Mega Extra Beasty Beats Edition

Confession time. I have had a major crush on records for most of my entire life, although I am not able to tell you why or how it happened, I was drawn to record shops like Orbit Records in Long Eaton or Selectadisc in Nottingham like a moth to a flame. I have spent many a day idly scanning the treasures in Rob’s Records while also trying to ignore the OCD in me that screams that there needs some kind of order to his hectic ongoing collection. It’s the artwork, the ownership, the fact that records are living a well over due resurgence. I decided to chat with fellow local record enthusiast Rory James about love, life, his 10 most influential albums and all things musical…

“First vinyl I ever bought. I am not fully sure, as I have been collecting since I was about 8-10 years old. I think it was a second hand copy of Metallica’s Master of Puppets. Metallica had come on my horizon and I thought wow, who are they? Then played them so much that I killed them beyond repair. My first ever purchases of music were actually tapes. 

I was living in Hull where I was born and had really started to focus on music. It was the late 70’s/early 80’s and music had caught my attention massively with Toyah and Adam and the Ants, as well as many other new wave/punk and electro acts of the time mostly via TV. 

I had been saving my money to buy myself some music and I bought three albums all on tape as my first ever music purchase. These were The Beatles ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, ZZ Top ‘Eliminator’ and The Cars ‘Greatest Hits’. I still own the tapes even now.

Music was actually in the blood for me without me knowing it. Mum was a massive fan of The Doors and many other bands from back in the 60’s and 70’s, my dad played guitar in a band and sang and they named me in part after his guitar hero Rory Gallagher. 

I was heavily influenced by the whole hippy rock thing my parents were into. My actual earliest memory of owning vinyl would have been a record I still own now. It’s not the original copy from back then, but I re-found it in recent years as a collector, which massively brought memories flooding back. It was a Disney record for Mickey Mouse’s Christmas. 

I also remember before moving from primary school to secondary school when electro music and hip hop hit the airwaves. At that age I was trying to work out my own identity. I got massively into Michael Jackson for a short while, then discovered Metallica, WASP, Sabbat, Bon Jovi, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Def Leppard and so on. 

My mate at the time who lived not too far away was a huge rock and metal fan. Alister was his name, he showed me WASP records and lots of skater thrash bands and that was it. I was hooked on the whole thrash metal scene. Oh yeah, and then came along Iron Maiden with their images of Eddie. I bought myself a denim jacket, lots of band patches mainly of Maiden and grew my hair long.

By the time I was 15 we moved to Nottingham. I’d watched a documentary on TV by Arena all about the UK rock and metal scene, had seen Rock City on it and a load of head bangers moshing around the dance floor and ‘I thought I want to go there one day’. Let’s just say I lived in Rock City from the age of about 17 right through into my early 30’s. So music and vinyl have been massive parts of my life.

Musically, vinyl was always in the house as a kid, I loved the sound, the crackles and the pops. The other reason I loved it and still do is the artwork, that fact you had something to look at, read, explore, work out what was engraved on the run out in the centre of the record and the messages you could find from the bands to the fans. It was and always has been a journey.

I moved away from vinyl and tapes in the 90’s, had a brief but limited journey with CD’s but got into downloading music when the internet came along. But by that point I had already amassed quite a large collection. But I returned to vinyl around 10/15 years ago, when I started buying second hand from charity shops,

I then started going to markets and charity shop warehouses, offering cash for larger job lots, often walking away with tubs full of vinyl for not much money. Then with the resurgence in vinyl for bands and collectors I started buying new vinyl. The first one I can remember buying was David Bowie’s ‘Black Star’, which was a massive deal as he passed away literally 2 days later. It was at that point I saw the value in vinyl. I bought the LP for £25 brand new online, and if I remember rightly, the day he died the value went up to at least £100.

So I have many, many stories all music related through all the years of buying vinyl, from meeting bands, sitting in recording studios, working with the drummer from Sabbath in Long Eaton, working for Ferocious Dog (I built their first website and did photography for them for a time). I have even done photography once at Rock City for the Levellers, oh yeah and I was DJing in town, mainly at the Maze and Albert’s in between bands until COVID hit.

I have roughly 6-9,000 records, CD and Tapes in my collection. I also regularly buy new vinyl online, usually limited editions. My most recent purchase that was delivered was Gary Numan’s new album ‘Intruder’. Great album and great artist. I am waiting for the delivery later in the year of the latest Fear Factory LP (back to my metal thrasher routes).

