Beeston Ceilidh

Kay-leeee

Here at Beeston Beats we don’t do things by halves, (usually pints are the weapon of choice). Me and fellow Beatsonite,  Miss Donna Bentley, relentlessly trawled through  the Beeston entertainment listings before finally homing in on an upcoming event at Attenborough’s village hall.

For those not in the know, a ceilidh (celi or Highland fling), pronounced Kay-Lee is a sort of barn dance and not the 1984 song by Marillion, All together now…“Kayleigh is it too late to say I’m sorry? And Kayleigh could we get it together again?”  Nope? Ask ya mum.

The premise is simple: a social event with Scottish or Irish folk music with traditional dancing (grab ya partner, dosey doe and all that malarkey).  Sounds straight forward enough. Having never been to an event at the hall and still having my ceilidh virgin plates firmly attached, decisions were made and tickets were booked, Priced at a reasonable fiver – bring a bottle and including supper – while profits went towards St Mary’s Church fund, the evening was a bargain.

Wearing a silly hat I got free at a bar, I was feeling all ready to take on the shindig.

The night in question was St Patrick’s; after spending the day in Nottingham watching the parade and wearing a silly hat I got free at a bar, I was feeling all ready to take on the shindig. On arrival the hall was packed to the rafters  with only space in the room at the back to find a seat, adamant that a few  drops of alkimihol was needed before my pins hit the dance floor. Which leads me nicely to a quick confession: I struggle with choreographed dancing. You name it – the cha cha slide, time warp, Macarena, and even the ponytailed Whigfield’s simplistic dance for Saturday night – it leaves me quite honestly puddled, exhausted and confused.  Mixing up mi lefts with mi rights I usually tend to copy the person closest to me just to survive the incident without huge embarrassment. If that person is like me I dread to think about the outcome…

Luckily enough, the night catered for people with dancing dyslexia like me, with slow and clear instructions from the “caller” tactfully adapting to those more skilled in the dance and those with the grace and etiquette of a merry moose. Merry being the operative word as I had awkwardly supped away through a bottle of the nearest garage’s finest wine (on offer at a bargain of two for a fiver of course), a taste sensation, with nutty hints of paint stripper, methylated spirits and an oaky musk of dank cellar.

Providing the musical accompaniment for the night were south Nottingham band ‘Fiddle Factor’, a group of family and friends  dedicated to enhancing the experience through a back drop of fiddly  Irish folky tunes through the medium of violin, flutes and even on occasion bagpipes.

After checking out some dance routines on Scottish dance net previously, I was relieved more advance moves such as the Virginia reel, Swedish masquerade, or the sausage machine, were left out:  the mind boggles, as me mam would say.

The main objective of the ceilidh is to have fun and not fall on ya bum which I managed to achieve in both parts. Would I go again? Of course, good friends and helping a good cause while having a laugh is what it’s all about.  Also there was cake, chocolate cake and  a supper of a yummy filled roll and coleslaw side.(It really was all about the cake though.)

Next issue, Donna takes the helm of the good ship Beeston Beats as I am off to become a pirate keeping the look out at Beeston Marina Company as we sip rum and fight seagulls for our supper. Ooooo arrrrr!

LD

Berliner Bubbles

Ey yup Beestonites, don’t you just love the New Year?

The new found gym bunnies are slogging it away for a few weeks pounding away those turkey/biscuit/ and/or pudding pounds, leaving the pubs and bars virtually secluded: no waiting for Dave and the office lot to make up their mind on their tipple of choice during their annual excursion to the local boozeries.

There’s also a mad scramble of offers to lure us into eateries – ten pounds off here, get a free 10p sweetie mix there and luckily for us even brand spanking new establishments for our leisure pleasure.

First on the agenda, The Berliner, located on the high road. Local lads James and James of the Froth coffee shop venture have yet again joined forces to bring you a venue which combines two great foodstuffs, pizza and err cocktails with a dash of live music in the form of late night deejays and live bands in the pipeline. Achingly trendy the bar’s decor is inspired by trips to Berlin aiming to provide a hangout for students and shoppers alike.

