It’s been nearly 3 months since I last updated, sorry for the lack of information as I was off gallivanting.
June saw Devizes Festival ( 3 weeks in June) hit town, and I did 23 ish events in 21 days. Highlights included Howard Marks, the ejection and subsequent slating in the Gazette & Herald. (Can’t please them all, some good points in your review, you kinda missed the point though and I managed to ruffle a few feathers in a conservative town.) Mr B (awful sound but great venue and performance). And that crazy Mrs B Nice who was on another planet. Great comedy, and those 3 previous acts all had similar names, which caused chaos.
Ian Hopkins went sick, as you all know, but is back on his feet and rejoining the Festival committee after this years Wash Up meeting next week. Hooray!
I managed to prove myself with a few events, and have much grander, exciting plans for next year. Watch this space come September, and I’ll start to roll out a few hints. It’s going to be proper exciting.
The shortest of breaks was filled with a complete surprise party for both Matthew Adams and I, (Late June) reaching our 30th & 31st birthdays respectively. Thrown by Nicky Stalham and Zoe Moore, it included an El Mariachi Mexican band, loads of Tequila, Mexican’s and Mexican’ts, friends and family, and then someone being sick in a pub toilet, which I waited around drinking coffee until 3am sobering up enough to drive home, because a taxi wouldn’t allow a sick person in the back. EPIC.
Then came 2 huge Swindon shows, The Computers & Gnarwolves. (early July) Both shows really brought the good times back to Swindon. I don’t like to blow my trumpet, but these were my biggest shows in terms of finance ever, and it really paid off. Great to see some big bands back in town, and I’ll be looking to continue doing more, provided we get the right offers. Check out the video below of Gnarwolves, along with these two awesome reviews. Especially the comment about the sound at Gnarwolves, which was done through a fog of sickness, Ibuprofen and Paracetamol. ThisIsWiltshire review & Hit The Scene review.
After that was a weekend of no sleep, continued sickness, paracetamol and 2000 TREES. (Mid July) My first ever full weekend at Trees (yes, really – I’m normally working at venues as it clashed with Fieldview in the past, OR doing warm up shows for this very festival!) was glorious. The Thursday saw the best bands of my past 6 months of promoting. Retrospective Soundtrack Players, Oxygen Thief and Ben Marwood all having played Swindon’s Victoria for me prior, and all sharing the same backing band was quite special. TRSP’s managed to reduce me to tears, and Ben Marwood also managed e tear. Later that evening saw JoFo play a proper indie rock racket, which made me smile more than their Bath show I managed to rescue after Moles burnt down. Gnarwolves finished off my affiliation with that day in proper style – If it wasn’t for the fact this day alone is the returning bands from the previous year, their set would guarantee them a place on next years bill. Ace.
Zoe, Rob, Meelie and I caught Dan Le Sac for the first time, since I missed them at the Frank Turner support at Wembley, instead opting for the Kingston instore show with Jim Lockey (hardcore). They didn’t disappoint, but it was also announced that they will be parting ways soon, so it was probably my one and only time of seeing them. Fiddlesticks.
The next two days followed in the same routine, late nights, busking slots, Dave McPherson popping up everywhere, AWESOME sets from The Bronx, The Computers and finished off in style with Crazy Arm. Jim Lockey announced their name change into Solemn Sun – I met all the rad dudes from across the country I rarely get to see, Adam Boucher, B-Sydes, Anthony Barlow, Lonely Tourist, Felix Hagen, Barry Dolan, Rick Marwood, Ben Marwood, Kevin BSM Records, and Jack Alcopop, Drop Out Dan etc and I spent time with Steve Hooper and his Mrs and the excellent Jodie from Bristol / Live Music Scene, to seemed to know even more people than I.
Shout outs to the Devizes massive (Luke, Dan and Alex) and all the Swindon crew (too many to name… but special mentions to Jake and Samuel)
Upon our return, and after a shower (or two) Rob Escott of The Colour Of Vinyl (link on your right) and I got down to reviewing the festival, via his session on Melksham Town Sound, which you can listen again via this link on Mixcloud, or check out our Pictures of our adventures on the Sheer Facebook page.
Proper excellent weekend, that gave us the post festival, festival blues. Hate returning to work and longing for it all to kick off again.
Which didn’t take long as PROFESSOR ELEMENTAL hit Devizes, in the amazing surroundings of St Mary’s Church / Arts Centre. The Prof’ went down extremely well, loved the town and the venue and what we are trying to achieve. Visually the place was arresting – Pictures on the Sheer facebook page – We had people travel from Swansea, Gloucester, Guildford, Poole and Bournemouth for the show(!) and our electro-swing DJ went on later than Devizes premier pub/club The Crown.
