Oxjam is Go!

This year’s Oxjam Beeston Music Festival is going ahead as planned. Members of the organising team were unanimous that they would carry on, in the belief that the Beeston community would support our aims.

These are quite simple: to mount a programme of varied musical events, provide a platform for local musicians, put on a great community event and raise money for Oxfam. Regarding the issues that the charity has had in the last couple of months, the local Oxjam Team is publishing a statement on its website.

Plans for this year’s Festival are in the early stages. Already we are looking at the following events:

  • a pub quiz (date and venue to be confirmed)
  • an ‘unplugged’ event (date and venue to be confirmed)
  • Takeover Day – Saturday 13th October, midday to the early hours, in various venues around the town, many familiar, some new
  • Classical Oxjam – Saturday 17th November, Beeston Parish Church
  • Oxjam Ceilidh – Saturday 1st December, Royal British Legion Social Club

We have already had enquiries, some asking us to confirm we are going ahead – which we are happy to do. We’ve also had messages from those who would like to perform and those who would like to volunteer.

Would-be performers should look out for ‘Registration’ when it opens in late May or early June. This will be available on-line. NB Artists for Unplugged and Classical are by invitation but we would be happy to hear from anyone who would like to perform at either.

Volunteer registration will open in late August.

Our website is currently undergoing a refurb but do check it at www.oxjambeeston.org or visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/oxjambeestontakeover/) – again, bear with us if the content is a bit behind the times!

We can be contacted via a message to our Facebook page.

CT

Beeston Beats: Kingdom Rapper

There is Snow Business like Show Business! Of Beats and Beans, An Impromptu Coffee With Kingdom Rapper.

Saturday the 17th March. Just as we were fooled into thinking winter was over, the “Beast From The East” returned, and once again delayed our passage into Spring, as it had a couple of weeks prior.

Wrapped up and very much windswept I trundled over to Beeston Square. The plan was to observe and report on the making of a music video about Beeston by Benjamin J Howard, otherwise known as, Kingdom Rapper. By the time I had arrived gusts of snow were flurrying around the square, and the wind was picking up. The tarpaulin of nearby market traders flapped violently, and all signs pointed towards inclement weather. It was a far cry from the artic tundra, but it was still legitimately uncomfortable to be outside.

I noticed the crew bunched into small groups around the square. A drone had just been retrieved from flight on one side of the square, and on the other side of the square it was clear to me that considerations were starting to manifest regarding the shoot that was due to take place that day.

I introduced myself to the crew, things hit off instantly. They seemed just as interested in asking me questions as I was of them. Just after the point of no return; ridiculously high winds and out of control hair, a realisation hit me. I realised I had been very pleasantly, yet subtly coerced into a video interview for them, about Beeston. As well as filming the music video, Kindgom Rapper and his crew were also planning on making a short documentary film about Beeston and the making of his music video. Despite the weather, a faction of the crew were busying themselves, continuing to collect video content from passers by.

It wasn’t long before a decision was taken for the crew to discuss the options going forwards over a warm cup of coffee. The vote was cast, and the unanimous decision was to cancel the shoot for the day. No date for the re-shoot was set in stone at the time, but it was suggested that a couple of weeks should be allowed to pass to allow the weather to improve. Benjamin (AKA Kingdom) enthusiastically volunteered to film a short message to his followers on Facebook to explain how the weather had temporarily put a stop to the days plans.

In the meantime Kingdom had kindly agreed to speak to both myself and Christopher Frost about; his life and music, and the ‘I Am Beeston’ project, respectively.

I was keen to find out a bit more about Kingdom’s drive for making music, and, how he came to be in Beeston. So, as the “Beast from the East” raged on outdoors, we started chatting, and so it goes;

