A free gig, festival additions and a new merch item…

LOADS of announcements here… Please shared & tag your friends so everyone sees it!

First up… OUR AXES SHOW IS FREE ENTRY.

In light of the recent Wiltshire Times article about the future of Town Hall Arts (summery – Victim of their own success, require “35k to survive, 60k to thrive” in funding) we decided that the line up of AXES (multi-nationality & gender) some what reflected the diversity that the Town Hall Arts is all about, and thus have made our event FREE ENTRY in an attempt to fill the venue to bursting with like-minded individuals. 

Re-cap on what the show is all about, Axes are signed to Big Scary Monsters, whose roster has a long and beautiful relationship with performing our shows. The band themselves are an art rock band, with crazy time signatures, structures and dynamics all over the place. Real fun, feel good, dancy, indie rock noise, with silly song titles (Wet Wet Wet Wet or Rainbow Bacon or Fleetwood Math etc).

Support comes from Wiltshire’s own art rock band, Hoggs Bison, who is none other than Tom Mallard from Chippenham’s Riverbank studio. The band have put out their own debut album on vinyl, titled “Aeons” and last year performed at math-festival “Arc Tan Gent”. Following in the footsteps of previous Wiltshire outfit, Thought-Forms, it’s fair to say we have a strong history of producing this sort of quality & long may it continue!

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

ALL ROADS LEAD TO fROME! still… That’s right, Somerset council haven’t changed any of the sign posts around, so indeed all roads do still lead to Frome. 

We, very quietly announced last week that, Scout Killers, All Ears Avow, Drew Bryant, She Makes War & Rob Lynch were added to our line up – In case you missed that announcement, and many of you did, here’s the new again. 

I cannot stress how difficult it was to tie up some of these sought-after acts. Rob Lynch is a slippery salmon, but credit to Rob Dahl for chasing him like some sort of 90s pop fan. He didn’t manage to scare Lynch away, like say, Dan Buckingham would have, and instead agreed to come play instead. 

It’s also with great admiration that we include Scout Killers on the bill. The band recently sold out successively larger shows at Village Pump in Trowbridge, followed by The Nest in Bath. We’re predicting big things for the band, who only inked a deal with American band Soil’s Ryan McCombs management agency & are set to make a further leap when their album is recorded in June, and released later this year. It’s great to see some of our talent breaking out, so do keep a lazy eye on this band. 

I’m tickled pink that Laura She Makes War has also agreed to the gig, joining her friends Barry Dolan aka Non-Canon and Ben Marwood on an already excellent bill. 

Rob & I have been very lucky over the past two years that the bills do get better, fingers crossed this year we’ll beat out previous records. The line up speaks for itself. 

CHUCK HAY TO RETURN.

OK, so you kinda get it by now, Chuck SJ Hay is great. They’ve done some amazing gigs for us, and they’re someone we really believe in. But we can’t simply keep giving the same show over and over, at some point something has to give, so we’ve made the decision to add Chuck to the Justin Sullivan show at The Vic in Swindon. Much like the recent Grace Petrie gig, Chuck will play an early set, which won’t affect the other acts or times. 

Chuck really is someone coming into their own. Confidence seems to grow in the performance and there is a real message there. So far the gigs have managed to turn new people on to their music and things are definitely coming together for this Brighton based artist! A couple of high-profile supports and we could see Chuck develop into a real regular on this circuit. I predict that they’ll be opening Gaz’s Xmas shindig in Bristol in 2019. I’m calling it now. 

OH and one last thing… 

After recently seeing some wicked enamel pin badges, I’ve decided to produce some Sheer ones. Very simply, they say “Sheer Music est 2004” round the outside, and #GigFamily on the inside & will look amazing! Rob Escott (who does most of our posters) is mocking us up a design (when he get 5 minutes for my slave driving…) 

I did hope they would be ready in time for the Axes show, but alas the turn around is 4 weeks, so I’m way out. However, they will be beautiful and a perfect summery of what we’re about – a big family of gig lovers and friends. Defying age, gender, religious or sexual barriers, live music and our shows are joyous spaces where we come together to have fun together & I can’t think of anything more beautiful than that. So this is a pin badge to celebrate that! 

