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Heaven 17 Live – Bedford Corn Exchange 7th November

30/10/2014

Heaven 17 first hit the charts in the early 80s, having formed from The Human League. Everyone and their mum knows their biggest hit ‘Temptation’, a classic tune that has endured, but they also released two electronic pop masterpieces with the albums ‘Penthouse and Pavement’ and ‘The Luxury Gap’. New pop fox La Roux is a big fan and they’re hitting the Bedford Corn Exchange on November 7th, co-headlining with Blancmange! (Living on the Ceiling, Don’t Tell Me).

We spoke to singer Glenn Gregory about what he’s been up to…

 

H17

Glenn on the left with the hat, and fellow 17’er Martyn Ware

Clanger: Have you been to Bedford before?

Glenn: Yeah, a long time ago, with Terry…(?)

C: Have you Toured with Blancmange before?

G: No, this is the first time but Martin had produced the demo for ‘Living on the Ceiling’ back in 1980, so there is a connection.

C: What are Heaven 17 listening to at the moment?

G: Well, I’ve been doing a tour called the Man Who Sold the World with Tony Visconti and Woody Woodmansey, amongst others and that entailed learning 22 Bowie songs, so that took up my time recently. Plus we’re working on our own material for the new Heaven 17 album…

C: Sheffield is a hotspot for musical talent, what could you put that down to?

G: When we were young and started out there was just nothing to do! With the collapse of the Steel industry and the cutlery companies, there were a lot of empty buildings and factories. We’d rent them cheap and use them for studios and have parties. People are still producing good stuff there, I think Sheffield people are ‘do-ers’.

C: Did you have any other names lined up before Heaven 17?

G: Yes, There were about 7 names, can’t remember all of them, though some were from the book/film ‘Clockwork Orange’, including; Goggly Gogol, Wordmaster, Monolith (metal?!) That’s where the name Sparks & Moloko come from as well…

C: Fave 80s bands ?

G: Lots of electronic stuff, Kraftwerk, Utravox, Duran Duran…..

C: Any clues what direction the new tunes are going in ?

G: This is the first time we’ve been in the studio for 14 years, previously we’d work separately and send files and bits back and forth. We’re using some original synths as well as new technology, with the similar electronic, dance and funk influences as before.

C: Anyone you’d like to work with?

G: Well I ticked that box 6 months ago with the BEF 3 project (British Electric Foundation) with collaborations with Sandie Shaw, Boy George & La Roux, amongst others…I also performed with La Roux recently, really rate her work.

C: Any interesting experiences filming Top of the Pops?

G: They were interesting experiences, a very small studio, with about 20 people in the audience shuffling from stage to stage. The best thing was at home Christmas Day round the dinner table with my mum to watch myself on Top of the Pops!

C: Any cheese you find a temptation?

G: Ah, that’s left field!. Er, cheese…which cheese? Gouda!

C: Good choice!

Pad Presents: Heaven 17 with Blancmange at Bedford Corn Exchange on Friday 7th November.

Check www.heaven17.com for more info…

Theatre Choice: What Then Was War

24/10/2014

Saturday 8th November 2014. 7.30pm. St Peter De Merton Church, De Parys Ave, Bedford. MK40 2TX

We’re really looking forward to seeing the latest collaboration that Bedford based No Loss Productions are involved in. They are teaming up with the Royal British Legion, Bedford and District Branch to present What Then Was War?, a poetry and music evening to mark the Centenary of the First World War.

What Then Was War flyer 2

The evening will feature readings from the War Poets by local actors, music of the period and specially commissioned pieces by local composer Sophie Viney.

Sophie Viney photo

Sophie told us why she got involved:

I was drawn to this event as it provided a platform through the medium of spoken word and music to reflect on the changes in attitude toward the Great War, from the initial stages of patriotism through to its swift and utterly devastating reality. The opportunity to create new music in collaboration with local artists in response to this legacy has been an inspiration. It has been fascinating sourcing text via local historian Richard Galley for one of the original compositions To The Seaforths – a poem written by an anonymous Bedford woman in 1915 about 5th Battalion (Territorial) Seaforth Highlanders stationed in Bedford. I have also set Jessie Popes’ war time poem ‘Socks’ – an intimate and poignant work giving a female perspective on war time experience. The music also comprises contemporary arrangements of songs sung by soldiers in the trenches – songs that highlight brutal truths, often though the use of humorous lyrics and parodies of songs and hymns of the time.”

Also taking part will be Bedford Arts Choir under the direction of Roger Illingworth and Bedford Choral Society Chamber Choir under the direction of Ian Smith.

The evening is part of a larger project ‘The Legacy of the 1914-18 War’, in Bedford. The project provides a series of educational and cultural experiences that engages the population of Bedford and the surrounding district in the centenary of the commencement of the 1914-18 War.