So where do we go from here…I have been gifted or bought friends and family’s entire collections many times because I am well known for collecting and selling the odd bit also. I have built up a very wide collection of genres and knowledge to go with it. I always wanted to end up working in the music industry, in a shop or as a roadie or something but as much as I have delved in a slightly it never happened. I currently work for Public Health England as an admin manager helping fight COVID, its funny where you end up isn’t it? I’d still love to head into the music industry especially with the skills and knowledge I have built up.

10 most influential albums of my journey:

So it has to be my first 3 tapes – Beatles – ‘Sgt Pepper’, ZZ Top – ‘Eliminator’, The Cars – ‘Greatest Hits’.

Then Pink Floyd – ‘Wish You Were Here’ (always makes me think of my dad in Australia)

Metallica – ‘Master of Puppets’ (my door way into rock and Metal) \m/

Tool – ‘10,000 days’ – such an amazing album, every time I listen to it, it puts me right in the same place, it’s very dark in places, atmospheric and when I am really feeling quite low it really helps me process the darkness inside and empowers me to let it go.

Fields of The Nephilim – ‘The Nephilim’ – If you don’t know this album then you’re really missing out.

More recently my most loved and cherished album is by a band called Heilung and the LP is called ‘Ofnir’. This is Pagan/Viking music played with many traditional instruments including bones. It may sound crazy to some but take a listen and watch them online, if you can go see them live, it’s very earthy and grounding music.

Electronic music was (and still is) a huge part of my musical journey, and none more than The Prodigy. I would be straight on any dance floor or anywhere I could (including illegal raves in the 1990’s) when they came onto the speakers. I have loved them right from the start of the ‘Experienced’ LP but have to say the best LP was and always will be ‘Music for the Jilted Generation’. I actually own one of only a few original prints from the artist that produced the artwork for that album, framed on my office wall. I am so proud of that print and everything it says about music and society. I have never told my partner how much that cost me to get hold of, but to me it’s priceless.

Lastly is one considered a flop for the artist. I only own a copy on CD as the vinyl copy is quite hard to find (especially in mint or near mint condition). It is Billy Idol’s ‘Cyberpunk’ record. I love the fusion of rock/punk and electro, and this has to be my fave type of music nowadays the fusion of rock instruments with electro. This album also added in for me my crazy love of sci-fi. I believe even Billy Idol himself considers this LP to be a flop for himself mostly financially, but for me regardless this has to be one of his best.

Oh…one more…one more to add! Number 11…and I really, really could just keep going…the last has to be Daft Punk’s ‘Tron Legacy’. OMG what an album, what a film! 

I also run my own Facebook page called Dark-Side Records – yes it’s my love of Star Wars and sci-fi crossed with my love of music. I use it to share anything musical I find that I want to share with others. Also to sell a few bits when I don’t want them or people use it to contact me if they have collections the want to offer. It’s a bit of fun most of the time but it’s who I am. I use it when I DJ either out at gigs, club nights in venues or when I DJ online. Basically it’s my way of sharing my musical journey with others. Music brings us all together.”

LD

Lockdaaaaaann

Eeee Yup fellow and probably sum what megaly bored, Beatsonites! I hope this issue has brightened your day, we have cracking writers here at the Beestonian and together we aim to put a great big smile on a face or two, even if we are not currently in glorious glossy print. Last issue I shared my frustrations with the retail sector (I went full-on grrr Lulu hulk mode) with how things are a bit, well putting it bluntly, a bit on the crap side at the moment. After weeks of lockdown, even with social interactions that continually being at work brings, plus having personal projects to keep me busy, I started to miss my old life of gigging, being a social butterfly, dining out and drinks at the local.

After a pretty stressful shift, I brought a flamingo Daiquiri box of cocktail (on offer and essential may I add), enough munchies to start a small business and pondered what could I possibly do with my weekend that didn’t involve cleaning. Well, flamingo flavoured was actually code for quite disgusting taste of floor cleaner and needed enough juice added to it. I’m sure it wasn’t even alcohol anymore. Cocktail in hand I then set about reclaiming my old life back by getting with the times and delving into the world of watch parties (not to be confused with dogging, does that class as social distancing?)