You invented the #HashTag, I just ran with it! 

So there you have it – big update……. 

SEE YOU ALL AT THE AXES SHOW & don’t forget to pick up tickets for All Roads Lead To Frome (please!) 

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Figure 8 Festival (Bristol)

HOWDY folks, this weekend really is brimming full of superb quality across the area for live music and events and none will be more deserving than Figure 8 Festival in Bristol, this Saturday the 28th of September. 

The festival, now in it’s second year, is the artistic creation of Laura Williams, a well respected journalist and deputy editor of Bristol24-7 among a host of other reputable magazines such as Metro and The Fly. She is raising money for MacMillan Cancer Support, and does so by putting on a unique, stylish and cool live music event. Held at Bristol’s Trinity Centre, a former church and now converted community arts centre, it provides the perfect location and atmosphere for the array of music on offer. 

Headlined by 90’s indie legends, DODGY, the bill also features personal favourite CHRIS T-T and Mumford & Sons and Laura Marling collaborator PETE ROE on the main stage, whilst there’s a heavy Bristol presence with the excellent St Pierre Snake Invasion (not to mention the amazing name!) super cool, and Howling Owl signed act, Oliver Wilde and now-living in Bristol a whole year, the excellent She Makes War and even Josie Ghost – What a Line up! And there is still a whole host of other great acts to be uncovered. 

Last year the event raised over £5000, and they’re hoping to do the same again this year. I too, am hoping for a successful year, as I wish to have a hands on involvement in 2014. 

Tickets are £18.50 from BristolTicketShop or available on the door. There will be few events more worthy of you attention on this weekend, so if you fancy something a little different, personal and relaxed, this is the live music, and community feel event you need. 

Web poster

Check out the Facebook page for up to date information and announcements >here…<

Women in Rock…

Earlier today I read this rather excellent article about NME front cover stars, on Annie Gardner’s Hysterical Injury blog. >you can read it here.<

It really made me think. I kind of immediately wanted to defend the NME (god knows why, I fell out of love about a decade ago), yet after reading posts and comments from others, I came to the conclusion that the NME certainly plays it’s part in a larger problem.

I took a look at my own past shows. I haven’t ever consciously booked shows based on the gender of band members. I’ve always based it, either on my love for their music, love for the people in the band or because we’ve had a hot tip that the live show is worth watching. I could see however, that chaps do overwhelmingly outnumber the ladies in terms of live performers. This is in my experience, and is by no means a reflection of how the wider scene really is.

It took me until well into my 9th year to have an all girl line up. (featuring She Makes War, Josie Ghost, lucii Brown and Tamsin Whinton) I distinctly remember at the time that I was applauded for “finally breaking that duck”. I didn’t consciously take any praise, or feel better for it. And nor should I.

Going out of my way to book an all girl show, would of been derogatory. It would be like pointing out the fact that, actually, girls can play music too, or what ever. By drawing attention to it, I feel would have been the wrong way to go about it. The fact the show happened naturally, without any consideration actually fills me with achievement.

I remember that show being fantastic too, because of the acts. Nothing more or less. If bands, regardless of their gender set up, are good enough to perform, I’ve booked them. Looking back we’ve had a regular slew of ladies with guitars / keyboards, bassists what ever.

I’ve recently been talking to someone who has greatly explained feminism to me. I appreciate the argument so much better now. There’s still clearly an issue of gender in music, and the wider publicised media, as highlighted by Annie’s installation.

So, my previous 8 years? Well I’ve done my bit for the opposite sex, if anything really needed doing. Turns out people will always make music, and that’ll include grrls. Whether or not the act makes the front cover of the NME won’t make any of the music less rewarding. The NME is guilty of not promoting and publishing more female acts as it’s cover stars, but I can’t help but feel perhaps they are in turn influenced by major labels and “the man”. We may put a lot of stock in their opinion as they’re front line news, but maybe it’s the majors behind them that are actually culpable?