Myself and newbie Beeston Beats fellow contributor Donna Bentley, headed off to perform an undercover report with two accounts of the same bar – that’s twice the feedback without leaving your armchair. While I supped away on a few cheeky cocktails, Donna actually did some reviewing…. The mid-January lull has hit hard. Payday seems an unreasonable number of miles away, and the dark evenings still creep up on us like the bogey man. In amongst the lingering sense of January malaise I had a bit of respite as I was quite excited to learn of a new venue arriving in Beeston.

I saw this as chance to break up the usual routine of real ale pubs. As much as I love nothing more than a craft beer and a scotch egg (or several, as determined by the magnitude of beer consumption), it’s not always what I am in the mood for. Beeston needed something new.

So, furnished with a fresh 20 in my pocket I wandered out into the evening chill and headed (with Lulu) towards Chilwell High Road, filled with curious anticipation. As we entered the bar I immediately felt the buzz. The place already looked well established and distinctly reminded me of the vibe you get when out in the city.This place was most certainly fresh and edgy, a welcome break from the plethora of traditional pubs that dominates the Beeston drinking scene.

I had the privilege of being away some time in Berlin, and could clearly see where the inspiration for the bar came from: creative, contemporary décor, with a bit of cool thrown in for good measure. The Berliner seemed like an oasis of fresh vibe and activity when compared with the calm quiet of the night outside. It almost didn’t seem to fit into Beeston, but I was very glad it was there. The crowd was full of new faces, with a diverse and refreshing age range of clientele. I clocked the D.j setting up in the corner and wondered what the order of the day was in terms of music. The smell of pizza was incredibly alluring, but I refrained.

This challenge, a raging battle between my stomach and my brain, (which was also in conflict with itself) was exacerbated when I noticed several tables furnished with punters all enjoying the pizza. I really did feel tempted. I stayed strong and made a mental note to come back for the 2 for 1 pizza deal before 5pm.

As we got to the bar we realised that we had arrived at 8.45pm, just in time to take advantage of the cocktail happy hour: 2 cocktails for £8 before 9pm – it seemed impolite not to. The bar was busy, but it was also very well staffed and we managed to get both our drinks orders in, just in time.The cocktail menu comprised of some well-known old favourites and a few newbies, with the addition of the Long Eaton Ice Tea, presumably a fresh spin on an old classic.

I wasn’t quite sure what a Bubble Bath was but Lulu and I decided to take the plunge, and so round 1 was bought. Getting distracted by the hub of the bar I didn’t notice what exactly went into a Bubble Bath. I snapped back to attention when a nice lady in the queue allowed me to jump in front.

An order for a Long Eaton Ice Tea was made and Lulu and I challenged the bar staff to a cocktail shake-off. Drinks were made in a timely manner and it wasn’t long before the Bubble Bath, complete with passion fruit float, was catching the eyes of nearby bystanders. By which time, the DJ was set up and ready to go. Mellow house music filled the bar. The volume was audible but not so loud to the point where you couldn’t talk.

Drinks were going down well and the evening was lost in conversation. Overall if you haven’t yet had a chance to get to the Berliner, the upcoming ‘unlimited pizza’ nights and cocktail masterclass alone are valid reasons; add on live bands and acts and we definitely recommend you pay the bar a visit. Lulus input- ‘ummm Bubble Bath cocktail nom nom (reads cocktail menu) wait a min RAW EGG??

Better line us up another Long Eaton Ice Tea…

Lulu

Beeston Beats

The great summer of 2016 has quickly become a flickering memory of a season past, yet there’s still a few surprise sunny days that hurriedly sneak in, however my day out hunting down alternative music at The Charlton arms wasn’t one of them…

Outside my window looked like the darkest days in Antarctica, in full on winter mode, I will be honest it not only made me think not just twice, but about ten times over, if going out in the abyss would be worth leaving my warm surroundings. As it was, I wrapped up (they are always telling me to do so on the telemabob weather) warmed meh cockles with a wee dram (Scottish for occifer I haz only been on the tea –hic) and headed on the Indigo bus grumpier than a teen at a surprise birthday party.

