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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. 

We’re joining Brian Reid on the Mid Week Mojo!

Continuing our drive of our 10 year anniversary celebrations, this Wednesday the 3rd of April, I will be joining none other than Brian “Papa Roads” Reid in the Chippenham FM hot seat, and co-hosting his Mid Week Mojo.

Broadcast through their website at http://www.chippenhamfm.com, I will be live on the air with Brian from 8pm. We’ll be talking about the past decade, the present, the future, the ups, the downs, the successes, the disasters and I’ve hand picked 6 songs to play too! 

Please tune in, drop Brian and I some banter, share your favourite moments / memories – Tell us your favourite shows and why! 

Call/Text – 07950 842365
Email – info@chippenhamfm.com
Like us on Facebook – /ChippFM
Follow us on Twitter – @ChippenhamFM

brianreid

>insert, Smarty pants, new year blog title, here<

Well howdy 2014, you came around quick. We’re already half way through January before I’ve even mentioned anything that’s happening this year. 

I never bother with new years eve, call me grumpy, but you count down to midnight, have a quick snog, continue getting too drunk and wonder what all the fuss was about. I love a pointless celebration as much as the next person, I just don’t like paying inflated door prices just to drink in my regular boozer! I much prefer Christmas, as you get all the gaudy, unnecessery decorations that go with it , that’s how you celebrate.

What does 2014 have in store for us then?

My gigs start this Friday the 17th January at The Lamb, in St Johns Street Devizes. With Cambridge, underground performer B SYDES. A performance less suggestive of his quaint love for the traditional single, and more a stroke of coincidence that his name is Ben Sydes. 

What I like about Ben is his ability to play nice and chunky, avoiding any clichés that would normally befall your regular singer songwriters. You’ll have to listen, he’ll drown you out. He’s also a handsome chap, capable of growing better stubble than me. Check that out here.

A further look ahead yields these results… 

Jan 31st           AL O’KANE
– Excellent  roots, crossover bluesy, folk, acoustic
Feb 7th            JON AMOR + Rhiannon Mair
– This pair need little introduction.

Feb 21st           NO FIXED ABODE
– Proper traditional knit your own breakfast, Irish folk.
Feb 28th         THOMAS FORD           
– This guy is UNREAL. Best described as a One Man Blues Trio. Ace.

Mar 7th                 Secret Chord Records
– Swindon’s 
independent label sets out the best of their roster.

Mar 14th         BOB BOWLES
– If you can shout it out, he can play it!

Mar 21st              TEDDY LIGHT
– Well, there isn’t enough room for the Teddy White band is there?

Thurs   Apr 24th GAZ BROOKFIELD – He’s back on tour, but this is a Thursday, write that down!

All the info on these gigs can be found on the gigs tab of the website, on your right >>>>>>> And in all our regular social networking stuffz
Twitter: @sheer_musicsoundcloud.com/sheermusicinstagram.com/sheer_music

TONIGHT you will be able to hear my dulcet chords on MELKSHAM TOWN SOUND. I’m \gatecrashing the air with my cohort Rob Escott. He’ll be playing what I bribe him to play and with any luck we’ll be announcing a few more shows too. Tune in from 8pm on line.

That’s all for now, until next time, toodle pip!

2014 was a vintage year for music, local and for me getting out of Wiltshire a little! So here’s my favourite shows that I put on and why…

5. White Knuckle Bride, Corn Exchange, Devizes. Saturday 30th March –  White Knuckle Bride were performing their last show, little did we know. Prior to the event, the whole scene came together to put on a great gig. Main room, effectively sold out show and frankly an excellent head line slot! 

4. New Model Army, Corn Exchange, Devizes. Friday 21st June – Incredible PA, ridiculous volume, amazing band, packed audience. This show was everything Devizes and the Corn Exchange CAN be. An atmosphere second to none, receptive audience and a belter of a gig!

3. That Fucking Tank, Bell By The Green, Devizes. Friday 12th July – I had wanted this band for yeeeeeeears, they finally came as a warm up to 2000 Trees Festival, and I managed to for fill a dream! A rare show that I had to charge at, was still well attended. The band performed without any PA and just rocked it. Simple as. 

