Those 10 years in Numbers…

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.

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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. 

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.

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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’