The Big Bang Tidy

By Matthew Davies, aged 33⅓.

HATYM and Uncle Peanut at the After Dark club. Photo by permission (c) Musical Bear Records.

Pete Brookes of Uncle Peanut fame curated a Big Untidy evening of music at the Rising Sun Arts Centre on 14 September. Despite the untidy name of the evening, Pete pulled off a blinder; all the acts worked together and it made perfect sense.

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Matthew Farrall charity gig at Readipop on 22 September

Club Velocity will present a charity gig in memory of Matthew Farrall on 22 September. Matthew, who died in April 2018, was an enthusiastic Whitley resident, Whitley Community Development Association (WCDA) trustee, Explore Reading and Whitley Pump contributor.

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How Whitley Pump featured finalists did on the night at Reading Cultural Awards 2018

The big surprise on the night of 27 June was the special award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Arts’ which was won by the Rising Sun Arts Centre on Silver Street (pictured above). For the expected awards, the Whitley Pump had featured at least one of the finalists in each of the twelve categories of this year’s Reading Cultural Awards.

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John Madejski Academy concert on 19 June

Students from the John Madejski Academy on Hartland Road, Whitley will be performing in a public concert at the school on Tuesday 19 June at 6.30pm.

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Reading Cultural Awards 2018 finalists featured in the Whitley Pump

The Whitley Pump has featured at least one of the finalists in each of the twelve categories of this year’s Reading Cultural Awards, some on more than one occasion. This shows how much is going on in, or linked with, our little patch of Reading!

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Craft Theory at South Street

By Zoe Andrews.

Chaats Indian Street Food at the Craft Theory Festival, South Street

I missed out on the first Craft Theory festival at Katesgrove’s South Street Arts Centre last year, but I read the reviews with excitement and suffered a major case of FOMO [note 1]. I was in a unique position for the festival on 13 and 14 April this year; not only did I volunteer for Friday behind the jump [note 2], pouring drinks and loving it, but I also arrived bright-eyed on Saturday to spend the afternoon getting merry with my pals.

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Melodic anxiety and tuneful paranoia with Harroland

I caught up with “Reading’s best new band” Harroland at their third ever gig, at Readipop in Milford Road in March, and they kindly granted me a very public interview in the car park. It was a freezing cold night, but I was ably assisted with questions by Whitley and Katesgrove aristocracy, music gurus Trevor Absolom and Michael Wyatt, as well as a very pleasant passer-by. When they become big and global in the years to come, you can boast about seeing Harroland early on at Reading venues.

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The John Madejski Academy triumphs at the Let’s Sing choral festival

by Matthew Farrall and Stephanie Chard.

JMA performing arts teacher Tommy Robinson accepting a Lets Sing 2018 award from Mayor Rose Williams at the Hexagon, Reading. Photo courtesy of Reading Borough Council.

Crisply compèred by Breeze FM‘s Robert Kenny, the Let’s Sing 2018 charity choir concert on Monday 26 March was of such a high standard that the trio of independent judges had a very difficult task indeed. Every choir received rapturous applause on merit from a lively audience.

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After Dark Club showcases Reading’s best new bands

By Matthew Farrall with Trevor Absolom and Matthew Davies

After Dark Bar

Last Saturday, the After Dark Club on London Street in Katesgrove hosted another live music night in league with the inspirational Musical Bear Records, with free entry if you turned up before 7.30. Three of the four bands were local and, once again, we were amazed at their quality and originality. The Reading music scene seems pretty vibrant and alive at the moment, not to mention cheap and accessible.

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Katesgrove talent shines on a rainy night in Basingstoke

Katesgrove based carry-on country band the Rumpo Kidz and the bard of Elgar Road Nigel Pounds crossed borders into Hampshire last Saturday to perform at the White Hart, a lovely big old boozer at the old end of Basingstoke town. After negotiating the consumer-Narnia of a shopping mall at the heart of the new Basingstoke, our redbrick troubadours traipsed through the heavy rain with all their gear on their backs.

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A portal to a parallel Whitley

Nick Garnett (Whitley Flamboyance Festival)

Last year I got a text from a mate who lives in the flats opposite the John Madejski Academy (JMA). He said that there was some sort of uprising going on and the gates of the JMA had been flung open to unleash an alien entourage, who were now parading through Whitley looking like an escaped troupe of space-age circus performers or an absurdist dream made flesh with dancing, klaxons and odd machinery.

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Katesgrove and Whitley schools at the Children helping Children concert on 6 February

Children from Reading schools, including New Christ Church Primary School in Katesgrove, the Christ the King Primary School, the John Madejski Academy and Whitley Park Primary School in Whitley will be taking part in the annual Children Helping Children concert at the Hexagon Theatre on 6 February at 7pm.

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