Anyhoo, So I started my Lockdown sesh, yup the Friday night to end all Friday nights, dodgy cocktail based drink in hand and realised the benefits to all this, I had no bus to catch, there’s little to no queue for the loo, some 7-foot twonk isn’t going to stand in front of you and no pissed teenager is going to trip and pour a two pint of Strongbow over you while screaming ‘omg am not gonna be able to get up for school tomorrow!’ (I am not shaming I was also the drunken teenager and it’s always more fun that way round). Instead, the Friday night start to the weekend is a more sedate affair during this point in time (i don’t need to tell you what’s going on, we ALLL know), all that’s needed is some sort of device to tune into the interweb and a working connection. My favourite plus in all this is I sat in my cookie monster onesie no effort made, no makeup which has usually morphed into Alice Cooper style in the sweaty clubs and hair so messy I could have been mistaken for having shock therapy.

Fear of missing out is now a thing of the past, staying in is the new norm and quick to respond was the internet. Pop up and watch parties started to be announced all over the place, normally on Facebook but occasionally on YouTube, whatever your musical orientation there are live music performances to suit everyone. Leftlion magazine Nottingham host Sofa Sessions, which features acoustic artists every night at 8 pm until, as they say, the Lockdown is lifted or they run out of artists. There’s also Folk Beeston – Club show every Friday night from 8 pm, I tuned in to the soothing sounds of Colin Tucker, Tom Paxton, guests and a rather amusing finger puppet show by Dave Mooney. We Shall Overcome runs successful virtual gigs as does Punk for The Homeless, I tuned in to catch Paul Carbuncle, poetry by Eagle Spitz and the raw musical stylings of Pixie Styx. The Steampunk in me tuned in to see Alice’s Night Circus as she bravely took to fans requests that included Green Day and Disney (not together you understand.)

There’s old school dance in the form of Moon dance Lockdown Sessions, it’s mesmerizing to actually watch DJs play, normally most can only see the top of most of the DJs heads while they perform but with live stream, you can watch it in their own habitat while they dad dance and drink away the night (Judge Jules set for Back to the old Pool was hilarious) while having a good old nosey around peoples places without getting arrested.

I finished my evening feeling without it taking me an hour to get home by tram, I simply switched off my laptop and my adventure was complete. If this is the future of entertainment at least it has its perks, so for now I can get that all-important music fix I miss so much, and while it’s not the same as live hopefully it goes some way to keeping me sane (well ish) Thank you and goodnight!

LD

Beeston Beats: Das Schuhzimmer

If das Schu fits

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By Lulu Davenport.

Why hello January, where on earth did you come from? The festivities have gone and left most of us skint, over indulged and with failed New Year’s resolutions falling as fast as they were made.  Currently i am on day 20 of the highly controversial Dry January, Shhhh it’s a secret!  to make matters worse i have been offered a free shot by a barman (has anyone ever heard of this before?) been baked a boozy cointreau cake and won, yes actually won for the first time in my life A HAMPER FULL OF CIDER!! As these goodies taunt me and very quietly call my name i am safe in the knowledge that December i blitzed it properly.

I feel like i have failed in bringing the latest in Entertainment news to these pages, My head hangs in shame as i heard a new shiny bar had opened way back on November 16th and it took a whole month for the news to filter down to my ears (maybe they were filled with tinsel), even worse a friend had visited before me, shock! Horror!  I feel i have let everyone reading this down… but not for long, i herded up some friends (it’s easy to lure people out when it’s December) and sprinted ok, maybe waddled, to the newest bar on the circuit.

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Located next door to the Berliner, Das Schuhzimmer (meaning the shoe room) is the newest addition to the high road run that has seen the Gin bar, Berliner and totally tapped, pop up to offer Beestonites, Calpol shots, Espresso martinis, experimental stouts and ales by Totally brewed and many varieties of gin, it’s amazing anyone ever makes it into Beeston town centre. For those who have been to boilermaker in Nottingham and Washhouse in Manchester, Das Shu is a bar masquerading as something else.

I managed to catch up with manager James Thomas a thoroughly lovely chap who also runs the Berliner.

Hi and welcome to beeston beats, what is Das Schuhzimmer exactly?

Das Schuhzimmer is a speakeasy cocktail bar, using high quality ingredients and unique flavours. Most cocktails on our menu are our own creations.

What was your inspiration?

People in Beeston have wanted a shoe shop for a very long time, my Granddad used to run a Shoe Shop ‘Rose Shoes’ in Beeston years ago, so i took the opportunity to build Beestons first secret bar, to play on people’s hopes up for a shoe shop, but also to create a great addition to Beestons nightlife.

How is Das different to The Berliner?

Being in Berlin inspired me to open The Berliner, so i wanted to continue a bit of a German theme with the name, but it has a very different atmosphere and feel. It’s all table service, and it’s quite chilled, compared with Berliner, where we might have a live band on or more of a ‘party’ atmosphere on weekends.

