It was 20 years ago this month that Oasis played Bedford. Obviously, if Oasis were still together they would play Bedford again, but tantrums and a lack of stamina put paid to that. Nevertheless, Oasis tunes will once again ring out when Noasis play the Corn Exchange later this month. Over to you, Kev. Bailey…..
+ Missing Andy + Violet Class
+ 808 State (DJ Set) + Bez (Happy Mondays)
‘20 year anniversary tribute to Oasis’
Bedford Corn Exchange Saturday 29th March
March 2014 is 20 years since Oasis first proper tour kicked off in the small town of Bedford. The show was promoted Neil Primett of the Thirst Club and took place at the Angel in Elstow Road in March 1994.
With no Oasis reunion on the horizon, Noasis are the perfect choice to fill the void and celebrate the 20th anniversary of ‘Definitely Maybe’. This night is coupled with a full supporting line up of DJs & bands designed to complement the headliners and turn the night into much more than just a gig.
The event will open at bar Number 13 next to the main venue from 6pm with a guest DJ. Doors for the main auditorium will open at 7.30pm, with the first band taking the stage just before 8pm and 808 state closing the evening at 1.30am.
Up-and-coming rock and rollers Violet Class are first up. The lads gave Liam Gallagher a salute, turning up to play his Pretty Green stores decked in Fila, Tacchini and Ellesse. The band recently bagged a support slot at the forthcoming Liverpool gig with The Charlatans.
Main live support comes from Missing Andy. These guys pack a modern energetic sound with a taste of UK heritage and a nod to Urban Britain & Old Skool values helping them pack out UK clubs. These guys are the perfect and obvious choice for the main live support for the evening. No strangers to Bedford, the band have 3 sell out shows under their belt at Esquires and a big local following.
Bez, legendary dancer from The Happy Mondays, is along for the night and creating the right vibes with a DJ set, and original Thirst Club DJ Mark Johnson will be dusting down his 90’s vinyl collection especially for evening.
Main DJ support for the night come courtesy of Manchester’s finest 808 State who will close the event in the main auditorium following some anthem sing-alongs from Noasis set earlier in the evening then the DJ’s taking people back to 1989-90 when the rave and Indie dance scene kicked off, think Hacienda, Happy Mondays, Roses, Weatherall remixes.
Tickets are on sale now, priced £20 in advance
In person: Bedford Corn Exchange Box Office
Luscious Juice Bar, Lime Street (no booking fee, cash only)
Davids Music, Letchworth,
Vinyl Revelations, Luton,
Rushden Music, Rushden
The dub/dance/reggae sound of Dreadzone is making a welcome return to Bedford. Evolving from Big Audio Dynamite, Dreadzone have a sizeable back catalogue and are in their 21st year of crowd pleasing at gigs & festivals…
We spoke to founding member & drummer Greg Roberts prior to the show.
C: Do you remember the last gig in Bedford ?
G: Yes, Were you there?
C: No, I couldn’t make that one (sheepishly)
G: We had a lot of technical problems, so there were sound issues but it should be okay this time!
C: Favourite place in Britain ?
G: London, I live there, I like the Lake District, the Highlands of Scotland, gotta say Lancaster too, as my girlfriend’s from there!
C: Describe you average audience at a gig ?
G: It’s quite varied, all ages, quite a feminine audience…good people who are up for a dance. No drunken a-holes, not many hipsters…
C: Probably a good thing…?
G: Yeah and not many beardys either…
C: Do you prefer recording or playing live ?
G: That’s hard to say…live’s great for immediate reaction, recording can be laborious process, though writing is a nice thing…it’s all good really.
C: Any new music you’re into ?
G: When I DJ, House, 140 breaks – New Dreadzone is good! Out now!!
C: What are the band up to this summer ?
G: Touring and getting out there with Festivals…
C: Dreadzones’ fave film ?
G: ‘The Harder They Come‘, sums us up, a Jamaican film, good soundtrack, gritty…
C: Favourite meal to cook ?
