and get back onto that notable stage for a section of West End Musical hits. It must be exhausting, blowing into that brass, precisely plucking those strings and whatever else they need to do to create these massive sounds, not forgoing conductor Anthony Brown must be at risk of repetitive strain injury over the weekend.

Wowzers, and I’ve not got to the best bit, least what I think is the best bit, because this info was leaked to me by the band, but sworn to secrecy I couldn’t even blow my own trumpet and act all smarmy about, until now, so I will, thank you; Talk in Code play the finale guest set. A mighty local indie-pop band which, if you don’t know you must be new to Devizine, and I urge you pay more attention in future! Yes, forgive my plug, but they are coming to my birthday party at the Three Crowns on March 4th, and YOU are all welcome, but again, and in summary to the Full-Tone Festival as a whole, playing up on that breath-taking stage, with matchless acoustics is something else, and well worth the ticket stub. There’s nothing else quite like it in Devizes.

If Talk in Code have that stylised knack of capturing something decidedly eighties within their original material, Sunday aptly closes with the orchestra one final time, giving it whooping eighties bangers, which by then if you’re not completely satisfied, I suggest you urgently seek professional medical attention!

Early bird tickets are HERE, or at Devizes Books. Kids under 14 go free with a paying adult, £45 for the weekend (£35 before the 31st January), £35 for the day. And there it is, apologises for waffling, but it is all terribly exciting!


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Featured Photo credit: Jus Carroll

It’s been far too long since Bristol-based singer-songwriter Gaz Brookfield has had a mention on our pages, so here’s a belated Christmas present from this amazing performer, a name-your-price download of a live album you’ll be sorry to have missed out on otherwise.

Of course, I only say belated because I’ve failed to mention it between munching on Quality Street until only toffee pennies and empty wrappers remain, and putting batteries in things, for Gaz released this Christmas Eve. It’s recorded live at Esquires in Bedford, back in November as part of a tour whereby his Patreon page members chose the setlist. So, expect a mixture of the best songs old and new, but be safe in the knowledge they’re accomplished acoustically. Without backing from The Company of Thieves, here is Gaz, warts, and all, as he apologises for a sore throat but, as you could imagine if you’ve seen this character before, still manages to pull a blinder.

I honestly didn’t expect to pick up on tracks I’d recall, but was reminded of one particularly adroitly written chef-d’oeuvre, The Tale of Gunner Haines, a true story of a solider assigned to Somerset’s Brean Down Fort, who was reprimanded for reporting in late from an unauthorised leave, due to a flat tyre on his bicycle, and promptly took 5,000 lbs of gunpowder and blew himself and the barracks to smithereens.

If this comes across rather Ralph McTell or Eric Bogle, historical narratives are a scarcity in Gaz’s repertoire, rather drawing influences from everyday observations and personal reflections. And to argue these subjects are cliché, I’d nod, but allow me thus, Gaz does it so incredibly well, the thoughts and observations of many others pale by comparison. So, as every good live album should, there’s abridged chat, confidently amusing and relative, and then there’s these ingenious prose pieces of aging and his youth, of medical issues, his affection for the ordinary from maps to gardening, and much to deliberate on the matter of being a musician on the road, self-deemed a “land pirate,” and particularly amusing when character assassinating drunks at his gigs.

Within it, Gaz states he follows a serious song with a “silly” one, but the lines between sentimental and amusing are blurred, you take what you want from each, for if a good sign for the performer who uses the tenet of personal reflection as topic is that you come away from listening thinking you know the person, Gaz will seem like your best mate. This open fellow is a lively Billy Bragg at his peak, a West Country Springsteen of storytelling, with the carefree attitude to pigeonholing of James Taylor and the coolness of Leonard Cohen. The sum of these parts is a highly entertaining show.

If this live recording shouldn’t be treated as comprehensive, but a teaser for you to explore more of his discography, I guarantee you’ll come away from it wanting more.


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Explosive Minds & ZambaLando: Swindon’s Connection to Afro Latin Funk

Patiently waiting for a good reason to feature ZambaLando, Wiltshire’s premier funksters of Afro-Latino beats, so upon the release of the follow-up album to 2020’s Carry On, off we virtually trot to Swindon for a worthy tropical musical expedition!

If there’s ever a criticism over Ry Cooper’s nineties Son adventures with the Buena Vista Social Club, it’s usually the style projected was rather outdated, and not in line with the popular sounds of Cuba at the time. Naturally the counter-argument here is advances in music technology arriving in developing worlds often creates much sparser, avant-garde, and radical subgenres within their pop, which to the western world’s untrained ear can be difficult to differentiate and adopt. So, makes sense for world music bands in Europe and USA to implement a melting pot, fusing styles under blanket terms such as Afro-beat and Afro-Funk.

While I could throw this debate on ZambaLando’s table, given Carry On is an unconditionally unique and beautiful album, its melting pot is spiced with salsa, merengue, lando, festejo, samba and bossa nova, yet all conveyed in a rather traditional and jazzy fashion, the world is smaller place than it was when Cooper popularised the Buena Vista Social Club, thanks to the internet, and through websites like Bandcamp one can easily backpack the planet virtually and be more aware of current global trends. I’m pleased to report back, that ZambaLando have stepped it up a colossal “modernised” notch with this month’s newly released Explosive Mind.

As the title suggests, it is such; explosive, with more contemporary offerings than the styles incorporated within Carry On, which if akin to Antônio Carlos Jobim, Latino-wise, and Fela Kuti and Tony Allen’s archaic afrobeat originations, Explosive Mind really pushes the boundaries of experimentation, often with the serenest ambient soundscapes, like the track Hay Mi Lando, or exotically dubbed, like Siku Funk, but what is more, from the off, the title track, it comes across with a greater and more wholesome funk tenet; irresistibly danceable and strikingly modern.

It doesn’t lose sight of their roots, though, and pre-subgenres of salsa, merengue, lando, festejo, samba and bossa nova are clearly still present. At times it embraces them fully, as Carry On did, yet at others it plays with them; this makes it the “journey” I suggested it is. So, if I expressed how Hay Mi Landos loses you in electronic ambience, it also ingeniously encompasses bossa nova too. Again, the following songs Little Baby and Sorry, are soulfully blessed, yet wouldn’t look out of place of NYP’s Mukambo Global Beats anthologies, which offers only the most contemporary of world music.

There’s mellower moments of romantically-themed jazzy blues-fashioned bliss as the album progresses, with masterpieces like Walking Along the River but the finale of this ten-track marvel, Quédate No Te Vayas is precisely the definition of what I’m trying to convey here; it rocks steady, samba fashion, incorporating up-to-date techniques to present this traditional, magical blend of Latino afro-funk subgenres as something worthy for your modern ears, and it doesn’t try to trick you with complexities of the ever-changing global pop either, just smooths all the way through.

