How a pair of Beeston creatives joined forces to keep the flame flickering

We are, as this and every previous issue will attest to, a wildly creative town. Artists, musicians, crafters, writers et al keep kicking out staggeringly super work which we happily try and inform you of.

A global pandemic and fundamental shift in how the world works isn’t a reason for despair, it’s a chance to innovate. Say hello to Nottingham Stories: Separation and Serenade.

When she realised that the third annual Nottingham Chamber Music Festival was not going to be going ahead due to lockdown, the festival’s director Beestonian violist Carmen Flores didn’t just retire her instrument and bow while it went on. She instead picked up the phone and rang a local professional filmmaker, Tim Bassford of Turbine Creative. Together, they cooked up a brilliant idea.

Like the best ideas, it’s startlingly simple. They would visit a well-known Nottingham building, closed due to lockdown, and film Carmen performing Bach within. As Carmen rings out beautiful music to fill the empty spaces, Tim’s camera provides an accompaniment, highlighting the locations beauty. It’s not a film about music, It’s not music with film. It’s a synthesis. Carmen may be performing solo, but the overall feeling is a duet of eye and ear. Nottingham Council House, Delilahs, The Royal Concert Hall, St Mary’s In The Lace Market, Nottingham Contemporary and the High School all feature, each familiar, each filmed in ways that make you see them anew.

During the film’s individual premieres, donations to the Help Musicians charity (https://www.helpmusicians.org.uk/support-our-work/make-a-donation) were encouraged, to support musicians who have struggled to earn a living while the COVID crisis grinds on.

The videos were shot in July and released on a thrice-weekly basis during September. They proved to be, as the best music does, able to bring out emotions you weren’t previously aware existed. Personally, I felt initial melancholy – I missed these places – hope. While the empty buildings still wait to fill and surge with life again, a flame of creativity burns, and it burns bright.

The films are available to watch for free here.

MT

Unsocial distancing

Corona blah-blah virus continues to strike, quickly destroying 2020 like the alcoholic drink with twice the strength, and all of the hangover.

In fact, if 2020 was a drink it wouldn’t actually be the fortified wine of the Mad Dog variety, it would, in fact, be warm cheap tequila reminiscent of supermarket hand sanitizer. I was horrified to learn the American company have actually brought out a special limited edition Gold flavour to celebrate its year and namesake, I don’t think sales are going well…

Well, I can assure you this tale does actually have a happy ending, (it’s 2020 I take what I can ) as I indeed went to a festival this year, continuing my 16-year reign of at least once a year retreating to a tent after sampling an array of music. This one wasn’t even on my original plan for this year but as most know by now, even the best-laid plans…

The future of festivals and large scale events is still undecided, for me the feeling of chatting to strangers and sat in a field with a drink in hand, live music and sun on my face, is still my happy place; my mental health has been hit hard by the continual negativity and hardships this year has inflicted. People talk about the new normal, I quite liked the old one, and I struggle to get to grips with zoom meetings, face-mask rules, new etiquette regarding hugging, elbows? And pay by app? Pay at the bar? Don’t stand at the bar, masks on for the loo, one-way system, no way system, no cash? Only cash? Track and trace forms, hand sanitiser, but not no-touch dispensers, the possibilities have been endless, I long for the old way this new world is hard and confusing.

While I was endlessly scrolling Social Media I saw a socially distanced and legal Responsible reboot festival to be held on 8th August, hosted by Barking Mad festivals and held at the Vic Inn bikers club. A limited number of 60 tickets were sold at £10 and camping an extra £10 each, I would have probably have given them a kidney to actually get a chance to go, £20 quid seemed very cheap, we brought the tickets online and waited hoping it wasn’t cancelled or postponed.

On the day we rocked up nice and early, I pitched up the tent on the grassy bit of the car park at the back as instructed and found the guy on the door, quite ingeniously they decided to give away a safe pack with every ticket, no close contact hand stamps or wristbands, no they decided to stamp the name of the festival on face-masks which had to be worn when going into the pub, which was marked out with one-way directions and Perspex behind the bar, so far so good, also was a handy bottle of hand sanitiser with the festival name on a sticker attached to the front, earplugs and a few sweets and freebie badges, these packs had been vac sealed as well, very thoughtful and practical!