2. CHRIS T-T, The Lamb, Devizes. Friday 20th December – Such a great end to the year, the ever lovely Chris came and played a faultless set, to a busy, expectant crowd. There was jokes, there was an open log fire, there was friends a plenty, great support acts and I’ve never felt so good at one of my gigs, this was it! 

1. GNARWOLVES, Corn Exchange, Devizes. Monday 9th December – OK so I lost £200, but what a way to lose £200. I could of actually spent the money on hitting the road, staying in a hotel and getting pissed up else where, without having any of the worry of actually organising a gig myself, but where would have been the fun in that? 

Gnarwolves SMASHED it, Devizes was for the briefest of moments, the coolest place in Wiltshire, and we all had a good sing-a-long! My own stand out gig of the year!

So, without even considering it, my top 5 shows, featured 3 from the Corn Exchange, I really didn’t expect that! The Bell managed to creep in, but we still know that the home of good local music, national touring acts and atmosphere is….. The Lamb, right? Right. Right! 

The best shows I went to were mainly festivals, but here goes…

5. Frank Turner, Academy, Bristol – Back in March, or April old Mr Turner toured, and I managed to get myself invited to hook up with his FOH engineer, Graham. A guy I had met in passing but never really got chatting to. I was there to talk gear, I ended up watching a soundcheck and learning a great deal, from a great man! The show, well it was everything you’ve come to expect from a Turner show, sing-a-longs, punch drunk, punk rock, dancing, energy the works. And lots and lots of friends and family! 

4. Future Of The Left, Bournemouth – The day after the band had played Heaven to 900 people, they came to 60 Million Postcards and played to 80 – 100. Little did that stop them making a glorious noise! The ever so important atmosphere was there, that Falco requires to really let loose, and that he did. No real stage or audience definition meant half the band played in half the audience at anyone given time, always a good sign of a great show. 

3. 2000 Trees Festival, Gloucester. – I only went for the Thursday night, pre festival set of gigs, since I had TFT in Devizes on the Friday night, but even that was enough to secure a place in my top 5! What a festival, an amazing bunch of organisers AND it won a much deserved award this year! Frank’s solo Love Ire & Song set was magic, FOTL were a messy cacophony of noise, The Xcerts were alt pop brilliance, the hot chili food flowed, as did the beer, oh and my kids enjoyed their first festival too! They got to see Frank in his proper electric set too! Mint!  

2. JETPLANE LANDING, LEXINGTON, LONDON – For what ever reason, I managed to miss tickets for their tour, but just about managed to work my way onto a guest list. A glory was their return to the live circuit! Old songs, new songs, sing-a-longs, Cahir in his right place, I hadn’t seen Jamie since their penultimate show before the hiatus, and Andrew. Wonderful, inspiring Andrew. The band filmed the show, and made a video for the stand out track from their album, you can see that here

1. CUT THE TRANSMISSION, DERRY, IRELAND. – Home of my favourite label, and bunch of musical friends, Small Town America. Last ever Fighting With Wire show. My first La Faro experience. First time visiting Ireland. City Of Culture. Guinness. Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls. Basically no other gig came close, and 2000 Trees won an award!!

Here’s to 2014, and whatever it has in store for us!

 

STOP THE PRESSES!

Imagine my shame when, scrolling down my iTunes only to realise that BEN MARWOOD‘s BACK DOWN was released this year?

So scrap all my lists, as THIS was my album of the year.

Some acts who explode come undone on the “difficult” second album, but not our Ben. Here we see him flourish into the dark little song writer we kinda knew he was, but were a little afraid to admit. 

Maturity is an almost clichéd thing to say, so I won’t, I’ll say composed instead. His second album was a composed account of his fragility, honesty and impeccable taste of influences. Little had changed from the previous outing, ie. there was still a bit of slide + steel guitar and there were a few full band numbers, but this album just had an extra, inexplicable element to it, that made me deeply love it. 

I confess, without meaning to sound “oh look at me” about it, that I had this album last year, when Ben came and played The Lamb and stayed over with Jay Beans, that’s why it felt like I’ve owned this for ever. I have listened it to an alarming regularity since! Incidentally, it’s up there with the Retrospective lads on my most played records this year, despite both being released last year, what’s with that? 