What does Das Schu bring to Beeston?

Beestons nightlife is already fantastic, but I’d recommend DS as a nice cocktail bar to go to on date nights, without the need to go into town. It’s something different to bring your friends to and the cocktails we’ve created really are special.

If you were a shoe which style would you be?

Good question, probably a pair of Loake Brogues – good quality and stylish.

What is the future for Schuhzimmer?

People of Beeston have also wanted a cinema for a while, so we’re running a cinema night (Tipsy Cinema Club) every Wednesday from February in DS, ticket only and all films can be found on our Facebook Page.

Thanks James i shall be in to sample more cocktails when the dreaded Dryanuary is over, make mine a triple!  In other news, i have found a sign bearing my namesake hanging high up in the Victoria hotel, it’s the only one i have ever seen from Davenports beers, apparently there was a jingle ‘Beer at home means Davenports!”  In a completely unrelated ad -Wanted tall person with own tool kit must have an alibi ready. Anyhoo am off theres plenty more adventures to be had, see you next time me hearty’s!

LD

Beeston Beats at the BOO-at and Horses

Arghhhhh it’s upon us!! Theres no hiding now! Christmas has well and truly landed, and as you feast (…of Stephen…) your gaze over this mighty fine publication (doesn’t it look shiny and awesome?), the festive season will have invaded homes along with trees, tinsel, relentless adverts, good will (dunno who he is) and glitter, o so much glitter!! Then there’s the music and Michael Buble…don’t even get me started….

However nestled in-between the long hazy days of summer and the impending stress inducing retail Holiday shop was a lovely time of year I particularly like Autumn, with its cosy nights in, pretty fireworks and more importantly Halloween, the only time of year I can say the bags under my eyes are part of my outfit, there’s also the parties and one in particular caught my eye over in‘t Rylands at the Boat and Horses on Trent road, the first special steampunk spook-tacular social event (now say that after an eggnog) to be held on Saturday 27th October.

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Having changed hands quite a few times in the last few years, B+H has recently has a sexy new refit widening its appeal with real ales and gins. Being a keen steampunk enthusiast, I headed over, dressed to kill in a basque, long flowing dress and loads of fake blood and of course goggles. ‘Boat had really taken a lot of time decorating every spare space with creepy ornaments, and even hiring a few zombies to terrify bystanders. Set up in the function room was the stalls with all things steampunky from creations, hats, clothing and beautiful handmade goodies. On stage, sir Gregory master of ceremonies and his subordinate lackey Doc Cogs performed tea duelling, for those unfamiliar to the duel, biscuits are chosen and dunked in tea and the winner is those with the unsoggiest erm biscuit, this may seem tame but many a relationships and friendship have been lost in a tea duelling battle…

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In the main bar live music from that acoustic punk performer Paul Carbuncle, the always entertaining Pixie Styx, a few of the corndodgers and  Subway Circus along with Boats on the ocean taking the music far into the dead of night.

Right before I ramble on even more, there’s an apology due from myself to Berliner from last issue as (eeekk) I did a  whooopsie (not quite sure how I’ve morphed into Frank Spencer but Anyhoo) I wrongly stated that their Oktoberfest was Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd September when in fact it was the weekend after!!! My bad as the kids say.

As I ended my last piece with saying I was scuttling off to the beer festival at the Victory club I did as promised and accidentally fell in on the last day, when lo and behold the ales were reduced to an awesome ONE POUND (!!) a pint, quickly a flying visit turned into a mammoth drinking session with the only food consumed being a bag of mini cheddars. The next morning I woke up nursing a hangover and finding myself a fully fledged member of the Victory Club. It set me back £11 for the year, the moral of the story is there is no such thing as a cheap pint. It worked out well in the end as I decided to make use of my membership by checking out heavy rockers V8 when they stopped off at the venues classic rock night which is every third Friday Moshing for two hours to System of a Down and Motorhead covers has helped ease my morning for the Greyhound slightly, what adventures are next? I dread to think.  Till next time, enjoy the silly season and whatever you do don’t you open that trapppppdoooorrr!!

LD

Beeston Beats: Interview with Nactus Kunan

Music, gigs and festivals – who’s out this weekend?

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According to online information station Wikipedia, ‘Nactus kunan is an extant species of slender-toe geckos described in 2012, and indigenous to the Admiralty Islands of Papua New Guinea. It is brightly coloured, and its specific name means “bumblebee” in the local Nali language.’