“I am all for a good time but not when so much is at risk.”

The music was to be on the outdoor stage, people had tables to sit at, with limiting tickets and strictly no walk-ins, the event was to be all in line with all the latest advice. Starting early afternoon The Jellyfish Are Calling hit the stage and immediately I got shivers, they could have been the worst band in the world but I was happy, I had waited all year for this.

The line up was a mix of punk with Noose, rock and roll with The Blue Carpet Band and a sprinkling of ska with Kid Klumsy. It was all going so well until high energy rap metal and rock and roll band Dog Rotten, a mixture of alcohol, lowered inhibitions and good music led to a surge at the front of the band and a mosh pit was formed. Myself and a friend looked on in horror – it was all way too much. Drinks were being thrown and even the local photographer and reviewer dived in!

Don’t in any way get me wrong, this time last year we probably would have been straight in too, but it was all too intense and worrying. My friend headed to find the promoter – no sign. Leaving no option but to go to the pub landlord who immediately got the p/a Mr BadAxe to announce about social distancing and the one-way system which was being pretty much ignored at this point, the band finished their set and immediately the tension went away, the crowd of moshers too drunk to care, headed off to call it a night, leaving the rest of us to relax and enjoy the evening safe in the knowledge we had done all we can to not get the place shut down. I am all for a good time but not when so much is at risk.

Verdict- I loved the music however it is too early, I could immediately see why festivals and big events haven’t got the go-ahead, after a few drinks all the health and safety went out the window, till next year it is!!

LD

All work and no play makes Lulu a dull girl

It is day one million and three since the pubs shut their doors. I’m not even exaggerating it has definitely been that long (I have the emotional scars). The last few establishments I visited was way, way, back on the 17th March, for the annual St Patricks Day jaunt I go on every year with some Irish friends. The Pandemic was yet to fully engulf the Country in full lockdown (that hit in full on the 23rd) and it was only advisory not to go to the pubs. The general unease and quietness of every place we visited made for a short day (even the notoriously busy O’Neil’s was dead as the dodo) but we went, hand sanitizer in hand, (as it were), donning silly oversized Guinness hats and stupid fake beards, this was to be my last pub visit. We sat in the Royal Children pub after being out a few hours and called it a day, the atmosphere was teetering on the eerie it was that quiet.

Even thinking back to then, it seems like a lifetime ago. People either seem to have embraced their new life by becoming the next Joe Wicks, or quite the opposite of aiming for the potato body shape and eating a packet of cookies for breakfast (no guessing which path I took). After a token bike ride out one day from Trent Lock along the river I was walking bike in hand past the Beeston Marina when a sight caught my eye. A plastic pint glass filled with amber liquid. My heart quickened as I franticly looked around, to be confronted by the sight of another in the hands of a man with the biggest smile I have ever seen. Lo and behold, at the entrance to the pub was a table and they were serving pints, it wasn’t a mirage.

“For those who have worked, the thought of catching up with friends over a drink or meal is all that has kept us going.”

A man queued in front of me and said as soon as he heard, he came down. Keeping a 2m distance, I waited as he was served. When my time came I headed to the table and ordered a Fosters, £3 a pint jobs a good un. I asked the lady how long they were doing this and she said that it depended if people were sensible and took their beer and went. I received my goods and walked further down the river finding a spot away from everyone and I can tell you right now that was the best pint I have ever had. In some ways, it was a cruel mirage, a taste of the life we had, but for 20 minutes the world felt normal again. We took so much for granted. For those who have worked, the thought of catching up with friends over a drink or meal is all that has kept us going.

The dream of spending a few hours talking rubbish with long lost friends without a care in the world seemed such a far off idea, and then lo and behold B.J announced on the 23rd of June that pubs and restaurants could open from July 4th, a day that should be now known as IndePubnance day! However, the venues must take strict precautions. Rescue Rooms in Nottingham is operating a booking system, based on 2.5-hour slots, staggered entry time, ordering drinks and food on an app, face masks when not at the table, household only tables, hand sanitizer and strict 2m distancing, one way systems and, COVID-19 compliance checks. Now doesn’t that sound like a barrel of laughs?

