Thom Weeks (Gnarwolves) parties in Devizes

Continue reading “Thom Weeks (Gnarwolves) parties in Devizes”


Will Varley to reschedule November date

Will Varley, the Kingston based troubadour has had to cancel his performance in Devizes on Friday November 7th, but has offered to reschedule for later in the year.

I apologies to all of those who were super excited to see him, we were too, but we’re hoping to announce a December date later this week. 

Now performing on November the 7th will be Shaun Buswell on his small jaunt with Swedish indie pop act, Last Box of Sparklers. See Shauns words about them below.

Led by Erik Gunnar Nyberg, created in 2011 when his former band, the soul pop outfit The Flaming Moes, combusted. Putting the fast-paced pop songs to rest, he slowly started crafting a wider variety of slower and more pronounced indie pop music, still with one foot in the Swedish melodic language, but now with more attention to production detail than before. This has resulted in 4 EPs, one album, and the recent double-sided single, “Cat Power Girl / G R O W L ! ! !” Erik has recently started performing his songs live, usually with just his quiet voice and his Squier Jaguar guitar.


Those of you who have any form of memory and passing interest in Devizes music, will remember Shaun from his performance in Devizes earlier this year, at St Mary’s Church. Shaun will be performing with a version of his normal band, with various musicians playing unplugged to give a really natural feel. 

Entry to the show is still FREE and will still present the highest quality of original,  live music going. Beat that. 

In other news;

A HUGE thank you to all who came to the anniversary shows in Swindon (Decade) and Devizes (Jonah). They cost a lot to put on and we broke even. Thanks to everyone who bought the t-shirt, you can see a regularly updating gallery of “Mooshs in tshirts” over on our Facebook page. You can still pick up tee’s over on our Bandcamp. There will be a review of the Decade show over on MixtapePress very shortly, while there is a live recording of Jonah on our Soundcloud

 SOLEMN SUN MAKE a return: One time Fantasy Radio sessionists  and  regular Sheer performers / favourites, Jim Lockey & The Solemn Sun, changed their name and released a  new EP. You can read what fellow co-promoter Rob Escott thinks about it over at The Colour Of Vinyl. Personally I don’t quite see what all the fuss was about over the change of name, but perhaps this is just the beginning. Go wrap your ears around it anyway and judge for yourself. 

 DAVE McPHERSON ticket sales continue to trickle through via SeeTickets but we haven’t had a sausage from WeGotTickets – Either way,  as ever with these things, tickets are from outside of the area – I am always genuinely impressed to see where people travel from for shows. I guess it’s not rocket science to appreciate that, since I travel for shows myself. Anyway, we have people from Bath, Bristol and Frome currently making the trip to Devizes. And I thank those who have already bought tickets – though they’re unlikely to read this. 

AND finally, Devizes Festival committee meetings have kicked off again – We are looking for new members, potentially for someone to take on our contract responsibility? If that sounds like a direction to want to work in, drop me a message. Otherwise we have started programming for 2015, and it’s looking strong already!


We’re back & set to feature on BBC West Introducing

After a long summer break, we were back this weekend gone, with two shows run by local musicians before beginning the promotion run in for Decade and Jonah Matranga.

Friday night saw Barney Goodall bid farewell to Devizes, before heading back to Liverpool to finish the last year of his course. Good luck Barney and all who sail in him. 

That night featured a number of impromptu performances from member of the audience, including local Jazz singer, Linda Nordlund and regular theatre performer Chris Palmer in Barney’s set. There was also a breath taking set from Luke De-Sciscio. Which is a regular occurrence from the young lad now. 

Saturday night was daddy Lamb, aka Tim Henly’s 50th birthday and possibly the UK’s crassest performer, Kunt And The Gang, head up The Lamb. 

Naturally Kunt was in fine fettle, with his new songs possibly going to another depth of depravity (Our Youtube video is to follow…) Needless to say, what happened in that room, stays in that room. 