To celebrate my ridiculous oversight, I have booked the Ben Marwood and Retrospective Soundtrack Players co-head line UK tour in February 2014, you can find out more about that, over on TOWNTALK. & pick up cheap advance tickets HERE

I’m looking forward to that tour poster too! http://www.benmarwood.com.

RIGHT, that’s me over and out until after Christmas, I hope you celebrate it in your own special way, and I’ll be back to spam you all about all things Musically Wiltshire in the new year!

THANKS to everyone who has given a damn and supported their local scenes, come to shows, hung out and generally been cool – You’re the real deal! 

Take care

Kieran x

My 2013 Top Tens / lists!

Everyone loves a list, better still we like looking back at old lists and shudder at our suggestions of “Next Big Thing” and Best Gig awards, nethertheless here’s my Top Tens of 2013...

MY TOP 10 ALBUMS…

10. TTNG – 13.0.0.0.0.0 (Sargent House)

I love This Town Needs Guns, they’ve done a few shows for me, and with each successive listen, their music gets better – Such was my anticipation, that perhaps I put them on too high a pedestal. This album is good, but I still ached for that Animals era sound, so it only gets number 10. 

9. The Physics House Band – Horizon/Rapture (Blood & Biscuits)

Great name, great lead track, great band dynamic, great prog noise. This record had it all and was effortlessly cool too. Future looks good for these. I missed out on booking them too, perhaps next year instead. 

8. That Fucking Tank – TFT (Obscene Baby Auction)

Ah Ha! A band I’ve wanted to give a show to for years. Finally got my chance just before 2000 Trees festival, with the band in the area, they swooped in and melted out faces. It was every shade of fucking cool. This album too, pretty much delivered what you want from a TFT album. Riffs aplenty and an explanation on how to write like them, neat. 

7. Rival Schools – Found (United By Fate Records)

Demoed years ago, finally seeing an official release this year. The album between United By Fate and Pedals, this album was just great. Musically tight, vocals and melody brilliant through and through, and an excellent cover of The Who. Win.

6. Crazy Arm – The Southern Wild (Xtra Mile)

Bloody hell this was good! I was never really into their punk sound, but when they stripped it back to this banjo led direction I fell in love. Far from jumping on a bandwagon, this band have been round long enough to warrant the opportunity to do what they like. This album was testament to that, and it was fantastic! Their show at The Lamb was one of the best this year too!

5. Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart (Xtra Mile)

Not album of the year? Not for any reason of than it was a break up record, and that’s sad. It’s also a blinding great album, which battled with The Buble for top spot in the charts. Frank lost the battle with the middle aged woman supremo, but he stayed by far the best act Great Britain has to offer!

4.  Future Of The Left – How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident (Self Release / crowd funded)

This record felt like a culmination of the previous efforts. So varied, tight, stop start, glitchy, ambitious and with Falco’s wit made it near perfect! And a band I managed to catch 3 times this year, which was 3 times more than ever before! 

3.  Thought-Forms – Ghost Mountain – (Invada)

The Wiltshire cum Bristol trio come of age, with a frankly magnificent second album. Part art rock, part post rock – Shoe gazing, drone brilliance. Should catapult them into the scenes majors players

2. Jetplane Landing – Don’t Try – (Small Town America)

I was about to say this is bias, but realised that would suggest it doesn’t deserve to be top spot. It does, but still manages to miss out on my favourite album of the year. “Hey! Maggots! Get off my turf! I wrote shit. like. this. fucking years ago!!” Thank you Andrew + band, for such an inspiring record! 

1. ASIWYFA – All Hail Bright Futures – (Sargent House)

Two Sargent House releases bookending this list. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out if ASIWYFA had ripped off Adebisi Shank, but then I realised that “All Hail…” was by a country mile the best record this year, in my opinion, so it didn’t matter. Absolutely blinding from start to finish, tune after tune after tune after tune. So. Much. Fun. Live. MAGNIFICENT band, getting better with each release – this could well be their OK Computer moment, and they could swallow the world next year, or perhaps it’s their Six moment, and they’ll go unappreciated and split. Who cares, this was a monster of an album and deserves top spot. 