Many of the pubs I spoke to were hanging onto the announcement to put ideas into action. With the clock ticking many are planning like there’s no tomorrow, the lovely Berliner, however, got back to me to say this:

“We’re opening on the 4th with an extended beer garden, and revised opening hours (TBC). Our extended beer garden gives us a large open space, with different zones to aid social distancing protocols, and we have gazebos in case of rain! We’ll be serving a new food menu and we will be offering live music at 7 pm – 10 pm every Saturday”.

Fabulous, I shall have an Espresso Martini in no time! All I can say is best of luck to every pub and bar. Some will find things easier than others due to layouts and space etc.

Next issue could quite possibly be me attempting a pub visit!

LD

Some kind of normal

Back in the day, I started off in a career in retail back at good ole Woollies, yes Woolworth’s. Ahh, the memories! Guarding the pick n mix sweets with eagle eye detection from tea leaves. Ahh, I leave it off my C.V. though, as trying not to pull the plug on the repetitive JML adverts and swearing the ultimate destruction of the endless novelty Christmas Toys isn’t up there with a master’s degree in biochemical studies. Over the years I have been a retail tart, bouncing round the big stores like a greedy kid in many a cake shop. I have seen so much from naughty flings, fallings out, fights, accidental store lock-ins, not so accidental store live-ins, sleazy managers, excessively sleazy managers and break downs, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you…

It’s the people I stay for, the banter between colleagues, the humour, the chatting to that one person who hasn’t spoke to a single person all day, the 96-year old whose life advice is to drink gin and listen to jazz, the regulars who join in the fun and brighten up the day. I’ve been threatened, hit on, slapped, yelled at, and ultimately cried in the loo cuz that’s the only place you can escape. I stayed in retail, I never set out to stay, at some point, the repetitiveness and the fact it paid the bills became normal for me, but that’s the whole point of this piece currently there is no normal, everything I thought I knew is wrong I can tell you that even with an extensive retail background I have never seen anything quite like it.

A colleague told me she was close to tears as she was thanked by a customer for continuing to work; being appreciated goes a long way. The sheer panic for self-care and fear of catching it or spreading it, no one wants to be at risk, meticulously washing hands to the point of giving ourselves dermatitis. Everybody is scared we are scared, it’s far from an ideal situation I’m not going to lie, the sheer anxiety while performing even the simplest of jobs has reduced me to a nervous wreck. The safety guidelines of a 2m distance are there to protect everyone I cannot stress the need to follow this enough. We understand it’s difficult and the sheer frustration at this being inconvenient however we are risking everything in enabling helping to be able to provide your family with essentials. No Sandra, that doesn’t mean going shopping in for Pringles and pineapple Jaffa cakes cuz there’s nowhere else to go and boredom has set in.

We are in unknown waters I really couldn’t have guessed the massive bog roll shortage or the fact so few people eat pot noodles even through a pandemic has stripped all the other shelves. Currently, I feel like a kid who is grounded only allowed out to go to work, if everyone behaves maybe we can get back to some kind of normal, even if that entails taking up cross knit, macramé or pigeon counting at least there’s a chance to be bored, stay in, be safe, and play nice!

LD

Curiouser and curiouser!

Alreet my lovelies, how the devil are ya all? This is my first writing for the magazine this year and boy where do I start with 2020? , The crap weather? the flooding? Or maybe even the endless traffic due to that pesky Clifton Bridge? Or the endless colds? To top it all off with a big beautiful cherry, am day 1 million 645 on the sober train, It might be a teeny, tiny, exaggeration but still you get the gist. To stop me from becoming a completely grumpy, cantankerous hermit till at least mid-spring, a friend suggested heading over to The Berliner for a cheeky mid-week outing, at the Curious Cabaret being in a sum what quite cheery mood that day and the promise of cake I said yes.

Described as ‘a monthly evening of magic, stand up comedy and poetry’, the night is designed to give a platform for both new and experienced performers on every third Wednesday of the month. With high hopes, I headed to the bar on High road nice and early to grab a table (at the back obvs) and await the entertainment. As Alice once said, Curiouser and Curiouser!