And what a room. Jonn King has worked tirelessly to re-imagine the performance space. He offered me a 100 and 1 different ideas, and I think we’ve managed to get the best out of the room now – If you’re interested, head over to the Facebook page HERE, and take a look at the gallery.


However, the weekend wasn’t where it all started. Thursday night I made a 4 hour round trip to Bristol (yes, 4 hours. I hate driving round Bristol. It’s traffic is enough to test even the best of patiences.) to record a 20 minute interview with Rich and Sam of BBC West Introducing. 

I haven’t really had much to do with those fella’s since the shake up of the Wiltshire Introducing, despite my best attempts. So I took 10 years worth of my posters, reviews and general press cuttings to prove to them what I’m about. I’m glad I did, as we pawed over them at great length and had much mutual love for many south-west bands, with Safetyword coming out near the top. 

This interview will be aired on Saturday 27th September, from 8pm. Listen to the whole session as there will be some ace music, a sessionist (not sure who yet) and maybe even a rare Safetyword plug and play! You will find all sorts of opinions on what’s happening with the Swindon scene and where it’s all heading.


Friday was Frank Turner in Bath. I met a whole bunch of gig friends before hand at The Nest. We drank, were merry and had a good sing song. We discussed Moles still seemingly far off re-opening, mourned a lost friend and agreed it was probably the hottest gig we’ve ever been to. Bath Pavillions need some air-conditioning. 


All in all, it’s good to be back. Focussed on the upcoming Decade gig in Swindon (Tickets HERE and HERE) having a genuine bona fide musical legend in Jonah Matranga coming to Devizes and looking forward to announcing the Xmas party show. 

So here’s to the underground music scene, all who make it a great place. Cheers. 



Decade perform at Swindon’s Level 3 on Thursday 2nd October. This is a 14+ show. Tickets available on door.

Jonah Matranga (Far / Onelinedrawing) performs at The Lamb, Devizes on Friday 3rd October. That will be a 16+ show. Tickets available on door.

The last 3 months in a quick review…

It’s been nearly 3 months since I last updated, sorry for the lack of information as I was off gallivanting.

June saw Devizes Festival ( 3 weeks in June) hit town, and I did 23 ish events in 21 days. Highlights included Howard Marks, the ejection and subsequent slating in the Gazette & Herald. (Can’t please them all, some good points in your review, you kinda missed the point though and I managed to ruffle a few feathers in a conservative town.) Mr B (awful sound but great venue and performance). And that crazy Mrs B Nice who was on another planet. Great comedy, and those 3 previous acts all had similar names, which caused chaos.

Ian Hopkins went sick, as you all know, but is back on his feet and rejoining the Festival committee after this years Wash Up meeting next week. Hooray!

I managed to prove myself with a few events, and have much grander, exciting plans for next year. Watch this space come September, and I’ll start to roll out a few hints. It’s going to be proper exciting.


The shortest of breaks was filled with  a complete surprise party for both Matthew Adams and I, (Late June) reaching our 30th & 31st birthdays respectively. Thrown by Nicky Stalham and Zoe Moore, it included an El Mariachi Mexican band, loads of Tequila, Mexican’s and Mexican’ts, friends and family, and then someone being sick in a pub toilet, which I waited around drinking coffee until 3am sobering up enough to drive home, because a taxi wouldn’t allow a sick person in the back. EPIC.


Then came 2 huge Swindon shows, The Computers & Gnarwolves. (early July) Both shows really brought the good times back to Swindon. I don’t like to blow my trumpet, but these were my biggest shows in terms of finance ever, and it really paid off. Great to see some big bands back in town, and I’ll be looking to continue doing more, provided we get the right offers. Check out the video below of Gnarwolves, along with these two awesome reviews. Especially the comment about the sound at Gnarwolves, which was done through a fog of sickness, Ibuprofen and Paracetamol. ThisIsWiltshire review & Hit The Scene review.


