Pocket Number 15: The Bear Club, Mill Yard, 24A Guildford Street

The Bear Club is a den for jazz, blues and alternative music events. High ceilings and wooden planks on the walls help the acoustics and there is a bar with a selection of wines, whiskeys, hard liqueurs and craft beers.

The club is situated a stone’s throw from Luton train station where a direct train to/from London Kings Cross St Pancras takes only 30 minutes. This means musicians from the London scene are easily enticed into the den.

On the Saturday evening when I visited jazz was being played by the Graham Pike Sextet which featured Graham, Bob Sydor (tenor), Duncan Lamont Jnr (alto), Gabriel Keen (piano) and Tim Reyland (kit).

Graham trumpeted and also did some impressive riffs on a chromatic harmonica

A Varese composed piece seemed to cause a glass behind the bar to smash. ‘Crisis’ by Art Blakey followed before Stella by Starlight made things better.

For the encore the tune ‘and what if I don’t’ by Herbie Hancock was played.

During the break I met Shannon and introduced her to what I was doing. She hails from Luton and has been working at The Bear Club since 2015.

She gave a Bear Club card to put on the montage and recommended I go eat at Monstera Canteen. She told me Monstera supplies food to The Bear Club on Thursdays.


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