I didn’t quite know what to expect for the evening, the venue was buzzing with people taking advantage of the bars 2 for 1 offer on cocktails before 9 pm and I even convinced a friend to try the Calpol shot, yup that right, the childhood medicine we all pretended we were ill for, is back in alcohol form. Priced at £2 the pick me up drink doesn’t even require convincing ya mum you’re poorly, result! I promptly ordered one for my friend while I opted for the ginger spice mocktail which was lush at £3.50. 8 pm was lights up time, compere and host for the evening Chris Wilder, introduced a night of magic, mind readers and manipulators. I was a little nervous as my experiences with magic include watching Tommy Cooper on the telebox, kid’s entertainers at friends’ parties at American Adventure and watching the 2006 Illusionist film with Edward Norton in it, none of which makes me any kind of expert on the world of illusions and trickery.

The air filled with tenseness as the first act talked us through a trick with a Rubik’s cube, his dash of comedy eased the atmosphere as people stood eager to see. The acts ranged from card tricks and psychological illusion with Marc Oberon to audience participation and Chinese coin trickery with Canning Circus’ Rob Soane, even some mind-reading with Dean O Dell, last spot of the night went to Chris Benkin, a magic circle member who uses horror stories, rock music and eerie magic reveals to engage the audience.

All in all a fabulous evening right on Beeston’s doorstep, the event is free with an option, later on, to contribute to the performers and future nights, which will be March 18th, I even learnt a bit myself, I worked on my disappearing wedges trick, JUST LIKE THAT!! Ooo…Why did the magician decide to quit drinking? Because every time he walked down the street he turned into a bar!! I will show myself out…

LD

Beeston Beats: a not so Merry New Year

Evening all, Let me tell you a tale so ghastly, you will wonder why it wasn’t included in our super scary 666 Halloween special, draw the curtains, stick ‘eatin on (that’s Central Heating for non Mainlanders) grab a brew, while I relay a tale that is worse than popping down shops for a pint of milk in January sales.

I’ve always loved a tipple, from the dash of rum added by my gran, to tea to keep cold out as a nipper, to teen years swigging god awful 20-20 (unapologetic new year pun) and finally nursing a proper real ale or flavoured porter with a sneaky few banana shots at the end of the night, ahh. After a pretty heavy session that included all of the above I woke up feeling like the arse end of a circus donkey (looking a lot like one too), I decided after a monumental hangover to give the old drinky poos a rest for a bit, before this starts to feel like a self-indulgent piece, bear with me. The true horror here is being Sober at Christmas and even worse a Sober New YEARS EVE!!! EKKKKKK!! Told ya it was gonna get scary.

I actually found not drinking didn’t faze me one bit, in fact, people were surprised that I was enjoying it, still going out to gigs, pub crawls and everything exactly the same, including the cost, a night on the softies can be just as expensive. Just as I was adjusting to life on the quieter side, the world descended into festive chaos, the Crimbo party invites descended like an avalanche, office party, staff party, don’t forget the festive jumpers! I overheard two girls chatting with one saying “everyone drinks at Christmas even those who don’t drink”. This leads me to my problem. Explaining to anyone this time of year that you simply don’t drink is a nightmare, and always leads to, ‘ahh go on its Christmas!’ Like an annoying Mrs Doyle on loop. It gets worse. New Year is the mecca of booze-fuelled intoxicated merriment if you will. So the ultimate night of the year, what to do? Here’s my guide to how to see in the New Year. These may or not have happened to me during my life, I cannot confirm nor deny…

Options

Go large! Hit Nottingham, see someone get kicked out of the pub by noon, wait at the bar for the rest of your life while two maybe three bartenders serve on one of the busiest nights of the year, die of thirst by the time you get served. Pay a fortune for a taxi only to end up in the local in Beeston.

Go Mega large! Hit London Baby Yeah! Realise that drinking in the street laws don’t apply on NYE and you’re the only sober one there. Spend the night wading through broken bottles and avoiding breathing as everywhere smells of wee.

Stay in! No queues and drunken idiots, only ones you know! Wait in while all said friends have gone to a cooler more awesome party leaving you to get bored and stare at other peoples fireworks.