I’m so pleased ZambaLando have provided this option locally, for their musical multiplicity is a blessing in a somewhat narrowly sundry circuit, and this album presents it in such a sublime way, while they gig prolifically in their hometown, I can imagine this will bring them to wider appeal. If I let you into a secret I might get in trouble for leaking, you won’t tell, will you?! But on my recommendation, Devizes Arts Festival are in talks with ZambaLando, entreating my passion to get them in playing our humble town, of which I’m thoroughly grateful for, and this album, Explosive Mind, illustrates exactly why I’ve such enthusiasm to do this!

Give it a listen this winter, it’ll warm you up cheaper than British Gas will!


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Proving That There’s More To Life Than Football!

Andy Fawthrop

Another perishingly cold weekend in D-Town, but there was plenty of music and entertainment on offer to warm the heart.  So I went off on a Winter wander to see what was on offer.

Unfortunately I had to miss Friday night’s Butch Hopkins Memorial Gig at The Corn Exchange, featuring Jon Amor and Innes Sibun.  I would dearly loved to have gone, but was prevented by another commitment.  Talking to people who did go, however, I was told that a great night was had by all.  

But by Saturday I was fully on my mission.  Whilst the editor of this esteemed digital mag was indulging his nostalgic love of Ford Cortinas and Slade tribute bands in Marlborough, I took to the mean streets of D-Town.

First off to St John’s for the Big Sound’s Christmas concert.  This was a gig of two halves.  The first half featured songs by a number of individual guest singers, including some very young soloists, each one of whom knocked it out of the park, despite the daunting prospect of standing up alone in front of hundreds of people.  Hats off!

The second half moved up a gear and featured the big guns of the eponymous The Big Sound – a massive and marvellous choir, marshalled by the enthusiastic Jemma Brown.  The choir was not formed particularly with formal concerts in mind, but more as an ongoing exercise in what Jemma herself describes as “music, singing, wellbeing, friendship, laughter and fun” (the choir meets and sings every Tuesday night).  Those values certainly shone through as the choir strode their way through a number of Christmas-related songs.  The highlight, particularly in the fun department, was the audience participation in The Twelve Days Of Christmas.  Everyone on stage looked as if they were enjoying themselves hugely, and the audience were kept warm both by singing and by the mulled wine being served at the back.  And to top all that, it would appear that the two charities being supported last night (Devizes Open Doors and Dorothy House) would have benefited somewhere in the region of £2000 – a terrific performance all round.  Given that this was the choir’s first-ever gig, it was what I can only describe as a stunning success.

Of course there was other stuff on around town, but my next venue of choice for the night was The Southgate.  Unfortunately, due to Covid, Dr. Zebo’s Wheezy Club had had to cancel at the very last minute, but the ever-resourceful Debbie had managed to find her friends (and fantastic musicians) Tim Madden (guitar and vocals) and Melinda Rozsahegyi (12-string pedal-steel guitar), both of The Duskers to play at the last moment.  From a relatively quiet start, the crowd grew as the evening wore on, and the place was pretty packed by the end.  Tim’s laid-back and mournful vocals, accompanied by gentle and under-stated guitar proved a perfect foil for Melinda’s pedal-steel.  I think it’s the association with Country music and the heart-rending lyrics of you-done-me-wrong songs, but there’s something infinitely sad and haunting about the sound of pedal-steel.  As it was, we had two great hour-long sets, and I left for home with just a liddle biddy tear in my eye.

But there was still more to come.  D-Town doesn’t stop after Saturday night, it carries on until we all have to go back to work on Monday morning.

So Sunday got off to an early start.  When there’s a Market Place full of farm machinery, why would you want to be anywhere else?  Due to (as I understand it) insurance issues, Devizes Young Farmers were unable to stage their now-usual Tinsel & Tractor run through the Wiltshire countryside, ending up in D-Town, and so they did the next best thing – a static display.  Whilst this might have been a little less exciting, and to feature rather less units, having the machines parked up in neat rows in The Market Place gave everyone a chance to get really close up.  I’ve never seen so much clean (and often new) farm machinery – just makes you appreciate the level of modern technology that goes into producing the food that we all take for granted.  I’ve also never seen so many strapping and weather-beaten chaps proudly displaying their vehicles.  There were loads of stalls, including food offerings, and stuff for the kiddi-winkies to do too.  Hopefully the day raised a shedload of money for Dorothy House, so another hats off to the organisers.

Afternoon is the time to go the pub, right?  Keen to observe this custom in full, and never one to shirk my reporting responsibilities, I fearlessly went to two of our finest establishments.  It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. 

First to The White Bear to see my mate Jamie R Hawkins in a now-rare solo performance away from his Lost Trades buddies.  It was really good to see and hear him in action again, and good to see that he’s retained all his good humour and singer/ songwriter skills. The songs were still there, that distinctive voice was still in evidence.  Always a class act.

Finally it was back up to The Southgate, following the football, to catch It’s Complicated’s Christmas party.  Again it was good to see an old mate, this time in the shape of Tim Watts behind the drums.  Accompanied by Jacqi Sherlock (keys and vocals), Tom Evans (guitar and vocals), and Adrian Mundy (bass guitar), it was another of those gigs that really built momentum ass it went along.  They’re a covers band, but definitely a musical step up from yer average pub band.  They don’t just play the more “obvious” cloud-pleasers – they’re happy to take on some less well-known stuff.  The musicianship, and their ability to use their own arrangements to lift a number out of the ditch of a mere slavish copy, means that they’re a notch or two better than the mere average.  Jacqi’s vocals, in particular, really lifted some of the songs.

And because it was a Christmas party, the set-list included a number of Crimbo classics that we could all belt out.  You don’t have to go all the way to Marlborough to see a Slade tribute act to get a dose of “Here It Is – Merry Christmas”.  Tim did a passable impression of Noddy Holder, belting out the song, whilst doing some heavy-duty tub-thumping.

So – all-in-all – plenty of stuff to keep me out of trouble.  And away from the football.

And – as a final note – I’d like to add a massive thank-you to all those shakers and movers, the organisers and planners, those people who get off their arses in our little town and put all of these events on for us to enjoy.  There are lots of them throughout the year, and at a lot of venues, but just based on the above things that fed my particular week-end, a big hats off to Ian Hopkins (Long Street Blues), Dave & Debbie (The Southgate), Marc & Georgie (The White Bear), Jemma Brown (The Big Sound) and the Devizes Young Farmers.  Hats off.  Well done to all of them.


