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.