If your reading this before you go out tonight, here’s a quick reminder as to why 2012 was so rad in Devizes!
First of all, all the gigs. We were spoilt for choice more often than not, be it my shows, Abe’s or the Blues and Jazz clubs respectively, there was a lot of talent through Devizes – probably one of our most solid years all round I’d say.
Specifically looking at shows, we saw Swindon ska punk band SLAGERJI smash it in June, headlining the Corn Exchange, on a bill that was shared with indie boys Nudy Bronque, who also impressed and local metal heads Black Sanctuary, who delivered all the promise they had bottled up. That was one memorable gig.
It often surprises me when people are surprised at well turned out shows, or the quality of the act on offer. Many people just don’t bother with a band or act they don’t know – so I was over the moon, when a simple buzz word of “grunge” was enough to draw out some old, friendly faces when SHE MAKES WAR, came to town. Laura Kidd happened to impress and blow away an audience who, in the most part, didn’t know who she was. For me the megaphone incident will live long in my memory of gigs at The Lamb.
Other triumphs came in the shape of seminal 90’s indie band, The Bluetones, whose front man, MARK MORRISS elbowed his way into a performance at The Lamb – to be frank, even Frank Turner didn’t have it that busy, such was the state of the room. I ended up sitting almost at Marks feet and actually missed my favourite song, just to by him a drink. Fiddle sticks. The fact that I was * probably* the youngest there also showed we have a depth of audience in Devizes too.
InMe front man DAVE MCPHERSON was an another unprecedented success, his Boom Shake The Room and a secret cover of Frank Turner’s “Redemption” being high points and proof of Devizes significance on a national scale.
All that before we mention that CHRIS T-T impressed, simply by telling the audience to either shut up and listen, or leave – he wouldn’t be offended. Job done, and the entire audience was in his firm grip. A lovely rendition of Huntsman, sang along by myself and Alex Archer being one of those “you had to be there” moments.
Beans On Toast pretty much finished off the year, in spectacular style – by literally performing on a chair – clearly pointing out that we need a stage… hmm.
I personally had a year of development, with my first (small) orchestra playing for me, The Regency Belles in Hillworth Park finished off a series out outdoor gigs – which will only improve next year!
I hosted my first shows at The Furnace in Swindon, with metal giants MALEFICE swinging through, and easily the UK’s leading grunge band FIGHTING WITH WIRE also making the stop. We even had a legend of the UK’s metal scene, one former front woman of Cradle Of Filth, Sarah Jezebel Deva also hitting up Swindon. Crickey!
For the Queens Jubilee we did a 70’s punk show – few turned up – You miserable, undeserving cunts, but for those who did – it was flippin’ GREAT! I also did my first tribute night – Black Sabbath!! AND my first, dedicated night to electro + d’n’b.
I counted no less than 10 national UK tours come through Devizes, just for me – not including what ever Ian did at Long Street Blues Club did or our work with Devizes Festival. There was loads more, and if you didn’t see at least one show, you really missed out (Kunt & The Gang, Antonio Lulic, Run From Robots, Mexicofallz, Hellbound Hearts, 2 Sick Monkeys etc etc etc)
Other great moments for Devizes was ABE JUGGIN’S taking the bull by the horns and taking on shows at The Bell By The Green, he managed 3 gigs all of which were massively turned out. I know if I had done those shows, they wouldn’t of been as good. Abe has an unrivalled insight to the local and national Metal scene. He is an asset to Devizes, and we should support his shows in 2013!
We had the launch of Fantasy Radio, and better still “our” own session (The Matthew Corbett Session) on Thursday nights, where we get to play local music, and cover local shows – this was supplemented with occasional (24) live sessions by Phil Dawson at Ginger Productions – including a magnificent one from JIM LOCKEY & THE SOLEMN SUN.
Our first music and arts fanzine (the first since Sheer Volume – we won’t forget your ground breaking efforts Ben Hooper!) CRAMMER started up in August, and has since previewed, reviewed and interviewed our touring acts and gigs! Not to mention all the other scenes it’s now writing about – top dog! And only 50p – Bargain!
Moonrakers Comedy Club found a new (and better!) home at The Cellar Bar beneath the Bear Hotel, bringing some huge names in Comedy to our town, the work Martin Brown does needs more recognition, he is also a real asset to our town!
It wasn’t all good though, I did lose money on some shows and I was shafted by a venue once. We lost BBC Radio Wiltshire Introducing, and with it, the Wiltshire-wide radio outlet for our local musicians. We temporarily lost The Bell, and The Lamb also had a substantial fire, stopping shows there for the first 3 months of the year.
There is so much more to be thankful for and to acknowledge but I just can’t remember right now – mainly due to my sickness I’ve had for the past week (Noro Virus or what ever it’s called.) So sorry for lack of updates! Do keep an eye out for what’s upcoming in 2013.
All there is left for me to say is, thanks – and I’ll see you all next year, for more of the same, quality entertainment.