Here’s a lady in rock, whose live show, really turned me onto her music. Melissa Auf De Maur performed in Hole and Smashing Pumkpins, both I never really bothered with. I loved her first solo record and this single off the subsiquent album. AND I’m pretty sure Melissa made the cover of Rock Sound too. Not well done them, more, they were doing their job, right?

Hysterical Injury played The Bell in Devizes last year, along with Crash & The Coots, featuring female bassists and drummers respectivley. It too was a cool show. I don’t appear to have any more lady head liners this year, but plenty of lady performers on bills. Keep the scene alive. Vote with your Feet. Good music needs to be heard.

Live recordings from The Lamb

A few weeks ago I blogged about a new recording engineer, looking for work in the area – Gareth Nicholas, who recently moved to Bromham is offering to travel to you, with his mobile recording suite – you can find out more at his website GARETHNICHOLAS.ORG

However, as a little taster of what he is capable of, I let Gareth loose on a few shows at The Lamb, notably the recent performance by ex-King Blues front woman and vocalist Josie. She performed at The Lamb earlier in March and the results speak for themselves. Have a listen. There is also sets from Tamsin Whinton and Ellen Cox, check all these out, as I feel they cast the venue and our nights in a good light.

Thank you Gareth, look forward to working again in the future.

New local act to check out…

Let me introduce to you TAMSIN WHINTON.

I had the pleasure of meeting up and recording some music with Tamsin at The Warehouse last week. She introduced herself as “living in a van” which bought not only a smile, but showed her confidence and humour. 

Tamsin has friends and family in Devizes, and, on the strength of these demos will be opening the She Makes War show in March. It’s guaranteed to be a great gig and I’m super happy to have such a new and quality local act opening up! 

Check out her soundcloud below, do the right thing and follow and come and watch her first live performance in Devizes at the beginning of March!

She Makes War returns with ex-King Blues

She Makes War aka Laura Kidd, returns to Devizes on her co-headline tour with ex-King Blues vocalist and keyboard player, Josie “Dobson” Ghost.

The joint jaunt will come through Devizes on Friday 8th March, with the head liner yet to be decided. As usual there will be local support.

Tickets will cost £5 adv. or £8 otd, avaliable from WeGotTickets.

MY 2012 “best of” list…

Here’s my run down of my favourite records of 2012 – Feel free to tell me why I’m wrong, and submit your own best of’s…

1. runWALK! – “Health” (Holy Roar)

2. Japandroids – “Celebration Rock” (Poly Vinyl)

3. You Slut! – “Medium Bastard” (Stressed Sumo)

4. Tall Ships – “Everything Touching” (Big Scary Monsters)

5. Maps & Atlases – “Beware And Be Grateful” (Fat Cat)

6. Hysterical Injury – “Dead Wolf Situation” (Self release)

7. Jim Lockey & The Solemn Sun – “Death” (Xtra Mile)

8. Future Of The Left – “The Plot Against Common Sense” (Xtra Mile)

9. Straight Lines – “Freaks Like Us” (Xtra Mile)

10. She Makes War – “Little Battles” (Self release)

I have to add into this list, the fact that I loved the, Fighting With Wire, Hold Your Horse Is, Minus The Bear and Retrospective Soundtrack Players records too!

EP’s of 2012…

1. Little Leagues – “A Problem Solved” (Self release)

2. Decade – “Decade” (Self release)

3. Gnarwolves – “Cru” (Big Scary Monsters)

4. The Naturals – “Concrete Sea” (Howling Owl)

5. Russian Blue – “Etiquette (Self release)

Favourite Gig Of The Year

1. Frank Turner @ Wembley Arena – April 

So there you have it, I could go on, like all of us with various lists, but it would be tedious. Except to say, well done to all the local bands who produced great EP’s (Salute The Magpie, Nathan Detroit, Homeland etc) to all the great shows (All of yours Abe) and a huge thank you to all of the touring bands who came and made Devizes a slightly better place. 