Kingdom Rapper moved to Beeston 3 years ago after living in various city centre locations around Nottingham. The pre-tense for leaving almost every city centre location named as a prior residence, from Basford to the Meadows was the same; getting involved up with the wrong people and ending up on a negative cascade. Kingdom originally comes from West Bridgford. He described a somewhat turbulent upbringing where his family were well meaning but had their own adversity to manage. To ride out the chaos at home Kingdom explained that he sought solace in music. One of the stories Kingdom recounted to me was a pivotal turning point in his life when he realised he had a connection with rap music. Kingdom said he was 14 at the time, his mother had brought home an Eminem album. After having taken a listen, Kingdom felt a connection with the aesthetic of the music and the messages conveyed within the lyrics. Soon after, he acquired a microphone and some software, and began to make his own music. Kingdom whilst recounting his earlier life also described how he had entered what he considered to be a negative spiral, he was on the way to developing a ‘smoking’ habit, of which he would later quit, but at the time this came about as not only as a coping mechanism but also as an aid to his creativity. Kingdom kept this within the privacy of his own space, but he did also say that on a wider scale some of his prior associations had connections to gangs and anti-social behaviour.  Kingdom wanted to break out of the negativity and grow as a person as well as an artist. To do this, he knew he needed to become a more positive person in himself and engage with more positive people. People that would allow him to follow his passion and be supportive of his endeavours.

It was by chance that Kingdom ended up in Beeston. An opportunity for a house share arose with a group of friends, and that sealed the deal. Since moving to Beeston Kingdom has found that he has integrated into the community and found his support group. Kingdom describes himself as a community orientated person, and through his music aspires to be an inspiration to other young people who may also have to stand in the face of adversity. Kingdom also explained that since his move to Beeston, he gained momentum with his music and with his community outreach activities. The mantra “turn negatives into positives” was a running theme throughout our discussion. It was apparent that Kingdom really wanted his success to be a conduit for others around him to be successful. He described his ethic for supporting and promoting local businesses, and how they had helped him by lending his team media equipment or allowing a venue to be used as a platform for the promotion of his music. The majority, if not all (I didn’t get to meet them all) of Kingdoms team either lived or worked locally.  Kingdom also said that if he ‘made it big’ then he would like to stay in Beeston and not allow himself to fall into the money orientated world that is associated with musical success. What was really refreshing to see was Kingdom’s down to earth attitude. Having had a minor dabble and walked upon various tourist routes through the music industry myself, I have had the privilege of meeting a fair few music artists. Sadly, a big driving force for many to make it, is indeed fame and the promise of a more affluent life. Kingdom seemed different, his vision was to make music to help people, and that fame overall was of no interest. He wanted to be a “catalyst for change” and change the world bit by bit. He believes he was given the skills as an artist, and that is what is enabling him to do what he does. He also sees his troubled past in a positive light through the ability to empathise with the struggles of other people within the community, as well as show them that with the right attitude, they can find their own way out of adversity and take a more fulfilling path through life.

As I asked about his progression into the music industry, Kingdom also explained how he did previously have a manager, but has since decided to take control of his own musical destiny and now manages himself. Kingdom described some of the more negative aspects of the music industry that had started to manifest, and he felt like he didn’t need to get caught up in contracts and allow himself the chance to become established in himself and be free to follow his own creativity. Being locked into a restrictive 2-year contract and pushed to give up the rights to his name so early on in his career was a big eye opener. His creative freedom was dampened, and he felt that his hands may as well have been tied. Almost everything he did was contract limited. This experience gave him the strength to go in his own musical direction, and I think that this will bring a breath of fresh air to the rap scene.

To draw the conversation to a close I asked Kingdom about his upcoming activities and events. As well as re-setting a date for the ‘Beeston’ music video he also said (and this sounds AMAZING) that there was a plan to film another music video in the Play zone in Lincoln. Various meet and greets, aka ‘chat and raps’, have been arranged with local schools around Nottingham. In terms of events, you can catch him at the Berliner bar for the Sw@g Testament Mixtape Party on April 30th and again at the Bodega on May 31st. As a man of faith Kingdom will also be presenting the Gospel Facto on July 7th. Various ‘in the pipeline’ bits and pieces about the BBC were also mentioned.

The best way to keep up with Kingdom Rapper and his movements is to keep an eye on his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/kingdomrapperuk/

If you want to check out Kingdom Rapper’s music videos and supporting documentaries take a gander at his YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk0c6CzCZ6od_AzvM-OuN4w

DB

Beeston Beats: Bendigo review

Happy New Year Beestonians! Let us hope you have all recovered from the toils of the festive season and the super dry period of abstinence that is now upon us.