After that was a weekend of no sleep, continued sickness, paracetamol and 2000 TREES. (Mid July) My first ever full weekend at Trees (yes, really – I’m normally working at venues as it clashed with Fieldview in the past, OR doing warm up shows for this very festival!) was glorious. The Thursday saw the best bands of my past 6 months of promoting. Retrospective Soundtrack Players, Oxygen Thief and Ben Marwood all having played Swindon’s Victoria for me prior, and all sharing the same backing band was quite special. TRSP’s managed to reduce me to tears, and Ben Marwood also managed e tear. Later that evening saw JoFo play a proper indie rock racket, which made me smile more than their Bath show I managed to rescue after Moles burnt down. Gnarwolves finished off my affiliation with that day in proper style – If it wasn’t for the fact this day alone is the returning bands from the previous year, their set would guarantee them a place on next years bill. Ace.

Zoe, Rob, Meelie and I caught Dan Le Sac for the first time, since I missed them at the Frank Turner support at Wembley, instead opting for the Kingston instore show with Jim Lockey (hardcore). They didn’t disappoint, but it was also announced that they will be parting ways soon, so it was probably my one and only time of seeing them. Fiddlesticks.

The next two days followed in the same routine, late nights, busking slots, Dave McPherson popping up everywhere, AWESOME sets from The Bronx, The Computers and finished off in style with Crazy Arm. Jim Lockey announced their name change into Solemn Sun – I met all the rad dudes from across the country I rarely get to see, Adam Boucher, B-Sydes, Anthony Barlow, Lonely Tourist, Felix Hagen, Barry Dolan, Rick Marwood, Ben Marwood, Kevin BSM Records, and Jack Alcopop, Drop Out Dan etc and I spent time with Steve Hooper and his Mrs and the excellent Jodie from Bristol / Live Music Scene, to seemed to know even more people than I.

Shout outs to the Devizes massive (Luke, Dan and Alex) and all the Swindon crew (too many to name… but special mentions to Jake and Samuel)

Upon our return, and after a shower (or two) Rob Escott of The Colour Of Vinyl (link on your right) and I got down to reviewing the festival, via his session on Melksham Town Sound, which you can listen again via this link on Mixcloud, or check out our Pictures of our adventures on the Sheer Facebook page.

Proper excellent weekend, that gave us the post festival, festival blues. Hate returning to work and longing for it all to kick off again.

Which didn’t take long as PROFESSOR ELEMENTAL hit Devizes, in the amazing surroundings of St Mary’s Church / Arts Centre. The Prof’ went down extremely well, loved the town and the venue and what we are trying to achieve. Visually the place was arresting – Pictures on the Sheer facebook page – We had people travel from Swansea, Gloucester, Guildford, Poole and Bournemouth for the show(!) and our electro-swing DJ went on later than Devizes premier pub/club The Crown.

Check out this video, taken by an audience member…


In the mean time, I’ve had in the 10 year anniversary t-shirt image in. Designed by young, fledging graphic designer, Sharna Mollett – It will be available to purchase / pre-order very soon, with an ETA of late September for printing. Check out the design below. Mock up was created by Alex Fruen of Original Glory, who is also handling the digitalisation of a hand drawn image. Skills.

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 17.43.24


FINALLY, the first job I had after all that had blown over, was to announce the first of the September shows, in the shape of KUNT & THE GANG. (links on the gigs tab, to your right, if you’re viewing this on the website!) and our final show of the Summer at the Stratton Stroll this Saturday.

Then it’s a genuine 6 or 7 week break from all things musical and organisational, whilst I write the promotion plan for Devizes Festival 2015, have a summer off with friends, start the first of the Bad Film Nights, give the in-laws a thank you curry for all the child minding and perhaps a wee late minute holiday away too.

See y’all in September’


You can lead a Horse to water…. Underage Music Month

For the past decade I’ve largely concerned myself with the youth of Devizes & Wiltshire – Mostly in a Jo Whiley “suck their energy and stay young” type of way, but as I have passed the threshold of 30, it’s becoming much more of a struggle to remain on the level of an aloof teenager and harder still to tell them why they should take an interest in their local music scene – You’re either interested or your not. 

