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

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

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

Week 3: Mon 13th – Sunday 19th May

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Week 4: 20th -26th May

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End of May, Mon 27th – Friday 31st

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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If Singing’s Your Thing… PSG (Pop, Soul, Gospel) at the Neeld Community Arts Centre

By Andy Fawthrop

 

“Come and watch PSG!” she said. Being a big footie fan I thought “Great! Paris St. German are one of the great European sides at the moment. Who wouldn’t want to watch them play on a Spring afternoon?” Which just goes to show that you really do need to pay attention when someone is actually talking to you.

Before I knew it, I was in a car heading for that bastion of corporate loveliness known as Chippers. Sitting in a seat in the wonderfully-restored Neeld Community Arts Centre. Where was the big screen for the football, I began to wonder? I was shortly disabused of my fond notion when about 50 people, each bearing a PSG t-shirt wandered out on stage. It was at this point that the penny finally dropped – PSG stands for Pop – Soul – Gospel and…er…that’s exactly what they do. Very loudly.

This fund-raising concert was in aid of Andy Phillips’, the Lord Mayor of Chippenham’s, charity Alzheimer Support, an independent charity supporting people to live well with dementia in Wiltshire. The show featured a wide range of pop, soul and gospel tunes from across the decades (just what it said on the tin!)

PSG Choirs was founded in 2014 by Will Blake in the village of Derry Hill. He set up the choir with the intention of using it to bring his local community together, and now runs choirs in Devizes, Melksham, Calne and Pewsham (and shortly to be in Trowbridge also). Together, the choir(s) have performed at Longleat House Festival of Light, Calne Arts and Music Festival, and Bowood House, as well as their previous fundraising show at the Neeld in 2018.

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This concert was a bit of an eye-opener for me. Not being exactly a fan of choirs, or choral music in general – probably because I can’t sing for toffee. In fact if you gave me a large bucket, I couldn’t carry a tune. Unfortunately most of the (admittedly very occasional) soloists here couldn’t do that either. Their interjections were the only slight blot on an otherwise thoroughly entertaining and uplifting performance. With Will on keyboards at the front, once the whole choir took off, the noise was absolutely incredible. In full sail, with some gentle choreography, the choir delivered an impressive array of upbeat numbers, covering a wide range of styles. And the large audience, which didn’t quite fill the venue, loved it. Lots of clapping and singing along. You get the picture.

If singing’s your thing and you’d like to join one of Will’s PSG choirs, see their website – www.psgchoirs.co.uk

Future PSG Events:

April 23rd 8pm PSG Masters Acoustic Performance (Pewsham Community Centre)
April 27th 10am to 3.30pm Calne Spring Sing (Calne Library)
May 22nd 5.30pm PSG Trowbridge – Launch Night (Paxcroft Mead Community Centre)

 

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The Horrible History of Chippenham

They’re not show offs at the Neeld Community and Arts Centre in Chippenham, they’re show-ons!

They’ve certainly booked a huge variety of class acts akin to city status, and through 2018 they intend to continue.

A tribute to classic blues-rock is forthcoming with Voodoo Room, but from Nicolas Parsons’ sold out stand-up to a Big Fish Little Fish family rave, no one can argue variety is the key to Neeld’s ethos; and  that’s just next month!

I’m personally “well up” for April 16th when legendary R&B mod Georgie Fame will steal the thunder. But as an example of the variety on offer here I’d like to draw your attention to the Horrible Histories Show on 3rd June. If you’re asking why I’m drawing your attention to it, you’ve obviously not sat and read the amazing books or watched the awesome CBBC programs with your kids.

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It’s ingeniously written, with gruesome facts and highly amusing sketches. My only complaint is jealousy, that history was never this fun in my school days. If just one of my teachers could’ve come anywhere near as entertaining as this, I might have stopped staring at Tracey Slater’s legs all lesson and paid attention.

The show, subtitled, “more best of barmy Britain,” is written by Terry Deary and Neal Foster, and produced by the Birmingham Stage Company. Deary, the world’s bestselling non-fiction children’s author, has 200 books under his belt, translated into 40 languages. His 50 Horrible Histories titles sold over 25 million copies worldwide from China to Brazil.

Currently celebrating their 25th anniversary, the Birmingham Stage Company is one of the world’s top family orientated theatre companies. As well as a dozen years of Horrible Histories shows, they’re known for Roald Dahl’s George’s Marvellous Medicine and David Walliams’ productions, Awful Auntie and Gangsta Granny.

This could be an event for the history books itself! The blurb runs like this: “We all want to meet people from history. The trouble is everyone is dead!

So it’s time to prepare yourselves for a special one-hour production of Horrible Histories featuring MORE of your favourite characters from our barmy past! This brand new compilation show has never toured before and includes a special new scene featuring wordy Will Shakespeare!

Find out why the Romans were revolting! Could you survive the vicious Vikings? Can evil Elizabeth entertain England? Would you party with the Puritans? Clap along with crazy King Charles! Vomit with the vile Victorians and prepare to do battle in the frightful First World War!

It’s history with the nasty bits left in!”

Sandie Webber of Chippenham Town Council said, “I have my ticket booked already. What better place for Horrible Histories than the town of Chippenham where Arthur had his Palace in those days so beloved of Horrible Histories author Terry Deary? Not so much revolting as riveting.”

Adult ticket are £17 and you know you’re going to have just as much fun as the children, who’s tickets are £13.50.

 

http://www.neeld.co.uk/whats-on/horrible-histories/2018-06-03/

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