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In an attempt at a humorous Facebook status update a few years back I wrote a list headlined “it’s not Christmas until….” One option was “Hanz Gruber falls from the Nakatomi Plaza,” and another was “Noddy Holder calls it.” With Alan Rickman sadly passed, and a “will-they-won’t-they” Slade reform scenario apt for NME speculation clickbait, neither look likely. But the latter was as close as dammit last night in the glorious Marlborough College Memorial Hall, when, thanks to the MantonFest team, Slade tribute Slyde supremely tore down the impressively high ceiling with a retrospective seventies glam rock extravaganza. Yep, it’s now officially Christmas by my reckoning!

Though the Noddy-a-like frontman teased the audience he wouldn’t play Slade’s seasonal magnum opus, when they did, obviously for a finale, I was deep in conversation with purple goatee-bearded harmonica player, Nick Beere of supporting act Barrelhouse, about our dad’s make of cars in the seventies! The topic spurred by something the Noddy-alike (let’s call him by stage-name Nobby Boulder hereafter,) jested on stage, in true Black Country fashion, praising their attributing decade, “we all knew someone who drove a Ford Cortina!” Which coincidentally occurred just as I was contemplating the best method of assessing the value of a tribute act is to consider if a fan you know would appreciate them, and my dad loved Slade….and yeah, he drove a brown Cortina too!

For while uncannily looking and sounding akin to Slade to the point Nobby was mistaken for him in the street and actual band members endorse them, Slyde refrained from simply belting out their celebrated discography, opting to meld them with other sing-along classics of the glam era, only in the fashion Slade would’ve covered them in. This formed more a seventies nostalgia show than simply a tribute to one act, yet somehow retained the ambience of a Slade gig with silver disc top hats on. I mention this element now to answer the last paragraph’s question, would my dad have loved it? Undoubtedly, he would’ve, and been up doing his unique dad dancing, to the point I could envision his smirk through the crowds of bopping Marlborough folk. I was nailing “most definitely” prior to the icing on the cake, that being the final blast of Jeff Beck’s Hi Ho Silver Lining, as here is a tune which uncompromisingly dragged my dad to any dancefloor, to the point I parodied the lyrics into my eulogy to him.

But covers came thick, fast, and accomplished, much to the audience’s delight. Betwixt Slade’s greatest hits they were treated to Bowie’s Rebel Rebel, Sweet’s Fox on the Run and, Blockbuster in a medley with Gene Genie, Rod’s Maggie May, even Showaddywaddy’s Under the Moon of Love and Joan Jett’s I Love Rock n Roll, among others which included seasonal favourite Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day. In YouTubing other Slade tributes, including the ingeniously named all-female one Slady, nothing appears to be of the calibre of Slyde, such is the ethos when MantonFest choose a tribute act, heralding two at this summer’s festival; Rolling Stones Now and Badness.

For me personally, I might, on another day, rant on a loathing of the glam rock genre, because I’m of the era just past this, when it was considered uncool to like what your parents liked. But hearing these seventies anthems, played so thoroughly loud and proudly, was pure and embracing nostalgia for me, and certainly too for the elders of the vast age demographic present.

As reminiscences flooded my neurons last night, of family parties, of driving to the tip with my dad, and so many others when these classics were embedded in my mind from the Cortina’s mono shortwave radio, I’m at the age when I can shake off trends, and proudly announce these were my songs of growing up, no matter how I’d never wear platform shoes with goldfish in, they were what shaped my eclectic tastes. In conclusion to this point, it is one thing for me to praise a Bob Marley tribute act, or other firmly of my darlings, but for something slightly out of my like bracket, like Slade, I might be a tad more critical, yet Slyde ticked every box for me, and were utterly fantastic.

One could deem Slade an easy target to tribute, on account as was the era, Noddy was a shouty vocalist and the band took themselves with a pinch of salt, but those memorable gritty choruses were performed in such a precise manner by Nobby, that this ranks topper-most on the tribute acts list I’ve borne witness to.

Of course, this was assisted by the astounding venue and its acoustics, something which took the support act, Barrelhouse to another level of professionalism. Ah, yeah, let’s not forget to mention, before all this, this vintage blues band stalwart of any MantonFest event was present, and typically performed a belter. A set change due to a broken string on Tim’s handmade cigar-box guitar didn’t falter their blinding performance, for if seeing a Springsteen gig in New Jersey is on another level from seeing a Springsteen gig elsewhere, it’s a similarity with Barrelhouse on their home turf of Marlborough.

It never ceases to amaze me how this band, their excellence in being united, can attract such a vast age demographic by both covering the old-timey jump blues classics of Bo Diddly and Howlin’ Wolf et al, and arranging their own original songs akin to this notion. It can only be these are timeless, as Barrelhouse knock out their regular setlist I never tire of hearing, of Hoochie Coochie Man, and You Can’t Judge a Book, alongside the 12-bar version of Ace of Spades, finale of Everybody Needs Somebody to Love and an added Shakey Christmas cover for seasonal effect.

Breathtakingly on form Barrelhouse looked last night in these impressive surroundings, and making full use of the circular extended stage. Wow, what a venue, and what a night; It’s Christmasssss at Marlborough College’s Memorial Hall!  


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Sustainable Devizes’ Advent{ure} Reuse Christmas continues at The Little Green, Devizes, and runs until Christmas Eve. Little Red Riding Hood continues at the Wharf, but alas, is sold out.


Tuesday 13th there will be beer & carols at The Southgate, Devizes, and some Christmas Memories at Melksham Assembly Hall.


Wednesday 14th and it’s the regular Acoustic Jam at The Southgate, Devizes. Also, a lunchtime harp recital by Lise Vandermissen at Pound Arts, Corsham, and the regular Chuckles Comedy Club at Meca, Swindon.


Thursday 15th and Kairo Beats, Chloe Hepburn and PX do the Tuppeny, Swindon, while Christmas by Candlelight is happening at Meca.


Friday 16th sees the Butch Hopkins Memorial Gig at The Corn Exchange, Devizes.

Humdinger play The Cooper’s Arms, Pewsey.

80s-90s Christmas Party at Melksham Assembly Hall.

Highly recommended Monkey Bizzle play The Three Horseshoes, Bradford-on-Avon, while you’ll find Bluesoul at The Boathouse, and Swinging at the Cotton Club at Wiltshire Music Centre, after a related swing dance workshop.

There’s a Rockin’ & Swingin’ Evening at Chapel Arts, Bath.

Over in Swindon, find Barrelhouse at The Queen’s Tap, Bublé at Christmas is happening at Meca, but don’t get over excited, Bublé fans, he’s not there, rather it’s some of the country’s top musicians celebrating the music, the arrangements, and the tours that the man himself has made so successful…. apparently!

The Sweet play the Cheese & Grain, Frome, with Abba tribute SOS at the Tree House.