Thus, today I’m passing on a message; 

April is Underage Music Month and BBC Introducing in the West is on the look-out for the most creative young musicians in the area. 

If you’re under 18 years old and making music then please email or tweet us @bbcintrowest using the hashtag #underagemusicmonth. Or maybe you know someone who’s being creative with music, but not getting the recognition they deserve? Richard and I (Sam Bonham) want to find the most creative young musicians in the West Country throughout April.  

It’s another way to get involved, and a relatively straight forward one too, so join in. I hope those of you who saw our tweets, entered the Larmer Tree Festivals competition too, good luck to those that did. 


If you’re Wiltshire based and looking for gigs, you could do yourself a favour and drop Abe Juggins an email – He is currently booking a series of gigs on Fridays in May at The Bell By The Green, in aid of the Devizes Showcase. It’s filling up, but there are spaces. Check out the Sheer Music Facepage for more information. I’ve seen the festival brochure, and he get’s a lovely mention. 


Not that I’m even remotely bothered by my age (I stress that I’m not again, despite the constant commentary…) but  there is something quite cool about the idea of singing Gilbert & Sullivan. If you feel the same way, well then GOOD NEWS, White Horse Opera are looking for chaps to sing. A wry smile to anyone who thought of Sideshow Bob attempting to murder Bart Simpson, at the mention of Gilbert & Sullivan, but if that is what it takes…. 

Drop Barbara Gompels an email and offer your services!


We do have some great news to announce in due course, regarding our 10 year anniversary show, local awards, Devizes Festival and more – just keep reading! 


>insert, Smarty pants, new year blog title, here<

Well howdy 2014, you came around quick. We’re already half way through January before I’ve even mentioned anything that’s happening this year. 

I never bother with new years eve, call me grumpy, but you count down to midnight, have a quick snog, continue getting too drunk and wonder what all the fuss was about. I love a pointless celebration as much as the next person, I just don’t like paying inflated door prices just to drink in my regular boozer! I much prefer Christmas, as you get all the gaudy, unnecessery decorations that go with it , that’s how you celebrate.

What does 2014 have in store for us then?

My gigs start this Friday the 17th January at The Lamb, in St Johns Street Devizes. With Cambridge, underground performer B SYDES. A performance less suggestive of his quaint love for the traditional single, and more a stroke of coincidence that his name is Ben Sydes. 

What I like about Ben is his ability to play nice and chunky, avoiding any clichés that would normally befall your regular singer songwriters. You’ll have to listen, he’ll drown you out. He’s also a handsome chap, capable of growing better stubble than me. Check that out here.

A further look ahead yields these results… 

Jan 31st           AL O’KANE
– Excellent  roots, crossover bluesy, folk, acoustic
Feb 7th            JON AMOR + Rhiannon Mair
– This pair need little introduction.

Feb 21st           NO FIXED ABODE
– Proper traditional knit your own breakfast, Irish folk.
Feb 28th         THOMAS FORD           
– This guy is UNREAL. Best described as a One Man Blues Trio. Ace.

Mar 7th                 Secret Chord Records
– Swindon’s 
independent label sets out the best of their roster.

Mar 14th         BOB BOWLES
– If you can shout it out, he can play it!

Mar 21st              TEDDY LIGHT
– Well, there isn’t enough room for the Teddy White band is there?

Thurs   Apr 24th GAZ BROOKFIELD – He’s back on tour, but this is a Thursday, write that down!

All the info on these gigs can be found on the gigs tab of the website, on your right >>>>>>> And in all our regular social networking stuffz

TONIGHT you will be able to hear my dulcet chords on MELKSHAM TOWN SOUND. I’m \gatecrashing the air with my cohort Rob Escott. He’ll be playing what I bribe him to play and with any luck we’ll be announcing a few more shows too. Tune in from 8pm on line.

That’s all for now, until next time, toodle pip!