My surroundings greeting me certainly looked the part as The Charlton Arms Chilwell has had a bit of a snazzy make over to the tune of 120k in recent years, making the switch to quite sophisticated decor and boasting a wider adult “pop” selection ( btw kids, I really don’t mean pop). The large car park proved an ideal meeting place as the day was dedicated to a “scooter bash”; I quickly realised that the term meant a daytime soiree or celebration, rather than a kind of metallic whack a mole type of event.  Scoots of all shapes and sizes, original and modified, descended in a sea of shiny gleaming chrome to take part in the planned ride out to the Long Eaton Cenotaph with a detour of Chetwynd army barracks, to pay respects to the armed forces there and to lay a wreath over at Beeston war memorial.

On their return an announcement of the competition winners with the awards presented by legendary film” This is England” star, George Newton (he played banjo). Daniel and Jade from Sneinton bagged best mod and modette while Andrew Hart took best vespa and John from Bilborough stole the best mod scoot on show. Keeping up morale inside, d.js Poppa bear and Cynthia B from Ska2soul treated the audience to some cracking tracks from ska, two tone, reggae and northern soul all lovingly played on vinyl records.

Being the sensible sausage that I am I was tucked up in bed way before I turned into a pumpkin

Taking over the stage were The Incredible skank brothers, livening up the crowd with covers of ska classics from Madness and Bad Manners to The specials. The back of the venue held a tombola with all proceeds going to Forces in the community and The British Legion, alongside a merch stall for all trilby, patches, badges and pin needs leaving no excuse to get kitted out.

I hear the event carried on to the small hours with all involved having a fantastic time, raising awareness and paying respects to worthwhile charities to an amazing soundtrack of some cracking ska covers from yesteryear, being the sensible sausage that I am I was tucked up in bed way before I turned into a pumpkin.

Festival twat-isms

Yep as I’ve been away many weekends for festival season, my ear holes have heard some right silly corkers from random passerby’s, this little column filler is like Left Lion magazines notts over heard column but Beeston on the move stylee.

Girl to partner- ‘I am a vegetarian cause I only eat Organic Chicken’

Bloke to woman – (after barging straight into her) –‘I would say sorry but ya know it’s a festival’

Woman enters tent to Marvin Gayle’s iconic original track let’s get it on, she says to first passerby – ‘“excuse me love is this the rave tent?’

Two guys chatting in Matlock one points at the stonewall in Pike hall and says “Isn’t that Hadriens wall?”

Thank you random people for making me smile keep em coming!

Lulu Davenport

Beeston Beats

After five weeks of a whopping 50 percent deafness in the wake of Download, I pioneer on like the trooper I am, in the quest for all things different, carrying the flag for the good ship Beestonia…

Firstly, the Ryland’s suffered a blow as legendary venue the Plessey closed its doors after an almighty send off – which I attended – and can report that the nostalgia was running high. Regulars joined forces with curious passersby to celebrate this historic focal point and its rich background. Many a family party had graced the function room with entertainment ranging from live acts to bingo, Northern Soul or blues nights to name a few.  After moving to the Beeston area I have spent many a night putting the world to rights or enjoying a cold one at ‘ode ‘Plessah’: a sad time indeed.

Quickly regaining my composure, I took a change of scenery to the Froth Cafe over at the Creative Quarter.  Fear not those with an aversion to non alcoholic drinks, as the night hosted a gorgeous cocktail menu for a cracking 2 for £8 washed down with a side of Live Music of course.

The night in question classical music masterminds The Warp Trio made their debut in the tiny space usually allocated for Mish Mash gallery. Surrounded by stunning realistic portraits, and abstract canvases adorning the walls the mood was set by flickering candles and the gentle hum of chatter.

Formed back in 2014 the highly talented musicians splice together familiar popular classical music with an edgy twist. Josh Henderson introduces his two accomplices as pianist Mikael Darmaine and Ju Young Lee handling the cello.

Within a few bars of their opening piece, the sheer expertise was immediately apparent as the three musicians masterfully flirted between styles from subtle jazz influences to aspects of funk with an enviable ease. Throughout the evening, passion and energy exuded from the artists, during either their renditions of Chopin or original compositions – the experience was completely rewarding even for classical music novices such as me.

That’s it for another issue. I shall keep my eyes extra peeled for musical gems lurking in our vicinity, (that is not a euphemism for Pokémon Go!). Till next time….

