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Heston gets inn on the live music scene


Pubs are increasingly clocking on to the fact that good live gigs bring in the crowds and even celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal is getting in on the act.

Regulars such as The Retreat in Reading, and the Frog Wicket in Eversley already know this – you need only look at the gig guide to see the range of live music they offer.

But I’m glad to say that recently two more pubs have joined the unsigned band family and are looking for bands to play.

The first is The Queen’s Arms in Great Knollys Street. Manager Veejay Joshi has spent thousands of pounds turning a function room into a gig venue that holds 150 people.

He told me: “I will be happy to promote any band that is interested in playing here.

“We can do all the posters et cetera to help promote any event.”

The pub has an entertainment licence until 2am and has a separate side entrance for private events as well.

The second pub looking for bands is owned, yes, by Mr Blumenthal. The Crown at Bray is obviously a foodie pub, but it has just started hosting live music nights every Monday from 8pm called I Crown Mondays.

There is the house band twice a month, but on each second Monday the pub hosts an open mic night for aspiring singers to share their talents.

Performers are free to perform songs of their choice.

But the jewel in the crown is the Live and Unsigned night on the final Monday of the month.

The Crown at Bray partners with 8 Ray Music and brings the very best up and coming musicians in southern England to this corner of Berkshire.

Find out more at www.thecrownatbray.com

If you’re interested in playing at The Queen’s Arm contact Mr Joshi on (0118) 957 6858.


Soundtracks


Wokingham punk rockers Attention Thieves released their first EP Look A Little Closer on Monday.

Produced by John Mitchell (You Me At Six, Enter Shikari) at Outhouse Studios, the EP is a towering monolith of punk rock driven with raw energy and infectious melody.

The four school friends are heading out on a national tour to perform adrenaline-fuelled live shows in April, supporting Acoda.

You can currently download new single You’ll Be The First One, and the four piece recently played four live tracks for XFM as well.

Nice going!


The Caversham Festival is coming up in July, and I am incredibly impressed with the free app that will go alongside it.

Its purpose is to be your personal guide, so it offers band line-ups, discount vouchers and, above all, you can listen to any of the music being played on any of the stages with its radio-like live streaming.

This means you could be with friends at the main stage and quickly check out what is happening at the floating stage. Wouldn’t it be great if they had that for the Reading Festival?

The Readipop Caversham Festival iwill take place on Sunday, July 8, at Christchurch Meadows.


Reading’s anthemic alt-folk band A Genuine Freakshow need your support. They have a chance to support Graham Coxon on tour, and just need you to ‘Like’ or tweet them.

Visit: http://toursupport.grahamcoxon.co.uk/ to help the band out.


Listen to Linda Serck every Sunday at 7pm on BBC Radio Berkshire. Email your music news to linda.serck@bbc.co.uk

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