Saturday 17th and it’s Lego club at Chippenham Library from 3-4pm.

Christmas in the Park at Hillworth Park, Devizes, though tickets to see Father Christmas are sold out now. Sustainable Devizes will be at St James for a toy and book swap (details) until 2pm. The Corn Exchange has the Devizes Christmas Vegan Fair.

Near sold out, it’s everyone’s favourite soprano, Chloe Jordan, who is at Devizes Town Hall with a Classic Christmas concert in aid of Wiltshire Air Ambulance. Devizes Community Choir are at St Johns, for a Big Sing Christmas Concert in aid of Dorothy House and Open-Doors. Highly recommended, Dr Zeebos Wheezy Club play The Southgate.


Editor’s Pick of the Week

It’s Chrrriissssssmmmasss at Marlborough Memorial Hall, when MantonFest hosts a Christmas Concert with Slade tribute Slyde, and naturally, the fantastic Barrelhouse. Despite all the amazing stuff going on this weekend, it’s not Christmas until Noddy, or least a Noddy-a-like calls it, so I’m thinking this should be Editor’s Pick of the Week.


Meanwhile, Pete Lamb’s Heartbeats play Woodborough Social Club’s Christmas Dance, and throw in a free ploughman’s lunch on the deal!

In the Sham, the Assembly Hall has The Rock-A-Toons for a Melksham Rock N Roll Club dance, and The Beverley May Band plays The Milk Churn.

Double-header at The Lamb, Trowbridge with Lucky Number Seven & The Foundations. John Kirkpatrick’s Carolling & Crumpets at Pound Arts, Corsham. It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year show at Chapel Arts, Bath.

Danny and the Randoms do The Swiss Chalet in Swindon, while it’s the annual 12 Bands of Christmas at The Vic, and the Tuppeny has a DJ set from Random Rules, “I’ll Make You a Tape.”

Shy FX featuring Stamina MC at the Cheese & Grain, Frome, with The Ramonas at The Tree House, and Flash Harry plays The Cornerhouse.


Sunday 18th The Christmas Celebration of Music for Miniatures will be at Devizes Corn Exchange. It’s Christmas Party time with It’s Complicated at The Southgate, and Jamie R Hawkins does an afternoon set at The White Bear.

St Agnes Fountain play Marlborough Folk Roots club, at Marlborough Town Hall.

GBH Big Band at Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford-on-Avon, while The Worried Men plays The Three Horseshoes.

Christmas Sunday Swingout Social at Meca, Swindon, finishes off our weekend listings, and if I have to type the word “Christmas” one more time, I’m going to come over all Uncle Scrooge! Note though, this list is NEVER exhaustive, more events are coming to our attention, so keep one eye on our event calendar and the other on our social media pages.

Monday 19th, find Scratchworks Theatre at Pound Arts, Corsham with a show Wild, Wild Woods. Tuesday 20th and I’ve got nothing; hide under the duvet!

And you know what, events for New Year’s Eve are looking pretty thin at the moment, perhaps you need to send us details of what you’re doing for the big one?!


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REVIEW – Lachy Doley @ Corn Exchange, Devizes – Friday 9th December 2022

Awesome Aussie!

Andy Fawthrop

On a perishingly cold night in D-Town, the one thing you needed was to get warm as soon as possible.  And fortunately for us there was some genuine Australian heat waiting for us.

Paul Chandler’s Longcroft Productions had done the business yet again.  Pulling off something of a coup by securing the Lachy Doley band’s only UK date on their current European tour, they were rewarded by a very large crowd filling all the tables in the Corn Exchange, including folks who had travelled enormous distances just to be there on the night.  Would it all be worthwhile?  Would the reality live up to the hype of the publicity?

There was no support act (and none was needed to be fair), so we were straight on with the entertainment.  After a clearly emotional introduction from Paul, the Aussies hit the stage.  Although perhaps less well known in Europe than in his native Australia, virtuoso keyboard player Lachy Doley (dubbed the Jimi Hendrix of the Hammond), had a lot to live up to.  He was joined by bassist Joel Burton and drummer Jackie Barnes.  

Playing a mixture of self-penned pieces, with a leavening of classic covers, the band absolutely lit up the stage from the get-go, producing a mounting wave of high-energy numbers.  Lachy himself was an absolute bundle of enthusiasm and commitment, attacking his keyboards with total commitment, from every angle and using every part of his body (it seemed) to produce some astonishing music.  Sitting, kneeling, standing, crouching – it made no difference.  Everything came out to stunning effect.

((Just for the technically-minded, he was playing a 1971 UK spec B3 Hammond with two 122 Leslies, and a vintage Hohner D6 Whammy Clavinet.  The Clavinet is an electrically amplified clavichord invented in the 1960s, which produces sounds by a rubber pad striking a point on a tensioned string, and designed to resemble the Renaissance-era clavichord.  The clavinet was pushed through a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe amp.))  And for the less technically-minded (like me), the upshot of all this clever stuff was a set-up that enabled him to play the keyboard as if it were a guitar.  And it was quite something to both watch and to listen to.  As an early demonstration of just what it could do, the band’s version of Hendrix’s Voodoo Chile a couple of numbers in nearly brought the house down.

He’d  got us – from there on it was all downhill.  Two hours of soul, blues, funk and rock followed, with each number drawing huge applause.  Lachy’s own numbers such as The Only Cure For The Blues Is The Blues, Making It Up As I Go Along, and the storming Frankly My Dear I Don’t Give A Damn were certainly superb, but the biggest applause went to astonishingly good covers of Procul Harum’s Whiter Shade Of Pale, and Chicago’s I’m A Man.  There were set pieces, there was some jazz-like improv, and there were spaces for solos, but the trio was always tight as gnat’s armpit when it mattered.

It’s hard to stay away from superlatives.  My friend described the man as “awesome”.  Another word I heard used by several people was “genius”, and “virtuoso”.  We certainly saw and heard something very special.  The evening ended with an encore, a standing/ stomping/ clapping ovation, and another encore.  Astonishing, great entertainment.

And finally a big shout-out (yet again) to all those who made this possible – stage set-up, the light show, spot-on sound, and general organisation from Longcroft Productions.  All very professional and well presented.  D-Town is indeed lucky to have you guys doing what you do.


Weekly Roundup of Events in Wiltshire: 7th-14th December 2022

It’s beginning to look a lot like…. another week in early December; bar humbug! Therefore, here’s what’s doing in and around Wiltshire, all of which can be found on our event calendar, with further info and ticket links.….

If we missed your event, did you tell us about it? It’s free to be listed on Devizine, just drop us a message.

Ongoing, is Sustainable Devizes’ Advent{ure} Reuse Christmas on The Little Green, Devizes, where you can be part of a living Advent Calendar! So many organisations have gathered for this, it’s all very festive, and running until Christmas Eve.