My 2013 Top Tens / lists!

Everyone loves a list, better still we like looking back at old lists and shudder at our suggestions of “Next Big Thing” and Best Gig awards, nethertheless here’s my Top Tens of 2013...


10. TTNG – (Sargent House)

I love This Town Needs Guns, they’ve done a few shows for me, and with each successive listen, their music gets better – Such was my anticipation, that perhaps I put them on too high a pedestal. This album is good, but I still ached for that Animals era sound, so it only gets number 10. 

9. The Physics House Band – Horizon/Rapture (Blood & Biscuits)

Great name, great lead track, great band dynamic, great prog noise. This record had it all and was effortlessly cool too. Future looks good for these. I missed out on booking them too, perhaps next year instead. 

8. That Fucking Tank – TFT (Obscene Baby Auction)

Ah Ha! A band I’ve wanted to give a show to for years. Finally got my chance just before 2000 Trees festival, with the band in the area, they swooped in and melted out faces. It was every shade of fucking cool. This album too, pretty much delivered what you want from a TFT album. Riffs aplenty and an explanation on how to write like them, neat. 

7. Rival Schools – Found (United By Fate Records)

Demoed years ago, finally seeing an official release this year. The album between United By Fate and Pedals, this album was just great. Musically tight, vocals and melody brilliant through and through, and an excellent cover of The Who. Win.

6. Crazy Arm – The Southern Wild (Xtra Mile)

Bloody hell this was good! I was never really into their punk sound, but when they stripped it back to this banjo led direction I fell in love. Far from jumping on a bandwagon, this band have been round long enough to warrant the opportunity to do what they like. This album was testament to that, and it was fantastic! Their show at The Lamb was one of the best this year too!

5. Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart (Xtra Mile)

Not album of the year? Not for any reason of than it was a break up record, and that’s sad. It’s also a blinding great album, which battled with The Buble for top spot in the charts. Frank lost the battle with the middle aged woman supremo, but he stayed by far the best act Great Britain has to offer!

4.  Future Of The Left – How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident (Self Release / crowd funded)

This record felt like a culmination of the previous efforts. So varied, tight, stop start, glitchy, ambitious and with Falco’s wit made it near perfect! And a band I managed to catch 3 times this year, which was 3 times more than ever before! 

3.  Thought-Forms – Ghost Mountain – (Invada)

The Wiltshire cum Bristol trio come of age, with a frankly magnificent second album. Part art rock, part post rock – Shoe gazing, drone brilliance. Should catapult them into the scenes majors players

2. Jetplane Landing – Don’t Try – (Small Town America)

I was about to say this is bias, but realised that would suggest it doesn’t deserve to be top spot. It does, but still manages to miss out on my favourite album of the year. “Hey! Maggots! Get off my turf! I wrote shit. like. this. fucking years ago!!” Thank you Andrew + band, for such an inspiring record! 

1. ASIWYFA – All Hail Bright Futures – (Sargent House)

Two Sargent House releases bookending this list. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out if ASIWYFA had ripped off Adebisi Shank, but then I realised that “All Hail…” was by a country mile the best record this year, in my opinion, so it didn’t matter. Absolutely blinding from start to finish, tune after tune after tune after tune. So. Much. Fun. Live. MAGNIFICENT band, getting better with each release – this could well be their OK Computer moment, and they could swallow the world next year, or perhaps it’s their Six moment, and they’ll go unappreciated and split. Who cares, this was a monster of an album and deserves top spot. 

Special mentions go to Caves, The Computers, Chris T-T, Ice Sea Dead People, Jamie Lenman, Bite The Buffalo, Calories, Larry & His Flask and Gaz Brookfield and The Bronx for all making great records too! Last year I stuck Retrospective Soundtrack Players in this section, and it went on to be the most listened record on my iPod, just saying’. 


