Eek! The once humble, Parisian style mood of the venue is being given a facelift this week by Jonn King – He has already completed the stairwell, hall and downstairs toilets, while the main work in the function room comes next week – sneak pics below!
BUT DON’T PANIC the front bar, main toilets and smoking area / garden remain unchanged.
The function room looks set to lose it’s oddly shaped tables and random assortment of chairs, for a more uniform layout. The new lick of paint was certainly needed and I hope give a cleaner impression!
I’ll also have this ace little booth to store my kit in, and look dead professional and what not to stand behind. The first show AFTER the work looks set to be Friday 9th May, the Devizes Festival acoustic showcase, which features Barney Goodall among others! >check that out here<
You’ll all get the chance to see what work has been done TOMORROW evening, when Gaz Brookfield comes to town. Free entry from 8pm.
In other news, we have a massive show to announce Friday, so please keep your eyes peeled in the usual spaces. And a big shout out to Gnarwolves who have been upgraded to the main stage at this years Reading Festival, well done lads.
Stairwell (leading into function room)
The downstairs / wheelchair toilet
Those of you who have already joined the Devizes Festival Facebook page, will have had a sneak preview of a few of this years acts, but you can now peruse the entire 2014 programme from the excellent brand new website, http://www.devizesfestival.co.uk/.
The obvious stand out events, in my mind, would be the MR B THE GENTLEMAN RHYMER on Saturday 21st June, simply because of his spat with Mr Gove, the Newsnight performance and Guardian, Independent and Metro coverage back in March/April. Oh, and because it’s free entry 😉
Then there is Oxford Educated drug trafficker, HOWARD MARKS, on Thursday 19th June at the Corn Exchange. The big counter culture figure, in a literally conservative town.
Other improvements include the ability to purchase tickets online for every event this year, even the Organ recitals in the Churchs! And we’re looking to get on the social network hash tag’s too, see if we can get these trending in June.
#DevizesFestival – On Twitter and Instagram
#DevizesMusic – On Instagram specifically.
We want to see your comments, pictures and feedback in real time, and show off the quality of our festival across the Social Media platform!
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 email@example.com 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.
GILBERT & SULLIVAN!
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!
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 STUDIOS. While 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/.
BOOM! Not one but TWO Chap Hop superstar shows are coming to Devizes over the summer.
For those uninitiated of you, Chap Hop is the bizarre, unexpectedly excellent marring of the Queens English and Hip Hop. Imagine George Formby meets The Sugarhill Gang.
One of the creators of the scene, Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer, will be performing at Devizes Town Hall, on Saturday 21st June as part of Devizes Fringe Festival, a free entry event that will require a ticket. Those tickets will be available from WeGotTickets in May.
To follow up this foray into uncharted Hip Hop musical landscapes (in Devizes at any rate) will be the equally excellent, Professor Elemental, who will be performing at St Mary’s Arts Centre on Saturday 19th July. Tickets available from WeGotTickets, priced £9 now. http://www.wegottickets.com/event/263296#.UxOGeuN_vE0
Shaun will be giving a talk on the project before performing with between approximately 15 and 30 of the musicians he met on the London Underground throughout 2012. There will be the potential for Devizes area, classical musicians to be involved at this event and certainly a lot more involved in the future as Shuan develops new ideas.
Tickets will be on sale Monday 3rd February via WeGotTickets and available in Devizes books priced £10 each, or £25 for a family ticket (” adults and 2 under 18’s)
This will be a completely unique opportunity to see an orchestra live in a church, with the natural acoustics complimenting the sound and of course a great opportunity to start seeing what the future of St Mary’s is going to hold and the types of high quality cultural events we will see in Devizes all year round!
More information can be found on the 121212 challenge and St Mary’s websites respectively below.
You can keep up to date with the event as it develops, with more information on which performers will be attending via the Facebook page here.
For the past 19 months the band name ORCRYST has been synonymous with the new generation of local metal – Sunday prompted the next stage of the band, as they announce the change of name and prepared themselves to hit the studio Monday morning, to record their first multi tracked, fully fledged EP.
The new name will be TENDRIL – which in botany, relates to the specialised stems of wall / climbing plants. You can continue to look at the original Facebook page, which is >Here< for your convenience. The guys are recording with new-to-the-scene mobile recording engineer, Gareth Nicholas, which many will know since he has already recorded a lot of my live shows. These can be found on his Soundcloud (link at the bottom.)
The as yet untitled EP, will potentially feature 5 tracks and as many people know, lack any vocals. The band have financed this recording by winning the Devizes Festival Battle Of The Bands (Showcase) event back in June.
Since they’re suing so much of my gear for the recording process, I popped into the studio at lunch time to check in on the progress, and managed to get a few shots, on my terrible, Terrible, Blackberry phone…
Word is the band will wrap up tomorrow lunch time, before Gareth gets on with the final mixes before mastering. Details for listening will be due in due course!