We’re big supporters of live music here at ESP and before the lockdowns brought gigs to a halt, a Peterborough pub was building up a great acoustic night. Local musician Rob Bull reports for ESP on the return of these nights to the city music scene…

The Ostrich Inn has been a shining light for original musicians and up and coming bands over the last few years and, despite the world changing in many ways recently, owners Graham and Sue are as committed as ever to showcasing all varieties of live music.

A regular monthly acoustic showcase took off in 2019 and was exceptionally well received by Ostrich regulars and local live music fans alike. The Thursday night format usually consisting of three to four acts all playing predominantly music of their own creation has seen performers from varying genres take the stage – everything from American inspired country to traditional British rock, and even European influenced pop!

Despite the lockdowns of early 2020, the acoustic nights continued as soon as was permissible by government guidance and seemed to garner an even greater following. The chance for a long awaited night out was certainly a factor, but it seemed that word had begun to spread about the opportunity to watch some outstanding original music and local talent, up close and personal.

The team at the pub has invested well in their music and stage equipment and provide a permanent in-house PA and lighting system suitable for any band that stops in for a gig.

This is a huge game changer for young bands and musicians that may not have their own gig-worthy equipment yet, but also a massive convenience for experienced road-weary musicians that know only too well that setting up and taking down the equipment can be 80% of the job.

There are big plans for live music at the Ostrich in 2021, with the acoustic nights set to return on Thursday May 20. The first show back will see Meg McPartlin headlining a true singer songwriters’ showcase to what is already certain to be a busy night and a welcome return of many more to come at The Ostrich Inn on North Street in Peterborough.

Rob Bull