1. Oxygen Thief – Accidents Do Not Happen They Are Caused (Xtra Mile)
2. Gnarwolves – Funemployed (BSM) (another year, another EP, next year I predict their album to be #1) 
3. Straight Lines – Escapology (Xtra Mile)
4. Sophomore – The Blue EP – (Self Release) 
5. Rat Attack – Rat Attack – (Self Release) (Left their hardcore roots behind, and went all Kerrang! A massive guilty pleasure…)
6. The Computers – Elvis Vs. Elvis (One Little Indian)
7. Ben Marwood – Demons (Self release)
8. Calories – DMT (Self release)
9. Little Leagues – Clarity (Self release)


1. Somewhat Snakes – Somewhat Snakes – I reviewed it earlier this year,  then they came and slew with the Gnarwolves support – I was justified. They are great! 

2. Dead Royalties – Dead Royalties Another cracking band from Alex Share. This lad has a sound, and he rarely does anything other than complete excellence, this a 3 track EP for the new band was just that, excellent. 

3. The Observation Deck – Easily Exploitable –  I promised to release this properly with a physical record, but never got the chance, time or money to do it, how ever it was a top record!

4. Tendril – Tendril Loving Tendril Care –  4 lads with a classic rock sound. No vocalist, yet it didn’t stop them really coming together wit a tight nit sound. Recently seen expanding into vocal-less noise territory and embracing it, rather than finding it an hindrance. 2014 will be their year, locally. Trust me. 

5. Audrey Aroha – 9 Volt Leap Recordings – She’s been on the scene for a while, yet this year she managed to headline and pack out local venues, and finally release something! a 6 track EP thing, which pretty much covered the solo singer song writer slot in Wiltshire with aplomb! 


Mongol Horde will be releasing, I hope, their début. We have the new one from the Retrospective Soundtrack Players in Spring along with Decade‘s album out in January! Oxygen Thief has promised us new music, if I remember correctly – another solo ep and a band record… Adebisi Shank have their third record out on Sargent House (preview here) and I’m hoping for something new from Tangled Hair and perhaps even a proper Gnarwolves album?? 




AND REMEMBER TO COME TO THE Chris T-T show, this FRIDAY at The Lamb, in Devizes. 8pm. Free entry.

Sheer accidentally take over The Ocelot!

It was to my complete surprise and awe to find in this months OCELOT magazine, a wonderful feature on SHEER MUSIC

Gig Monkey aka Ed Dyer has taken the trouble to write a lengthy piece praising our hard work for the past decade, which can be found on page 52 of Novembers issue. I won’t ruin it for you, so go have a read! 

Earlier in the issue, on page 49, is an excellent live review of our Crazy Arm show at The Lamb in Devizes, back in September – written by recent Sheer recruit, Rob Escott. Rob now has his hand firmly in with the Ocelotters, so we’re going to see more of his work. We’re also going to hear more of Rob, as he trots out a weekly radio session, every Wednesday on Melksham Town Sound, between 8 and 9pm, playing his favourite punk rock. There will be a short segment each week dedicated to “Sheers Suggestion” where I pick something, typically from an up and coming local show to wrap your ears around. Cheers Ocelot, cheers Rob!

Even further back in the issue on page 42, there’s a preview of the GNARWOLVES show in December. Andy gives the band a brief introduction, which I admit looks good on paper (Punktastic’s ones to watch for 2012), as well as naming all the supports – That’s what I love about the Ocelot, they cover everyone, no one gets left behind!

ALSO in the magazine, column space is given to kind of Devizes / Avebury / Swindon / Bristol / Anywhere based singer song writer TAMSIN WHINTON. We like Tamsin in Devizes. We had the privilege of providing her with her first show, offering her some great slots and I even recorded her first demo. It’s great to see that the rest of Wiltshire agrees! Catch her live, she’s always about, and making it further and further away all the time. (my personal preferred measure of success – How far can you get away from your home town!) 

So, much love and respect to The Ocelot, our only dedicated music fanzine. They are wonderfully supportive of the whole of Wiltshire’s music scene, and as proved by my Beans On Toast show, they make a massive difference!