Go for a walk! Watch the big displays over the marina, while a drunken man fires off fireworks from his boat while blaring out Bing Crosby and hitting the stone bridge (who put that there) head home as its January and freezing.

Go to someone else’s party! Turn up with a four-pack of Tesco value and drink all the Desperados, struggle to hear anyone talk as the music’s blaring, no one complains on NYE right? Pass out in the bath while all said party launch a search party, wake up in an empty house go home to 100 missed calls and messages.

Go local! Buy a ticket for a lock-in at the Local, invite all friends, half of them are pissed by the time they get there. There’s a couple who decided to split up that night, someone’s been dumped, everyone’s sighing while looking at the clock and some twats brought party poppers.

All options in, I just can’t decide, there’s always so much expectation with New Year, wherever you go, have fun, be safe and leave me being sober for the festivities alone or I am coming after you in Jan when everyone’s drying out, what was that? You wanted a triple jager?! Ahhh, Go on then…

Beeston Beats: Halloween special

Hey, hey, here we are again for another fantabulous, Halloween edition of Beeston Beats, lovingly renamed BEAST!- onian (autocorrect please stop changing it to Onion), so what is on the agenda this month? Well, read ahead, grab a hot drink and pull a chair in, as things are about to get spooky! (Edit, not too spooky I
gets scared too!)

The season that I wait all year till is almost here; Halloween! Yes give me the dark unhappy season any day, you can keep mince pies, inflatable Santa’s and good old chirpy festive Christmas will, it’s all about the excuses for fancy dress, questionable gory themed alcoholic beverages and either embracing the age-old tradition of Trick and Treaters with copious amounts of sugary sweets or barricading ourselves at home in the dark until said intruders go and leave us in peace.

In fact can we please extend the ghostly season like we seem to have with Christmas? At August the dreaded Yuletide cakes seem to roll into retail shops, as do the Easter Eggs that appear as if laid by the bunny themselves on Boxing Day (true story). Imagine the outraged cry if silly masks and fake blood descended into local shops in June? In fact, the whole thing makes me wanna, well you know, turn into a soul-devouring demon. Before I descend into a full anti-yuletide rant here is my not so cheery, quite grumpy guide to events leading up to the unhappy season, Bah Humbug!

“Not a dancer? Fair enough, how about a giggle?”

By the time this publication hits the good drinking holes of Beeston the annual Oxjam Festival will have been and gone, however for those quick on the pulse there is the Oxjam Ceilidh at the Beeston Legion on Sat 23rd November, however tickets have sold out but fear not – another Scottish dance event is to be held at the Boat and Horses on Friday 22nd November, tickets are £5 no booking required just turn up, 8 pm start.

Not a dancer? Fair enough, how about a giggle? The Funhouse comedy club, hosted at Barton’s is on Friday 25th Oct and again on 29th November. £11 door tax, start time 8.15 pm.

No dancing and not a fan of comedy? Well Beeston has enough music to entertain even the deadened souls with Motown in the form of band The Northern Line plus Colin Stephens at the Victory Club on sat 26th, to Pop Classic covers with Peashooter at the newly refurbished Cornmill pub on Friday 25th Oct. Folk artist Jack Rutter performs at the Middle Street Resource Centre on Friday 1st Nov tickets are £8. More folk? No problem, Alice Jones plays the Commercial pub Dec 6th tickets also £8. The one and only Mr Kingdom Rapper takes on the Berliner bar Nov 16th.

There are also the twinkly shiny firework displays to look forward to for bonfire night, I shall be clutching a hotdog and the fine northern treat that is, minted mushy peas and uttering Ooooo and Arrrrr at the pretties. Lanes School are holding a Fireworks Extravaganza Friday 8th November 5.45 pm admission £4.

See after all those interesting events lined up, can we give Christmas a miss, you can call it my present.

LD

Beeston’s acoustic scene… still live and local!

Where in Beeston can you hear some live acoustic music every week?

