Devizes festival Battle Of The Bands

For the 7th year running, I will be presenting the Devizes Festival Showcase event, where we get the best up and coming acts in the area, and whack them all in the Corn Exchange, across multiple stages. This year however, I am handing over the organising, booking and running duties to the excellent ABE JUGGINS, who has been on of the best, most reliable promoters in the area for some time. 

We are super excited to announce that this years Showcase event will be a 3 stage affair, and FREE ENTRY. 

The top floor of the venue will be curated by me, via THE LAMB. The main hall stage head lined by our much loved, and well know Marlborough guests, THE VOOZ, which is sponsored by THE WAREHOUSE STUDIOSWhile in the basement, curated by Abe Juggins and sponsored by DNA we have guest head liners, BAND HEADCOUNT

The way the stages and battle works out, is fairly straight forward. Abe is running a clutch of shows throughout Fridays in May at The Bell By The Green. Each show will be booked with 4 or 5 new bands from in and around the area. If you wish to play any of these gigs, drop Abe Juggins a message.

Each heat, gives one “audience voted”, band to the final at the Corn Exchange on Friday 13th June, with the rest of the bill being hand picked from bands who have played our various gigs for the past 6 months. 

We basically want a good quality, entertaining line up, which you have some say over as a participating audience member!

You can find out everything else, including line ups etc over on Facebook (obviously…) facebook.com/events/729852800379732/

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2 gigs in Devizes on Friday…

Who says there’s nothing to do in Devizes? Well perhaps there is nothing to do if you don’t like live music, but we really have it all in Devizes. 

Last week’s Pat Travers blues show at Long Street Blues club went down a storm, but if blues isn’t your thing, then perhaps you should consider The Lamb this Friday night? Portsmouth based indie boys The Retrospective Soundtrack Players come to town, bringing their concept records based on classic films and books with them.

Their second album, Catcher In The Rye, based on JD Salinger’s book will be performed. Their previous record, based on the film Cool Hand Luke (with THAT scene, which spawned a million hip hop videos) may also get featured, and the rumours that their 3rd record based on Jurassic Park will either be confirmed or denied on the night. 

If you want the official press release email, give me a shout, and I’ll happily forward it. Entry is free, at The Lamb in St Johns Street from 8.30pm. Check out the Facepage for more info.

How ever, if that’s all a little high brow or cultural for you, then you could do a lot worse than checking out Abe Juggins show at the Bell By The Green. He has Ivor Novello winning guitarist Marco Pirroni and his band, Headcount performing. Marco also happens to perform with Adam Ant, Sinead O’Connor and Wolfman. Headcount’s previous records include 2002’s KKKK rated “It’s a Buiness doing Pleasure with you” Future Of The Left would be proud of a title like that, I’m sure. 

Check out the Facepage for more info.

Change of venue for SPECTRES show…

SPECTRES, the awesome Bristol based and Howling Owl signed indie-noise-racket are playing Devizes on Friday September 27th. 

Originally booked for another venue, we’ve had to move the show to THE MOONRAKERS, on Nursteed road. Line up still looks rad though, with Salute The Magpie, Marabou Stalk and Audio Puppy completing the line up. 

FRIDAY 27th SEPTEMBER 
@ THE MOONRAKERS, Nursteed Road
16+ // £2 otd. // 7.30pm – Midnight.

Doors 7.30

8 – 8.30 – Marabou Stalk
8.45 – 9.15 – Audiopuppy
9.30 – 10 – Salute The Magpie
10.15 – 11pm – SPECTRES

Here’s a live video of what to expect from our head liners… If you want the press release, drop me a line.

You know you’re old when…

I haven’t stepped out of the door yet, for Monday’s Street Festival extravaganza, probably too overcome by the sheer amount of culture and entertainment on The Green yesterday, followed by last nights unrelated Swedish music at The Bell By The Green. 

To say it’s a staggering joy to live in Devizes is an underwhelming statement. Dave Buxton, festival head honcho, was gleefully told yesterday, by the acts, that our Street Festival is by far the highest concentration of quality acts in Europe. I’ll happily take their word for it.

Anyway, post-event was I loading out at The Lamb, and cornered by a girl called Emily, who insisted I looked mega young. I believed, that despite her insistence she was more likely to be younger than me – We counted to 3, and said our ages. She was older by a year.

I’ve recently turned 30 – an absolute footnote on the page of my life. For some friends are clearly bothered by the mile stone, I really hadn’t given it a second thought, especially if I keep these dashing young looks. I did admittedly feel it might be a touch inappropriate to continue handing out flyers to 6th formers, now that I am actually twice their age, none the less, I didn’t feel old.

