RIP Crossplay: Guest article by Mikk Skinner

I recently heard the news that Crossplay Music have called it a day. Never recovered from Tram Works. I know it’s only a shop but…..Chilwell High Road won’t be the same!

I suppose it was inevitable, but the news does none the less leave me with a heavy heart.
Crossplay never recovered from the extremely sad loss of both Mike Gamble & Mad Mick (local music legend, who died suddenly in 2012) when its own heart was ripped out.

Mick asked me to help him after he was left holding shop after Mike Gamble passed away. From June till December 2012 we worked together and those 7 months were the most happiest of times which I remember with great fondness. We had the biggest laugh keeping going when customers were all at The Guitar Spot (not!). Trying to apprehend the Crossplay thief, who visited us for the second time just after I started working there in June and also trying to avoid the reptile skins that kept turning up also entertaining the reps when they often popped in for a chat, tea, coffee and biscuits, and of course having fun playing music.

Mick asked me in to work front of shop whist he carried on with his love of working on and repairing guitars (and other assorted paraphernalia), and making his flutes. He was in fact a far better salesman than I could ever be with his inevitable style and could sell ice to Eskimos.

After Mick’s untimely and sad passing in December 2012 I kept shop going as much as I could on my own until Mike Gamble’s widow finally sold the shop in October 2013. Whist never the same I owe a lot to friends in the Hop Pole Beeston & The Guitar Spot and on Chilwell High Road for keeping me going in Crossplay for a further 10 months

RIP Crossplay, Mike & Mad Mick xxx

Mikk Skinner

As the Co owner of what seemed to outsiders as rival business, we were all about community. We weren’t Tesco and Asda like most idiots think they have to be in small business. Our co existences helped each other and we would always seek each others help with a problem and banter in the pub at night. Condolences to the last owner. Tram works hurt. A thing that most of Chilwell road could agree

Jimmy Wiggins – The Guitar Spot

Beeston Beats

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Festival twat-isms

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lulu Davenport

Oxjam 2016: Get ready for Takeover

One of the biggest highlights of the Beeston calendar is just weeks away…

OxjamThe Oxjam Beeston Takeover will happen again on Saturday 15 October, with tickets already on sale at Oxfam Books and Music (Beeston High Road) and The Guitar Spot (Chilwell High Road) at an ‘early-bird’ price of £8. You can also get them online from wegottickets.com (80p booking fee). On the day, a limited number of tickets will be available from £10 so get in early to be sure and save a bit of cash! We will also have ‘Takeover’ early-bird tickets for sale at our Saturday morning busking stall.

Leading up to the Takeover, the Oxjam Beeston Music Festival has two events: The ‘Oxjam Introducing…’ night at The Beeston Youth and Community Centre (‘West End’) on Friday 16 September, when we’ll have a programme of under-19 artists and bands – just £3 on the door.

The ‘Oxjam Ceilidh’ happens on Saturday 24 September at Christ Church Hall – tickets are £10 apiece from Oxfam Books and Music, online at wegottickets.com (£1 booking fee) or from our Saturday stall. Music and ‘calling’ will be provided by the ever-popular Beeston Ceilidh Collective. Oh, and there’s a bar for you thirsty hoofers to slake your thirsts!

The Festival finishes with ‘Classical Oxjam’ at Beeston Parish Church on Saturday 12 November. Tickets already available for £8 (concessions £6) from Oxfam Books and Music, The Guitar Spot, online at wegottickets.com and from our Saturday stall.

Look out for us at the Heritage Weekend opening on Saturday 10 September, 10 am at Bartons where we’ll be providing some music – we’ll also be at The Boat and Horses later in the day for a folk music session.

Saturday mornings, 11am to 1pm: we’ll be busking, selling tickets, collecting your pennies and giving you goodies and info.

  • 17 September – outside Sainsbury’s, by ‘the bell’ – featuring ‘Stringummyjig’
  • 24 September – The Podium, in The Square – artists from Second Time Around Folk Club
  • 1 October – The Podium in The Square – artists to be confirmed
  • 8 October – The Podium in The Square (with Arts and Crafts Market) – artists tbc

For up-to-the-minute information about artists and venues for ‘Takeover’ and ‘buskers’ visit www.oxjambeeston.org

16 September – ‘Oxjam Introducing…’

24 September – ‘Oxjam Ceilidh’

15 October – ‘Oxjam Takeover’

12 November – ‘Classical Oxjam’

CT

Beeston Beats

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lulu Davenport

Keep it live: Oxjam

There was a flying start for this year’s Oxjam in an utterly packed White Lion for the Launch and Music Quiz on June 8th.