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I may be a little late to the party with this one so to speak. January is always quiet, and we are all recovering from the shear indulgence and hedonism of the month prior to that really, aren’t we? I decided to take this one a little more low-key and finally check out the (relatively) new lounger’s venue that has opened in Beeston. The Bendigo Lounge, named after Beeston born, bare knuckle fighter ‘William Abendigo Thompson’ AKA ‘Bendigo’. Bendigo moved to Beeston a little later in his life and lived in a house on Wollaton road until his passing in 1880, where to this day a blue plaque is left in commemoration.

Proudly occupying a prime spot on the High Road, the former McDonald’s site has been re-claimed and put to use. The re-fit has been quoted as costing £580,000. The Bendigo lounge opened its doors to the general public on the 15th November 2017 and I must say, I feel quite proud to live in a town where “trading patterns” were not sufficient to allow the fast food giant to take hold.

The space is an intermediate between coffee shops and pubs and has a welcoming feel

The arrival of the Bendigo lounge has filled a much needed gap in the high street and also within the town’s night-time economy. The venue serves food from the morning right through until the evening and has a menu to cater for all needs and/or preferences, including a separate vegan menu and a comprehensive list of gluten free options.

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Typical fayre on offer comprises of typical British favourites such as; sandwiches, panini, salads, burgers, tapas, curry and steak. Breakfast options (for both veggies and carnivores) and a variety of coffees are also on offer. A trip to the Bendigo lounge won’t be too damaging to the pocket either. Most menu items for mains are priced at around about £10. Brunch options are served all day and are a little less expensive at around the £6- £8 mark.

 

Not forgetting drinks, again we have the typical selection of teas soft drinks, wines, cocktails and draft beers. In addition there is also a variety of smoothies, milkshakes, juices and home-made favourites.

Décor is eclectically quirky. An array of lampshades litter the ceiling, whilst the walls are decorated in colourful wallpapers, set behind a showcase of artworks, mirror’s and portraits. There is even a wall decorated in stylised images of Bendigo adopting a fighting stance. The furniture has an up-cycled feel and the table tops are brightly painted in an array of designs. The space is an intermediate between coffee shops and pubs and has a welcoming feel. At the front of the venue there is outdoor seating. I noticed the presence of bi fold doors. Obviously due to the weather these haven’t been opened yet, but I can imagine this would add a nice airy feel to the place come summer time.

Current offers include the “Cheeky Monday’s” Where you can get a free drink or dessert with any special, burger or main, and “Tapas Tuesdays” (which is when I went) offering 3 tapas and a glass of wine for £9.95. This offer is particularly good when shared. My companion for the evening and I both got this. We made sure to order a different trio of tapas each and found between us we had a lovely mix and match of dishes to enjoy. Service was polite and reasonably quick. The staff were all very friendly and seemingly on point despite the venue not having been open for long. For me this place gets a definitive thumbs up, and I shall most certainly be visiting again.

The Bendigo Lounge is typically open from 9am until 11pm, On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays the hours are extended until midnight. For more information please see the website on http://thelounges.co.uk/bendigo/

DB

Oxjam 2018: Aiming for £100k!

This year, if we have another successful Oxjam Music Festival, we have every chance of reaching the magic £100,000 in total for the eight years that Oxjam Beeston has been running – that’s our target anyway!

Last year’s Team has already had their first informal get-together and we can announce that this year’s Takeover event will be on Saturday 13th October. Apart from the main Takeover event, there is likely to be a Pub Quiz, an Unplugged/Acoustic night (possibly September), a Classical concert (17th Novelber confirmed) and a Ceilidh, probably also in November.

Now is not too early to be starting the process of planning such a large and complex set of events – and it’s not too early for you to volunteer to get involved. Firstly, if you want to perform, look out for ‘Registration’ round  about June time; during August we’ll be calling for volunteers to help on Takeover day.

If, however, you think you have a bit more time and would like to make a bigger commitment, we are looking for people to join our Team to help plan and organise the Festival. Here’s what we are looking for:

  • people with project management skills
  • people with good local knowledge of bands, artists, Beeston venues
  • people with knowledge of sound production, PAs and so forth
  • people with IT and/or design skills
  • anyone who is just willing and enthusiastic

Apart from any ‘specialism’ you might be able to offer, you need to be flexible and adaptable and prepared to help out in ways you hadn’t thought of! In terms of your time commitment, it is less important how much time you have available, than that you deliver what you promise!

Finally, I’m sure you know this anyway, but all members of the team are voluntary and unpaid.

If you think you have something to offer, please email me – colintucker18@gmail.com. I’ll arrange for you to meet with me or another member of the Team.