That was until spending some time with Archie Combe. A delightful young local singer song writer, who in my opinion, is writing songs beyond his age. If he keeps this up, will be something quite special come his 20th birthday, with a little more life experience. 

I quipped about a track being a b-side, to which I got the bemused expression of “what’s a b-side”. And that’s when it hit. I hadn’t seen it come, but then I guess you don’t until it happens – but things have changed and I am now most definitely part of the last generation. There’s a new one looming, and they don’t know what a b-side is.

Devizes Street Festival provided me with some work yesterday, and I’m richer for the experience – Meeting some frank speaking Germans was hilarious, and reminded me why it’s important to be exposed to different cultures – other people just think differently. The whole event was bizarre, entertaining, bemusing and gave a host of experiences we would of otherwise never had.

I for one tried Curried Goat for the first time. It was flippin’ delicious. I met friends, encouraged one to roll about with an Irish Red Setter and watched a 3 man pyramid formed in front of my eyes. Oh, and apparently a mate got molested by a dwarf. 

The Crammer (our giant pond) played host to an instillation of burning candles and music – Visually is was fantastic and had a ream communal feel of shared experience. My mum “didn’t get it”, but there wasn’t much to get beyond knowing that something was happening, that usually doesn’t. The sort of thing you typically have to travel to a large city like Bristol to experience. 

Musically, it was all over the place, with tempo shifting up and down, moods going high and low and thus rendered the audio experience a bit imcomplete, but the thought was there. I did hear an amazing version of Smash Mouth’s Walking On The Sun by The Vitamin String Quartet. (Sorry, can’t find a full link, that’s not Spotify.)

The night ended with a trip to ABE JUGGIN’S gig at The Bell By The Green. That venue is still hanging in there, but the skin of it’s teeth. Abe put on our first Swedish band, to my knowledge. Who came, saw and conquered Devizes, in fits of technically gifted, 3 vocal gang shouts and a dude who could do pop harmonies (I missed those, but Adam Metcalfe told me…). My night was made up by seeing Brian “Papa Roads” again after he kicked the shit out of throat cancer. I guess he’s still a long way off being given the all clear sign, but I was overjoyed that he still and the fight and spirit in him. The guys an inspiration. 

And thus we are onto today, I’m heading out the door, meeting some Swindon friends, a chap who recorded a local band’s debut EP and other assorted musical waifs and strays, and it promises to be as equally fun and inspiring. 

I leave you with a lyric that blew me away, having never really appreciated it before, Radiohead’s “Stop Whispers, Start SHOUTING!” Indeed, come on guys, do something. 

Festivals, home recordings and general round up!

Sorry for the large gaps followed by a flux of posts, but I’ve been super crazy busy over the past few weeks. 

FESTIVALS

The inaugural “Folk Of Devizes” festival in Hillworth Park on 11th August was fantastic. There was stage time for a lot of budding local artists, including the young and impressive Archie Coomb. I took Archie back to my place after, and laid down his first demo’s. You can check those out on his soundcloud, below. 

Chris T-T stole the show though, with his AA Milne set, called Disobedience.  Needs to find decent pictures of this…

Next up after that was WOOLF MUSIC in Seend, on the 17th/18th. An avant garde, left field, acid folk festival – based around the Terrascope scene. If you’re properly into your local music then you’ll already be familiar with Thought-Forms. This festival was a co-pro between Phil “Terrascope” McMullen and Charlie “Sonic Sanctuary” Romaijn. 

I engineered their second stage, which was a lot of fun, working with singer-less acid folk, peppered with the occasional noise intrusion or lecture from significant writers from the scene, including a captivating read from Jeanette Leech, who has written a book about the whole Genre – check that out on Amazon

Highlights included French act, CHICALOYOH (I picked up a lovely maroon red 7″) and Melksham band TERRAPIN, who played with bugals and trumpets and maxed out on a space oddity type trip. Alas, I confess to of knowing practically none of the line up before the festival, little did that hold me back from loving every minute.

My two days was equal parts captivating and inspiring – I really hope there is a Woolf Music 2014, as there isn’t a festival like it in the UK, musically speaking, and this has led me to start reading WIRE magazine. 

LOCAL BAND PLAY READING FESTIVAL.

Reading 2012 featured a band from Chippenham. I forget their name – but they never responded with any apparent interest, or at all, when offered shows to build on it. They played the  Festival Republic / Introducing Stage.