2013…

Next year already looks rad, with new records from Thought-Forms and Ben Marwood (I’ve heard them both, and they’re both corkers!). I have some great gigs lined up, including Josie Ghost (The King Blues) so keep your eyes peeled on this here web-blog. 

THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR COMING TO THE GIGS AND VOTING WITH YOUR FEET – IT MEANS EVERYTHING. 

She Makes War impress at The Lamb

She Makes War played to a well turned out Lamb Friday night, which was fantastically well received by the crowd. The support was overwhelming, as people travelled from Yeovil, Frome and Bristol from the show.

Dedicated local music followers were rewarded as Laura pulled off a totally unique live performance. Layered vocals and guitars via loop pedals are not a new thing, Jon Amor for instance has used them for a long time, but it’s the intense nature of the music and Laura’s style that makes her layering interesting.  For example, her song “Delete” is pur vocal layered up – No Instrumentation – the highs, the lows the clicks, beeps everything is done in front of you, built and constructed, even the little laughs and giggles that creep in are enhanced and become part of the experience – which you will only experienced once, no two performances will ever be the same.

Her audience participation requests were equally well performed as the audience joined in the song “In This Boat” with the refrain, You are an anchor, I am a wave” being sang under she had stopped playing, and it was just the audience left – which was dramatic stuff.

You really felt like you were part of something – again really touching the underground music scene, being part of a wider community, Right Here In Devizes.

Said Yeovil traveller Dave Taylor (follow him on twitter) took the following video on his iPhone – Thanks Dave –  this is exactly the sort of video documentation I want for The Lamb – so that we can start proving to the world how great the gigs are – so feel free to step forward – it is dead easy – and I’ll give you free entry to the shows where I charge!

The event was headlined by the equally excellent On Deaf Ears – Over the course of their summer uni break back in Devizes the band have managed to rack up a lot of shows, some blinding performances for Sheer as well as their own else where & even sneaked in a Fantasy Radio Session.

Over that period, I have come to realise how much of a song writing talent Barney Goodall & co are – their original songs like “Night I Met The Devil” and “Our Love Keeps Getting Stronger” are as good as you will hear. Their performance is nothing short of committed with a wild keyboard player, who despite performing a stripped back set threw himself around with abandon.

Barney’s awkward confidence on stage drew comparisons with Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker – I believe if they started touring and gigging the typical 30 minute sets of their own material, they would be an impressive addition to the circuit.

September’s Fresh Start

BOOM! Things don’t slow down for long. After having most of August off from my own personal gigs, I’m back with vengeance and have a fantastic programme on offer.

If you’re new to local music in Devizes, not from Devizes but new to 6th from or just altogether new, then you really need to be chacking (sic) out our shows at The Lamb in St Johns Street.  Head to the gigs tab for all the relevant info.

First up Friday 7th September, we have the fantastically talented SHE MAKES WAR – a self confessed Gloom Pop merchant, She Makes War aka Laura Kidd, produces a one woman show with plenty of balls, coming across like PJ Harvey in her prime (before she started ripping off Bat For Lashes) crossed with Blood Red Shoes. Laura looks the part, has the music to match the attitude and will be a fantastic addition to our rich history in Devizes.  AND IT’S FREE ENTRY.

Upping the level of underground cool, on Sunday 16th we’re super lucky in Devizes to be Kicking Off the last ever SHOES AND SOCKS OFF! tour. The bands name is the stage name for one Tobias Hayes, former front man of math band, Meet Me In St Loui. Again to have an act of this calibre coming to town is crazy. He is signed to Big Scary Monsters, a uber cool underground label, who had 3 of their acts perform at this years Reading & Leeds festival.

Finally Friday 28th September sees former Kerrang! favourites InMe, and their front man DAVE MCPHERSON bring his very different solo acoustic music to the tiny intimate venue. Dave comes with high praises from the likes of Frank Turner et al, and will guarantee to bring some iconic history to our town. There will be more plugging of this at a later date – videos etc to follow.

To find out more about all this gigs, head to the GIG tab, and look through em’  it really is very exciting.