The answer is in your own Beeston folk club, The Second Time Around. Mind you, in the summer the continued existence of the Club, which had then just finished its 26th year, looked a bit precarious with the closure of The White Lion, the Club’s base in recent years; but by the start of the current season in September, it had found a new home at The Jolly Anglers on Meadow Road in the Rylands. For our purposes this has many advantages over our previous venue including easy access, and plenty of parking. The landlord is supportive, the locals friendly and the beer good and reasonably priced! We have already had many convivial singers’ nights in the ‘back bar’ and hope soon, with Paul the landlord’s support, to have a venue that’s better insulated from the noise of locals enjoying their drinks in the front bar. The pub is, sadly, a bit small for our ‘guest nights’ which we are holding about once a month elsewhere.

We have already hosted folk legend Steve Tilston in September and next, we have a young up-and-coming performer, Jack Rutter, at Middle Street Resource Centre, Middle Street, Beeston NG9 1AY. He is currently touring his new album and both it and he are receiving favourable reviews. He has a lovely voice and is an excellent musician (guitar, mandola and concertina). If you’re interested, visit our website for an opportunity to book for this event – at the time of writing, there are barely a dozen places left! Tickets are £8 and please note, this venue does not have a licensed bar but you are welcome to bring your own alcoholic drinks (glasses provided) and to take away and recycle your empties.

Folk’ is a very general term. It certainly includes ‘traditional folk songs and tunes’ but that in turn is a very broad category, ranging from ballads about love, murder and incest, or about rural life, to songs about urban and industrial living, along with chorus numbers about the joy of drinking! However, we are inclusive and welcome performers who do their own numbers, or songs by well-known writers such as Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, Ralph McTell and Richard Thompson. Along with blues, Americana, country, music hall and even straightpop, on a visit to a singers’ night at STAFC you could hear a heady mix of virtually anything that can be performed acoustically!

The current programme includes another guest artist, Alice Jones (pictured above), on 6th December, this time at The Commercial Inn on Wollaton Road. In the New Year we have many more singers’ nights and guests booked so visit our website for details: secondtimearoundfolkclub.weebly.com

CT

 

Beeston (B)Eats

I write this column with minutes to go before I head over to Splendour Festival over at Batman’s crib, Wollaton Hall. I have prepped myself for war with wellies and full on outfit changes for every weather outcome, a bit drastic I know, but as you can tell, this ain’t my first rodeo cowboy. It had only taken a total of 15 minutes to throw together an outfit, leggings check, t-shirt, (in case of miracle, however unlikely), Rain Mac and Hoody for warmth (check). The truth is I may have had more time to prep however I had spent the morning on a vital and massively important mission, namely heading to the Farmers Market to pick up some B.B.C’s, yep that’s Beeston Brownie Company and their little slabs of brownie heaven. The eyes fought it out over the varieties on offer and I walked away clutching a telltale brown bag filled with a Caramac and Salted Caramel treats (I never was any good at picking one choice) stopping myself at the three for £6 offer and managing to leave happy in the fact my addiction hasn’t yet spiraled out of control.

Once home I raided the cupboard for snacks to take as a picnic, if I was a nice person the brownies would have taken place in my rucksack to share amongst friends at the daylong music festival alongside the Rhubarb and Custard creams and Kettle Chips, however I am not, and left them to chill in the fridge safe in the knowledge that I am a greedy adult that doesn’t have to share goodies, more importantly they would sit as a reward for when I eventually made it home.

I arrived at the Splendour gates full of hope, as the sun shone on my face, heading over to the Confetti stage I naively took out my blanket and perched down as Notts Own Do Nothing took to the stage, I should have known I had tempted fate and soon enough the heavens opened leaving the masses to fight for coverage under trees. The merry dance of ‘Quick grab a jacket it is raining!’ to ‘Omg the suns out am sweating ‘happened over the hours like a clothing version of the Hokey Cokey. Luckily the sun finally made an appearance for 90s Britpop act Ash who absolutely killed it performing ‘Burn baby Burn’ and my guilty pleasure ‘Girl from Mars’, The vast majority were present for Mr. Rory Graham otherwise known as Rag N Bone Man, for those in the dark, his deep baritone belted out this smash from 2016-All together now. “I’m only human after all, I’m only human after all, don’t put your blame on meeeeee’.