Along with the Poetry and Music evening a series of Lectures featuring speakers from Bletchley Park, the British Museum, the Imperial War Museum, University of Bedfordshire, local military historians and Bedford Gurdwara  are planned over the next few years. At the core of these lectures will be an examination of the ways in which freedoms, relationships and technologies we take for granted today stem from developments which occurred during the war. This will include the role of women, the contribution of the Indian army and Bedford Regiment, technical advancements and an understanding of ancient civilisations as a result of archaeological finds.

Thanks go to Bedford Creative Arts, Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England for support of this project

Tickets are on sale at the Central Box Office, Tourist Information Office,

Tel: 01234 718112 £8 full price (£6 Concessions)

Guest Blogpost: Clare Phillips from Boutique Planet

20/10/2014

I’ve been working here at Boutique Planet for about 5 months now and I love working for an independent local business. I love working here because as much as I love working with fashion, it’s mostly because I get to engage in a whole community of people. People that are really passionate and enthusiastic about what it is to be a local business.

Boutique Planet likes to foster new local talent and we’ve recently taken on a new line of jewellery from Maker/Designer Jade Hibbert.

I managed to steal five minutes of Jade’s time to talk about what her work is about and she had this to say:

“My work is a result of consistent yet inconsistent methods of making, meaning the processes are the same yet the finished pieces all turn out differently.

My work is also a result of things I haven’t seen in stores yet wished there were places that stocked such items.

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All my jewellery is handmade one by one, no casting involved, so I think people have more of an appreciation for handmade finish and design. I like the fact the imperfections are exploited; even pair of studs are not the same, which I find interesting.

I take inspiration from a designer called Alexandra Dodds, a New Zealand designer. As you’ve seen, my work is quite rustic and organic which I prefer as it takes less time to achieve perfection but also I find it interesting when a material takes a natural form, unlike us as humans who try to perfect everything.

I work with mostly Silver (sterling) but have worked with Brass, Copper, Resin Wood and Gold in the past.”

We love Jade’s work here at Boutique Planet and love showcasing new talent.

Jade’s pieces sit wonderfully along side the new season collections in store.

Great Plains knitwear accessorized by delicate silver bangles and White Stuff dresses paired with minimalist earrings. Nothing could be better!

Clare Phillips works at Boutique Planet in Bedford’s Victorian Arcade. Check out their website here and their brilliant blog here.

Juicebox Showcase 23rd October : Screen People

19/10/2014

If you’ve got an insatiable hunger to see live bands following Oxjam and the infinite number of great bands that have played Bedford recently, but your skint, what do you do ?. Here’s a suggestion: Every so often a thing happens at Esquires called ‘Juicebox Showcase’ and it’s free. It’s been running for a couple of years now with the same magic formula: bring together 3 or 4 bands and let people listen for free.

Later this month (23rd), three bands will take to the stage: The Mobbs, from Northampton, The Maida Vales, from London, and Screen People, from just outside Cambridge who have some chart time behind them, having held the top spot on Radio Cambridgeshire’s unsigned chart for 6 weeks.

Alie Pavlitski is Vocalist & Guitarist, Ed Robinson plays Bassist and Becca Robinson is on Drums & Percussion. Their album ‘Greater Good‘ is available to download

I asked them some questions and they gave me some, y’know, answers.

What inspired you to form a band ?

A combination of two things: Firstly, we had played together before for various productions and

so we knew each other well, as well as our capabilities. Secondly, we all have a passion for writing

music. Three years later and we are still here!

How did you decide on the name ?

Alie came up with the name which we thought was rather unusual, and so we stuck with it for that

reason.

Favourite Book ?

Alie: The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris.

Ed’s: Goosebumps series

Becca: The Drummer’s Bible

Best Thai Restaurant ?

Thai Rack Glass House in Royston – a place where many meals are had between practice and

recording sessions!

Where did you record Greater Good ?

Greater Good was solely recorded at Alie’s house. It was a challenging yet fantastic experience and

one which we can importantly learn from, for our new content we are currently working on! We will

be performing some of those songs in Bedford!

What were your 2014 highlights ?

Outside of music we all finished our study in A Levels and having graduated from university. With

regards to music, we busked for Oxfam for the first time which we found to be a really enjoyable and

successful experience. Keep an eye out for us when we next busk!

What are your plans for 2015?

We hope to have a solid set of new songs recorded, and to branch out of Cambridgeshire to perform

at some awesome venues with some awesome bands

Been to any good gigs lately ?

We have seen some great bands play lately, from The Mercy House, Austere, The Super Nothing

(from Bedfordshire/London!), Bella Loka, The Abstracts to name but a few!

Autumn Theatre Round-Up

15/10/2014

Clanger contributor, Paula Walker, has selected her top theatre tips for the coming season. To see the full programme of events at each venue, please visit their websites.

