Tight but Polite
The town, not the university.

I'm moving there in about a week, and wondering what's going on in terms of art / music / culture / food / whatever.

I've lived there before and still go back from time to time so I know the basics but has anyone got any pointers on more underground or out of the way stuff?
Last edited:


harco pronting
i'll respond to this properly when i get the time but my advice would be don't do it or prepare to be in a very small town where any subversivenss or independence gets swept aside!
as far as music is concerned Bad Timing has been running things circa 2002? i used to promote it myself, but it's all down to the tireless work of it's main founder now. still lots of great music makes it here and i always prefer seeing big artists outside of London in small dives. Harry Merry was here last week. Felix Kubin the the fucking Porltand Arms. doesn't get any better. Pete UM supports just about everyone, in fact i had a chat with a mate recently and we both agreed UM is the act we've seen more than anyone else, well cool.

here's a list of folks who've played in the past at BT. drop me a mail. i can show you around if you like.

bad timing: 9 years, 94 nights, 11 venues and 1 world record since 21/11/01
imbogodom // local radio // drum eyes // les aventures sous la mer // sylvester anfang ii // hellvete // the doozer // dieter moebius // ypsmael // dj nochexxx // stellar om source // heatsick // hungry soul // tetuzi akiyama // chris forsyth // c joynes // james ferraro // monopoly child star searchers // chora // duracell // les adventures sous la mer // courtis/moore // local radio // gary war // les adventures sous la mer // um // volcano the bear // sculpture // um // hair police // family battlesnake // temperatures // team brick // circuit breaker // local radio // part wild horses mane on both sides // motherfucking // prurient // cold cave // circuit breaker // mi ami // gyratory system // rock with electronics // dj nochexxx // damo suzuki // drum eyes // the resistance // future islands // jellica // max tundra // ben butler and mouse pad // um // rock with electronics // um // canaveral // dj scotch egg // ove-naxx // bogulta // maruosa // melt-banana // bearsuit // ian helliwell // cockland // man from uranus/jellica // moha! // elapse-o // sunshine republic // gay against you // kevin blechdom/barnwave // dj solid gold // felix kubin // um // man from uranus/jellica // a-musik dj // fuck buttons // alexander tucker // atp djs // latahs // john maus // um // cockland // pram // xylitol // man from uranus // the chap // agaskodo teliverek // um // cockland // white mice // pleasurehorse // duracell // sunshine republic // jellica // gay against you // house mouse // jellica // death sentence: panda! // aotea // man from uranus // disinformation vs strange attractor // bugbrand audio // andrew coleman // // wolf eyes // consumer electronics // birds of delay // trencher // dj scotch egg // transitional // max tundra // um // jellica // white label music:large number // man from uranus // sunset people // the resistance // bugbrand audio // haeti // andrew coleman // the chap // man from uranus // um // pita vs z'ev // disinformation vs strange attractor // pda // volt // destructo swarmbots // k.laska/dave cochrane // men of unitus // noxagt // hunting lodge // fuck buttons // esquilax // cutting pink with knives // gay against you // ariel pink // belong // man from uranus // venetian snares // dj scotch egg // animals on wheels // chav and dave // dj damo // agaskodo teliverek // ommm // um // um // the vichy government // usedtobecool // dÿse // ommm // aotea // dj scotch egg // ove-naxx // doddodo // germlin // gulpepsh // maruosa // kosmische djs // romvelope // man from uranus // sculpture // um // dj scotch egg // chav and dave // um // kevin blechdom // planningtorock // um // noxagt // volt // def metal machine music // keith fullerton whitman // keith fullerton whitman // andrew coleman // haeti // ommm // the accountant // man from uranus // um // ariel pink // john maus // um // gary war // the chap // man from uranus // the resistance // panda bear // ariel pink // signer // um // dj/rupture // ove-naxx // ascoltare // printed circuit // random number // um // venetian snares // datach'i // accelra // john callaghan // man from uranus // leafcutter john // goodiepal // ascoltare // pda // greg davis // andrew coleman // bad timing djs // dat politics // kevin blechdom // um // ergo phizmiz // um // vert // animals on wheels // bad timing djs // bogdan raczynski // astrobotnia // cylob dj // steveseviltwin // janek schaefer (world record) // dale berning // pda // bad timing djs // felix kubin // um // man from uranus // a-musik dj // venetian snares // steveseviltwin // damo // man from uranus electrical music show // um // dj cos // // kid606 // dj/rupture // random number // ulrich schnauss // animals on wheels // damo // chris clark // mira calix // ascoltare // knifehandchop // steveseviltwin // dj boom blast // eu // animals on wheels // ascoltare // the chap // um // man from uranus // isan // man from uranus // ascoltare // charlie don't surf/bad timing djs // marlowe/coleman // man from uranus // dj zero // v/vm // um // dj chuck schuldiner // kirk leatham // um // philip joseph/cos // ascoltare/zooplankton // kirk leatham // venetian snares // fanny // steveseviltwin // kid606 // dwayne sodahberk // um // ascoltare // um // andrew coleman // ascoltare // charlottefield // lien // the chap // richard thomas // al brooker playback // john callaghan // um // jon tye/dj spykid (invisible college djs) // man from uranus // neil suddes dj // n.e.d. ( pleasure // um dj // cos dj // philip joseph (gentleman's radio hour) // dj kirk leatham // djs // dans mon salon // cocktail waitress // bad timing djs // andrew coleman // um // mouse finding the key // bad timing djs //


