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 – firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll arrange for you to meet with me or another member of the Team.
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?
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.
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).
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
A packed ‘Unplugged’ event kicked off Oxjam Beeston 2017 on Saturday 1st July.
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.
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!
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).
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.
You might wonder which is more surprising, that Vice Squad are playing in Beeston, or that it is free.
But the fact that punk superheroine Beki Bondage gives the town its first notable punk gig since Flux of Pink Indians and The Fits played The Shed in October 1981, surely warrants compulsory attendance. Beki (Rebecca Bond) is notable for many things – touring the USA with Social Distortion and Discharge in 1982, releasing the sparkling single in ’82’s Out of Reach, Stand Strong, Stand Proud the same year, and writing Latex Love as a 14 year-old and still performing it in her 50’s. But of all these things, we should give her most credit for trekking the world, delivering rousing chorus-led shows to balding, middle-aged men, nodding their heads to the soundtrack of their youth. And as any of those elite fans would testify, Beki has channelled her desire to be Lita Ford into a productive, varied output that is received tonight by a vibrant crowd. The set spans 2014’s Punk Police from the Cardboard City LP, Upright Citizen from ‘82’s State of the Nation ep, 2006’s Defiant, Stuck in Reverse from the Punk Rock Radio album, and of course Stand Strong, which Beki assures us is ‘as relevant as ever.’
The post-apocalyptic ‘I’m too young to die/too late to live’ Last Rockers from the 1980 fledgling-Squad’s debut is the one everyone loves – the sooner she realises the musical world ended in 1984 and real fans don’t want new songs, the better! Her crowd-rousing ‘Oi, Oi, Oi’ chant (handing the mike to the crowd for them to reciprocate) is frankly cringe worthy, as is the bassist’s inflated Kiss-style stage routine, and the guitarist’s ‘I’m so crazy’ demeanour. As the sole surviving member of the original band, Beki is frozen in time, and a slew of albums under the reformed post-1997 ‘Vice Squad’ won’t release her from the UK82 tag she hauls from country to country. Yet it’s easy to see why Ms Bond and co. would play the Beeston Greyhound, with its obvious rock-vibe, but a shame that a band she formed as a Bristol punkette in 1978, rarely moves beyond a crowd of 50 diehards who’ve seen her play 30+ times alongside their reluctant girlfriends. The band makes scant new fans along the way, nor wins points for sophistication – after all it’s Vice Squad, not Tuxedomoon for goodness sake – but as music journo Gary Bushell always said of this genre of noise, ‘it’s the sound of the streets.’ Still, tonight’s gig was well appreciated by the jaded punk undead and bemused onlookers of Beeston and it’s fair to say, it was worth every penny…
A few months ago a friend and I decided that some Mediterranean inspired food was in order to brush off those post-holiday blues, and with empty tummies we trundled off into Beeston looking for something tasty to fill our bellies.
I’ll never forget that Monday evening, we passed so many closed eateries. It was looking hopeless, and just before we resigned to settling for a takeaway, we made it to Wollaton Road. Thankfully ‘Yiannis’ Greek restaurant was open. Little did we know that we were stumbling upon a future development and another exciting new venue.
The food served within was fantastic. It was no surprise that the restaurant seemed full to capacity within an hour of us being seated. At the end of service Yiannis came across to speak to us. He told us about the conversion that was due to take place in the ‘then’ back room of his restaurant. In a few months’ time, this was to become the new gin bar. I was invited back with co-beats writer Lulu to review the venue once open. Naturally we also took the opportunity to speak to Yiannis about how the bar came to fruition.
The concept for the Gin bar was adopted after Yiannis visited London on a social venture. Gin bars, just like brioche buns and cereal cafes, were the order of the day. Wanting to bring a bit of that back to Beeston, initially the idea was to convert the restaurant in its entirety into the Gin bar, but after some customer feedback a 50:50 combo of restaurant and gin bar was settled.
The gin bar can only be described as a Narnia like gem. You traverse the bright and cheery Mediterranean restaurant front, to an opening leading into the venue located within the building’s posterior. Art deco and shabby chic surrounds are the order of the day.
There are approximately 30 different gins on offer, some from distilleries as local as Loughborough.
On one side, we have the wall of ‘eras’ which will have a corresponding cocktail menu (comprising 5 choices for each) to represent each period in time. Along this wall we can travel through time in aesthetic and alcohol from the 1920’s Prohibition era right up to the present day.
The music was pleasant and sat perfectly in the background allowing space for conversation. The staff members were excellent at engaging with people and encouraging interactions. We sat for a while taking in the atmosphere. This is the kind of place to go to when you want a nice drink, in nice surrounds to enjoy the artistry of the beverage in front of you. Definitely a quality and not quantity venue.
From speaking to Yiannis it was clear he had spent a lot of time not only doing his research, but also engaging with and supporting nearby businesses. Many of the products in stock were locally sourced and of good quality, strictly no draft on tap.
There are approximately 30 different gins on offer, some from distilleries as local as Loughborough. Feeling spoilt for choice I decided to take the plunge and ask for a surprise. I was presented with a gin Mare embellished with botanicals. All the accompaniments were fresh and complemented the drink perfectly.
Although the venue is in its infancy Yiannis isn’t short of plans to keep the venue interesting and dynamic, ranging from; mixing up new cocktails and gin combinations, to altering the bar aesthetics until the most socially favourable arrangement is found.
At present the bar is open from 5.30pm Monday through to Saturday with last orders served at 11pm. Lunchtime opening is in the pipeline with intent to use the space as a strawberries and prosecco bar. In the meantime though, the gin bar is off to a good start, and if anybody is as passionate about cocktails as Yiannis, a mixologist position is open for a reliable and passionate individual.
This year’s ‘Oxjam Beeston Takeover’ will be on Saturday 14th October – please put that on your calendar!
A strong team of volunteers is in the early stages of planning that big money-raising event in aid of OXFAM – meanwhile, our first event is ‘Oxjam Unplugged’ at the Middle Street Resource Centre on Saturday 1 July. Last year was the first time we’d staged this and it was so successful we thought we’d do it again!
Back after making a big impact last year is the stupendous folk-punk phenomenon, Paul Carbuncle, playing trad folk like you’ve never heard it – original songs too.
We’ll also get to hear the band ‘Foreign Accent’, playing Hungarian semi-acoustic folk rock (they’re great!) with support from Steve and Penny Benford (beautiful Celtic tunes on flute, guitar and banjo), young local singer-songwriter, Lucia Holmes and singer and host, Colin Tucker.
Tickets are £6 and you can get them from the Resource Centre itself, Oxfam Books and Music, Beeston or online from wegottickets (+60p booking fee). There will be a Licensed Bar and food will available. The Centre is just a six-minute walk from Tesco’s/The White Lion – if you’re coming from further afield, trams and buses stop outside and there is some limited car parking on site.
BANDS/SINGERS/MUSICIANS – if you want to play this year’s ‘Takeover’, check our website www.oxjambeeston.org as registration will be opening soon.