Your weekly what’s on guide for Bedford and the surrounding area from The Bedford Clanger.
Never miss a thing in Bedford ever again. From theatre to film, live music to art exhibitions, The Bedford Clanger what’s on guide lands every Thursday and is the only guide you need to know what’s on and what’s happening across the Borough for the next 10 days.
The Bedford Clanger’s What’s On Guide is kindly sponsored by The Cellar Bar.
Last chance to see…
Exhibition: Quilla Constance – Teasing Out Contingencies
The Higgins Bedford until Sunday 7 January 2024
Don’t miss your chance to see eight new large-scale paintings and a costume installation by Bedford artist Quilla Constance (also known as QC) at The Higgins Bedford until 7 January 2024.
As British society becomes increasingly polarised, this exhibition seeks to cross social borders, confront stereotyping, and challenge gender, racial and class inequalities.
QC states “Teasing Out Contingencies seeks to create exciting new narratives to explore: what is British society now and where are we going?” – These are timely questions as we emerge from the Covid 19 pandemic, and as we re-examine our relationship with the British monarchy in the wake of the Queen’s passing and the Coronation of King Charles III.
Thursday 4 January 2024
Quiz: Esquires Monthly Music Quiz
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
£2 per person / max six people per team
It’s the first monthly music quiz of the year at Esquires. Featuring music from the 50’s to the present, it’s £2 per person to enter with teams of up to a maximum of six people.
Cash prize for the winning team.
Saturday 6 January 2024
Live music: The Ouse Valley Singles Club
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Keeping up traditions of years gone by The Ouse Valley Singles Club return to the main stage at Bedford Esquires to play what has become their ‘Traditional First Gig Of The Year’. The scourge of the Metropolitan Liberal Elite’ The OVSC put on a show that gives a hysterical observational account of everyday tales of woe with a razor-sharp observational narrative whilst rocking the crowds with their infectious ear-worms.
Saturday 6 January 2024
Dancing: The Cotton Club presents Minnie & The Moochers
Cotton End Village Hall, Playing Fields, Wood Lane, Cotton End, Bedford, MK45 3AN @ 8pm
Minnie & The Moochers play an eclectic mix of swing, jazz & jump-blues, great to dance too if you can Jive, Lindy Hop or dance Balboa. This isn’t a band which is playing for itself, this is a band playing for your enjoyment – dance the night away to the band and DJ or just come, have a drink and watch the show – you won’t be disappointed with this star-studded line up of musicians.
The venue has a licensed bar, car park and a silky smooth dancefloor.
Optional afternoon dance workshop in a swing/jive style dance – check the website for full details and time of the workshop.
Saturday 6 January 2024
Live Music: Matt Bedford
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm/bar opens at 6pm/Happy Hour until 9pm/3am close.
We welcome back Cellar Bar Regular Matt Bedford to perform some classic 80’s songs. Matt hosts our Thursday Bandeoke/Karaoke nights, so those of you that have been will have had a glimpse of Matt’s talent. Now it’s time to watch the full show!
Sunday 7 January 2024
Live music: Esquires’ annual BowieJam
Bedford Esquires @ 5pm
On the 77th anniversary of David Bowie’s birth, fans will be congregating at Bedford Esquires to celebrate his life in music, featuring the very best of Bedford’s local musicians as they play tribute to the Starman.
The BowieJam is a unique jam night event at Esquires, in that you can show up with your guitar, bass, drumsticks, voice and make some music.
Where it is different is that it has a theme and a little more structure to it. David Bowie released 26 studio albums between 1967 – 2016 but, without a guiding hand, it could end up with Ziggy Stardust twenty times.
House band, Weird & Gilly, are on hand to support anyone who needs them, but if you want to play guitar but need backing, they are there to help. If you want to join in and play a specific song, email Charly (The Host) at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be local bands coming along to do their versions of David Bowie hits – some will be faithful covers, others personal renditions.
