I had a free 5 minutes so quickly glanced over our past 10 years, and made up a load of guestimates that sound real impressive. Whilst these may not be 100% accurate they do give a good indication of what we have done for Devizes.
We have promoted over 300 gigs in Wiltshire, dealing with approximately 552 different bands in the process. These have been in 15 different venues, in 6 different towns.
1/6th of the shows have been in Swindon (51), with the lion share obviously being in Devizes (241) or Bath (10) and the rest are odds and sods scattered across the county.
If we average each band into 4 members, that’s a staggering 2,208 musicians!! That does no include hangers on, engineers, tour managers, roadies, agents and photographers etc.
We’ve had performers from all corners of Great Britain, including one dedicated lot who drove from Elgin, in northern Scotland. That’s further away than Paris. As well as acts from all across Europe, even an Australian. And rather belatedly later this year, we’ll also have our first American friend.
We’ve even been able to get Devizes name into national papers and magazines, by booking proper tour dates, of which I have a stack of posters, which really should be seen to be believed. I think one day we’ll get them out to display.
One of our key principles was to work with, encourage and support or inspire the youth. It’s with great pleasure that fanzine creator, Ben Hooper and graphic designer, Ben Gage both cite us as key influences to getting their jobs at Film Council Wales and as an independent graphic designer, respectively.
Vicky Scipio made it to the Gazette & Herald as a staff photographer, after being our dedicated gig photographer for the best part of two or three years, and regularly having her pictures in the paper.
That’s not to mention musicians who we gave opportunities and experience to. Including Jed Elliot (now of The Struts), Dan Clarke who drums in Decade – still got your first demo kid, and those two handsome bothers in Bite The Buffalo (who are also music teachers at Bath Uni), and a hundred more who are now professional musicians, like Mike East who performs in a function band and works on cruises. Tough work that!
A mention for Pardon My French & KISS FM DJ’s Tim Smith and Luke Sutton, who came from our scene, DJ’d our nights and have become the most significant DJ’s in Bristol right now. Also to Charlie Romaijn and Deej from Thought Forms, who were one of the first local bands to escape our clutches, and have been able to tour America and Europe, doing something they believed in! Something, we always knew they would.
(actually trying to find more of this sort of information out is hard, as I don’t have many peoples names, I should probably give Toby Tripp a mention too! The ones given as examples above are because I’m still in contact with them.)
So thanks too all the friends I’ve made since doing this. Cheers to everyone who I share a good memory with. The people I’ve met, the wicked music I’ve seen and the artistic creativity we’ve all given birth to. I feel safe to say, I think I changed Devizes for the better, but I guess you’ll have to wait to see what happens next.
Our Ten Year Tee, was designed by young, fledging graphic designer and Devizes resident, Sharna Mollett. It is available from our Bandcamp for £8 inc free P+P (which has absolutely nothing to do with the stack of Christmas bonus, Royal Mail stamps I get every year.)
Note* I do realise these numbers are relatively small for both full time venues, and bigger towns – So try to remember that we are both a small town, and doing this in our spare time.