G: Well there’s a nice Italian resturaunt opposite us but a Roast, a chicken Roast with a nice glass of wine, well maybe some wine before too…!
C: What’s on the rider ?
G: Alcohol, water, sarnies, usual stuff I suppose, nothing fancy…
C: Has there ever been any confusion over your single ‘Little Britain’ & the comedy show with Matt Lucas and David Walliams ?
G: No. One’s a program and one’s a song !
C: So, nothing lost in translation anywhere ?
G: No, We usually have that one in the live set, bit of a crowd pleaser….
C: Favourite country you’ve played ?
G: Difficult to say, we’ve played a lot of countries, I guess America…remember the B.A.D tour being a good one…
C: Any Big Audio Dynamite re-unions on the horizon ?
G: Mick Jones has been in the studio with us for the new album ‘Escapades’ featuring on the track ‘Too Late‘ but that’s the nearest to it. We’re doing the Dreadzone thing at the moment. It’s up to Mick if that was to happen…
C: Any famous backing singers in the past ?
G: Ah, that’s Wikipedia, eh? Alison Goldfrapp did do some vocals with us, Denise Van Outen was just in the room at the time!
The Shtooks are a relatively new band, although to hear them you wouldn’t know it. With roots in Bedford and Peterborough, they take a classic approach to song-writing; mixing rock, blues and soul. We were lucky enough to catch them on one of the most splendidly mis-matched line-ups ever, at the Craufurd Arms, Wolverton supporting The Red Paintings.
Andrew Hubbard – Singer, Guitar
Lawrence Felice – Guitar
John Wilson – Drums
Arty Haire – Bass
Why are you called the Shtooks ?
Andrew: I knew that would be the first question
Lawrence: I’ll let you take that
A: Shtooking was a fake verb we created at University, or I created at university with my mates so you could say you were drunk, so you were shtooked. It meant anything. It meant absolutely anything so it got to the point where Lawrence and I started jamming together and decided to make a band, back end of last summer, and we came up with loads of names: The Thickness, The Sickness, Mind Fist and we were in Esquires in Bedford, playing pool and we said ‘The Shtooks’ and it just sort of stuck didn’t it ?
A: And we met John. When John got on board he didn’t know at first: the Chticks ?, The Shicks ?. We still get a lot of that, but we quite enjoy it
L: What was it the guy on In2beats said ?
A: He said ‘the reason I know it’s prounounced Shtooks is because it’s ‘took’ with an Sh on’. Whenever we get a song played on radio we have to send them a message to say this is how you say it. Took, with an SH at the beginning, all one syllable.
L: People are getting it though, ain’t they.
Clanger: It gets people talking if nothing else
L: That’s the other thing. That’s what I was saying, about the ambiguity of the name
A: And I think if Mind Fist had stuck, people would have thought we were Heavy Metal. So that’s the origin of the name. It just means whatever you want, I guess.
L: Yeah, you can use it as a verb for all sorts of stuff. Wanna get Shtooked ?
Is this the start of a campaign for the release of your EP, ‘Papa Ganoosh’ ?
A: Yeah, I suppose this is the first big gig for the EP
John: Yeah, just going around, getting our names out there, so we can get as many people to come. We got Facebook, if you wanna check that out, and then we’ll see. Just get bigger and bigger.
A: Obviously we’re doing it all ourselves. The lads (J and Arty) are studying and me and Lawrence got full-time jobs, so we just do what we can to get out there and y’know people are really….they just seem really receptive, so whenever we send the music out, they always sort of go ‘yeah, we’ll be happy to get you on the support slot’ or a showcase slot and we’ll take them. J and Arty are from Peterborough and they’ve come all the way down today, and we’re (A and L) Bedford. We’re putting a lot of time into it, and this is the first big one. We’re playing Greenwich at the end of March, which will be a nice one; a place called the King William. Nice joint. They put a lot of good live bands on there. Then April, Esquires, then we’re at the Bridge in Shefford, then we’re over at Esquires again for a showcase night and then we’re launching the EP on July 12th
L: We’re doing everything on a shoe-string, y’know. We’re recording the songs at a place called ‘Soundgarage’ in Bedford and we are paying for the songs as we get paid for gigs basically.