University of Bedfordshire

Unfolding Theatre presents:

Best in The World

Wednesday 15 October at 7.30pm  Tickets: £8 (concessions £5)

Love theatre? Love darts? One person who answers yes to both is theatre director, Annie Rigby. Now Annie and her Newcastle-based company, Unfolding Theatre, are bringing their latest new show Best in the World to the University Theatre to spread darts love among us all.

Best in world dartboard

Best in the World is inspired by some of darts’ biggest heroes: 16 times World Champion, Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, and 80s legends, Eric Bristow and Jocky Wilson. Performer, Alex Elliott, uses their stories as starting points for a hilarious, heart-warming and occasionally heroic journey to find out what it really means to be best in the world.

Annie told us, “It’s a fantastic feelgood show with audiences getting the chance to step up on stage and throw a few darts, eat emergency bananas (vital for all athletes!) and share their own personal triumphs. Who knows, the people of Bedford might just be the best audience in the world.”

To book tickets: call 01234 793197 or go online via Bedford Central Box Office

Sharnbrook Mill Theatre Trust present:

Miss Saigon School Edition

Friday 14th to Saturday 22nd November at 7.30pm.

Saturday 15th and 22nd November Matinee at 2.30pm

No performance on Monday 17th.

Tickets: £10

 Featuring a cast of performers under the age of 19, the show by Alan Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg (the creators of ‘Les Misérables), is one of the most stunning theatrical spectacles of all time. Based on Puccini’s immortal grand opera, ‘Madame Butterfly,’ ‘Miss Saigon’ tells the story of an American soldier and a Vietnamese girl who fall in love amidst the turmoil of the Vietnam war. Separated when Saigon falls to the enemy, they spend the following years struggling to find each other again only for their endeavours to end in tragedy for her, but some hope for the child that he knows nothing about.

Kim and Engineer

A great story told with great music, ‘Miss Saigon’ offers a moving testament to the human spirit and a scathing indictment of the evils of war.

Director Paul Wildman says, “I couldn’t ask for a more committed and talented cast and crew to make this stunning show a possibility. The acting, singing and movement is of such a high standard that you don’t need to go to the West End!”

Tickets are available from: The Central Box Office 01234 718112

www.sharnbrookmilltheatre.co.uk, or in person from Sharnbrook Post Office, Sharnbrook.

The Place Theatre

Square Peg presents:

The Man Who Woke up Dead

Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 October at 7.30pm  Tickets: £10 (concessions £8.50)

 A taut thriller, influenced by 1950s film noir and the dystopian worlds of George Orwell. The Man Who Woke Up Dead is a dark, claustrophobic nightmare, exploring the divide between fact and fiction. When everything you believe is shown to be false, holding on to any kind of truth becomes a deadly game.

When a mysterious man is rescued by an unsuspecting nurse, their worlds are thrown into paralysing doubt. As their stories unravel, we uncover a web of deceit, betrayal and manipulation where nothing is quite what it seems.

Using their unique physical and cinematic style, Square Peg Theatre creates an elegant, bold and beautifully choreographed world from the empty stage.

Tickets are available from www.theplacebedford.org.uk or from Central Box Office 01234 718112

The Place Theatre

Dumbshow present:

The Pearl (from the novel by John Steinbeck)

Tuesday 28 October at 7.30pm  Tickets: £10 (concessions £8.50)

When impoverished pearl-diver Kino finds the pearl of the world, he believes his family’s life will be transformed forever. Seduced by the pearl’s beauty and promise of riches, he is blind to the danger of having something that everyone else wants.

Instead of bringing hope, the pearl leads Kino and his family down a dark and dangerous path.

The Pearl The Pealr

A timeless fable about the allure of wealth, the confines of class, and the redemptive power of love. The Pearl asks us to consider what we value most in the world.

Tickets are available from www.theplacebedford.org.uk or from Central Box Office 01234 718112

 

Bedford Theatre

Tangram Theatre present:

Albert Einstein: Relativitively Speaking

 Thursday 6 November at 7.30pm   Tickets: £10 (concessions £8)

John Hinton with costar Jo from the production of Albert Einstein: Relatively Speaking

Join Albert, the genius behind the übercoolest moustache in science, for a lecture like none you’ve ever attended.  The eccentric theoretical physicist is accompanied by his two wives and mum on the piano, and by guest rapper MC Squared, as he quantum leaps us through two world wars, two theories of relativity, and the deployment of two very big bombs. Plus the worst sausage joke ever heard.

Tickets available from  www.bedfordtheatre.co.uk or from Central Box Office 01234 718112

It’s time to stand up for the NHS

13/10/2014
Hazera Forth 9

On 3 September a group of mums from Darlington arrived in Bedford.

