May's Music Highlights

Calmer Chameleons…

ChameleonsVox + Guests at Bedford Esquires
Wednesday 22 May  7.30pm
The Chameleons (vox) is the continuation of The Chameleons UK, arguably the most widely influential guitar band ever to come out of Manchester. The Chameleons (vox) features Chameleons vocalist, bassist and principle composer Mark Burgess, long time collaborators Yves Altana on drums and guitarists Neil Dwerryhouse and Chris Oliver. Over the last five years the band has performed sold-out shows across Europe and the United States. They return to us after their sold out show last year, this time armed with their brilliant third album ‘Strange Times’, playing the album in full and select cuts from their other albums. Lloyd Lugsden spoke to Mark prior to the gig about the album and more.

C: Any memory of playing Bedford before?
M: No…I play hundreds of gigs, so unfortunately not.

C: Noel Gallagher recently said Strange Times was a big influence on him, could you here The Chameleons in Oasis?
M: Not really, we have a different approach really. I used to watch them in the early days around Manchester and enjoyed them then.

C: For the album you rehearsed in The Lake District and recorded in Surrey, which was more fun?
M: The recording definitely. It was our first time in a studio like that, it was very insular and we were closed off, it was really enjoyable.

C: What do you think Manchester has such a strong musical heritage?
M: I’ve no idea! There’s always been a strong scene in the north west going back to Liverpool, then Manchester.

C: How does it feel playing the songs live today?
M: It’s more enjoyable, there’s more energy. The people in the band now are more into touring live. Also, the music is relevant now, people didn’t get it back in the 80s

C: Strangest place you’ve played live?
M: Two years ago we played on a mountain in Venice, an amazing backdrop, more like Tuscany. And we enjoyed the wine.

C: Can you recommend a book?
M: Joe Hill is good – he’s the son of Stephen King, he was called Joe but changed his name so he wasn’t Joe-King. There was a book called Horns…

C: Beer or tea?
M: Tea. I can’t drink as much beer as I can tea…

Tickets are £18 + BF, on sale now from Seetickets, also available from Slide Record Shop, Esquires & Mario’s Hair Design
This is a 14+ ages show, under 16s to be accompanied by an adult Tickets £18 advance

The Alabama 3 (Acoustic)
Friday 3 May at Bedford Esquires
Esquires welcome Alabama 3 back to Bedford, following their incredible show back in 2017/
Heeding Woodie Guthrie’s maxim, Alabama 3 have never feared the reduction of their technology. Consequently, Alabama 3 acoustic is brave enough to go out on the road armed only with a battered acoustic guitar and harmonica, preaching Guthrie’s word that ‘this machine kills fascists.’ Complete with Larry Love’s gravelly ash-stained vocals and Nick Reynolds bank robber melodies on harmonica, they provide a raucous show, which is in no way constrained by the boring maxim that often goes with acoustic gigs. An unrivalled Marxist machine gun, Alabama 3 Acoustic are on a mission to get you mashed. Tickets are £17 adv +BF, on sale now from and without a booking fee from Esquires Bar – Slide Record Show – Marios Hair Design

This is a 14+ ages show, under 16s to be accompanied by an adult


Friday Night Blender returns
Friday 17 May at Danny’s Bar, Esquires Bedford from 8pm
The Friday Night Blender is back and true to form, the blender crew are bringing a real mix of styles and genres. Headliners Easydread combine sounds drawn from a range of influences; reggae and ska, to soul, punk and rap. Since forming, they have played up and down the country and at some of the UK’s best festivals and have supported the likes of The Neville Staple Band, Ruts DC, Dub Pistols and recently opened up for Bad Manners. Special guest for the night is the hotly tipped Banton. Like a cross between Tom Grennan and The Scruff – rolled up into songs that will stay with you for days. Banton’s latest release ‘Trouble Street’ has been on non-stop rotation at blender HQ.

The Reformers will be opening the night fresh from recording a three track EP with their mix of spritely twisty turny alterno pop and the decks are being held down by Armands Melkis who’ll be bringing a bleeps, beats and dub to keep the party going long into the night.

Brown Boots – Folk on a boat
Ahoy there!
23rd May, 7.30pm
Hey Ho! Folk is going on a musical river cruise and you’re all invited!
Music will be provided by Brown Boots – a traditional folk duo made up of Will Allen on melodeon and Martin Clarke on fiddle. They’ll take you on a journey across beautiful musical landscapes, the perfect soundtrack as the boat will be travelling along down the River Great Ouse river through Bedford. The duo play tunes from across Britain and Ireland – and even further afield. It’s like going for a walk on a clear, spring morning, with the fresh air full of life. No need to bring your walking boots this time though guys, it’s a cosy boat trip!  Call the friendly team at John Bunyan Community boat on 01946 690301 to get tickets. The boat departs from the Barns Hotel (Cardington Road) at 7.30pm for a two hour round trip. Tickets are £17.50 and there is a licensed bar on board.

Art Brut
Friday 31 May at Bedford Esquires

The Roar Club and Club Biscuit are delighted to be bringing one of their all-time favourite bands, ART BRUT (Top of the Pops!) back to Bedford Esquires this month.
Art Brut are one of those bands who bring people together, bizarrely not enough people to fill stadiums, but everyone remembers their first Art Brut gig. Describing themselves as ‘the sound of a man shouting over the top of some indie racket’, Art Brut are actually one of the best live acts of the past two decades and Eddie Argos is the finest frontman since Jarvis Cocker.
Returning after a seven year absence with a new line up and a superb new album ‘Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out!’, this will be Art Brut’s third appearance at Esquires. Hopefully some of you will have formed a band since their last visit otherwise Eddie will be taking names.

Tickets are £15 in advance, available from 10am on Friday the 12th of April from and shortly afterwards from Esquires Bar / Slide Record store.

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