Independent Venue Week 2016 is all about the little guys. The dives and clubs where the sweat drips from the ceiling and you find yourself sticking to the floor unless you keep moving… Small music venues are where you get to see an artist before they go huge, and the bands you stay loyal to even if they don’t. We asked some of the biggest artists in the UK to remember the first gigs they played – from London to Manchester, Sheffield to Birmingham – and why these venues matter. Sleaford Mods
Don Broco – (taken from The Independent) – “Our first ever show was at our local venue Bedford Esquires. While growing up in our teens we saw so many of our favourite bands here.
When we started our band it was the logical place the kick things off, and as a venue they have always been massively supportive of what we do. We went back and played our album release show at Esquires last year, as it seemed such a fitting place to start our album campaign and celebrate our new record. One of the best Independent venues in the country. Long live Esquires!”
I bet the Rev Timothy Mathews and his followers didn’t realise what they were starting in 1832, when they built their Methodist Christ Church on Bromham Road, Bedford.
The Rev died in 1845. Apparently he lived in the church, in, of all places, the basement. And that’s where the cool Rev died, in the basement.
The church then became a Wesleyan Chapel and eventually closed in the 1960’s.
It had various incarnations after closing, as a warehouse, and, as this picture from 1966 shows, fronted by a car showroom. If I’m not mistaken that’s a Humber parked out front.