Wednesday 7th is the regular acoustic jam at The Southgate, Devizes, while White Horse Opera hold their Christmas Concert at St John’s.


Thursday 8th, there’s Craft and Chat at Chippenham Library, and the 14th Annual Pound Arts Open Exhibition at Pound Arts in Corsham.

Find a Vocation Naughty & Nice Drink-a-Long at The Snuffbox, Devizes, Oxbowlake & Shedric play The Tuppenny, Swindon, while Boo Hewerdine’s Understudy Tour happens at Chapel Arts, Bath, with The Wurzels’ Christmas Tour comes to Komedia.


Friday 9th Southbroom St James Academy in Devizes have a Christmas Fayre from 5-7pm.

Little Red Riding Hood – The Panto opens at The Wharf Theatre, Devizes, running until December 17th, sorry, this has sold out.

Elsewhere in Devizes though, find a Christmas Celebration Concert with Devizes Good Afternoon Choir at St Andrews, and it’s the grand evening for Longcroft Productions with Lachy Doley at The Corn Exchange. Sour Apple play The Three Crowns, and The Muck & Dunder have a Ten Hides Distillery Tasting session.

Sandi Thom plays Pound Arts in Corsham, Courtney Pine’s Spirituality is at Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford-on-Avon, while Severance plays The Three Horseshoes there. The Super Skas at Chapel Arts, Bath. On my must-see list, Ant Trouble, Adam & His Ants tribute plays The Tree House, Frome.

The Guns & Roses Experience at The Vic, Swindon, while The Britpop Boys takes Level III, Behind Bars at The Rolleston, and the Tuppeny has The Electric Kool-Aid Audio Test. Night one of The Great Gatsby at MECA.


Saturday 10th, regular Lego Club at Chippenham Library from 3-4pm.

Mark Smallman plays The Southgate, Devizes, while Illingworth are at The Crown, Bishops Cannings.

Be Like Will play The Talbot, Calne, while Old Friends are at The Wheatsheaf.

Homer plays The Lamb, Marlborough, while its sound system night at The Barge on Honeystreet, with the Jah Lion Movement Sound System, a fiver on the door.

Looking For Me Friend: The Music of Victoria Wood by The Cabaret Geek at Pound Arts, Corsham, while The Choir of Clare College Cambridge are at the Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford-on-Avon.

Untamed Burlesque at Chapel Arts, Bath.

While The Great Gatsby continues at MECA in Swindon, ZambaLando are live at Baristocats, and ravers flock to Level III for the Midlife Krisis Crew will be in effect.


Sunday 11th Devizes Town Band have a Christmas Party at The Corn Exchange.

Wiltshire Young Musicians Christmas Festival at Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford-on-Avon, while Cydernide & Tharsis play The Three Horseshoes.

A Winter Union at Chapel Arts, Bath, and Frome Vegan Fair at the Cheese & Grain.


Monday 12th and Saint Michael and All Angels in Hilperton have a concert; Follow the Star – Doves Peace Choir & Ebonite. And there’s the Rock the Tots Christmas Show at Pound Arts, Corsham


Tuesday 13th and find Beer & Carols at The Southgate, Devizes, and some Christmas Memories at Melksham Assembly Hall.


Wednesday 14th regular acoustic Jam at The Southgate, Devizes, a lunchtime harp recital by Lise Vandermissen at Pound Arts, Corsham, and Chuckles Comedy Club at MECA in Swindon.


And that’s all I got so far, folks, but we do update regularly, so keep one eye on our event calendar. It’s also good for future planning, just keep on scrollin’, dude!

Things you need to be thinking about for the following weeks ahead: starter for ten, the Butch Hopkins Memorial Gig at The Corn Exchange, Devizes Friday 16th and you’ll be hard pressed for tickets to Bublé at MECA or The Sweet at the Cheese & Grain on that day.

Breathtakingly amazing local soprano Chole Jordan’s Classical Christmas on Saturday 17th at Devizes Town Hall, in aid of Wiltshire Air Ambulance, but I’m planning be at Marlborough Memorial Hall for MantonFest are having a Christmas party with Barrelhouse and Slade tribute Slyde, and you know it’s not Christmas until Noddy calls it! Do join me for that one.

Have a great weekend but behave; he knows if you’ve been bad or good!

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Alex Roberts at The Barge, Honeystreet 

by Ben Romain and Victoria Stanley

We ventured out to the Barge to catch Alex Roberts after first seeing him at The Southgate, Devizes on the highest recommendation of Devizes favourite Vince Bell. That was an introduction to an artist well worth following; so we duly did! 

The Barge has had its challenges in years past with unique past owners and misplaced concepts of what this particular Inn’s place in the community actually is, but happily this experience was more like earliest memories of folk gigs there twenty years before and a great venue to visit once again.

There was a warm welcome into a crowd of characters, some from miles away, pleased to follow Alex and regulars of the Inn and many boaters amongst them. A good foil for a talented folk singer, this crowd knowing as many on the cut do, how to sing and encourage willing musicians! 

Alex loves the Barge, and settled into the ‘stage’ corner with a plethora of instruments, we were treated to interpretations of many great songs in the folk/blues traditions and of course brilliant songs of his own pen. 

Pyramid – Alex Roberts a fantastic song of his own writing, my favourite from his songbook this gig. Then covers such as ‘Girl from the North Country’, Bob Dylan delivered with such warmth and sensibility and a lifelong Dylan fan (such as myself) was enthralled.

So a lovely return to a great local venue and a great gig; everything you want from a Saturday eagerly awaited for this very reason. 

The Barge has a very active Facebook page and many gigs / events, we will certainly be making more of an effort to fit some in following this gig. 


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Swindon Paint Fest: Live Street Art in October

Though Ken White’s murals have been seen across Swindon for decades, particularly his Golden Lion at the Whale Bridge roundabout on Fleming Way, contemporary street…

I Shuffled in Swindon, and I Liked It!

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Furlong Close Celebration

Residents of Furlong Close in Rowde mingled with staff, the new owners, villagers, councillors, and many of the campaigners which made up the Familes and…

Sheer Music Grand Return to Devizes

Ah, it’s on the grapevine alright; godfather of Wiltshire’s millennial live indie scene, Kieran Moore isn’t sneaking in the back door with his tail between…

Mighty Mighty; The Scribes Storm the Muck!

