Ahhh Beeston. Instead of sneakily pretending I am a lifer, related to one of the original settlers to the area, I must confess I have only in recent years nestled into the Beestony bosom. Despite previous failed attempts at living in other pastures, I took to adopting the area as my own, a cuckoo of sorts, hoping the years would soon stack up and no one would suspect I wasn’t born here, cradled in the arms of the Beeman.
My Beestonian story started many moons ago when the earth was new, or August 19th 2015, issue 39. I managed to introduce myself with a double page – an article about the Sunday Soul Sessions at the now defunct Greyhound music venue, and a reflective look at technology and music. I know this not from memory but a quick glance at the back issues on digital publishing website ISSUU. It’s like looking through a time capsule of the area, some events and places some have long since departed, while others have stayed and gained in strength.
The magazine has thrived from a black and white publication to full on glorious glossy colour with the July 2018 issue 59. Over the last six years, my mission at Beeston Beats has been simple; find and seek out events and entertainment in all its forms. This mission has led me all over, from Slade UK performing a Christmas-themed party in July, complete with snow machine and belting out ITZZZZ CHRISTMAZZZ, to seeking out the new micro pubs and speaking to musicians, bands, and DJs.
I have not been on my own either, before me, Jimmy Wiggins manned the BB brand, Donna Bentley has pitched in with venue and artist reviews and Colin Tucker has kept us updated with the Second Time Around folk club along with…Oxjam updates. Which brings me nicely to a celebration of the number one undisputed event of the area, now also in its tenth year. In the pink corner and currently raised over £19,000 for Oxjam GB this year ALONE, I present the Oxjam Beeston Takeover. This year a whooping 12 hours of live music across 15 venues and 100 artists and quite frankly THE must go to event which has something for everyone.
I have only barely scratched the surface of music and associations to the area. I must mention the contribution to music on a national scale in the form of Edwin Starr (with hit War, immortalised in the street art alongside Paul Smith and Richard Beckinsale), Swing out Sister (80s band famous for ‘Breakout’), Little Barrie guitarist Barrie Cadogan, and an infamous party attended by the Rolling Stones at Devonshire Avenue (gutted I missed that one!).
Here’s my Beeston top ten, gigs venues and acts
2- The Greyhound
3- Degeneration Fest (one-off 3 day festival held at the Boat and Horses)
4- Sunday Soul – (Motown and Soul on a Sunday Ahhh)
5- The Madeline Rust
6- Emma Bladon-Jones and Joe Barber
7- Kingdom Rapper
8- Lilac Grove (the band not the street!)
9- Schuggie’s Ceilidh
10- The Berliner
11- Beeston Cabaret Club (at the Beeston Legion Club)
12- The Pottle (I am biased as there’s a copy of my column picture behind the bar…)
13- Verbal Warning (punk band at Chequers/Victory Club)
14- Didn’t I say 10? I must stop…
So to ultimately conclude, Beeston is awesome. I must say a huge thank you to the Beestonian for allowing my energy drink/caffeine induced ramblings to grace its pages. It really has helped me to explore the area and embrace the events scene. Here is to every writer and reader that make the Beestonian something I am very proud of being part of, a very happy tenth birthday, here’s to another fun filled decade.