A: It’s John’s idea. He’s been in a couple of bands before where they have done that, and he said ‘let’s store up the cash and use it for recording’ and we get what we pay for, but at least there’s something out there.
L: It’s a demo. We’re saying this is what we do
A: And we’ve released two already. We released ‘Impossible’, which is the last one we played tonight and we released ‘All I Do’. 400 listens already (on soundcloud) in the first week of radio play and we’re really pleased with the way people are reacting to that. People were quite shocked I think because the last one (Impossible) was so heavy, really fast bass and they set us up in the studio for some big heavy power chords and then we came in with ‘All I Do’ and they were like ‘What’s this ?’
L: And the next song we’re recording was the second to last called ‘Trouble Girl’
A: And that (tonight) was the first time we played it live and that got a really good reaction, so looking forward to doing that.
L: So another couple of songs to record and that’s the E.P. basically.
How did A and L get in touch with J and Arty ?
A: Lawrence’s brother is like our superfan and the way me and Lawrence know each other is that his brother was my best man and we went to school together, known each other for 10 years, so I knew Lawrence, who is his big brother. I put an ad on Join my Band saying I’m looking for a guitarist and the first person to get back to me was Lawrence.
L: So I said ‘Is that you ?’, ‘cos I just wanted to make sure, and we just got together and jammed.
A: And then I was in Tenerife and went on Join my Band again, and got in touch with this guy (John), and then Arty came on board
J: We needed a bassist. We’d been looking for a while but we wanted to find the right one
A: We gigged for a while without one
J: We went through a few bassists, through Join my Band. I heard about Arty through my girlfriend’s-friend’s-boyfriend
A: It’s a bit like connect the dots
J: We asked him to come down, have a jam and see if it worked
A: And that’s the thing, we didn’t want to keep changing the line-up ‘cos we wanted the band to be very organic, and it has fallen that way. As soon as we met John it just completely changed the band and that’s how we got together really and this is our first full band gig tonight, with Arty and he absolutely killed it.
L: We’ve not rushed it, but we’re not holding back. We started in July, John came on board in September, first gig in October. Then Arty joined us in January, so we just want to play and get out there. We put in a lot of hard work and we’re always talking about ideas and trying to create new stuff
A: It must be so tough for solo artists because you’ve only got the energy of yourself.
What is Papa Ganoosh ?
A: Papa Ganoosh is the nickname of Lawrence’s younger brother. The lads (J and Ar) didn’t really have a say in it because we had decidedit before. When we move onto other things we’ll have a full band decision, but this time we said’ It’s got to be Carlo’s nickname because he’s the reason the band got together. We wanted it to be really raw and gritty so we’ve just got his face on the front of the EP. Really simple: The Shtooks, Carlo’s face, Papa Ganoosh. It looks a lot like Lawrence. Arty thought it was Lawrence
L: Carlo’s sent for a picture, just a super picture of him with a moustache and I said Hubbs this has got to be the EP cover, and just like, why not. You don’t want to over think these things, do you.
A: We can debate things for ages in a positive way. Like covers. We talk about what covers to choose and EP names
L: It ties in nicely ‘cos Carlo was the link. He’s the picture and the nickname so why not ?
What’s on the Shtooks stereo at the moment ?
A: We got very varied backgrounds. John, you start
J: I think we all listen to the Arctic Monkeys. Musically, that’s probably our most common interest
L: At the moment I listen to a lot of music in my car. I don’t really download music I like to buy CD’s whenever I go to a market, or whatever, I’m always looking in the CD’s. But I’m listening to a lot of local radio at the moment. I’m listening to a lot of In2Beats so I go through these stages of listening to CD’s or just listening to the radio.