Another fantabulous evening at Devizes’ tropical holiday resort, The Muck and Dunder rum bar, where Bristol’s boom bap trio I’ve been hailing since day dot, The Scribes, came, saw, matchlessly interacted with the audience, and tore the place down with a riotous show of incredible skill and talent; secretly, it was foreseeable months ago……

Again, straw hats off to the Muck, just like previous evenings with the Allergies, Jimmy Needles and recently the BBC Introducing showcase, it’s the like we don’t usually see in our humble market town. Something I’ve been excited about before even leaking the scoop, hyping up here till the cows come home, and still, it exceeded my expectations. It did so with one most important element; Devizes showed their respect loud and proud, attending in full force for this sell-out show, and made me honoured to illustrate what I’d hitherto promised to frontman Ill Literate, and even his dad, Literate senior(!); this is our hometown, it punches well above its weight in knowing how to party.

For if there are others of this calibre currently on the UK hip hop scene, I’m unaware of them. The Scribes, I find no quarrel in dubbing “our Tribe Called Quest,” for the similar way they can lyrically interchange and bounce off each other, extend their presence further afield from the niche. They’re about spreading their love of hip hop and rap, using an exuberant and carefree east coast old school ethos, blended with contemporary rap techniques, blessing new audiences with what they’ve got, and aside their addictive and inimitable style, they’re having a heap of fun doing it. Just don’t do like I did, and try to capture a snap of them, they move about like Michael McIntyre on fast-forward!

Tunes played out were tricky to pinpoint, not while jigging and balancing my pina colada! Undoubtedly, they dipped into the vitrine of their latest EP, a forthcoming second in the series of the Totem Trilogy, and I did pick out my dub-inspired favourite, Mighty Mighty. Yet in rap no tune is ever precisely replicated, making an improv live show different every time. What was a highlight of the miscellany was the Doug E Fresh moments of drafting in the single-most amazing beatboxer this side of Barnard Star, which if you’ve never seen the like of in good ol’ Devizes before, it’s equally unlikely you’ve seen the like of anywhere before, if you catch my drift?! What? I’ve had rum!

With the upmost respect for the influence Mel Bush left on Devizes, the legendary promoter who bought Thin Lizzy to the Corn Exchange, I find it fascinating the same year he did, 1973, across the ocean in a Bronx block-party, Kool Herc isolated percussion “breaks” by switching between two turntables via a mixer, to prolong the beat of the track. Yet to many here, what he fashioned that night is still regarded as new-fangled!

Albeit progress out of the ghettos of New York for hip hop was sluggish, at best not arriving on our shores until a decade later, hip hop culture is no new thing. So, while this legacy for electric blues and prog-rock is still felt today, through the likes of Jon Amor, who plays the Southgate this afternoon, Innes Sibun and whenever Robin Davey returns, and this marks a blessing on our music scene which I fully appreciate, rum bar The Muck and Dunder aim for diversity, for daring to present dance, club, and hip hop, perhaps reaching out to the twenty and thirty-somethings wanting more than a standard nightclub. And for this, providing they’ll accommodate my aging sorry existence, I cannot thank them enough!

For me, you see, I loved it since a nipper; the cuts of Grandmaster Flash, the moves of the Rock Steady Crew, the subway graffiti, and right through to Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys, so I believe I’m conversant on the subject to assess the Scribes are the freshest on the block, and I’m glad we showed them what we’re worth in Devizes. Because, here’s my final point, and I feel it’s the most important one, at least in destroying an ill-conceived misconception about the genre which The Scribes highlight with bells on. And that is, the pretentiousness, the bling, guns, and chip on the shoulder stereotype is a product of commercialisation, and is more often than not, an unwelcomed division.

The Scribes circumnavigated the good ship Muck & Dunder prior to the hoedown, chatting enthusiastically with all. To talk with Ill Literate is to find a kindly fellow with definite goals, a positive agenda, and ardent in the direction he needs to take this. Take his recent solo EP, The Shipwreck as a prime example; here’s a rap record on the level of concept album, akin to prog-rock, with a conscious narrative flowing throughout. This isn’t just rapping to make a noise, this is dedicated writing and production, though on a night like last night at the Muck, it’s also about appeasing the crowd, which they did, sublimely. I walked home in the pissing rain, smiling all the way.


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A Baroque Blast at St Mary’s!

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Recreational Trespass with N/SH

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The Scribes on a Journey

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Dr John Otway Rocks Trowbridge’s Pump

By Lorraine Briggs

The last time Otway played Trowbridge was in July 2003 at the Village Pump Festival, he returned last night to a gig to raise funds for the same festival in 2023; and what a show it was! Earlier this year Otway played his 5,000th gig at the Empire Shepherds Bush; and his wealth of experience was evident as he masterfully took the audience on a journey of music and laughter……

Recently awarded a doctorate in music, Dr John healed the sell-out audiences’ woes with his madcap antics and deceptively clever lyrics; delighting loyal fans and virgins alike.

As per his live album, ‘The Set Remains the Same,’ there were few changes to either of the two sets except a dedication of ‘Louisa on a Horse’ to his long-term friend and fellow performer Wilko Johnson, who sadly passed away earlier this week.  During this number Otway’s exuberant performance caused the pliable stage to wobble and an amp to tilt forward.  Whilst this was duly saved by Deadly the Roadie before any real damage was done; I smiled to myself that Wilko had also given it a nudge and was chuckling with us.

One of the best parts for me about Otway’s solo shows are the expressions on the audiences’ faces, especially those who are new to the party, as he progresses through the first set with the immortal words “Well if you thought that was stupid, wait until the next song!” and closes it with “You’ll probably need a drink after this, I know that I will!”  From a 12 string guitar that’s hinged in the middle to a human drum machine, Otway certainly knows how to hold the attention of the crowd.

The second set was just as fun, the crowd joined in with the heckling to ‘House of the Rising Sun’ with gusto, and contrastingly Deadly’s lack lustre disco dancing to Otway’s top ten hit ‘Bunsen Burner’ went down a storm.  All good things must come to an end and inevitably it did; finishing with two encores ‘Cheryl’ and ‘Head Butts,’ encouraged by a zealous audience.

For future gigs at The Pump, click HERE.


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12 Bars Later at The Southgate

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Richie Triangle; Imposter Syndrome

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Weekly Roundup of Events in Wiltshire: 22nd – 29th November 2022

Heads down for the last week of November, and there’s so much to get through. As usual, links and details to all events mentioned here are listed on our event calendar HERE, so check it out, as it may yet be updated before the week is through.

The observant among us (I’m told there are some!) will notice I’m deleting past dates now, so today’s date will show at the top of the calendar, hopefully making it easier to follow. I’m looking at better ways to present this info, but to be honest, Google calendars are impractical for storing the vast amount of info we have here, and the site is restricting on what we can do. I’m working on it but finding a method which is easy and quick to put up the information and equally user-friendly is tricky.

