Regular readers of SGTMT (I almost wrote that with no sense of irony, almost) will be aware that the origins of this blog lie in a now defunct independent record store in deepest Bedford.
Nowadays Bedford lies somewhere in the past, a series of blurry and obscure teenage memories (did James really vomit on that girl whilst talking on the phone to his mum?). But today Bedford sprung back to mind through three remarkable news stories. Firstly, this one about a Lion on a Bedford residential estate. The line ‘Locals speculated that it could have been a pig’ is total genius, you couldn’t make it up (though probably they did). Secondly, this even more bizarre story about an elderly couple and cannabis. My normally un-astute brother wisely commented that these stories maybe related…
However, it was this third story that was most affecting – Esquires will fight for survival. For any Bedford teenager with a genuine interest in music in the mid to late 90s (or for many years prior and since) Bedford Esquires was pretty much the only place to sample half decent live music. The venue hosts a reach heritage of bands in their infant stages gracing their miniscule stage, including; Coldplay, Franz Ferdinand, Muse, Supergrass, Bloc Party etc. etc.
I warmly recall seeing The Pecadiloes (pretty much the only decent band to ever come from Bedford), Carrie and others I now can’t recall. Tom and Luke (fellow SGTMTers) were big fans of their DnB and Breakbeat nights (can anyone recall what they were called?) and I still remember how pumped we were when our chum Arthur got to DJ one Friday evening.
However my abiding memory of Esquires will always be seeing Therapy? at a not very ‘secret’ gig on a Wednesday evening in a totally jammed room, health and safety regulations didn’t apply that night. At the time Therapy? were not ‘huge’ but still a pretty big deal, they were warming up for some festival or something and put on a totally stunning (though somewhat overly sweaty) performance.
Bedford without Esquires probably won’t be much different, it’ll just be slightly more boring. All the same, I’d hate to see the only decent music venue in the town (if not the county) go to pot (no pun intended).
Watch two awful music videos for Nowhere and Screamager;