The landlords of Leighton Buzzard's Wheatsheaf sign out in-tune!

Landlords of the Wheatsheaf Liz and Geoff Bottoms are moving on to pastures new after 35 years.

The Wheatsheaf, in North Street, has seen some great musicians and bands playing over the last 35 years, many of which have been regular performers at the towns’ premier music venue.

John Otway at the Wheatsheaf earlier this month

John Otway at the Wheatsheaf earlier this month

In November there have been 19 bands on stage plus a pantomime performed by staff and regulars!

Top of the bill was the fabulous John Otway, who hails from Aylesbury, doing a tremendous sell out show on Thursday 21st. To control demand this gig was unusually a ticket only event and all 100 were sold out almost as soon as they were released!

John had last played the Wheatsheaf about 30 years ago, but nevertheless, many fans from back then returned to see him play there one last time.

John is music’s answer to ‘Tommy Cooper’ with hilarious songs that never seem to go quite right, but that’s all part of the act. Over his music career he’s had two songs in the charts, ‘Really Free’ in 1977 and in 2002 ‘Bunsen Burner’. The B side of his 1977 hit was ‘Beware of the Flowers’ and these days is as well-known as the hits. He was delighted to be pelted with carnations during his performance of ‘Beware of the Flowers’ in the Wheatie!

Leah Dou performing at the Wheatie

Leah Dou performing at the Wheatie

‘The Wheatie’, as it’s affectionately known, has been well known and attracted great bands from across the UK as well as local bands.

In October 2016 top Chinese singer Leah Dou used the Wheatie for a warm up gig before performing with Bastille at the London O2 the following day – the Wheatie even getting a mention in ‘China Daily’!

Other famous names to perform have been Glen Matlock, Paul Young, Reef and Kula Shaker. Del Bromham’s band ‘Stray’, who had 'All In Your Mind' covered by Iron Maiden have been on stage on several occasions.

Steve Askew ex-Kagagogo has also been a regular performer at the venue. West Midlands folk-rock band ‘Bleeding Hearts’ and Milton Keynes based ‘The Zeroes’ have been regulars along with hundreds more from new bands doing their first gigs to old stagers like drummer Chris Hunt who played for Lonnie Donegan in the 1960s!

On Saturday, November 30, ‘The Informers’, a very popular band, will perform the very last gig of all with their fabulous mix of high energy punk, ska, power-pop and New Wave classics.

The end of live bands at the venue will be a sad day for the hundreds of people from Leighton Buzzard who enjoy seeing the bands every weekend.

The pub regulars want to say a huge 'thanks' to Liz and Geoff Bottoms and staff for hosting these free events for the last three and a half decades.