Tight but Polite
// men of unitus //
Wow, I didn't know they played Bad Timing - I knew their bass player at one point.

// chris clark // mira calix // ascoltare //
Whereas I think I was at that one.

Good list, anyway.

It's always a bit surprising how little seems to go on in Cambridge. I guess the student thing means that there are normally quite a lot of odds and ends happening most of the time but not much ever coalesces into a long term scene...


It's all grist
It's always a bit surprising how little seems to go on in Cambridge. I guess the student thing means that there are normally quite a lot of odds and ends happening most of the time but not much ever coalesces into a long term scene...

Yup, that's the thing I think. Huge transient population, University students cloistered in gown-land, the Uni generally having a huge gravitational pull on the place culturally & the fact that they own tons of land + high rents = dearth of scene. Also for various reasons the venues we have had have never quite fostered one. On the other hand in the last ten years or so there's been quite a few DIY promoter operations driven by uh, love for the music. In fact if there's any kind of scene it's probably more about the promoters in a sense. Sometimes at Bad Timing it's like everyone (all 15 of us) is a promoter or a musician, and some people who put on gigs insist on paying entry to other gigs out of honour, or maybe some kind of unconscious potlatch system, I don't know. :D

But yeah, other than that. You're in The Fens, and it's bleak. But you've lived here and you know all this.

And NOCHEXXX is an amazing DJ. You should check him out. :)


Trent End
used to love the bad timing gigs when i was there. saw ariel pink twice in the back of the portland arms. trencher were the most memorable gig though. and there was a time when every gig me and mate went to peteUM seemed to be in support.


"Pete is too modest to point out that there's a piece on the Alternative Cambridge in the March issue of The Wire."
Haven't read it yet but I'm lead to believe that there is a bit about Nochexxx in there.


Tight but Polite
Ah it's out already, owing to the Wire being so avant-garde that the march issue comes out in february.

Saw Our Love Will Destroy The World at the Portland Arms on tuesday. Good gig, and a really nice venue. Kind of makes me want to start promoting, even...

john eden

male pale and stale
don't all magazines do this (release issues with the following month's date on them)? Why?

So that it doesn't look out of date at the end of its shelf life, I think.

I really like the Cambridge piece in The Wire.


Well-known member
I went to Cambridge Uni for three years. For what it's worth, I had to work so hard that I had virtually no time for going out properly, even on the weekend. Plus, most students there aren't allowed to take even part time employment during term time, which means if (like me) you aren't from a loaded family, you're more likely to just get in some wine and gin and stay at home with mates.

Obviously there are some students whose academic ability is high enough that they don't have to work non stop, but for some funny reason they tend not to be the types who'd be interested in more leftfield cultural events.

When I lived there there was a squat on Mill Road going for a while that had some interesting stuff on occasionally. It's a Tesco now.

If you like classical music there is a ton of stuff on though. Most of it's organised within the university, but open to anyone who wants to buy a ticket. Unfortunately I know virtually nothing about classical music and didn't have the time to develop a real interest while I lived there, but I'm assured there are often some very interesting things being played that you wouldn't get a chance to hear anywhere else. I guess when you have a lot of people who make some niche musical interest the object of obsessive study for years that tends to bear some creative fruit?


Tight but Polite
Yeah, I did undergrad there, but I was doing maths and am a bit of a slacker so I ended up doing alright for free time.

Getting back onto the classical thing is definitely part of the plan, although it takes a bit of sifting to pick the performances that are actually going to be any good. Also the small amount of new music stuff that's going on eg the contemporary concerts at Kettle's Yard seems worth the effort.

I always find it interesting how difficult it is to get onto the right mailing lists and and start getting the right flyers when you move to a new place...

Diggedy Derek

Stray Dog
Ah it's out already, owing to the Wire being so avant-garde that the march issue comes out in february.

haha. yeah, most mags do this. It's so they can tell you what's happening that month before it actually happens. You can read previews of march events and then go an buy tickets, etc. Most mags, let alone music mags, work in this way.