Nothing unique about that you might think. Except these women & their supporters had walked all the way from the North East of England. And they were welcomed to Bedford by shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham.  And they were waved off to Luton by Natalie Bennett, the leader of The Green Party.

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The ‘Darlo Mums‘ had recreated the 1936 Jarrow March, arriving in Westminster on Saturday 6 September. They covered 300 miles, were joined by 1000s of supporters along the way and did it all with the aim to save the NHS from privatisation.

We believe we have to go beyond political ideology and aligning our cause to one party or another. Our one aim is to save the National Health Service from the greed & corruption of private companies who wish to sacrifice one of the greatest institutions of our country, recognised globally as the most cost-effective and efficient health services in the world. United together we can create a voice too strong to ignore. We can and will end the deceitful selling off of our most precious NHS.

http://www.999callfornhs.org.uk

It’s your NHS. It’s our NHS. And its privatisation is making people so angry that they are willing to walk the length of the country to shout about it.

Here in Bedford we are acutely aware of the coalition’s health policy. Our hospital is currently under grave threat & there is a very real chance that our A&E department will close, we’ll lose our maternity department, as well as many other essential services. That will mean a 45 minute journey to the nearest hospitals in Luton or Milton Keynes.  If the thought of that makes you at least a tiny bit livid, then you need to do something about it.

But what can we, the people, do?

It’s time to stand up for our NHS – now!

Swingeing government cuts are inevitable (we’re told) in these austere times.  Of course, there’s always enough to go round when an unjustified war needs waging, or banks need bailing out…

But the National Health Service MUST put patients before profit. It cannot work as a privatised model. It needs to outlive this coalition government, receive adequate investment and once again become the absolute pride of Britain. Under the Health and Social Care Act, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt no longer has responsibility for running the NHS (I KNOW! – Ed).  That responsibility has been handed to NHS England and they in turn hand the responsibility down the food chain to Clinical Commissioning Groups. This localisation of budgets deflects the blame for decisions from central government (today’s strike action over midwifes’ pay is a prime expample). The Clinical Commissioning Groups cannot over-spend their budgets so compromises are made.  It’s simple economics.

We marched part of the Bedford – Luton leg with Dr Nik Johnson*, consultant paediatrician at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, supporter of Bedford Hospital and Labour candidate for Huntingdon to find out how you & I can you help Bedford Hospital (& save the NHS in the process):

- sign the Mayor’s petition. 10,000 people have already made their voices heard & children’s emergency services have been reinstated as a result. The downgrade of Bedford Hospital is still a very real possibility, so let’s make our views heard.

- Join your GP surgery or hospital patient forums. Healthcare providers need to take patients’ views into consideration. By getting as many energetic, engaged, motivated people on these boards we can raise concerns at the highest level.

- Mobilise your friends and family to write to their councillors and MPs to challenge decisions made about the NHS.  Where tendering processes are on-going, people-power demanding NHS providers rather than external private healthcare providers has been successful. Richard Fuller MP’s contact details are here. You can find your local councillor here.

- Join FB groups. 38 Degrees & the National Health Action Party have FB & twitter feeds, constantly updated with their latest campaigns. These are apolitical groups with no affiliation to any political parties.

- Register to vote. There is a general election next year. Both Labour and the Green Party have enshrined the safety of the NHS within their policies.  UKIP believes as passionately about privatising the NHS as it does about leaving the EU & stopping immigrants settling here. And they feel prrrrretty strongly about those two things.

- Take to the streets. Why not? I can feel revolution in the air…

*It was a bit difficult to take notes while we were marching, so we spoke on the phone afterwards too.

Many thanks to the wonderful Hazera Forth for the use of her photographs.

Animal Gallery dives in at the deep end…

09/10/2014

For only the second time in their history, Animal Gallery & Studio are opening the flood gates to “THE DEEP”, the latest exhibition from ART SCHOOL DISCO running from October 31st to 22nd of November (Bring a wet suit, it’s nautical themed!)

Art School Disco

The private view is a Halloween themed “Creatures From The Deep” event, so amazing and creative costumes are highly encouraged, from kraken to sirens. Plus there are print prizes, zines, tattoos and grog to reward those of you who dare to cast away your demons and boogie the night away!

ART SCHOOL DISCO are a collection of 6 multi-disciplinary (primarily) illustrators, artists, VJ’s, milliners, do-da’s and gangle pins hailing from Southampton Solent University. They’ve exhibited in biscuit factories in London, shoeboxes in Shoreditch, shops in Southampton and back alleys in Bedford. They like drinking, arting, and most of all never parting.

Exhibition opening times available at artschooldisco.tumblr.com and animalstudios.tumblr.com

Private View – Friday October 31st – 7pm – 10pm

Animal Gallery and Studio is in Bedford Cultural quarter, 24 Castle Lane, MK40 3PQ

(a short walk from Bedford train station)

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