This year how ever, we have the massive, MASSIVE news that DECADE will be opening up the “Lock Up Stage” come Saturday lunch time at this years Reading Festival. 

The band who feature home grown lads, Dan Clarke and Connor Fathers will be ticking off one of their ambitions with this band by playing the festival. This comes after recently signing to Universal Records imprint, Spinefarm. 

To say I’m super happy and proud of them is an understatement. They thoroughly deserve the break and the reward after their near constant touring duties. Well done guys, hope you smash my home town a new one! 

IN OTHER NEWS

Showcase, Battle Of The Bands – call it what you will – Winners TENDRILS were in the studio the past two days, as you saw from yesterdays blog post. The recording is now done. 5 tracks have been laid down – Now we just wait and see what Gareth can come up with. Excited to say the least. 

THIS WEEKEND

Golly, there’s hell of a lot going on. First up is Friday, and Benji Clements popular DAMP SESSIONS at The Lamb in Devizes. I am again engineering. The first (in Devizes) was huge – since then Benji has performed on TV at the Royal Albert Hall, so I expect this to be off the wall. Get down early, and book a space! >Facebook page + more info

Sunday see’s the ever impressive ABE JUGGINS, go international with the Swedish metal band, Beneath My Feat who will be playing The Bell By The Green. A show headlined by our own heroes HOMELAND. I hope they use their projectors again. Naturally, more info from >FACEBOOK<

Finally, Monday will see the best event in the Devizes calender, the Street Festival. It is always a joy to return from the UK’s best rock festival (Reading) and be greeted by this surreal spectacle. Previous performers have included the vegetable babies. The grannys on the mobility scooters. Those crazy unicyclers, and some French physical theatre. Hands down the most exciting cultural event in the whole of Wiltshire by far – Anyone care to suggest anything that comes close? 

So, sorry I’ve heaped it together, but it’s a bloody exciting time in Devizes right now, and we haven’t even got on to my #DEVIZESREVIVAL shows in the Autumn… 

Punk Room 101

…As is says on the tin. Enter in and never come out the same, Abe Juggins hands a début show to his new punk outfit ROOM 101 who play The Moonrakers on Nursteed Road Friday night (28th), which happens to be my birthday drinks, if anyone wants to come and say howdy. 

Support form warts n’ all, Warminster based tru punx band BOOTS N’ ALL, and impressive new-to-the-scene & Chippenham based 2 piece, SOMEWHAT SNAKES – giving me another chance to see them, after I missed the punk showcase back in May – which they well and truly stole. Audio Puppy complete the bill, giving Gary Martin the shortest trip to any show he’s ever played, with the pub 100 yards from his bath tub. Rock n’ Roll. 

Free entry from 8pm. Curfew of 11pm. >Facebook event page / more info…

 

Devizes Festival goes out in style!

Sunday saw the finale of our 3 week music & arts festival, ended in style with self confessed Last Word In Cool with Virginia Ironsides “Growing Old Disgracefully” tour and the first time I heard a flute at one of my shows, with the Bluesy Soul duo, KYLA BROX. The flute knocked me out, and I left feeling they would be great on a bill with Jon Amor…

It was a fantastic end to a record breaking year, which opened my eyes to public speaking via Michael Wood, some wonderful food courteously of Peter Vaughn – who cooked one of the acts meals from their own published cook book (!) and quite possibly the most significant show Devizes has ever witnessed from NEW MODEL ARMY – which has gone down with fans as “one of their best, top 5 most likely”.

I was overwhelmed with the responce from people, as almost every event sold out. We were exposed to a wide range of culture and interests, which I felt privileged to be a part of and humbled by many of the acts and their feedback.

I would like to give a big shout to Abe Juggins, an immensely reliable and capable member of the crew, without whom I wouldn’t of been able to do it.

Keep your ear firmly tuned to Fantasy Radio, as Phil Dawson will be playing some live recordings of some of the shows, of which I have more to give him too. 97fm locally, or online at FantasyRadio.co.uk.

SO on to next year – Now is the time to get your suggestions, and feedback in. We’re specifically looking at suggestions to incorporate a wide range of groups and possibly covering areas we may have missed this year.

