After our afternoon at Beacon Fell Festival we headed straight down to Bedford in preparation of the Love Bedford initiative. We were booked to provide some live music to one of the restaurants in the inner city BID. Since we had just performed at Beacon Fell Festival it became apparent that Andy had left his jacket behind at the site. It was his favourite jacket so knowing we would be away for a few days we did a quick detour back to collect it. Thankfully we didn’t get stuck in the mud this time. The jacket was retrieved and after saying “Bless Bless and Tak” to the Vikings we drove off into the sunset (sounds like a Mills & Boon novel). With no time to spare we reached the M1 services by nightfall and slept over at MOTO Toddington Service Station in the van.
As the sun rose, we did very soon after. We started to cook in the van from 7am onwards. I don’t mean cook food, I mean we literally cooked in the van. It was hot, very hot. Meaning we were like two little piggies in blankets. We quickly had some breakfast (good ole Shredded Wheat) and set our sat nav for Bedford. Crossing over the bridge of the River Ouse we knew that somewhere in the vicinity was The Lane Restaurant close to the Embankment area. Luckily we found a car parking space on the road, loaded the gear and sought to find the restaurant.
After finding The Lanes Restaurant in Bedford it was time for Rag Tag Misfits to setup. We spoke to the owners and arranged with them whereabouts he would like us to setup to play. We also met an artist called Jaie from Glitter Arty Face Painting. Jaie would be face painting children for free as the adults sat and waited. Since we set up and no one was about Jaie asked me would I like her to paint my face. Jumping at the chance I told her to paint away. I love face paint. I also love dressing up so if you’re having a party with live music and want a band in costume, look no further. If it’s a vicars and tarts night though I’m more likely to come as a vicar and Andy as the tart (ha ha I just made myself laugh writing that, oh the thought).
Jaie is extremely talented and arty. Her work is unbelievable and my face looked ace. Jaie isn’t your typical face painter and I would describe it as more high end face painting. There is some serious skill and creativity involved. Therefore she was very popular with the children and me ha ha.
During the first set it was quite quiet and the rain was on and off, meaning we had to keep moving the equipment in and out from under the balcony. We played for a while and as people walked down from the River Ouse onto the Embankment, The Lane Restaurant began to fill up. The live music was attracting people as they coul;d hear the joyful melodies from around the corner. It turned out to be a lovely afternoon. Papa Johns was giving out free ice cream and with free live music, face painting and sunshine what’s not to like.
Throughout the day Bedford Bid had plenty of activities going on. There was a whole day filled with fun for the whole family. The aim is to draw as many people into the town centre as possible and also to promote the city and its retailers.
Bedford BID work hard to make Bedford a better place. It’s not always easy with huge retail parks opening up. Without City BIDs I fear town centres would be closing down up and down the country. No matter what retail park or shopping centre you go to though you can never get a real feel for a place unless you have visited the town centre. Each town has their own unique amount of quirkiness. If I were in charge of a town centre, I would be encouraging independent shops at reduced business rates and free parking. Oh and a market, everybody loves a market. Its starting it off though that’s the problem and Bedford BID are doing a great job.
Throughout the afternoon we met a nice couple who gave us their requests. They sat and watched us for most of the afternoon. It’s always nice when someone says, “we only stopped in for a coffee”. Before they know it they are on their fourth drink and ordering a meal.
It was a chilled out affair as people sat back and listened to the music enjoying their drinks and food. Our performance lasted approximately 4 hours with the hope of drawing in as many people as we could. After our session of live music we packed our stuff away. Now, where did we park the van again?
Thank you to everyone at Bedford BID for supporting live music and also for making Bedford a better place. Thank you to the people of Bedford for showing us your love. Also to the staff at The Lanes for providing us with shelter and drinks.
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