£100K! Big ask! But we can do it, Beeston!

CT

Oxjam: They think it’s all over (Part 2)

By the time you read this, the Oxjam Beeston Music Festival will be over for another year and you will know that we have raised a record-smashing £22,000.

Just to put that in context, last year we raised a creditable £14000 and the previous year, a brilliant £17400, which was our previous best and the highest raised at any Oxjam Festival in the country that year. This year, unsurprisingly, we have raised by far the most money of any Oxjam Festival in the UK.

Oxjam Festivals take place in over forty different locations around the country, often large provincial cities and towns such as Bristol, Bournemouth and Glasgow, as well as different areas of London. So how come little old Beeston tops the lot?

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Olivia & Finn

Maybe it’s something about the place: nice and compact, so for ‘Takeover’ you can walk between the furthest venues in less than a quarter of an hour; maybe it’s the fact that the folks round here are good-hearted and like their music in all the different forms that Oxjam offers; maybe it’s because we have some brilliant venues or the fact that, over seven years, now, we have established a format and a recognisable ‘brand’ that people love; and maybe it’s the Team!

This year it all began way back in January when, amidst rumblings that it might not happen this year, a group of about twenty people met in the upstairs room at The White Lion and started making plans. In that group there was special expertise – in marketing, music production and local music – specialist local knowledge, experience of running the Festival before, and a mixture of ages and backgrounds. From there we gradually evolved a structure, with a team devoted just to the Takeover day, others handling individual fund-raising events, a sponsorship and marketing team and individuals looking after finance and IT.

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We are also especially proud of the breadth of music offered: on Takeover day itself we had a very well attended Operatic Arias concert, as well as DJs, Americana, blues, choirs, covers, punk, indie, rock, barbershop, folk, singer-songwriters, jazz and a silent disco! Our other events have included a rock night featuring Madeleine Rust (who organised it for us since they couldn’t make 14 October), an ‘Unplugged’ event back in July, a ceilidh and our regular classical concert. We are struggling to think of a musical genre or style that we missed!

Oxjam Beeston has grown into a true community event. Lots of venues love being involved: our sponsors this year included Nottingham University (stage sponsors at Bartons), NET ‘the tram people’ (sponsoring the stage in The Square), local estate agents CP Walker (stage sponsors at The Crown), Foster Industrial (sponsors of The Hop Pole stage), The Breeze magazine and PN Design who did all our design work for flyers, posters and the programme. Of course, this year we had a special  ‘headline sponsor’, The Star, who celebrated their CAMRA LocAle award. Apart from the Uni, other community or public organisations involved were Beeston Library (venue), Beeston Methodist Church, Chilwell Road (venue and rehearsal space for the Operatic concert), Beeston Parish Church (venue), Middle Street Resource Centre (venue and loan of equipment), Royal British Legion Social Club (venue), local councillor, Kate Foale (grant from NCC Divisional Fund), local folk club Second Time Around (‘Friend of Oxjam’ sponsor) and several schools (distribution of flyers).

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Lia White

Overall we calculate more than two thousand people have been involved as either paying customers, non-paying (but ‘donating’) customers on Takeover afternoon, artists and volunteers. There were over 100 ‘acts’ on Takeover day, appearing on twenty stages across 18 venues over 13 hours.

Have you got a hankering to help? If you’ve got some time and skills you think would enhance our team, look out for a ‘call’ in January. We need people with design, PR and IT skills, or who know about local music or ‘project management’. If you want to perform, registration will begin about May/June and if you just want to help ‘on the day’ visit our website in August to ‘sign up’. Because, remember, you CANNOT assume people who have done it before will have the time and energy to do it all over again – they are all volunteers and most have full time jobs to do as well! It’s hard work – but very rewarding. Help keep Beeston at the top of the Oxjam pile and contribute to raising astonishing amounts of money for the fantastic work of OXFAM. Look out for notice of a meeting in January 2018 and come along if you want to join our team.

CT

Beeston Beats

Ey yup beatsonite readers,(be you a regular or casually stopping by).