Special mentions go to Caves, The Computers, Chris T-T, Ice Sea Dead People, Jamie Lenman, Bite The Buffalo, Calories, Larry & His Flask and Gaz Brookfield and The Bronx for all making great records too! Last year I stuck Retrospective Soundtrack Players in this section, and it went on to be the most listened record on my iPod, just saying’. 

THE INEVITABLE EP LIST 

1. Oxygen Thief – Accidents Do Not Happen They Are Caused (Xtra Mile)
2. Gnarwolves – Funemployed (BSM) (another year, another EP, next year I predict their album to be #1) 
3. Straight Lines – Escapology (Xtra Mile)
4. Sophomore – The Blue EP – (Self Release) 
5. Rat Attack – Rat Attack – (Self Release) (Left their hardcore roots behind, and went all Kerrang! A massive guilty pleasure…)
6. The Computers – Elvis Vs. Elvis (One Little Indian)
7. Ben Marwood – Demons (Self release)
8. Calories – DMT (Self release)
9. Little Leagues – Clarity (Self release)

LOCAL BAND RELEASES

1. Somewhat Snakes – Somewhat Snakes – I reviewed it earlier this year,  then they came and slew with the Gnarwolves support – I was justified. They are great! 

2. Dead Royalties – Dead Royalties Another cracking band from Alex Share. This lad has a sound, and he rarely does anything other than complete excellence, this a 3 track EP for the new band was just that, excellent. 

3. The Observation Deck – Easily Exploitable –  I promised to release this properly with a physical record, but never got the chance, time or money to do it, how ever it was a top record!

4. Tendril – Tendril Loving Tendril Care –  4 lads with a classic rock sound. No vocalist, yet it didn’t stop them really coming together wit a tight nit sound. Recently seen expanding into vocal-less noise territory and embracing it, rather than finding it an hindrance. 2014 will be their year, locally. Trust me. 

5. Audrey Aroha – 9 Volt Leap Recordings – She’s been on the scene for a while, yet this year she managed to headline and pack out local venues, and finally release something! a 6 track EP thing, which pretty much covered the solo singer song writer slot in Wiltshire with aplomb! 

RECORDS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2014

Mongol Horde will be releasing, I hope, their début. We have the new one from the Retrospective Soundtrack Players in Spring along with Decade‘s album out in January! Oxygen Thief has promised us new music, if I remember correctly – another solo ep and a band record… Adebisi Shank have their third record out on Sargent House (preview here) and I’m hoping for something new from Tangled Hair and perhaps even a proper Gnarwolves album?? 

 

FEEL FREE  TO GET IN CONTACT AND TELL ME WHY I’M WRONG, WHO I MISSED OR BETTER STILL YOUR OWN LISTS.

TUNE IN SOON FOR A RUN DOWN OF MY FAVOURITE GIGS OF THE YEAR, NOT JUST AS A PROMOTER BUT ALSO AS A PUNTER! 

AND REMEMBER TO COME TO THE Chris T-T show, this FRIDAY at The Lamb, in Devizes. 8pm. Free entry.

Sorry for long wait on an update!

We’ve been mega busy in Devizes, and it’s flown by in what seems like a blink an eye, but for what it’s worth, here’s my quick round up!

We went through an Autumn slew of shows, which featured a lot of the peripheral acts from the scene I love most – We had Retrospective Soundtrack Players kicking us off at the end of October, in fine, rather modest style – A well attended show with a great performance!

Beans On Toast followed shortly after, which is always a great gig, but really good for me to get more of the gossip from what’s going on else where with other friends! Turned out the Salisbury show on that tour, was rather naff.

Andy Oliveri continued our strong series of gigs, and he played a blinder, with his backing vocalist and g/d of Jim Locky & Solemn Sun tour manager / bassist Phil. Was great to get more of these people from the wider scene into Devizes – That night was backed up from Henry Green too, who stole the show!

Gaz Brookfield brought the penultimate show of this programme to an end, stuffing the venue to bursting point, and he managed to bring with him Joe McCorriston too, another guy I was more than happy to have! This gig was extra special, as we managed to have Ellen Cox AND Mark McCabe in there too – That is definitely going to be a show that we look back at and go, “Wow, they were all there on the same bill, crazy!”