My love of priest comedy Father Ted introduced me to the band I had come to see, ska supremes The Specials , they quickly pulled out all the stops on an enviable back catalogue (‘A message to you Rudy’, ’Too much Too Young’ and ‘Rat Race’. I was most gutted the set list didn’t include ‘Ghost Town’, if you do not get the reference, stop reading this at once and watch ‘Think Fast Father Ted’. It’s ok I will wait….

The last act on in the disappearing daylight were Welsh rockers Manic Street Preachers, while their brand of political hits didn’t appeal to me ‘Back in the day’ (I was a raver dance head) I heard the music with fresh ears, the anger, the warning in the lyrics contained in “If you tolerate this your children will be next”, maybe back then it was all too feely and deep thinking and didn’t have any horn samples or sped up vocals for my tastes. I couldn’t tell you what they finished with or an encore as usual I had darted out before the masses and was in the fridge with a face full of my cherished brownies and a hot chocolate by half ten (so rock and roll) I was even thoughtful enough to save the partner a bite of one, see I can share!!

Beeston Beats: Purple Rain

Ooooo we have been lucky sausages!! Getting a lush, sneaky peek into what spring holds, and in early Feb too, last year we were ten foot deep in snow (artistic license) and this year the whispers of BBQ bounced around faster than my falling back off the wagon post dryanuary. While in the midst of this cruel mini spurt of glorious sunshine and this issue of the very fine Beestonian being centred around the topic of Outdoors I had a brainwave (yes it does happen occasionally) about beautiful sunshine and beer gardens with fruity cider and hazy afternoon drinking, followed by only just making it home for a slap up Sunday dinner to soak it up, (ya can feel the beautiful summer glow on ya face right now I bet!) I arranged a meet up with a band from the local area, picturing butterflies and nature and a laid back photo shoot by the weir….

In reality though the best laid plans relying on the weather in late Feb early March is incredibly stupid, and my ideas turned as fast as a picnic by Skeggeh beach on a bank holiday. The early spring photo op turned into a lets go to the pub idea and what better pub to head to than the Jolly Anglers, with  Andrew Sully, Ryan Richardson, Aaron Weedon, Chris Atkinson better known as Lilac Grove, the only band to play at the pub since, well maybe ever. The weather was shockingly horrendous as the rain made for a miserable Sunday morning coupled with the fact the night before I had attended a fellow Beestonian’s hen party, (Congratulations are in order by the way as by the time this hits the lucky couple will be sunning themselves on their hunnymooon). So here is a shameless Congrats to Claire and Mike J.

Anyhoo back to the job in hand as it were, one half of the band turn up bang on time and we exchange hi and heys in the dreary car park as we wait for the pub to open (I mean rest of the band). Despite being horrendous (I did mention that didn’t I?) the lads are in high spirits as we have a very chilled out interview style over a few pints of Pepsi and not so Pepsi.

The bands namesake Lilac grove, being the road that connects Meadow to Humber Road and is home to various foods, floor and maintenance companies so why pick that name? The band says they had a few different names in the hat and that one stuck (although they didn’t elaborate which ones fell to the wayside). They all naturally passed the How Beeston are you test, with talk of favourite hang outs of The Berliner and Hop Pole, coincidentally two of the venues also to host the band via the Micks music Festival and the annual must for music lovers Oxjam. Their previous gig at The Jolly Angler (also  have you ever seen a jolly angler? Like ever?), Became a thing as Lilacite? Aaron and his dad are regulars int’ pub while he’s not playing for the casuals. In fact the band are so Beeston Andrew mentions that he went to school with  Nactus Kunan (the last band I interviewed way back in issue 59). We randomly talk about music and mainly being influenced by Arctic Monkeys  and how much they enjoyed their gig in Feb and looking forward to their return on March 29th. I would love to tell you more of their set but as Pete Doherty very rudely delayed me getting back to this neck of the woods as he was exceptionally late on stage on the same night I only managed to catch their last track.  No need to panic though as they return at the Berliner on 5th May, Hop Pole 24th May and 7th Sep at the crown. I can tell you that the pub was very busy and full of new faces I hadn’t seen before it was obviously a successful night as they have been invited back so quickly. News in the pipeline includes recording over at eleven in Long Eaton (the former silver prize band) a brand spanking debut E.P for release in May. So get down and support some local lads and the pub music scene, go on ya know ya wannna!!!

LD

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