This column tries to bring you news and snippets of the musical variety (plus any extra added adventures I may have been on) from our loveleh neck of the woods, so grab a cuppa put them weary feet up and reach for the chocolate hobnobs…

Back in October Many of you lovely people headed to Oxjam, for those that didn’t you missed out, the event was a complete corker,  jam packed full of fantastic variety of talent, Barton’s bus depot hosted the voice star Lia white, punk pioneers 3 Stone Monkey and the funky styling’s of Dirty Scrounging Bastards. While new venues Totally Tapped, and The Berliner added a bit of  spice, good ol’ faithfuls White Lion, Hop Pole, The Star, Rye, The Crown and many more got together to raise monies for Oxfam. On top of volunteering for the event I also took part in Stoptober for Macmillan, no booze, one month, shares in Pottle of Blues were possibly hit…

Back in the last issue we brought news the legendary Greyhound was to close its doors for good following extortionate hikes in council rates to an eye watering 64k a year.  The venue celebrated with an almighty farewell bang with the usual slots of open mic, rock band guitar hero, an evening of alternative rock and Morderstein, Yorkshires Rammstein tribute band who filled in for Rammlied due to an illness cancellation. I shall always fondly  remember the night moshing to the band performing ‘Du Hast’  followed by  DJ Lee Dowling buckling to my request for the Prodigy’s No Good Start the Dance to be played, at which a room full of metal heads descended back to carefree teenagers.

The Boat and Horses hosted their Christmas Craft Fayre on Saturday 11th November showcasing some handmade and local goods with charity stalls for Treetops Hospice and Beeston 2nd Sea Scouts, the five year old child in me brought some wax melts called reindeer poo and monkey fart, it really is the little things in life… The Victoria Hotel also had an alternative Christmas event for local creatives on the same day. I purchased a print of some artwork from Lauren Butler whose company Seek the Truth had a stall, her images are truly beautiful and slightly more grown up than the wax melts. Also munched on a Bakewell pudding muffin from Justine’s muffins and washed it down with a mulled cider (as it was November and the end of stoptober I had some catching up to do). That leads me nicely to wish everyone a fantastic Christmas – Til next year.

Christmas gig guide!

Ooo what do we have here then? 

  • The Chequers host Verbal Warning
  • Dec 30th (B.Y.O.D bring your own ducks)
  • New years eve Buster and d.j Soul man at the Chequers five quid tickets
  • The Berliner big fat quiz of the year, Dec 27th
  • White Lion Second time around folk club present the Smugglers Dec 1st £5 Tickets
  • Zephyr 4 at the Victory Club

LD

Jace Everett live at The Greyhound, Beeston 12/10/17

Music journalist Kev White from Derby pays his first visit to The Greyhound…

This guy was a complete revelation for me. I only knew Bad Things from the hit TV series True Blood and was wary when he was described to me as a country musician (I am not a Country fan). As an open-minded music journalist I went to the gig and was hooked right from the opening number.

The set was largely made up of songs from the brilliant new album Dust and Dirt. Highlights of the set included Woke Up In This Town, Green Or Blue, Under The Sun, Someplace, Golden Ring and Lowlands. The band were Everett on vocals/acoustic guitar and Dan Cohen on electric guitar. They have worked together for years and it shows.

During the set Jace broke a string on his guitar and soon realised that he had left his spare guitar strings back at the hotel and then introduced the eleven string orchestra playing the remainder of the set on his now five string guitar. What a trooper! He also spoke of his battle with depression and the fact that he is now on medication before playing the powerful yet humorous The Drugs Aren’t Getting It Done.

Everett made light of the fact that he is known as a one hit wonder and introduced A-ha’s Take On Me as the next song but actually launched into Bad Things to the warmest reception of the night. The gig ended with the dark and dramatic One Of Them.

The Greyhound is due to close next month, which is another nail in the coffin of small music venues. It is these venues that are the life-blood of the live music scene and they should be supported.

Jace Everett is a great musician who writes fantastic songs. He is a brilliant live performer and a really nice, down to earth bloke. Keep an eye out for his next visit to the UK and go and see him. You will not be disappointed.

Kev White

 

OXJAM: Beeston Takeover

A date for your diary: Saturday 14 October

We’re just a couple of weeks away now from arguably the biggest cultural event in Beeston: the seventh Takeover, part of the Oxjam Beeston Music Festival 2017, in aid of OXFAM.