Finally Dave Hughes bought what I thought was going to be an acoustic set, electrically – but actually proved a fitting finale to that run of shows and again, was an absolute pleasure to work on, watch and hang out with!

Thus ended probably our most consistent run of gigs ever!

December kicked off with “Rockxegyn Thief” the Oxygen Thief full band show, which actually counted member of the previously mentioned Retrospective Soundtrack Players in their ranks. I can now count half the members of that band, off my list. Swindon proving that it too can come up with the goods, even on a Wednesday night!

Finally it all boiled down to last nights gig with GNAWOLVES at the Corn Exchange. Again, another unashamedly successful night! Well attended, sounded ace, good bands, people and atmosphere! 

The fear of the new electric system was dealt with easily, though having to get everything PAT tested, wasn’t just a ball ache, but expensive too! Though the curse of the venue did strike again, as it’s bloody expensive hire costs, and security demands means I actually walked away with a £200 loss. Still the band got paid, had an absolute riot and want to work with us again, so wins all round – and perhaps I’ll make that loss up at some point!

>> Check this video out, for how good the atmosphere was! <<

SO looking forward to 2014?

We open next years programme, with another act from my preferred underground scene – B SYDES.  aka Benjamin Sydes, this dude is a friend of friends and really deserves a show in our venue (The Lamb) support comes from Bath’s Georgie Vale – who hasn’t been back for a while, and recent newie to me, Kirsty Clinch. Opening the night will be Mike Barham from Old Crows, who has returned to Devizes after finished Uni! Welcome back Mike! Look forward to your first solo set!

Further down the line I have a similar sized punk show for the Corn Exchange, a gig in a Church to be announced (St Mary’s), perhaps a Mr B show (or two) and I want to bring Gnarwolves back to the area, and I want to redesign the website too, so plenty to look forward to, BUT ALL OF THIS MATTERS NOT, if you don’t come to our Xmas and Final show of the year –

CHRIS T-T @ The Lamb, Friday 20th December – Facebook over there>> https://www.facebook.com/events/469489329832472/?ref=ts&fref=ts

You can read what Chris thinks of the gig here, and see his own words about a “Special Guest” over on our sister site, ColourOfVinyl – http://thecolourofvinyl.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/a-conversation-with-chris-t-t/ – We don’t know who the guest is, but Chris has recently had people like Jim Bob from Carter USM as a guest, so whoever it is, it’s guaranteed to be very special indeed!

Thanks one and all for your support over the past year, it’s been one of the best,

KIERAN X

If you’re free tonight… + a few updates…

First of all, it’s that time of the month again, where The Bear opens up it’s bear pit (how apt!) and allows anyone who dares enter, the opportunity to perform live. 

Open mic, 3 songs, then switch time – dependent on turn out means you may get another shot at the stage once everyone willing has had their soap box moment. 

Doors I believe are at 7 / 7.30pm… Always a good laugh, and Devizes’s only real open mic (Did I mention, it’s free entry as usual?)

OK, moving on to my DAVE HUGHES show tomorrow, check out page 63 (I think) of today’s Gazette & Herald or Wiltshire Times for a lovely preview, entry is like usual and at The Lamb. The quality control is tight and to prove this, here are 2 live recordings taken from the past 2 shows; Dave’s fellow Scotsman, Mark McCabe, putting in an excellent show…

and Portsmouth’s Retrospective Soundtrack Players, a song I particularly like and v.happy with the way it came out! Hope you enjoy too!

TICKETS FOR GNARWOLVES have started shifting again, after a break in sales, not sure why – but they’ve now available from Devizes Books in Sidmouth St, priced £7. Remember you’re getting a £3 discount than the door price – that’s like almost the cost of a pint, just for buying in advance –  It’s not often we get a band who have recently graced the front pages of a national magazine (Front) so please buy in advance, this is a big deal for Devizes! You can also buy on line at WeGotTickets. You know it makes sense!

FILM! If film is actually your passion in life, you could do worse than check out DEVIZES FILM FESTIVAL. In it’s inaugural year, the festival is open to anyone and everyone – read about what you can and can’t do with your footage here… Really cool that we finally have something like this in Devizes!

http://www.sheermusic.co.uk

 

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.