There were ninety people plus spectators in nearly 20 teams, including the 30 members and supporters of the Nottingham University OXFAM society. They answered (or tried to answer!) questions ranging from what “what was the name of both a lute-playing contemporary of Shakespeare and a legendary blues singer?” to “who had the first billion times viewed Youtube video?” It’s Robert Johnson and Psy respectively, since you ask. In fact the scoring was pretty high despite the occasional furrowed brow and sigh of despair, and the winning team managed 42 out of 50. They promptly donated their cash prize to Sergio’s “Calais” fund (which was nice).

So a decent fund-raiser – and a great curtain raiser – for a festival that culminates in The Takeover on October 15th. Next up is Oxjam Unplugged on Saturday July 2nd. The venue is Middle Street Resource Centre, which you might think is somewhat unlikely, but it’s actually a lovely setting for the small scale event, catering for about 80 people seated cabaret style. There’ll be a licensed bar plus soft drinks, coffee and snacks. Plus it’s only a 5 minute walk from the Interchange or buses (Indigo, 36, Y36) and the tram stop.

On the bill is folk punker Paul Carbuncle who was a great hit at last year’s Takeover where he played3 sets in as many venues. Unfortunately Paul is otherwise engaged on October 15th so this will be his only Oxjam appearance this year. Also performing will be local favourite and Oxjam totem Emma Bladon-Jones – such a fabulous singer-songwriter, as if you didn’t know!

We’ll also be introducing two young singer-songwriters, Matt Humphries and Andrew Tucker (who is lead singer and songwriter for Ivoryserfs). Listen out for their unusual covers. Finally, completing the line-up is Dave Mooney, who combines his own songs about his travels in the east with covers from the skiffle and tea dance eras. He may (or may not) appear with Nancy, a puppet he employs when working as a street performer, so keep your eyes peeled.

Tickets are £6 from Oxfam Books & Music, The Middle Street Resource Centre, or on-line at www.wegottickets.com/event/363566 (+ 10% booking fee). Hurry while stocks last!

CT

Beeston Beats: Drownload

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LD

Oxjam: We’re back!

It’s May already and, as I write, people are peering at that strange yellowy thing in the sky and waxing lyrical about flowing things appearing all over the place. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Maybe, in your excitement at the sudden appearance of a phenomenon known as ‘Spring’, you’ve been anxiously looking around for signs that, despite rumours to the contrary, one of Beeston’s great institutions has survived the winter to re-emerge, leaner, fitter, and brighter than before. Well, look no more: this article is the ‘green shoot’ you’ve been eagerly awaiting: the Beeston Oxjam Music Festival is back!

From its modest origins six years ago the Festival – aka ‘Oxjam Takeover’ – has grown to be the biggest of Oxjam’s forty-odd festivals around the UK, raising a record-breaking £17K for Oxfam. For 2016 we have a Team of volunteers – some experienced Oxjammers, some new – who have already got a plan of events that we’ll tell you more about in the coming weeks. So get your diary out. Here’s how it looks so far:

  • Wednesday June 8 – official ’Beeston Oxjam Launch and Music Quiz’ at the White Lion;
  • Saturday July 2 – ’Oxjam Unplugged’ – Middle Street Resource Centre (a new Oxjam venue but easy to get to by tram or bus, which stop outside, or just a five minute walk from the Interchange) – with licensed bar;
  • Friday 16 September – ‘Oxjam Introducing…’ (Under-19 performers) – venue tbc;
  • Saturday 24 September – ’Oxjam Ceilidh’ – venue tbc
  • Saturday 15 October – Oxjam Takeover’ – venues and artists tbc
  • Saturday 12 November – ’Classical Oxjam’ – Beeston Parish Church.

For details of the above as they become confirmed – and more events – check our Facebook page and website (oxjambeeston.org). Tickets for some events will shortly be on sale from Oxfam Books and Music in Beeston or online from wegottickets.com (10% booking fee).

We are also looking for volunteers who could help with any aspect of the Oxjam Music Festival, from artists’ liaison to publicity to general helper. If you’d like to know a bit more, email beestonoxjam2016@gmail.com and we’ll get back to you.

It’s barely six months to go and only a few weeks to our launch event/pub quiz.

CT

 

Foreign Accent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lulu Davenport

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