07th May 2024

The Stables announces David Meadowcroft as new Chair of the Board of Trustees

Following an extensive search, The Stables in Milton Keynes is delighted to announce the appointment of David Meadowcroft as its new Chair. David is a senior business leader in the facilities and technology sector and is currently Global Alliance Director (Facilities Management) with CBRE.  He has also played a leading role in the local community, recently stepping down from the board of governors at Milton Keynes College after nine years, seven of those as Chair, where he helped to steer the organisation through a period of growth, including the development of the Institute of Technology and the new Business College. He is a passionate advocate for music, the arts and education and is looking forward to taking up his position formally in June. David said: “Live music has shaped some of my most powerful memories. Witnessing the energy and inspiration that the arts can spark in people is truly impactful...

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02nd May 2024

Riffs and reels and Purple feels

What happens when you are given the privilege of delivering a video for one of the most iconic songs ever written? Luke McDonnell and Dan Gibling, directors of Stony Stratford-based Chiba Film, told Pulse’s Sammy Jones. Some songs are simply so big that they outgrow the genre in which they are seated. Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water is one of those songs. The opening riff is instantly recognisable, and the track has a chorus to match. It’s a rock belter considered one of the best tracks of all time – hardly surprising then that it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2017. More than 50 years since its release and the band has just issued its first video for Smoke on the Water. Chiba Film were tasked with delivering a visual treat to match the sounds. “As custodians of the visuals for one of the greatest..

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02nd Apr 2024

Live music at The Craufurd Arms this April

One of my most favourite albums ever is The Day The Country Died, writes Sammy Jones... I was a little too young to be exposed to it when it first came out, but when I discovered it during the late 1980s, the influence of this gnarly punk produce was colossal. In 2024 it is still played here as frequently as it ever was. It’s a masterpiece on so many levels, and there were others; From The Cradle to the Grave was every bit as brilliant. The band responsible, anarcho-punks Subhumans are right up there when it comes to my most influential. Subhumans shaped my childhood, and were the antithesis of the sanitised pop my peers were listening to. Heck, I even centred one of my school drama projects around one of their songs! Culture Shock followed from the ashes of Subhumans, and their gigs at the still-missed Countapoint Club in..

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21st Mar 2024

Off the Record charity shop chosen for ‘Record Store Day’ venue

Record Store Day is an annual event where independent record shops come together to celebrate people's love of music with limited releases. This year Record Store Day will be on Saturday 20th April and Off The Record, located in Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes has been selected to be part of this worldwide event. Off the Record is a specially curated shop by Willen Hospice, selling pre-loved and new vinyl records to raise funds for the charity. They will be celebrating the day by selling limited releases and live music in store. The centre will open at 6am if people want to arrive early and the shop will open from 8am. The shop will be managing the queue and admittance will be limited to ensure people have space to browse. Each customer will be allowed to buy one copy of each LP and a list of stock will be updated throughout..

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18th Mar 2024

A Crowbar to the Craufurd

Other meaty moments to savour at The Craufurd Arms this month include Pearl Handled Revolver (March 9) who play a double headliner with Emerald Dawn. PHR fans are in for a treat too, with the band ready to reveal tracks set to feature on their sixth album, which is in production just now. As the band succinctly says of its own path so far, ‘it charts a journey from the limits of primal blues, via unlikely liaisons between cult film scores and bare bones stoner rock, to blackened psychedelic soul music.’ With lots upcoming for the locals, you need to add to your bookmarks and keep checking in for news on that upcoming release and future shows. The Emerald Down will bring lots to the live party at the Craufurd too – the multi-instrumentalist, symphonic progressive rock quartet combine elements from classical music, jazz and rock, delivering a decidedly..

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27th Feb 2024

The Craufurd Arms brews up something new for you...

Wolverton music venue The Craufurd Arms is used to giving its customers a big night out. But sometimes, the only thing to successfully follow a late night is a big cup of good coffee – and now the Wolverton-based venue is able to deliver that, too! The Green Room opened its doors this week, and is a new coffee shop catering for all. "We're really proud of the space we have created, and want to make this into a centre point for the community," said Craufurd co-owner Jason Hall, who runs the venue with Max Harvey, "Whether you are keen to find somewhere to host your mum and baby group, want to hold a meeting, fancy a coffee and natter with friends, want to enjoy a little bit of 'me time' or maybe you run your business remotely and fancy a change of scene. Whatever it is, we're here for..

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22nd Feb 2024

Step Back In Time with I Should Be So Lucky

Stock Aitken Waterman (SAW) filled the pop charts with gargantuan tunes and soundtracked a generation with era-defining songs from Kylie, Rick Astley, Jason Donovan and a whole heap of others. Now that music is making its way to theatre stages with the world premiere of the SAW musical, I Should Be So Lucky. The upbeat delivery will bring some colourful cheer to the stage in Milton Keynes in early March. The worlds of theatre and music share many of the same disciplines, but it’s not necessarily an easy transition, as Pete Waterman found out. “This is a very different genre for us – musical theatre – it’s hard work, it’s one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life,” Pete told us, “My admiration for the cast is unbelievable. The hours they work and the detail they put in. “The last thing you want is the writers of the..

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21st Feb 2024

Sanctuary Forever bash will be history in the making

It’s bonkers to think that this year is the 20th anniversary of the closure of The Sanctuary, but a whopping reunion is planned for November 2 and ready to raise the roof at the Marshall Arena, writes Sammy Jones. The venue originally opened its doors back in 1991 and was the birthplace of the legendary Dreamscape raves. It became a hub for ravers who flocked to the new town from around the country to enjoy mammoth 12 hour sessions of sounds. Despite its warehouse persona The Sanctuary was a palace for ravers and shaped the electronic scene before it was razed to make way for the MK Dons stadium. The curtain came down on the venue on July 10, 2004 with a momentous last visit by Slammin Vinyl. Grant Smith, Slammin Vinyl director recalled the venue in the pages of Milton Keynes - Wired For Sound: “It wasn’t a corporate..