And thus, I’ll leave you with the video of Gaz, hammering it out in the Corn Exchange. Until next Year x

 

SHOWCASE TONIGHT

Just a gentle reminder… That this is happening…

Ceres / Main hall – Kieran Moore presents… the “Sheer Music stage”

7 – 7.30 – Old Crows
7.45 – 8.15 – Ghosts As Alibis 
8.30 – 9 – Sasquatch Walk
9.15 – 9.45 – On Deaf Ears
10 – 10.45 – DAVE MCPHERSON (InMe)

Top floor / basement – Abe Juggins presents the “Dead Note Attire Stage”

7 – 7.30 – Without Consiquence
7.45 – 8.15 – 
8.30 – 9 – All Ears Avow
9.15 – 9.45 – Orcryst
10 – 10.45 – XII Boar

URL: Facebook

Doors: 8pm – Midnight.

Age: ALL AGE

Admission: £6 otd.

Gig Etiquette #3: Accepting a show

Neck on the line time…

ACCEPTING A SHOW should be the easiest thing to do, but I’ve had enough experiences in the past 4 weeks, that I should be bald by now on account of the hair pulling.

There’s a simple rule to accepting a show a promoter offers you, and that’s CHECK WITH YOUR BAND MEMBERS

If a promoter can’t wait to hear back from you to check in on your awkward drummer, than they’re probably not worth bothering with – If a show is time sensitive, they will probably tell you in advance – ie. First come first served.

I have been let down 2 days before a major event by an act whose band members were touting what they were doing at the weekend, which didn’t include the gig they were due to play – when pressed on their plans, either silence prevailed or assurances that all is well.

I promise you that if you can’t make a gig you’ve been offered, no one will be offended and more offers will come – this isn’t a made dash for any and every gig that comes your way – take your time, do it right and make sure every gig you play has you dedicated time and attention.

The biggest reason I have for bands pulling out is “oh, one of our members is away/on holiday/unavailable” – Surely you asked this member before you agreed to play the show, didn’t you? 

Please please please, communicate between band members – Another example I had a few weeks ago was an act who agreed to play a a show, and I then had contact with a chap who was in a band and wanted a gig, which I duly offered – only to find out that each person was in the same band, who then have the audacity to get the hump when I say they can’t play the second one and revert back to the original. 

Here’s me trying to give everyone equal access to live shows, and there are bands who are agreeing to play shows – without actually talking to each other. All you’ve done is screw over my careful planning.

Honestly people – No one will be upset or bothered if you can’t make a gig – there are more bands around than nights to give them – What I want as a promoter is a dedicated, enthusiastic act, who guarantee to be organised, professional and willing to help promote a show, to make any event easy and as much fun as possible.

Is this too much to ask? 

 

Devizes SHOWCASE kicks off!

Friday 10th May, sees the start of Devizes Showcase 2013the Devizes Festival event where we get to give local musicians an opportunity to play shows and the next generations of Jimi Hendrix’s their first taste of live music!

Kicking off this years event will be a bill of heavy metal, headed up by Devizes beefcakes, HOMELAND. Not to be confused with the American drama of the same name, the band are using a projector to add imagery to their live performance – which is going to be impressive and indulgent, if their new song, Things Will Change (video below) is anything to go by.

The gig will be free entry, from 7.30pm and ALL AGE – so please ensure we encourage the next generation to pick up guitars and experience live music. 

The line up is completed by Swindon’s NATURES, a young melodic hardcore band, WITH WHAT REMAINS, a Bath area based metal band and the bill is finished off with OPTIMAL PRIME, a Swindon area prog/metal band. So there you have it, heavy, but something for everyone!

Devizes Festival Metal Showcase

Palehorse pull out, Broken Jaw step in…

I hate announcing changes to line ups, it makes us look stupid frankly. Even worse, I dislike the idea of making changes like nothing ever happened. You’re not stupid right?

So it’s with huge disappointment that Noise Shitting  Bastards, Palehorse have pulled out of the April show at The Bell by the Green – how ever, not wanting to be the barer of bad news, we’re actually pleased to announce that BROKEN JAW are stepping in their barely cold shoes. 

Abe Juggins done a heroic job of getting these on board in super quick time, and after the back of an impressive support to Breed 77 in Bristol – you can expect some shit kicking hardcore, of which a wee, bed room recording, can be heard below. Indulge.

Dead Note Attire sponsor stage at Devizes Showcase

Devizes based clothing apparel Dead Note Attire, created and run by Homeland.‘s Ash Clark, will be sponsoring a stage at the Devizes Festival Showcase event on June 14th.

DNA will be sponsoring the second stage, which is being booked / programmed by Abe Juggins  and will feature the heavier bands. Special guest head liners will be, Aldershot based punk/metal band, XII Boar.

Merch will be available at the event, but Homeland won’t be playing – You can catch Homeland though, on Friday April 26th at the Bell By The Green, opening for London based legends, PALEHORSE.