Rue Royal and De Winter Live in Bedford

In my search for free or cheap live music I’m lucky to be able to find some in the area. One small venue is a Cellar Bar in Bedford and goes under the aptly named Bedford Live! and they put on gigs at least once or twice a month and the great thing it they’re free. Normally based around the vibrate local artists and bands that seem to come out of Bedford, yes Bedford is the new Liverpool or Manchester for music, the promoter often brings in musicians from further afield.

On tonight’s bill were local band De Winter, who were formerly named Tinker Jack, with an enthusiastic following in Bedford. De Winter consist of Rebecca Soulsbury and David Litchfield. I am more than familiar with these two and seen them progress over the years, in fact they have played for is at Empty Rooms in Buckingham as support on a couple of occasion. There is now more emphasis around Rebecca’s wonderful vocals and instrumental skills while David takes a step back to do the writing and guitar work, this was a very pleasing start to the evening and Beccy would delve into some of the Tinker Jack back catalogue, but with a more laid back acoustic feel, as well as some new songs destined for release on their CD early next year.

The main act of the evening where husband and wife Brooklyn and Ruth Dekker, going under the name of Rue Royale, if this is all sounding very familiar then yes I did recommend them earlier in my blog, so no excuse for you not being there. I’d seen them earlier in the year and was blown away by their performance then, so seeing they were coming back to Bedford this was one I couldn’t miss.

There music is very simplistic of flowing harmonies, guitar and various percussion, but this minimalist instrumentation really works. To some their music could be very repetitive in tone and emotion but it’s fine for me and thankfully the 50+ audience (numbers not age by the way) and they appeared overwhelmed by the rapturous applause they received every time there was a song we knew. They even found time to joke with the audience about their initial lack of stage present and only changed this when Brooklyn’s father told him he needed to tell more stories, so out they came, including his irrational fear of spiders, which seemed to bring some joy to the audience, maybe realising we are actually in a cellar! They played for just over an hour and brought out their “hits”, UFO, Parachutes and Lifeboats as well as many new songs destined for the new CD.

Talking of CD’s by their own admission they don’t push the sales enough, another complaint from Brooklyn’s father, although judging by the queue at the end the songs do the selling, even I brought a 2nd copy of the CD. They also have an interesting concept for CD covers, which was born out of necessity. The front cover is a screen print, from hand drawings, on brown wrapping paper with the inner 4 page lyric booklet on a nice cream paper, but no staples holding it together, no this was a sewed together with cotton, Ruth by all accounts is into arts and crafts and the sales of her hand knitted woolly hats also when down well on this cold night.

So some great music and crafts on one night what more do you want from a free gig and I guess they will be back next year.

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