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

 

Vice Squad Storm the Beeston Greyhound

You might wonder which is more surprising, that Vice Squad are playing in Beeston, or that it is free.

Vice Squad 2

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…

DB

Beeston Beats: Of Greek Food and Gin

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.

Gin

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.

Glass

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.

 DB

Oxjam 2017: We’re on our way!

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.

CT

Clive James: secret lyricist!

Aussie broadcaster Clive James is highly respected for a body of work that spans quirky ‘chat shows’, travel documentaries, TV criticism, opinion pieces, volumes of autobiography, social and cultural commentary and critically-acclaimed poetry.

Oddly, he is least well-known for something he has been doing for fifty years: writing songs, or, more precisely, writing the lyrics for songs that, since they met at university in 1967, have been set to music by Pete Atkin. Between them they have produced a dozen albums of songs in two ‘waves’: firstly, in the late-sixties and seventies and then, following a revival of interest, in the late-nineties and noughties. Their last album – and, due to Clive’s failing health, it will literally be the ‘last’ – was ‘The Colours of the Night’ in 2015. The songs deal with a range of subjects and the music is equally diverse and hard to categorise: in turn, melodic, bluesy, jazzy, ‘tin-pan-alley’, delicate, brash.

A lyric is looking for its music, while a poem has already found it

Of the song-writing process, Pete says: “Clive and I have a shared fascination with the mysterious way in which words and music can work together: how music and words together can add up to something different from what each amounts to on its own.” It’s tempting to see these songs as poems set to music but Clive is adamant that there is a distinction between lyrics and poetry: “A lyric is looking for its music,” says Clive, “while a poem has already found it.”

Pete Atkin is appearing at Beeston’s own ‘Second Time Around Folk Club’ in the room above The White Lion on Friday 30th June for what will be an intimate and exclusive gig. This event is sold out – email colintucker18@gmail.com for cancellations.

CT

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

String Theory: Carmen Flores and the Villiers Quartet

We meet 25% of an exciting new musical venture…

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Carmen Flores isn’t the most typical Beestonian. First there’s the Californian accent, which sounds like music compared to the snuffly vowels of my East Midlands voice. Then there’s her profession: a classical musician of rapidly growing renown, and 25% of the Villiers String Quartet, a group of recently relocated musicians who attracting plaudits on the classic music scene.

From a musical family – her mum taught piano and her dad ran the local church choir – she started on the violin at age six and never looked back. She was recruited to San Diego’s Youth Symphony Orchestra. “Being part of an orchestra is incredibly enlightening. It’s like being part of a strange UN, with different states with different interests having to work together to ensure common goals. It requires huge discipline, selflessness and more than hard work. It’s a slog.” Graduating with a degree in music, she set out to pursue a music career. “You do everything you can to cut your teeth. You have to absorb so much”.

She then met Dan, a Beestonian working in London, when the two were both visiting the Philippines. They fell in love, and looked to find somewhere to be together. California’s loss was the UK’s gain.

“I moved to London in 2005 after meeting my husband,” she explains. “It was tough at first: I had no connections in music but would audition relentlessly.” Eventually she was offered a role in the Birmingham Royal Ballet Orchestra, a role she still has, but it was meeting three like-minded souls in 2011, violinists James Dickenson and Tamaki Higashi and cellist Nick Stringfellow, that she found her true calling. They bonded over their love of chamber music and decided to form a string quartet. The Villiers Quartet was born. “A quartet is essentially a conversation between four people. It isn’t easy to find that right mix, that balance, but we have found it”.

Their talent was rapidly picked up on. Offers to play concerts, festivals and even BBC Radio 3 flooded in, as well as rave reviews for their debut CD The Complete Quartets of Robert Still. It might sound strange that during these days of rave reviews and burgeoning attention, they decided to leave London.

“The other members, for various reasons, wanted to move to Market Harborough. So I moved to Beeston 3 years ago. My husband Dan decided he wanted to set up his own business and move back to where he grew up. It’s a place to bring up children, a kinder, calmer lifestyle than London.”

Nottingham has proved fascinating. There is a real creative buzz right now, and we’re loving being part of it”

The move provoked a change of emphasis. “We thought about location; how does it influence your work? If you look at the Lindsay Quartet, you can clearly hear the way their Sheffield setting seeps into their work. Getting out of London meant a chance to explore a new vernacular. Nottingham has proved fascinating. There is a real creative buzz right now, and we’re loving being part of it”. Yet it’s not a one-way street. What they take in influence, they reflect in a desire to bring music to communities, areas that previously might be denied such art. “Community is important. We want to teach others, become a community quartet and inspire people to pick up an instrument.” A residency at Nottingham High School followed, and a new CD release of Peter Racine Fricker’s Quartets has received great reviews. They also provided the music for the recent TV adaptation of DH Lawrences Lady Chatterley’s Lover, which is possibly as Nottingham as it comes.

We’re dead lucky to have such a talented bunch of musicians in our midst, and their ambitions to be an integral, active part of Beeston’s cultural fabric isn’t just testament to our present state as an ideal home for creatives, but for a future of beautiful music, elegiacally sweeping just up the road from the Vic.

http://www.villiersquartet.com/