Check out this video, taken by an audience member…
In the mean time, I’ve had in the 10 year anniversary t-shirt image in. Designed by young, fledging graphic designer, Sharna Mollett – It will be available to purchase / pre-order very soon, with an ETA of late September for printing. Check out the design below. Mock up was created by Alex Fruen of Original Glory, who is also handling the digitalisation of a hand drawn image. Skills.
FINALLY, the first job I had after all that had blown over, was to announce the first of the September shows, in the shape of KUNT & THE GANG. (links on the gigs tab, to your right, if you’re viewing this on the website!) and our final show of the Summer at the Stratton Stroll this Saturday.
Then it’s a genuine 6 or 7 week break from all things musical and organisational, whilst I write the promotion plan for Devizes Festival 2015, have a summer off with friends, start the first of the Bad Film Nights, give the in-laws a thank you curry for all the child minding and perhaps a wee late minute holiday away too.
See y’all in September’
KIERAN J MOORE
HOLY MOLY we’ve only gone and done it. Booked the most exciting rock n’ roll band in the UK right now THE COMPUTERS.
I thought this show was up the swanny after their rather excellent, in my opinion, agent Aisha Ali quit representing all her bands (except, Apologies, I Have None) earlier this year. I didn’t think we would pull this off, but after the bands stripped back performance in Marlborough last week for Record Store Day, I managed to collar the band again, was referred to their manager, and bang we’re back in business!
Aisha represented previous acts we’ve done shows for including CRAZY ARM and WOAHNOWS so it will be sad to see her move on, as most agents are such a bind, Aisha was one of the good ones. We wish her all the best, and regardless we now have The Computers actually coming to Wiltshire to unleash a full electric head line show on us, on Friday 4th July 2014, the day before they play Love Supreme Jazz Festival.
For those who don’t know, The Computers kinda of mar 1950’s Rock n’ Roll with a little rock-a-billy and punk, all dressed up in sharp suits and quiff’s. Their live LP was one of the most sought after at this years Record Store Day too.
We are proud to be doing this show, in association with Sound Knowledge of Marlborough too. It’s easily the best stocked record store in Wiltshire and probably the whole area.
Support for the show comes from Bristol’s Scout Killers, and Swindon’s finest purveyors of alt. rock ALL EARS AVOW. You can pick up a limited number of advance tickets direct from the venue and Sound Knowledge for £8 without a booking fee, or from WeGotTickets – http://www.wegottickets.com/event/271785. £10 on the door, subject to availability.
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!
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,
Local Luddite and fanzine writer, Chris Palmer – has released issue 9 of the monthly arts, music and business fanzine CRAMMER.
Still costing less than a Snickers, this months issue comes with reviews of Antonio Lulic and The Pink Torpedoes shows in Devizes last month, along with a preview of current Wharf Theatre production “Her Naked Skin“, which features one Matthew Corbett.
There’s the usual ranting and raving from various members of the local scene – Ian Hopkins does a nice bit on Long Street Blues Club, and Mark Smallman of Mick Jogger / Rolling Zones gets 10 questions shot at him.
In fact, I’m rather impressed he manages to find so much to say and talk about the Devizes Music and Arts scene!
Pick it up form Devizes books today, it’s only 50p.
Oh, and here’s a video of The Computers at Sound Knowledge in Marlborough last Tuesdsay
Yesterday evening, I had the pleasure of being at super cool indie record shop, Sound Knowledge of Marlborough – deep in the heart of Wiltshire.
I’ve been to a few of their in stores, notibly Ash, which I really enjoyed – but more often than not a lot of these in stores are acoustic and not as engaging as you might want them to be. The polite applause reserved for aoustic acts just doesn’t get you pumped for their next rock and roll album.
How ever, The Computers are not a band who appear to be able to do things by half, and whilst I don’t know if they were offered or asked to play acoustic, they certainly didn’t mess about with anything less than a full performance.
The new album, Love Triangles Hate Squares, is an explosion of 1950’s rock n’ roll, complete with quiffs and wobbly legs. They played a full 30 plus minute set, and despite the early performance time and lack of support acts, you wouldn’t of been able to tell this apart from a normal show.
Front man, Alex was talking like an American soul preacher, about his brothers and sisters and the saviours of rock n’ roll and inbetween actually singing and playing, he was climbing anything he could. Tables, chairs… the Bar…
Anyway, judging by the amount of people who turned up, I couldn’t help but feel had a local promoter booked them, and promoted them – would the turn out be as good? Was it because the show was at a reasonable time, free entry and the shop handels all their in store performances so well, that people wanted to get people out and physically BUY the record?
This is definitly the way to sell records and promote bands. There is nothing quite like the intimacy of a small venue, and as a crowd you feel like you’re watching something special. Top notch and well recieved – every label big or small, should encourage these sorts of bespoke events, we have some great indie stores like Rise Records, Raves From The Graves and Sound Knowledge and this is an easy and effective way of getting people through the door. Long may it continue and develope!