Anyway, lots to get through… Tuesday, I got nothing, the regular acoustic jam night down The Southgate Devizes on Wednesdays, and on this Wednesday, 23rd, Richard Robbins presents Passage of Time at Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford-on-Avon, Matt Deighton plays The Tree House, Frome and there’s a Willow Reindeer Festive Workshop starting at Salisbury Arts Centre, running until 30th.


To be honest, there’s so many craft fayres and Christmas events happening it’s impossible to keep track and also keep sane! Do look out for them on your local social media groups.

On Thursday 24th Milton Jones brings his Milton Impossible tour to the Cheese & Grain. There’s open mic at Stallards, Trowbridge, while their town hall has The I’s Have It, a pre-Christmas celebration of Italian and Irish, with music from Luca Rossi and Ruairi Glasheen, plus a delicious three-course Italian feast.

With the theme ‘Cold Weather, Warm Hearts’ the week ends with DOCA in Devizes, starting Thursday Devizes Window Wanderland 2022 will be go! DOCA are inviting our local community to create something special in their windows to show just what an amazingly creative place Devizes is. Anyone with a window can create a display, but you should have registered for this already. All the public now need is the interactive map of Devizes highlighting all the different window locations.


And onto Friday 25th, the Devizes Winter Parade will light up the town, need I say more? Only to wish all the DOCA volunteers the very best, and Annabel and Ashley especially for their maiden voyage at the helm! There’s been a few social media posts about what to expect, such as the Celestial Sound Cloud; an interactive sound art installation from Pif-Paf Theatre, to be installed in the grounds of St. John’s on Friday and Saturday. They all look breath-taking, and the Shambles will be open late for shopping, and all this is leading me to believe this is going to be the most memorable one yet. Lanterns assemble!

Atop of this, The Pelican holds a Christmas Lantern Parade Festive Karaoke Party, and it might be your last chance to catch the highly recommended People Like Us before Christmas; they’ll be at the Three Crowns, Devizes; tidy!

Elsewhere on Friday, John Otway plays the Pump, Trowbridge. Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment presents The Moon Hares at Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford-on-Avon, and Matt Owens & The Delusional Vanity Project play out their album “Beer For The Horses” at its launch at Chapel Arts, Bath.

Fossil Fools play The Vic, Swindon, while Fort Boyard & SexJazz do the The Rolleston, and its soul night at Meca, with an evening called Lost in Music.

Barnstormers Comedy at Salisbury Arts Centre, and that’s Friday done.


Saturday 26th is big, and it’s not just Lego Club from 3-4pm at Chippenham Museum! Winter Festival in Devizes continues, plus…….

I believe they’ve sold out now at SoupChick, who hold their second feast in the Shambles, Light of Kashmir promises to be beguiling, exclusive evening celebrating Kashmiri Cuisine and Couture, hosted by Angela Cave of The Parrot Cage and Anya Toropov of Soupchick. I attended the first one of these fabulous feasts, my tastebuds are still loving me for it. I am so sorry to miss out, but I will be at our Editor’s Pick of The Week!

Editor’s Pick of the Week: The Sribes at the Muck & Dunder

Despite Friday’s Lantern Parade, which should in most reasoning be my pick of the week, I’m certain there will the entire population of the Devizes area attending, ergo there’s no need to plug it anymore. No, what I’m talking about is the evening at the Muck & Dunder Rum Bar in Devizes I’ve been waiting for an age for, when hip hop sensations The Scribes bring boom bap to town; this, I tell you now, will go off. Tickets are running low, get in now, they’re only a fiver, and I hope to see you there, with one hand in the air! I did a poster for it, but they didn’t use it, I thought it quite good, and being they’ve not done another poster for it, I’m using to highlight it here, but you should note, it’s not the official poster!

Rockport play The Southgate, Pink Mac at the Barge, Honey-Street, Chaos Brothers at the Lamb, Marlborough. Melksham Rock N Roll Club have The Delray Rockets, and there’s the 20 Things for 20 Years Big Ball at Spencer’s Club.

Oh, and don’t forget The Toy Pig Race at Erlestoke Golf Course, which sounds too much fun for me!

The Moscow Drug Club, another disappointed missed gig for me after reading Andy’s superb review when they came to Devizes Arts Festival; they play the Pump, Trowbridge. Meanwhile find The Reservoir Hogs at The Wiltshire Yeoman, on Chalk Road.

Lonely Road Band play Colerne Liberal Club, Alter Eagles at Chapel Arts, Bath. Also in Bath, the interactive Alice in Wonderland Experience begins. Calan at Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford-on-Avon, also there, Bath Camerate presents Mother & Child.

In Swindon, there’s a Sahara Trek Fundraiser for Prospect Hospice with Slagerij, Death is a Girl, and Buswell & Nyberg, plus DJ Dust at Level III, while State of Quo play The Vic; they might be a tribute act, but I’m not certain of whom!!

Panto time, of course, Wharf Theatre announced they’ve sold out for Little Red Riding Hood, though we may yet be able to bring you a review of the night. So, find Cinderella starting at Salisbury Playhouse, opening Saturday, and running until January 23rd. Staying in the Spire, The Spitfire Sisters play Salisbury Arts Centre.

That’s Saturday dusted, from hip hop to panto, and rock n roll to pig racing! Last but by no means least, lucky ones get to see Turin Brakes play the Cheese & Grain, Frome; where else?!


Sunday 27th and Jon Amor’s residency at The Southgate, Devizes has been shifted from it’s usual spot, first Sunday of the month to this Sunday, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

The fantastic N/SH plays Avebury Music Night, and the Bath Symphony Orchestra are at Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford-on-Avon; weekend over, unless you’ve heard something we haven’t; then why did you not tell us about it?!

Nothing on Monday and Tuesday, yet; get some shopping done, don’t be like me and wait to the last minute because you’re too busy telling everyone else what they should be doing!! See you at The Muck? Hip hop hooray!


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REVIEW – Jazz Sabbath @ Corn Exchange, Devizes – Sunday 20th November 2022

You wait for one to come along….

by Andy Fawthrop

After Saturday’s double-header at Long Street Blues Club with the Alex Voysey Trio and Hardwicke Circus, there was hardly time to draw breath on this exciting musical weekend.  A quick shift from the Con Club to The Corn Exchange, and there we were on a rare Sunday night out.  Yesterday evening D-Town hosted Jazz Sabbath as part of their UK tour, a date long in the calendar thanks to the forward thinking of Paul Chandler’s Longcroft Productions.…..

I’m sure Paul had been hoping for a somewhat larger audience to pack out the Corn Exchange, but there were still plenty enough people there to enjoy the club-style layout of dimly-lit tables and a sparsely-lit stage.  And the quality of the music provided was absolutely top-notch.