A: Because they are playing us
L: Yeah, actually yeah, but 3 Counties Radio because they do some local stuff as well. In fact the last CD I actually bought was Dr John and I picked that up at the Stables in Milton Keynes, and it’s really cool and funky. He’s a fantastic keyboard player. He’s amazing and his voice. You wouldn’t think it was a white guy singing. I listen to all the old blues stuff really, and the new stuff is like Arctic Monkeys; we like that kind of gritty, grungy kind of sound, y’know ?
Arty: I always find this question really difficult because my musical taste is so varied
A: What was the last thing you listened to today ?
Ar: I couldn’t remember. It’s probably one of ours. I’m really into polar opposite things. I really like Technical Metal, like Tesseract or Modern Day Babylon. I like rock as well. I like Don Broco, The 1975, Muse, things like that
L: It’s always good to see local bands. They’re local aren’t they ? Don Broco ? Are they Bedford or Luton ?
A: Bedford, yeah. Today I’ve been listening to White Lies a lot. I write the lyrics to the songs and I probably listened to too much Arctic Monkeys for a long time and everything I wrote just sounded like Alex Turner, so I have to stop. These guys have really helped me with that, because whenever they put on a song I’ll ask what it is and go and listen to it. White Lies is a band I’m really into at the minute. I really like them.
L: I think the taste varies. I think we’ve all got our different things
A: I think that helps
L: Yeah, definitely
What’s Black Cat Radio ?
J: Black Cat like us
A: I live in St. Neots, and I’m from Bedford, so it’s a station in St. Neots named after the Black Cat roundabout. Now, you think I would have got in touch with them, but actually Arty did when we released ‘Impossible’
Ar: It was through a little Facebook group of musicians around St. Neots and the Bedford area. One of their DJ’s posted on the group saying ‘Do any local bands want some radio play ?’ and that’s how we got in touch with them. I dropped them a message and said ‘Here’s a link to our newest song and a little biography about the band’, and they’ve given us a lot of support. They’ve said a lot about our EP release
L: They don’t just play us, they say when the EP launch is, and that sort of thing
J: It was on last night
L: They’re good support, aren’t they. I think they’ve got their followers and I think they are looking to get a proper FM licence.
Are they digital ?
L: Yeah. I’ve got a little app. on my phone, that’s how I listen to them. It’s good that they play our stuff and local bands. It’s what they’re about and we appreciate it. And In2Beats in Bedford. They’re playing our stuff and again, they’re the same sort of thing. Community, but they’re more of a hip-hop, what’s the word ?, kind of….
A: Urban ?
L: Urban station.
A: We did get a lot of feedback from them. When our song plays on In2Beats we get tweets and stuff. Some guy texted us the other day to say he wanted to collaborate with us which is great y’know ?. We love that. At least they’re hearing it.
L: And I think we want to collaborate with local artists as well. On ‘All I Do’ we collaborated with a guy called Dan Blaax. He does the sax solo, and he’s great. He’s worked with The Wholls as well in the past. He came down and he played for us on our song and we’re hopefully going to do some video work with him. Do you know ‘Limelight TV’ ? They’ve been doing stuff for a while now, and they’ve got some fantastic video footage and editing. They do photography, filming and they’ve got a music studio as well. They really advocate local talent, so we’re working with them this week to put something out there. Exciting times.
Why did you decide on July 12th for the EP release ?
A: We played a gig at Esquires, and the guy who runs Esquires, Pete Burridge, was sound engineering that night. I said we wanted to launch an EP and we’d like to do it at Esquires, and he said ‘Yeah’ and 12th July was free. I checked the World Cup dates and the only game that’s on that day is the 3rd place play-offs. It’s the only game people are usually OK about missing.
L: Unless it’s England
A: Also it gives us enough time to record the EP to a standard that we’re happy with; we’re not rushing it.
Ideal place to play ?
J: Main stage at Glastonbury, or Isle of Wight
Ar: Yeah, festivals would be good. I’ve seen Muse at the Emirates. Anywhere big really
L: Yeah, any festival really. I went to see Plan B at the O2 and that was a pretty good venue, if you’re standing. If you’re sitting it’s not as good; not the same. I love places like this (Craufurd Arms, Wolverton). Fantastic little venue, and Bedford Esquires
A: Y’know, we love Bedford and Esquires.
