Engineering @ JAX.

I arrived at 5:50pm at the venue, and being early I went for a walk.

I worked in Chippenham nearly 9 years ago, when the World Trade Center (American spelling, of course) towers went down, it was a grim place then, and hasn’t changed much – this was confirmed later in the evening.

Anyway, Promoter “Give A Band A Chance” turned up a little after 6, and I made my introductions only to discover her son had played for me in his band last year. Neat.

A rather disturbing sign outside the venue stated “doors 7:30”, while I had been led to believe the doors were 8pm – shaving 30 minutes off my sound-check time, only to be told the proprietor wouldn’t be there until 6:30 either! A whole hour to load 3 bands in and sound-check. It was going to be a fun night!

Shepherd’s Pie turned up not long after – with the PA. A nice Behringer vocal PA – Euro series, so I felt right at home with the desk. Magic Animal turned up next – though none of the bands had all their members present, so we couldn’t run through anything before doors.

I line checked the first band, Gravity Of The Witchmen, made sure all was level and sorted out both the vocals, one female, one male and they kicked off the night with a set of covers, notably “Rock And Roll” by Led Zeppelin – a song we hadn’t heard for the last time that night.

GOTW clearly pulled the crowd; all teenagers with angst to burn, so their Muse and Biffy Clyro covers went down a treat – though I didn’t even recognise the Biffy one (Sorry!)

Devizes’s very own Magic Animal were up next – after a quick drum change to a left-handed set up, and after a rapid swapping over of heads we were into action once again. The crowd’s average age got older for their set, as the adults began to take more notice – as the teens went outside to smoke, naturally. Even so, Mitch Underwood wowed the crowd with some delicious solos – which I never get bored of watching. Shane levelled us with the bass. Mitch’s amp went up to 11, and they wheeled out a cover – yes the very same “Rock And Roll” by Led Zeppelin. Crowd were very receptive and its defiantly something to build on.

I took this chance to grab a bite to eat. Remember I said Chippenham was grim? I went for a Subway and asked the assistant “Whats Chippenham like at night?”
“You not from round here?” was the reply.
I told her I was from Devizes, only to be asked – “Oooh, isn’t Devizes rough?”
“I don’t know – ask the girl being sick into your customer’s bin?” was my reply. Nice: One- nil to Devizes.

Lastly, Shepherds Pie stepped up to the crease – I mistakenly said earlier in the evening that their singer was the youngest in the band – he’s not, the drummer is. Turns out he’s had a very easy life – either that or drinking from the fountain of youth in his other band – a Muse covers act.

Shepherd’s Pie ripped into ALL the classic, Judas Priest, AC/DC, Iron Maiden and again that cover of Rock And Roll, each time it got phatter, yes PH fat. Mostly due to the dual guitars over Magic’s rendition, and *probably* the 1000th time the members have played it in their lifetime. The average age went up again, and hips got seriously loose.

They played for nearly 2 hours, and finished what was a very well attended and organised event – a step up for the promoter only on their 3rd or 4th show and what was a brilliant night over all. They raised over £100 for the Air Ambulance and we all went away looking forward to the next show.


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