Music reporter Vicki McCarthy talks to the people behind Urban Creatives about their events on Thursday and Saturday afternoons.
As restrictions begin to gradually ease, we find ourselves slowly emerging from our homes, blinking in the sunlight as we take those tentative steps back into restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs.
And it appears artists and promoters are doing the same, as they try to restart events to showcase talent, in a manner that befits government guidelines of course.
Last month, I spoke to Peter Coburn and D.D. Swift, two MK-based artists who are doing exactly this, working together as part of a new local initiative called Urban Creatives.
So, what is Urban Creatives exactly?
“It’s a venture that myself and Suzanne Fletcher founded,” Peter explained. “It sort of grew organically out of a project called Skater’s Paradise. They’re a group of folk in the local skateboarding community, who discovered that outside of their beloved hobby, they all possessed a lot of valuable creative skills.”
From designers, to producers, photographers, artists and musicians, it was soon realised that collectively, they could offer something great to the community.
Peter elaborated, “An idea formed that there was an opportunity to support MK’s youth and plans began to take shape for people to collaborate to offer workshops, provide mentors, host events and teach new skills to those who wanted to get involved.”
“One of those events was of course relating to music,” D.D. Swift revealed. “And this is where Suzanne stepped up. She’s been involved in the local music scene for years, supporting local artists and putting on events. So she decided to approach the local coffee shop Peel Juice Bar, to see if they wanted to play
host to some live music.”
Based by the train station in Central Milton Keynes, Peel Juice Bar is a fairly new, and independent kid on the block, offering a range of coffees, fresh juices, smoothies, sweet treats and hot and cold food, including vegan options.
With commuting being lessened by the effect of Covid-19, footfall for establishments in Station Square has been obviously impacted, so adding a new, regular event to the coffee shop’s diary was a no-brainer!
Taking place weekly, Peel Performances happen on Thursday and Saturday afternoons. You can sit in Peel’s
dedicated outside space, taking in free entertainment in the form of both, great acoustic and spoken
The event times and artists are announced on Facebook, and the organisers are keen to hear from other artists who’d also like to be involved.
This month’s line-up so far includes Tony Goff at 6pm on Saturday 5 September, Billy Nomad at 5pm on Saturday 12 September, and Dav at 5pm on Saturday 19 September.
So, what’s next for Urban Creatives? “Pushing on with our ideas for growth,” Peter smiled.
“We’ve lots of plans to expand on the work with MK’s youth that I mentioned. Once lockdown has been fully lifted and it’s safe again, of course! We’re looking to work with other local businesses too, so as to open more doors for musicians and to increase choice for music lovers.”
Well, I can certainly see the a-PEEL in that, and I wish them every success.
To find out more, search Facebook for Urban Creatives and visit peeljuicebar.com.