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18th Feb 2024

Why Meryl is simply ‘Streeks’ ahead of the pack

The magnificent Meryl Streek (Feb 24) was last at The Craufurd Arms a year or so ago, with an angry, articulate and awesome show, and it was clear from the intensity and quality of the material that the politically-outspoken avant garde punk chap was going to be a highlight of the year, even at that early stage. And so it proved to be. We came away that night clutching a vinyl copy of his superb debut album 796 which is as brilliant and real as it is challenging. The pr blurb calls it ‘an emotionally volatile and heart-wrenching collection of cutting edge punk that pushes genre boundaries while traversing extremely challenging political subject matter with aplomb and vitriol,’ and frankly, we can’t better that. Since his last visit to the new city, Meryl has been making friends and influencing people quicker than lies drop from politicians’ mouths. Exactly. He’s had..

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17th Jan 2024

Wilson & Wakeman return with new disc and Stables date

When Wilson & Wakeman make their return to The Stables at Wavendon this January, they arrive armed with a new album; their third release, ‘Can We Leave The Light On Longer?’ hits shelves on January 12. Aside from Damian’s vocal and acoustic guitar abilities, and Adam showing light work on piano, Hammond organ and acoustic and electric guitars (and percussion) the release is also swelled by trumpet and an 18-strong choir. There is a very personal depth to the songs, Damian said. “The album is about how we are connected as human beings and what drives us to be alive. It tells tales of hopeful inspiring dreams and our fight to live and function, with the ultimate and inevitable loss we face through mortality.” For those not already acquainted with these Pulse regulars, Damian is a songwriter and singer who has put his name to more than 70 album releases,..

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17th Jan 2024

The Libertines are back – and armed with bangers...

In October, The Libertines released Run Run Run, their first single for the best part of a decade, and they caused more excitement with the announcement of a new album – All Quiet on the Eastern Esplanade will find its way into record collections in March. Speaking about the upcoming single, Carl Barât said: “It’s about being trapped, and trying to escape your dismal life, a bit like the man in Bukowski’s ‘Post Office’. The worst thing for The Libertines would be to get stuck in a ‘Run-run-run’ rut, constantly trying to relive our past.” As for the forthcoming album? “Our first record was born out of panic, and disbelief that we were actually allowed to be in a studio; the second was born of total strife and misery; the third was born of complexity; this one feels like we were all actually in the same place, at the same..

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17th Jan 2024

A lion’s roar to start the new Craufurd year

Quite often, a new year brings new resolutions, but at The Craufurd Arms, they ain’t bothering with any of that – instead, it’s business as usual at the venue, which means gigs galore. After all, if it ain’t broken, there’s nothing to fix, is there? Things get off to a flying start with the return of British Lion (Jan 5), the hard rock mob founded, and featuring, Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris. Of course it’s all sold out – the opportunity to see bassist Harris in a hot and sweaty club is too good an opportunity for fans not to take up. But, this is more than just an opportunity to gawp – British Lion play with an undisputed roar, and tunes? They’ve got lots of ‘em. The UK winter tour also features Tony Moore’s Awake in the special guest slot. “Tony was, of course, in Iron Maiden back in 1977..

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20th Dec 2023

Live music this month at The Craufurd Arms

Recognised as one of the founding fathers of the punk era, Eddie & The Hot Rods have been playing loud, fast, in your face Rock n Roll since the ‘70s. They preferred that attack rather than ‘bad mouthing the Queen or fermenting anarchy,’ and even without that middle finger in play they struck a chord – their single Do Anything You Wanna Do was eventually withdrawn by Island Records after sales of more than 475,000 kept it in the charts for the whole of the summer of ‘77. Punks loved their attitude and energy, and everyone else was smitten by their RnB, rock and blues components. The loss of frontman Barrie Masters shortly before the pandemic was tragic, but fan support helped the band reach the decision to continue, with Ian Dean now at the mic. The band even released a new album this year; Guardians of the Legacy is..

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07th Nov 2023

What’s on this month at The Craufurd Arms

The Craufurd Arms is bonkers busy this November. Pulse’s Sammy Jones explores the monthly calendar... Bournemouth hard rock mob South of Salem visit the new city (Nov 1) as part of their Samhain Supernova tour, kickstarting a monstrously busy month for the venue. It’s SoS’s first headline stint, and support will come from She Burns Red. The Professionals (Nov 2) made their debut at the end of the ‘70s, formed by Paul Cook and Steve Jones following the end of the band that changed a generation, the Sex Pistols. Three years later and The Professionals were over too, and it would be 2015 before their resurrection. The band released its first new material in 2017, on an album which had key players queuing up to take part; Billy Duffy, Mick Jones, Duff McKagan and Phil Collen all left their mark on that release. A second studio album, SNAFU, followed in..

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26th Oct 2023

Damian Lewis steps onto the musical stage at The Stables

Damian Lewis is one of our best loved actors, but his current role sees him stepping out of the screen and onto the musical stage, as he realises a long held dream. He will be playing at The Stables at Wavendon on Monday 6th November. For tickets visit As he prepares to visit the new city, he talks with Pulse’s Sammy Jones about swapping acting for truthful sounds... The album, Mission Creep, was released to glowing reviews earlier this year. ‘It’s an album that is real and warm and moody,’ I say. “That’s nice, good... that is what we were hoping it would sound like,” Damian says, “I definitely wanted it to have that quite present feel – that you feel you are in the room with us. “We recorded on tape, we didn’t do it digitally, and I think a lot of those takes are actually live takes..

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