First up in the Support slot was London-based Billy Watman, who turned out to be an absolute wizz on the guitar.  Having spent his training in classical and flamenco styles, Billy treated us to an absolute master-class in how to get every sound possible out of his instrument.  With the occasional use of loops and pedals, he laid down his own backing tracks before playing some of the most virtuoso acoustic guitar work that I’ve seen or heard in a very long.  Explaining what he was doing as he went along, in modest and understated style, he laid out fingerstyle versions of Back To Black, Boney M’s Rasputin and even Pink Floyd’s Brick In The Wall.  This guy was massively proficient – there’s just no other way to put it.  He had the audience on side right from the get-go.  In fact there was only one thing wrong with his set – it was simply too damned short at only 20 minutes.  I’m pretty sure the audience would have liked a lot more.  Great stuff.

After the interval, and before the main act took the stage, we were treated to….a film!  A short docu-style item, featuring many celebrities, setting up the myth of the band doing their first gigs for 53 years!  (If you go onto their website you can read all the spoof material for yourself).  The joke/ conceit was maintained throughout the evening with further bits of film, and Adam himself pretending to be an 84-year old (he’s actually 48, just be clear).

I don’t know – you wait for years for a Black Sabbath tribute band to play in D-Town, and then two of them come along in a matter of a few weeks (Black Sabbitch played here only a month ago).  And then they were on stage.  Jazz Sabbath featured Adam Wakeman, son of Rick Wakeman, keyboards, Dylan Howe, son of Alan Howe on drums and Jack Tustin (son of his parents I’m sure), on upright bass.

The whole idea was to produce jazz interpretations of Black Sabbath classics.  Sounds mad, but it wasn’t.  Adam has cut his teeth working for many years both with Black Sabbath, and with Ozzy Osborne’s Band, so he’s pretty familiar with the heavy metal basic material.  However his arrangements were an almost unrecognisable world away, and lots of the material was Adam’s own contemporary compositions.  This was very little Sabbath, and very much Jazz.

The two sets, apart from the spoof interruptions, were confident, laid-back, melodic and highly enjoyable.  Adam himself, taking the lead on piano, did all the talking.  It was uncanny to see him sitting in exactly the same place as his father Rick had done almost four years ago when he played the same stage with his KGB band. The audience, who were soon into both the music and the comedic wrap-around, were attentive and appreciative.  There was a richly deserved encore, and the crowd hit the streets happy, having been royally entertained.

And just time for a general shout out to all those who worked so hard behind the scenes to make this gig happen, and to transform the barn of the Corn Exchange into a warm welcoming club atmosphere – from the sound guys, the stage setting/ lighting, the table lay-outs – a perfect backdrop for some great music.  This is the sort of gig that helps to put D-Town on the UK musical map, and further proof that the town can punch above its weight in terms of musical quality.  The gig was a bit of a (financial) risk, and whilst it might not have entirely paid off, it was nevertheless (musically at least) an absolute triumph.  Maybe the tickets were a bit expensive?  Maybe folks don’t like going out on Sunday nights?  Who knows?  But this sort of gig needs all our support.

And there’s a chance to do just that in a couple of weeks’ time when virtuoso keyboard player Lachy Doley (dubbed the Jimi Hendrix of the Hammond) plays his only UK date in D-Town on Friday 9th December.  Get out and get those tickets – this is going to be a real one-off!


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REVIEW – The Alex Voysey Trio & Hardwicke Circus @ LSBC, Con Club, Devizes – Saturday 19th November 2022

Double-header, Double the Fun!

by Andy Fawthrop

In yet another busy musical weekend for Devizes, it was hard to choose where to go, with gigs all over the place.  A nice problem to have I guess, but on Saturday night I threw my money into the Long Street Blues Club hat to see two bands that were completely new to me.

First up was the Alex Voysey Trio. Alex had previously played the club back in February as support to Mike Zito.  On that occasion he played a solo acoustic set and impressed enough to be invited back with his full trio.  Alex has worked as a session and support musician to many big names in the business, and in many musical genres.  He’s a passionate advocate for blues music, and used his trio to great effect here, covering both traditional numbers and to his own modern compositions.

With Paul Arthurs on drums and Ben Hands on bass, Alex hit the stage with a range of snappy and upbeat blues/ rock numbers.  He soon had the crowd on-side, and used the opportunity to mix it up a little with a couple of slower, more laid-back numbers.  His one-hour set was sound, competent and thoroughly professional, featuring some nice flourishes on lead guitar.

The second half featured the first D-town appearance for Carlisle-homed five-piece Hardwicke Circus who, quite rightly it seems to me, are being tipped for big things. They’ve already opened for mega stars such as Bob Dylan at Hyde Park and for Southside Johnny.  Paul McCartney allegedly persuaded Glastonbury festival to get them to play, which they duly did.   And it didn’t take long for everyone last night to see why they’re so well thought-of.

The band featured Jonny Foster (lead vocals and guitar), Tom Foster (drums and vocals), Joe Hurst (bass and vocals), Lewis Bewley-Taylor (keyboards), Jack Pearce (saxophones).  This combination provided a great solid and multi-dimensional sound.

They’re a hard-working, hard-gigging band and it showed.  They’re young, sparky, almost punky, occasionally poppy, accompanied by some healthy doses of attitude.  But they’re very good, and they know it.  Their sound is strong and fresh, and has brought comparisons to all sorts of bands.  For me that included Dexys, Wilko Johnson, Madness, Fratellis – a little bit of something for everyone.

Straight from the off we knew we were in for a great set.  Lots of heft and drive, fast numbers, no messing about.  Loads of healthy banter with the crowd, and some well-placed audience participation in some of the choruses (“Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” springs to mind).  There were plenty of good tunes, catchy hooks.  No long intros, just plenty of songs packed into their 90-minute set.  The crowd absolutely loved it, and an encore was never going to be in doubt.  But what an encore!  The band were joined on stage by Texan Joe King Carrascoa, guitarist and vocalist, and proceeded to deliver a six-song masterclass in how to play a crowd.  In among there were a solid rendition of The Band’s “The Weight” and a stonking version of Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street”.

If the future of music is in the hands of bands like this, we really have nothing to worry about.  This was an old-fashioned rock band in very capable young hands.


Future Long Street Blues Club gigs:

Friday 23rd December 2022                         Gee Baby I Love You

Friday 13th January 2023                              Chicago Living Legends

Saturday 18th February 2023                       Eric Bell Band

Saturday 1st April 2023                                  Dave Weld & The Imperial Flames

Saturday 15th April 2023                               Billy Walton Band

Saturday 6th May 2023                                  Kyla Brox Band

Saturday 27th May 2023                               Gerry Jablonski Band

Saturday 24th June 2023                               Earl Slick Band

Saturday 28th October 2023                        Susan Santo


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