Although I am an avid supporter of nature I haven’t decided to give Sir David Attenborough a run for his money instead I have stumbled upon the musical stylings of local Beeston band of the aforementioned gecko name. Individually known as Jack Kwiecinski, Josef Bone, Antony Rocco Onorati and John Wood the lads have formed Nactus Kunan and flying the flag for a style of music aptly named RnBeeston. Being a nosey so and so, I Facebook stalked them and frog marched them to the canalside heritage for an interrogation into all things beestony, musicy (technical term) and an impromptu photo session. Luckily the guys were willing victims and happily chatted to me even though the world was wrapped up in the world cup frenzy.

In the cafe the staff are just about coping with the fire alarm that’s blaring and rings through the heritage centre at what feels like a million decibels, i order a coffee and wait outside, sure enough over bound half of the band quickly followed by the remaining members, I suggest starting the photo shoot as the weather looks ridiculously murky and rain seems imminent.  The garden at the heritage centre is a great setting for photos and the bands easy going demeanour helps as my suggestions for the photos are met with an impressive eagerness. We briefly chat  about favourite pubs, Fast Lane and musical influences, take some more photos and head to Owens place for some shots with the weir in the background, altogether a fun and productive meet, want to know what the band had to say? Here it is from the ‘osses cakehole…

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Morning Nactus Kunan, how are you today?

We’ve just been diagnosed with a terminal case of World Cup fever, but other than that we’re very well thanks!

Tell us a bit about Nactus Kunan…

We’re a four-piece, alternative band that formed in 2017. Our music draws from a diverse range of influences including Dr Dre, Sade, George Michael and New Order. We combine heavy synths, slick guitars and 808 beats to create (what we think) is our own distinctive sound.

How did you all meet?

We all went to Chilwell School. Jack and Tony have been mates since they bonded over a shared love of 50 Cent and PES4 when they were about 12. Joe and John were in different school years, but we all ended up gravitating towards each other when we got a bit older. The friendship consolidated over a few years in the pub in Beeston, before Jack and Joe started trying to write some songs together

What’s your favourite thing about this lovely neck of the woods?

Heaven is a place on Earth. We love Beeston, so it’s very difficult to pick our favourite thing about the area. Aside from the fact it has the best transport links in Europe and a burgeoning, multicultural high-street, we’d probably have to say the pubs. We love the beer garden at the Star and we regularly score a respectable 17 out of 30 on the Crown pub quiz! Also Poppa Pizza The best pizza in the city bar none!

Who are you favourite local artists and why?

We really like Max Loelz, he has this laid-back, hip-hop vibe which we’re into. Also, Joe’s brother Charlie plays guitar for Yazmin Lacey who’s an incredible talent – she’s just started getting massive in the jazz world. We’re good friends with a band called Amulet as well. They’ve just written a load of new tunes with electronic drums which sound amazing.

 

Describe ‘RnBeeston’ for me?

Our early songs took a lot of cues from R&B, but we were always influenced by conventional guitar music too, which made our sound quite difficult to define. We said this tongue-in-cheek phrase ‘RnBeeston’ once and it stuck. It’s hard to explain, but there’s definitely a certain character to our music that captures the essence of Beeston…

 Anything else to say to the lovely readers of Beestonian?

Be sure to check out our latest single, ‘Exit at the Group Stage’. It’s a World Cup anthem (of sorts) about late nights and early kick offs; staying too long and leaving to soon. The official music video, shot at the Victory Club and various other Beeston locations, is now available to watch on YouTube.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the band for allowing themselves to  become victims in my line of questioning and having seen them perform over at rough trade in Nottingham after the interview I can say the lads are well worth a watch live, right which unfortunate souls are on the hit list next??

LD

 

The Beestonian is: Lulu Davenport – Music Editor

The lesser spotted Lulu Bird, seen here in her natural habitat. The Lulu Bird has a diet consisting of chocolate hobnobs, bananas, cookies and an occasional naughty tipple of cider/ beer and quite possibly alcoholic shots.

Her natural surroundings are usually among loud repetitive beats and more commonly sighted at gigs and festivals. Quite commonly heard using the call ‘whoz awwt this wkend then?’

Although she may frequent local festivals from time to time Beeston has become her home and stomping grounds include Pottle of Blues and Totally Tapped. Caution is required, as the Lulu Bird may attack if provoked with silence or a peanut butter kit Kat chunky.

(Please tell me you read that through with David Attenborough narrating, if so you are awesome!!)

LD

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

Berliner Bubbles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Better line us up another Long Eaton Ice Tea…

Lulu