L: And Esquires was going to close a while ago.
A: In June, when we started jamming together, me and Lawrence went out for a beer and we saw a local band on the main stage at Esquires, and to be honest all I wanted to do then was play the main stage at Esquires
L: Yeah, definitely.
A: I’m delighted those kinds of things are happening for us. We’ve done Danny’s bar, we’re doing Holy Moly’s.
L: For me, I just want to play wherever people can fit in and enjoy our music. Tonight was perfect. Places like that, packed out. Perfect.
As well as the gigs mentioned above, The Shtooks will, no doubt, be gigging all over, getting better and better. Check their site for details.
Friday, 7th March 7.30pm, University of Bedfordshire Theatre, Bedford
Tickets: £10 Concessions £7
His work, described by The Times as “the future of British theatre” has already been creating a stir, and now artist Daniel Bye shows you how you can do the same in the world of protest with ‘How to Occupy an Oil Rig’.
After enjoying a wave of positive acclaims from his stint at Northern Stage at St Stephens in Edinburgh 2014, Daniel Bye is taking his latest work on tour, with a stop at the University of Bedfordshire Theatre on Friday 7th March.
‘How to Occupy an Oil Rig’ sets out to explore all sorts of lessons to be learned in life, such as how to behave on a protest march, how to cope with police interrogation and how to avoid becoming romantically involved with an undercover police officer; that sort of thing. In this playful and provocative show about protest, you’ll learn how to do all of this and more. Funny, surprising, and not a little sad, ‘How to Occupy an Oil Rig’ is for everyone who ever wanted to change anything. And that’s everyone. You get to play with plasticine too.
How-to demonstration meets literal style storytelling in this extraordinary new show set in the real world of the environmental protest movement. When a group of protestors occupied a North Sea oil rig in 2009, little did they suspect the lies and betrayals that would follow.
Daniel describes his theatrical approach as “immediate, playful, surprising and engaged with the world we all live in”. He has created work for the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Red Ladder and Pilot Theatre amongst others and has trained with Philippe Gaulier, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the National Theatre Studio.
‘How to Occupy and Oil Rig’ follows an extended UK tour of his ever-popular work, ‘The Price of Everything’
Daniel Bye presents How To Occupy an Oil Rig at the University of Bedfordshire Theatre on Friday 7th March at 7.30pm for tickets call 01234 793197 or email email@example.com
Last week The Bedford Clanger had a sneak peek around the stunning new-look d’Parys guest house. We very nearly moved in on the spot. It is the kind of place you could walk around in circles just ooohing and ahhhhing for hours, if you don’t mind looking like a gawping idiot. Which, in somewhere that visually arresting, we didn’t mind in the least.
The d’Parys hotel was a once-grand, much-loved jewel of Bedford, but in the last few years its splendour had slipped, and it had fallen into a quiet gloom. It has been lovingly and stunningly brought back to life for a new generation of Bedford to fall for. The interior design is just incredible. Many of the original features that have been retained, restored and returned to centre-stage here. The floorboards in the bedrooms are original, as are the fireplaces and tiles. The Victorian floor tiles have been exposed in the restaurant and bar area, and there is a beautiful chandelier on a pulley, hanging from the first floor ceiling in the entrance hall. The mix of old features and modern spaces is part of the charm of the new d’parys, and all around is the sense of Bedford’s history. There are nods to the brewing trade – all of the bedrooms are named after Charles Wells’ beer, for instance, and the library area is a tribute to the strong tradition of schooling in the town. But this is more than a tribute – this is a confident sign of the bright future of the town.
The restaurant is large and airy, the garden is grand and friendly and the bar is inviting – with a mini gelato and coffee bar for people to call in to at any time during the day. The rooms feel spacious and calm. So much care has been taken by Alfie and the team to create a warm, friendly atmosphere that there is a real sense of being welcomed back, even though this is an entirely fresh vision.