Lulu Davenport

Beeston Beats: Drownload

It cannot have escaped anyone’s notice that the biggest rock festival the Midlands has to offer descended yet again upon the area. Being of a musical persuasion the headlining acts of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and the fire obsessed Rammstein lured me to that watery, mud infested outing which lasted five days.

Parting with enough cash to make any self respecting adult cry, I exchanged monies, freedom and civilisation to experience my fourth year in a row on the sacred Donnington ground. By now most people may have seen the images of tents streaming with mud free flowing like a chocolaty tidal wave taking out temporary nylon abodes.

The sheer volume of chaos Mother Nature inflicted was enough to conjure memories of warm beautiful pubs back over in Beestonian land where ciders and ales were served in glass, real glass not plastic beakers barely filled and more costly. Amidst a crowd full of rockers I had a true cheers moment, I missed my local, its characters, its cider and mostly its warm friendly atmosphere and unsoggy seating.

no one quite tells you that Download is mostly about queuing and walking

Manning up I waded through a sticky sea of sludge to the main stage determined my festival holiday wouldn’t be deterred by the weather. music begun at the highly unsociable hour of  11am leaving time to queue (yet again!) for a quick breakfast stop before making the half an hour journey to the arena from the campsite. In fact no one quite tells you that Download is mostly about queuing and walking.

Californian rockers Alien Ant Farm tie up a nice little link to the theme of this issue, as the band  performed the 2001 track ‘Movies’, the video was a mash up of Ghostbusters, karate kid and Edward Scissor hands parodies.

Tedious link number two goes to Juliette Lewis and the Licks, Juliette being a Hollywood legend having graced the screen for From Dusk Till Dawn and Natural Born Killers performing an absolute kick ass set. Darting round the stage with enough energy to upset a Duracell bunny 42 year old Juliette didn’t slow down and looked amazing in a jumpsuit while she did so, some women have all the luck…

So were the cash, mud, rain, sunstroke and chaos worth it? To see these rock heavy hitters a short bus journey away, definatly however creature comforts have taken over and munching on a cheese board at The Crown or catching a random band over at the Greyhound is without a doubt less stressful and soul destroying. I shall be back next issue to seeking out Beeston’s finest random acts and bands, dry and slightly less grumpy!

LD

Foreign Accent

The last Beeston Beats featured a promise by myself to root out all alternative music, a vow that led me to the ‘Boat and ‘ossess’ (horses) down on Trent Road in the Rylands.

Previously I have only ventured ito this establishment very rarely, with prior outings to the Degeneration festival last year and again more recently for a fantastic Sunday dinner (now sadly not available).

Within moments of stepping in the venue something didn’t quite seem the same, a change in atmosphere lingered in the air and then it hit me; the strong character of previous landlord Peter was missing, with him venturing off to pastures new. His dynamic and friendly personality added a quality to the ‘ossess that made strangers feel immediately welcome.

Hosts aside, the music element still remains, with the pub’s weekly open mic night every Thursday alongside a guest spot at 10pm for an assigned band/act.

Catching my interest was a four piece group called Foreign Accent who were due to perform the late spot: a Hungarian folk band on a U.K tour covering local venues across Nottingham – The Maze, Surface Gallery and Running Horse.

Within moments of their starting I was utterly entranced. Their beautiful sound consisted of an infusion of violin over plucked acoustic guitar, twinkling keyboards alongside a hauntingly emotive vocal.

Even the subject matter of the songs was deep and meaningful with verses based on poems such as ‘Prayer after war’ inspired by the work of Endre Ady, telling the tale of an ex soldier trying to make peace with himself after war.

There was also a rendition of English folk ballad ‘Scarborough Fair’ followed by an Indian folk song ‘Vasudevaya’. ’Blue violet’ is based on a Hungarian folk song about a small flower asking for dewfall as a broken heart seeks love  – the majority of mainstream  modern pop music lyrics just  fade in comparison.

The night was soaked in enchanting melodies, making it impossible to be occupied in anything else going on at the time. As for the next stop in my random music adventure, who knows where I will end up? This, was an amazing place to start, though!

Lulu Davenport

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