Two of the most influential bands of the sixties and seventies are to perform in Devizes in coming weeks.

Soft Machine make their long-awaited first visit to the Long Street Blues Club on Saturday, March 19.

Their work, from their earliest performances as a psychedelic band who were contemporaries of, and shared stages with Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, to being one of Europe's best known 'fusion' groups, has influenced several generations of bands, and, said a spokesman for the club,  “continues to be name-checked by today's hip experimentalists”.

The band, which was formed by Robert Wyatt and the late Kevin Ayers, is now fronted by John Etheridge, who is regarded as one of the UK’s foremost guitarists. In addition the band now features drummer John Marshall, multi-instrumentalist Theo Travis and Fred Thelonious Baker on bass.

Promoter Ian Hopkins said: “We are over the moon that Soft Machine chose Devizes as part of their nationwide tour. Come along and get up close up and personal to four of the finest musicians around.”

Then on Saturday, April 9 at the Corn Exchange, Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy will perform, celebrating the music of Palmer’s bands Emerson Lake and Palmer and Asia.

Mr Hopkins said: “Carl Palmer is one of the best rock drummers in the world. At this gig the band will focus on ELP’s legendary album, Trilogy, which celebrates its fiftieth anniversary. We have sold more than 100 tickets for this show already so please do not wait till the last moment to get yours.”

Tickets are £17 in advance for Soft Machine and £30 for ELP Legacy. Tickets are available online at www.Longstreet blues or from Devizes Books, Vinyl Realm Devizes or Sound Knowledge Marlborough.