As the live music scene in Peterborough starts to open out again, ESP welcomes new contributor Rob Bull who’ll be reporting for us on some of the local venues, gigs and bands.

Rob will be a familiar face to many in the city as frontman of popular local band Children of the Revolution and as a regular performer and supporter of other local artists he’s well placed to give his views on the live circuit…

As the city begins to emerge from a year of lockdowns, restrictions and rules, it’s reassuring to see many local venues are still placing an emphasis on live music to bring punters back through their doors. My first venture out to a gig in Peterborough this year was to watch The Tour’ettes at one of the city’s hidden gems.

By day it’s known as the At Last Tearooms, a quaint coffee shop in the centre of Werrington village. Decorated in a 1920/30s art-deco style with all variety of vintage movie signs and music memorabilia, it serves tea, coffee and some truly outstanding cakes. But at night it becomes a different entity altogether – The Speakeasy.

Offering generous artisan cocktails, a good variety of quality beers and fine wines, live music now regularly fills their spacious and semi-covered garden and you could be forgiven for slipping into a prohibition era frame of mind, especially given the restrictions that we have all been under for the last year.

Owners David and Marie took over the venue in 2015 originally running it as a newsagent before transforming it first into the café and then in December 2019, adding exclusively for Friday and Saturday evenings, The Speakeasy.

During lockdown they used the time to further improve the once unused courtyard and garden area which they now cheekily refer to as the ‘Werrington Riviera’. Music is at the heart of everything David and Marie do and they will be seeking to add more live music to the diary throughout the year. Both are lifetime musicians so they know the local scene well having played in numerous bands including The Agents and The Soul Runners to name just two, and they’re keen to host and showcase all variety of talented local musicians as restrictions ease.

The Speakeasy’s first band of the year featured a mix of local talent and Speakeasy family members including David and Marie sharing the lead vocals, all coming together under the banner of The Tour’ettes.

They played a variety of popular covers spanning every genre you could think to mention. The garden was fully booked almost as soon as the gig was posted online, I’d left it late and was initially on the reserve list but was lucky enough to get a seat! It was a great evening and a nice slice of normality once again.

All COVID-19 rules were observed impeccably, people danced in their seats and remained socially distant throughout the evening. An efficient table service kept the cocktails flowing all night long and the staff provided the clientele with everything else you would expect in the current post lockdown world.

Rob Bull

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