A few more notes and thank you for the Street Party. I’ll start with a little correction, however.
It’s been mentioned in a few places that I organised the whole thing, when in fact I was part of a greater team and the true honours must go to Stephanie and Parissa and Greg from Beeston BID; Carly, Heather and Mike from Oxjam and, not least, Chilwell Road businesses who came out in force to show they were alive and kicking.
Thank you all who showed up. Lot’s of people suggested article ideas for The Beestonian, if you were one of them and I haven’t contacted you let please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org for editorial consideration. We’re just upped our print run by 50% and I’m looking at also expanding to 12 pages, so am looking for good content.
It was cold, it was windy (I had to grab our gazebo many times when it threatened to lift out and fly to Long Eaton) but the whole event was packed out for the full five hours. A huge thanks to the bands who played and wowed the crowds: my appearance on stage to announce the launch of Oxjam 2013 was less wonderful though: a few words in and I realised, to my horror, my flies were probably down. This was not intentional, more the fact that the heavy duty trews I’d slung on have a habit of being none too secure. Not wanting to draw attention to this terrible thing, I couldn’t wrench up the zipper so instead slowly contorted my hips until my waist was 90 degrees off kilter. How I avoided a hernia is beyond me. My fear of public speaking is still fully intact.
I had some very interesting chats with lots of fans of The Beestonian and a fair few who read this blog, it’s nice to know you’re out there. Apparently our MP was there too, and for this I commend her. She also is a keen Chilwell Road shopper, again, I commend her. In this spirit of goodwill I will refrain, for now, for pointing out that the benefit reforms she helped to vote through are the most pernicious acts of class-hatred and putting monetarism before humanity ever enacted in modern British politics but hey! She shops local so I’ll keep schtum.
Once we’d packed up our stall I had a few minutes to warm up and grab a quick snack before I was in The Hop Pole, for the evening’s entertainment. And what a night!
Thanks loads to our acts, all who appeared for free and really threw themselves into it. Things kicked off with a spoken word slot, first, some punchy performance poetry from local Mick Rose, who delivered some fine handwritten lines on Beeston, one which even had a mention of this blog: accreditation if there ever was. This was followed by another local talent, Becky Cullen, who had spent the day asking people at the street party there opinions and ideas: these will be shaped into a poem that we will be featuring in The Beestonian next issue.
Emma Bladon-Jones followed, her guitar skillz, loop-pedal genius and incredible voice wowing the crowd, in particular one fan who may have been a tad Tired and Emotional and whooped with delight at every song, before buying a CD and falling off her chair.
Rosh Rai followed, warning me beforehand ‘I’m not been too well ,and seem to have gone deaf in one ear. This could be a disaster’. It wasn’t. I’ve been following Rosh’s development as a musician for around a decade now, and he’s yet to disappoint.
By now, I had allowed myself a beer so was probably letting it speak for me when I advised people that if they didn’t fill up the collection box we’d bought for Oxjam, we’d be ‘having a lock-in. And not the nice kind.’ I best point out that this is not official Oxjam policy, and nobody was held against their will (knowingly).
Joe Barber, who stunned Oxjam with his slide-guitar heroics at last year’s Oxjam followed, joined by the Guitar Spot’s Jimmy Wiggins for a few numbers. Then we had the magical Phil Langran and Steve Orton of the Phil Langran Band, veterans of the Beeston music scene and utter heroes for the support they always give Oxjam: they played at our fund-raising Celidh AND another pre-Oxjam fundraiser AND on the day itself. And this from artists who have such a following they are in great demand for paid gigs.
We finished with 50% of The Leggomen, possibly Beeston’s most fun bands. The lead guitarist/vocalist Brian informs me he’s had ten pints beforehand: his musical partner 7. Yet they pulled off a stunningly rambunctious sing-a-long set, the perfect end to a very fun day.
By then, I was exhausted, and more than a little tipsy. A quick clear up and I strolled home, made myself a chicken sandwich, left it on the worktop for my kittens to eviscerate and slept for a solid 13 hours. Still, what a day.
But let’s not make this a one-off. How about another street party in August? Let’s keep Chilwell Road jumping. Whose in?