THE VENUES: this year Bartons is back IN (three stages!) and our headline sponsor is the award-winning ‘Star’. We’ve got some new venues too: The Berliner,Totally Tapped, Beeston Library and Rudyards, along with many familiar Oxjam spaces such as Rye, Malt Shovel, Bean, Greenhoods, Pottle o’ Blues, The Crown, The White Lion, The Hop Pole, Middle Street Resource Centre, Chilwell Methodist Church and Beeston Parish Church – 20 in all!

THE MUSIC: as ever, the great mix of styles and genres you have come to expect – and then some! Everything from nice, gentle acoustic folk, singer-songwriters, blues, Americana and ‘covers’,  to Indie, folk-rock, DJs, rock and punk plus choirs and ‘Operatic Arias’.

THE COST: this has got to be the best value anywhere in the area: you pay NOTHING to wander into a coffee shop or bar in the afternoon (but please make a generous donation: you won’t miss our volunteer collectors). For the evening (after 6pm) we’ve kept it to £8 if you buy in advance of the day (£10 on the day). Buy your advance tickets at Oxfam Books and Music on Beeston High Road or The Guitar Spot on Chilwell High Road. The ‘Operatic Arias’ event in the evening at the Parish Church, is separately ticketed – pick these up from Oxfam Books and Music or John Kirk Hi-fi (for a tenner or less if you qualify for a concession). Tickets for both, along with the Classical Oxjam concert (11 November) and the Oxjam Ceilidh (24 November) can also be bought on line at wegottickets.com (there is a 10% booking fee).

THE SPONSORS: We are delighted to have some excellent sponsorship support this year, especially our headline sponsor, CAMRA LocaAle pub of the year The Star’, and ‘stage sponsors’ C P Walker, Estate Agents, NET (Nottingham Express Transport), the University of Nottingham and Foster Industrial. Others include PN Design and The Breeze. We also have a sponsorship grant from Cllr. Kate Foale (Nottinghamshire County Council ‘Divisional Fund’). Small local businesses and organisations, or individuals, might consider becoming a ‘Friend of Oxjam’ for a donation of £50 or more. You get one free wristband for the Takeover so you COULD decide to ‘spend’ a generous fifty quid for your ticket and earn a ‘Friend of Oxjam’ sticker or certificate to display on your social media or premises. We’ll also credit you on our website.

THE MONEY: the volunteers and all artists, plus many sound engineers, take part for nothing; sponsorship covers our publicity, some unavoidable admin costs and some hire of equipment, so you can be sure that EVERY pound you spend on tickets or put in our collecting tins goes straight to support the magnificent work of Oxfam. You can have a great day and know you are helping a fantastic charity. That’s ‘win-win!’

For more details, to contact us  and get up-to-the-minute news of the programme, go to oxambeeston.org or our Facebook page.

CT

Beeston Beats: R.I.P (Rock In Pieces)

Howdy campers, it’s been a while since my incoherent ramblings have graced this page, I have been on many adventures and seen many things all of which I shall relay to you, but first the bad news…

The Greyhound has announced closure, the announcement was made at the time of writing, and will commence on Sunday 5th November.  A huge factor in this heart breaking decision is the crippling business rates which have soared from 32k a year to £64k!!! That’s a whole lot of pints needed to cover the shocking doubling of its rates, i can assure you I moan like a trooper when they raise the council tax by even a fiver. The rise has led to a statement both via their website and on their face book page about the venues demise prompting outcry from the Beeston public and further afield.

Till the sad, sad day of closure The Greyhound has a few cracking bands up its sleeve with the absolutely stomping rocker band, V8, performing on September 30th, Tick Tick Boom on Friday 20th Oct Friday 27th Oct, a spooky Halloween special withLizziee and the Banshees Friday 3rd November, followed by Rammlied the completely spot on Rammstein tribute, The final blow-out will be is an evening of alternative rock with Black Light Secret, Electric Soup and the Spacehogs.

Anyhoo, As was promised, back on track with adventures, of the Beeston variety, beginning with Liberty Leisure’s  Party in the Park held over at Broadgate Park on August 12th , after announcing a £1 entry fee the event caused a bit of a stir as many people were enraged about being charged a squid to go and look around some stalls. Feeling brave, I handed over my shiny pound at the disgust of some bystanders and headed to have a nosey. Entertainment was a random mix of what a friend called elevator music and headlined by the fabulous The Melanie Page Band. I managed to demolish a brownie courtesy of the guys at Beeston Brownie Company and washed it down with some samples of choccy vodka from Choccy Woccy Vodka Company (I am not even making that up!) while relaxing to some gorgeous vocal tones from Melanie Page purring like a kitten to covers of Bob Marley, The Selector and Bad Manners.  A pound well spent! What else can you get for that nowadays? Ten bags-for-life’s? Or 4 fredos? Answers on a postcard. Which will probably cost more than a quid.