The event will be raising money for Bedford Daycare Hospice and last year they raised a total of £358.
Monday 8 January 2024
Games Night: Backgrammon, Rummikub and more
The Cellar Bar @ 7pm
Free entry FREE ENTRY
From January onwards, Monday night is Games Night at the Cellar Bar.
Do you enjoy playing Backgammon, Rummikub, maybe cards or indeed any board game? Not played before? This is the perfect place to start and there will be people on hand to show you how to play. Have a favourite game? Bring it with you and share it with others.
“What can you expect? Well, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We’re a friendly bunch at The Cellar Bar and provide a safe environment, so even if you just want to come and say hello, our bar is open and we’d love to see you.”
Tuesday 9 January 2023
Live music: Tuesday lunchtime concert
St Paul’s church, St Paul’s Square @ 1pm
Free entry with retiring collection (suggested donation £5)
As the free Tuesday lunchtime concerts resume for the new year, Diana Cooper performs a piano recital. Free with a retiring collection.
Every Tuesday in January 2023
Walk: Evening walk along Bedford Embankment
Meet by the Embankment entrance to the Butterfly Bridge (near Radhuni restaurant) @ 6.30pm – 7.30pm
Free to attend
Join a friendly walk along Bedford’s riverside Embankment, which is reasonably well-lit for walkers.
Newcomers are made extremely welcome at this ‘walk and talk’ activity followed by optional drinks at the Swan Hotel with your new friends! Please note the pub sometimes doesn’t have change, so bring a card if possible.
All participants walk at their own risk, liability and volition.
Tuesday 9 January 2024
Live Music: Songwriting Showcase
The Cellar Bar @ 7pm / bar opens at 7pm
Head the the Cellar Bar for a night of original music performed by local Bedfordshire acts; a night to celebrate and share the unique songwriting talent that exists in the county.
The night is hosted by Mat Roberts, who has himself written and recorded hundreds of original songs throughout his 30+ year career in music. He will be joined by three up-and-coming acts from around Bedfordshire, playing a half hour slot each, followed by a Q&A opportunity.
Plus, there will be an opportunity for other musicians to showcase their original material.
The Cellar Bar has a full backline including guitar and bass amp, full PA, drum kit and microphones. Just turn up and plug in.
Wednesday 10 January 2024
Live music: A celebration of Synthesized Music with Mat Roberts and Matt Bedford
The Cellar Bar, High Street @ 8pm
Performed Live by Matt Bedford and Mat Roberts, enjoy an appreciation of classic synth music.With an array of vintage synths and drum machines, featuring Roland JX8P, Yamaha DX7, Electro-Harmonix DRM32, LinnDrum, Phased Strings. Taking in styles from Kraftwerk, Jean-Michel Jarre, to the synth soundscapes of Tangerine Dream, landing in the late 70’s and early 80’s synth pop and synth wave.
Featuring a combination of works composed and performed by Matt Bedford and Mat Roberts. Sections of the show will be improvised. There will be an opportunity for audience participation.
Friday 12 January 2024
Live Music: Danny Barton
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm / doors open at 6pm until late / Happy Hour 6pm – 9pm
The wonderful Danny Barton returns to The Cellar Bar, playing a mix of acoustic rock and pop crowd pleasers and new material.
Friday 12 January 2024
Live music: NOASIS ‘The Definitive Oasis Tribute Band’ + Guests
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Noasis return to Bedford Esquires for one giant party and a celebration of one of the greatest bands this country has ever produced.
Noasis is the definitive tribute band to Manchester’s five-piece super group Oasis. Since their formation in 2006 and with over 900 performances to date Noasis has justly earned its reputation as the best tribute on the circuit packing out venues up and down the UK.
With an obsessive attention to detail the band recreates the real Oasis experience with amazing energy playing all the classic songs as if they were their own. This is more than a tribute band this is Oasis from a parallel universe.