And The Clanger is already smitten. We could wax on and on about this new slice of Bedfordian interiors heaven, but instead we’ll let Cat Lane’s beautiful photos do the talking.
In short – this is a new boutique hotel, with a wonderful restaurant, lovely bar and exquisite gelato and coffee facilities, in Bedford. With new restaurants in Castle Quay, Coffee with Art on The High Street and now this: 2014 is proving to be a wonderful year of food and style for Bedford. With restaurants, coffee shops and gelato this good – there’s no excuse for not joining in the Bedford Clanger’s New Year Revolution and shopping, eating and drinking locally!
Tel: 01234 340248 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book yourself a table! Or a room. Or pop in for an ice cream and a glass of wine, or a coffee. Oh – the possibilities are endless!
The Clanger’s New Year Revolution is now underway in Bedford – we’re urging people to sign up to our manifesto and pledge to shop local, support the local arts scene by visiting the museum, theatre, cinema, libraries, eat at local restaurants and generally to love their town.
But we want to spread the word further afield! So we have produced some postcards featuring our beautiful revolutionary artwork, designed by Kristina Bullen. They will be available in the Revolutionary Headquarters – the old Pizza Hut building on the High Street – and in independent cafes and shops in the town, as well as the library.
Please do pick one up, and perhaps an extra one to send to people in other towns who might like to see what Bedford is up to. You never know, the revolution might spread. By post.
Since December, The Bedford Clanger/BedPop have been the unlikely ‘shopkeepers’ of 68 High Street – the former Pizza Hut building in Bedford town centre. It is a jaw-droppingly spectacular three storey building at the end of the Victorian Arcade retaining many of its original features. Everyone who has walked through the door has left inspired and also amazed that such a beautiful building has been over-looked for so long. Dan Thompson – of the Empty Shops Network – knows a thing or two about slack space and declared it was the best empty shop he’d ever seen…
Empty for over six years, the unit had become a sad reflection of the state of High Streets across the country. Thanks to a grant from the Portas Pilot Town Team and support from the Borough Council, BedPop was able to transform the vast unit into a ‘social selling’ retail space, art & photography gallery for the Christmas period. BedPop is an initiative for local makers, designers, illustrators, artists and crafters to sell their work in retail space and the BedPop Boutique at 68 High Street provided the perfect location in the heart of the town.
Local chartered surveyors, Stimpsons Eves confirmed that BedPop’s occupation of the unit resulted in increased interest in the property. Said Mike Duncan, ‘I’ll definitely be recommending other landlords to consider developing similar initiatives as the results have been so positive.”
Following the success of the BedPop Boutique, we have continued our collaboration with the landlord. Our aim was to demonstrate the versatility of an empty space and to challenge the perception of a traditional ‘shop’.
So, when is an empty shop not an empty shop?
- When it’s a pop up shop, gallery & cinema (BedPop Boutique & Picturehouse)
- When it’s a temporary work space (Bedford Clanger HQ)
- When it’s the base for a revolution (#bedfordrevolution)
- When it’s an exhibition space (see the current art installation)
- When it’s an artist’s studio (coming up on 15 March)
- When it’s a photographic studio (used by Sarah’s Doo Wop Doos/Jez Brown and Cat Lane Photography)
- When it’s a versatile retail space (BedPop Boutique in December 2013 and School of Craft Fabric Sale on Saturday 8 February)
- When it’s a workshop space (#bedfordhappy workshops taking place on Tuesday 6 and 25 February)
- When it hosts collaborative events (the forthcoming BedPop/Booktastic reading event for children in association with Waterstones and other BedPop projects)
- When it’s a conference venue (National Portas Pilot event to be held on 6 March)
- When it’s a performance space (watch this space….)
For over three years, Bedford has been making imaginative use of empty spaces (see much of Kayte Judge & Erica Roffe’s work with We Are Bedford). It makes a difference to our town centre, it makes a difference to our attitude towards empty shops and it makes a difference to landlords. And that’s got to be a good thing. Because we’d love it if there were no more empty shops in Bedford.