An indie / alternative guide to Milton Keynes

By 19th July 2011Music

You might not realise it but behind the horrible chain bar car crash that is our city centre, there’s a thriving indie / alternative scene in Milton Keynes.

Local indie guru Adam Maskell has kindly agreed to expose this hidden world for us. So here it is: the rough guide to alternative / indie culture in the concrete city.

1. Adopt the right attitude: Love what you like, keep an open mind and ignore the moaners that listen and trust commercial mammoths like Fearne Cotton to recommend ‘new’ music two years too late.

2. Do your homework: Alongside the big magazines such as Artrocker, which you can pick up from WHSmiths, and the temperamental NME, you should check out online blogs like and 3hive which also offer free daily downloads. Also check out The Fly which is free at places like HMV and Levi’s Store.

indie shoes beatcheck indie alternative guide to milton keynes3. Wear the right clothes: Check out places like Ark in the Xscape for tee’s and jumpers (they play pretty cool music too), Topman / Topshop for shoes and jackets and H&M for accessories.

4. Show up at the best gigs. The Craufurd Arms is a pub / venue based in Wolverton which hosts a vast amount of different band and DJ nights. Some of them are available for under-18s, which is very hard to find around here. There’s a little new venue in Newport Pagnell High Street called The Watershed. It’s hidden down an alley near HSBC and is a gem for local nights. MK Gallery occasionally also hosts showcase nights for mainly acoustic or ambient bands for you artistic people. Also look out for Indiescreet gigs. They bring cool national and local bands to places like the Sno! Bar, and more recently, the Craufurd Arms.

5. Find the right clubs: KKBB (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) on the 4th Friday of each month at the Slug and Lettuce is the club night me and some friends started over five years ago. We showcase new bands and make people dance to music they’ll probably fail to discover anywhere else on a Friday night in the centre of MK. The Slug also hosts a huge amount of different nights that no one else delivers in the centre including reggae, retro hip hop, (decent) 80s nights and a 40s to 60s night among others. There’s also Bite every Monday night at Revolution, which plays a mixture of metal, rock, cheese, dance and a bit of indie. Check it out.

Want to get involved? Check out the KKBB Summer Festival Special this Friday, 22 July, at the Slug and Lettuce.

Get in for free – tell us what KKBB stands for and we’ll enter you into the Beatcheck Monkey’s mysterious prize draw for two guest list spots.

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