There are other tributes, there are other venues but when it comes to the sound of Oasis no one does it better than Noasis at Bedford Esquires.
NB: The Saturday show has sold out, so get your tickets while you can.
Saturday 13 January 2024
Walking: North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walk
Harrold Country Park, MK32 7DS @ 1.30pm
A six-mile circular walk to Odell then to the outskirts of Pavenham, and back to Harrold via Chellington Centre.
Please bring a drink, snack or lunch as there’s always a break during the walk. For more information contact Margaret Sawyer 07780 933729 or check out North Beds Ramblers on social media or on their excellent website.
Saturday 13 January 2023
Theatre: Spring Programme Launch
The Quarry Theatre @ 2pm
Tickets: Free (but book online)
Join the Quarry Theatre team to help launch their 2024 Spring programme. During your visit you can enjoy discounts at the bar, a flash sale on selected events, a presentation about how the theatre came to be and explore areas of the theatre that most people don’t get to see!
The theatre presentation will start at 2.30pm and there is also the chance to meet the artist, Simon Wriggle, who is exhibiting in the gallery space during January. He will be in the building in the afternoon to answer any questions you might have about his beautiful paintings. Limited spaces so book your free ticket now.
Saturday 13 January 2024
Live Music: Double Header – Tess & the Durbervilles & Cameo
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free Entry. Bar opens at 6.00pm, Happy Hour until 9.00pm. 3.00am close.
We are super excited to welcome Tess & The Durbervilles to The Cellar Bar, this four piece band hail from Bedfordshire and are guaranteed to get you dancing throughout the night. With hits from 6 decades, The Beatles to Jessie J, Dusty Springfield to Kings of Leon, Aretha to the Scissor Sisters and Madonna. You’re guaranteed to be left wanting more, more more!!
Cellar Bar favourite Cameo is back for another solo performance, expect a beautiful voice and some cracking party tunes! Singing classic rock/pop songs from Dolly Parton to Fleetwood Mac to The Red Hot Chili Peppers and so much in between, be ready for a cracking party night.
Cocktails, Quiz Night & Karaoke
The Cellar Bar from 5.00pm
Pit your wits against The Cellar Bar’s resident quizmaster to see if you can win the jackpot every Thursday from 8pm. £2 per person entry and a maximum of six per team. The winning team will win the jackpot PLUS a round of shots. Followed by Karaoke til close
Food & drink: Cocktail mixology masterclass
The Cellar Bar @ 3pm / doors open at 12 noon
£30 per person
The Cellar Bar’s resident mixologist, Marley, will explain how to create some outstanding cocktails for your tasting enjoyment. Then, it’s your turn to put what you’ve learned into practice by making (and drinking) three cocktails!
Live Music: Open Mic Night
The Cellar Bar @ 7.30pm
Every Sunday, join Mat Roberts for the Cellar Bar’s weekly Open Mic night. An opportunity for new and experienced performers to get up on stage and perform.
So whether you think you are the next Tom Grennan or just want a good night of entertainment, head the to Cellar Bar from 7.30pm.
Exhibition: We Are Ten
The Higgins Bedford, Castle Lane
The Higgins begins its 10th birthday celebrations with an exhibition featuring old favourites and rarely seen works from the collection, all chosen by organisations, groups and individuals who have worked with the museum and gallery over the last decade.
The exhibition runs for the next year, with special events planned next month to mark the exact date the museum reopened in 2013. Watch this space for more information.
Exhibition: Edward Bawden – Planes, Trains and Automobiles
The Higgins Bedford @ Tues – Sat: 11am – 5pm/Sun: 2pm – 5pm/Closed Mondays
Let Edward Bawden transport you in this exhibition celebrating all things travel.
Drawn exclusively from the Higgins Bedford’s Edward Bawden archive, see large linocuts of London’s iconic stations and an array of wonderful vehicles from hot air balloons to jumbo jets and tall ships to cruise liners.
Theatre highlights by Paula Walker