The fun, however, didn’t stop there! I swung by the old bus station to have a cold drink while making a sandcastle and watched my first puppet show over at Beeston Sands (three little pigs!). So very, very, Rock and roll.

Also on the agenda I tried stalking fellow Beestonian Scott Bennett over at Splendour festival only to get to the stage too late and him finishing his set by saying good night! I spent the duration absolutely soaked but yet managing to stay till the very end and witnessing Kaiser Chiefs amazing set, see Ynot!! A bit of rain and other festivals can manage!!!….

If there’s anything on your calendar for October 14th clear it, get ya self down to Oxjam, support the charity and the local music scene, jobs a gud un’: until next time me mateys.

LD

Oxjam: We’re off!

A packed ‘Unplugged’ event kicked off Oxjam Beeston 2017 on Saturday 1st July.

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A supportive and enthusiastic audience appreciated the diversity of music on offer as well as the real ale, wine and curry provided by the good people of the Middle Street Resource Centre. All of the artists – folk-punk singer Paul Carbuncle, Hungarian folk-rock group ‘Foreign Accent’, Celtic tunesmiths Steve and Penny Benford and two generations of singer songwriters: Lucia Holmes and Colin Tucker – will be appearing at Takeover on 14 October. For pictures, video-clips and a more detailed review of the evening, visit the Oxjam Beeston website (www.oxjambeeston.org) or our Facebook page. ‘Unplugged’ was a joint event between Oxjam and Beeston Community Resource/MINDSET.

If you visited the brilliant Beeston Carnival you may well have seen Oxjam there too with a stall offering  free goodies, flyers for our various events, tickets and, of course, some live music.

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We are currently seeking sponsors for the Festival. Businesses large and small can become sponsors – we’re glad to say ‘The Star’ and C P Walker have signed up to be major sponsors – others so far include PN Design, The Breeze, Cllr Kate Foale (grant from Divisional Fund) and Second Time Around Folk Club. If you are a large business, maybe you can sponsor a Takeover stage or one of our separate fund-raising events. Small businesses and individuals can become a ‘Friend of Oxjam’ by making a donation of as little as £50. Go to our website and look at the Sponsorship Prospectus. www.oxjambeeston.org The more we can raise from sponsorship, the more we can raise for Oxfam! 2017 COULD be our best ever!

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We are also beginning to sign up volunteers to help out on Takeover day (14 October). Go to our website and complete the form.

Want to perform at Oxjam 2017? Venues are being finalised at the time of writing – go to the website for the latest information. Although technically, ‘registration’ for artists closed on 14 July, we will continue to accept registrations for several weeks. We are looking for performers of all sorts of music: rock, rap, ‘covers’, indie, punk, blues, folk, metal, jazz, funk and punk – anything, in fact, performed by any size combo from solo acoustic to loud rock and large community choirs. Again, visit the website!

Events – ADDITIONAL – Rock Night at The Greyhound with The Madeline Rust and friends, Sunday 6 August – £3 on the door – check website or Facebook event for details.

TAKEOVER – Saturday 14 October – to include acoustic/semi-acoustic acts and a special choir event at Beeston Methodist Church, Chilwell Road in the afternoon; heavier acts + some semi-acoustic ones + DJs in the evening. £8 ‘early-bird’ (£10 on the day) ADDITIONAL – we have a special ‘Operatic Arias’ concert on Takeover night (7.30 – 9.30) at the Parish Church (NB SEPARATE TICKET REQUIRED – £10 and concessions)

Classical Oxjam – Saturday 11 November – Parish Church – £8 and concessions

Oxjam Ceilidh – Friday 24 November – Royal British Legion Social Club – £10 (half-price for youngsters).

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All tickets are available from Oxfam Books and Music and online from www.wegottickets.com (+ 10% booking fee); Takeover and Classical tickets also available from Guitar Spot; Operatic Arias tickets also from John Kirk Hi-Fi.

www.oxjambeeston.org

 

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