Lamenting past bands…

I often lament the fact I didn’t see a certain band enough, or perhaps more specifically I didn’t see a band a certain point in time. 

My example of this would be Placebo circa 1996. They were performing a set which consisted of songs from their second album, which wasn’t released yet, before they had even released the first. I never saw this, I was too young for starters, but Melody Maker gave me an insight. It wasn’t long before Brian was making all these grandiose gestures of “leaving a trail of spunk and blood” behind him, on their UK tour. 

This I always thought, as a teenager who identified himself as an outsider, was cool. More than cool, a true underground thing. Digging beneath the surface of the band I find songs about books written by French authors, written whilst in prison. (Lady Of The Flowers – I bought the book from second hand book shop D’Arcy books in Devizes. I couldn’t get into the story.) and much more besides. 

I rejoice at seeing Mansun at the peak of their career, in 98′. I saw them once more in 99′ at Reading, and then never again. I could perhaps of seen them more, and I lament the missed opportunity. It wasn’t until Reading 99′ that I saw 3 Colours Red, and their final show. They reformed, and I was BANG on that, but that too turned out to be my second and final time. I really regret not seeing them more. 

I feel lucky to have seen Idlewild a lot. At regular intervals. As a rising, exciting band. As a band absolutely nailing it, and then on the way down. I decided to not watch them after they were boring. I have only seen Manic’s once, and frankly given their state now, it’ll stay that way. Glasto’ 99′ and they were amazing. 

I guess what I’m saying is, if you have the chance to see it, see it before it goes, or more specifically, watch it as much as you can whilst it’s around – For me music is the best experience. Never take what makes you feel good for granted. If a band is in town, dig right in. You never know what you’re going to see, or quite possibly worse still, miss. 

In December I have Gnarwolves coming to town. Sorry to single them out over all the shows I have coming up, because all my shows are exciting and cool – Otherwise I wouldn’t be doing them. With Gnarwolves though, there’s this feeling inside, that they’re on the cusp. An 8 page special in a huge circulatory national magazine kinda tells you there’s more to them than you’re average band. This is before they have a record out. Their first three 7″s are well and truly sold out, and I have them all. 

They’re choosing to open their tour in the little back water town of Devizes. This is a big deal. We are first on a national UK tour. Their first head line tour. They have just slayed every god damn festival they’ve performed at, I would hazard a guess that a lot of you were at those festivals, whether you saw them or not.

They’ve written some very articulate songs based on books too, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World with their songs “History Is Bunk” and “”Community, Identity, Stability”, and the dead obvious “Oh, Brave New World” There’s clearly more going on underneath the surface of the band, and if you’re a teenager, who identifies with being an outsider, then perhaps there would be a lot here for you to get into. 

Gnarwolves play Devizes Corn Exchange on Monday 9th December. Tickets are £7 adv from WeGotTickets and Devizes Books.

“Hepatitis is less infectious than Gnarwolves”

St Marys Art Centre, Devizes – Make this dream real.

You may have seen in the local community the proposed usage of St Mary Church in New Park Street? You can read about it on their website – http://www.stmarydevizestrust.org.uk/

This is a really exciting and massive opportunity for all of us in Devizes, get this right and we can have a purpose built, dedicated, permanent events venue like Salisbury Arts Centre in our town. Get it wrong, and we end up with nothing, or worse, another Assize Courts.

Next Thursday, the 24th October St Mary’s Trust (the trust behind this venture) have a meeting with planners at, Devizes School from 6pm – which anyone and everyone is invited to come and show their support, to hear what both trust committee and the planners have to say. 

If you have even the slightest passing interest, or perhaps are a bit nosey, I encourage you all to come and listen to the debate. Every body that turns up, is positive proof that we want this in our town, and I really want this in our town

Please sign up to the news letter on the St Mary’s Trust website. Please get involved, simply having a poster in your shop / house / car is enough to distribute the support. Or email in to Tony Scorer at Yahoo.com to voice your thoughts and support. 

I have written an outline proposal to how I would use the venue in the future, and it obviously is based around the music, but a venue like this will be able to offer a lot more. Please get behind it!

A4-Support-St-Mary-Devizes-Planning-poster