Blue Collar Corner’s November showcase

Ellie Cox

The Amazons

A fabulous mix of music from DJ Huey Morgan and The Amazons headline beside some straight talking from former Reading FC manager Brian McDermott in Reading this month

Local independent street food specialist Blue Collar, are bringing big names to Blue Collar Corner for their extensive November events schedule. 

What’s on

On Saturday 19th November, Fun Lovin’ Criminals frontman and Radio 6 Music DJ Huey Morgan brings his NYC Block Party to Blue Collar Corner. Running from midday until midnight and with free entry throughout, Huey Morgan’s NYC Block Party will be a riotous celebration of the Good Times feature the sound of funk, soul, disco and hip hop jams. Huey will be playing a special early evening set, ensuring younger fans also get to enjoy his set, under 18s are welcome until 8pm.

Former Reading FC manager, Brian McDermott, who famously lead the Royals to promotion into the Premier League in 2012, hosts a presentation entitled Winning, Losing, Mental Health & Finding Balance followed by an audience Q&A. Brian will share his story of dealing with the highs and lows of football including feelings of not being ‘good enough’ and having to cope with anxiety, depression and an alcohol addiction. Two sessions of the presentation, on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th are sold out. The third and final evening with Brian is on Wednesday 23rd and tickets are available now from

Fresh from reaching number five in the UK Official Albums Chart with their third album How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me, local indie rockers The Amazons head to Blue Collar Corner for a special hometown DJ set on Thursday 17th Noember. The band will be celebrating the end of their current album tour which has taken them across Europe and the UK, including a packed-out show at Roundhouse, London. The Amazons’ DJ set will be part of the Indie Thursdays night, Blue Collar Corner’s weekly free entry night of indie anthems and alternative favourites.

“We could not be more excited about this month at Blue Collar Corner”, says Blue Collar’s Glen Dinning. “Brian McDermott is my hero and having him agree to tell his story at Blue Collar Corner is very special to me. I’ve also always loved watching England’s World Cup games with friends so I can’t wait for the moment when we kick off our first game and cheer on the lads.”

He continues: “October’s guest and resident DJ sets at Blue Collar Corner were a big hit, so we’re really happy to have a strong mixture of both again in November, keeping up the great vibes into the evening to fit with our later opening hours. The Amazons’ latest album is probably my favourite of the year so I’m really looking forward to hearing what they play when they join us for their DJ set on Thursday 17th.”

Blue Collar Event manager Pete Wheeler adds: “We’re also thrilled to have a rare free entry DJ set from Huey Morgan when he plays an early evening set for us on Saturday 19th. His Saturday lunchtime shows on BBC 6 Music are always full of great funk, soul, disco and hip hop selections so we’re definitely in for a treat when he brings his NYC Block Party to Reading.”

Also at Blue Collar Corner this month, Reading’s Indie Market bring their popular local art, craft and produce stalls to the venue on Sunday 6th. Music lovers get to dig the crates for bargains and rarities at Blue Collar Record Fair & Social on Sunday 20th. On the same date (20th November), the venue begins its screenings of selected World Cup 2022 football games, showing the opening ceremony and opening game. England kick off their campaign the following day (Monday 21st) against Iran at 1pm, tables can be reserved now for this and England’s other group games at

Then on Saturday 26th November, Blue Collar Corner present their first R’n’B Brunch. Cheekily entitled Pop Ya Collar, expect three hours of nothing but solid gold 90s & 00s R’n’B jams. Pop ya collar while they pop the cork on your bottle of Prosecco or serve you up a gin n’ juice. No diggity, no doubt.

For the full Blue Collar events line up for November visit

‘No Reading, no Amazon’s!’

Round & About

The Amazons

Liz Nicholls asks Matt Thomson, frontman of homegrown heroes The Amazons about local life and music ahead of their hotly anticipated performance at Reading Festival…

Q. We’re loving the new album, Future Dust! Is this your best work so far? “I certainly think so. I think this record is a big step forward in us realising who we are as a band.”

Q. And what’s your favourite track to play live? “We’re having a lot of fun playing our new single Doubt It. We’ve started to jam a song called In My Time of Dying at the end. I heard it first through Led Zeppelin’s version on Physical Graffiti. Then I traced it back to Bob Dylan’s first record and then from there back to Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed, a traditional gospel tune first recorded by Blind Willie Johnson in the 1920s. It’s fun to reflect what we’ve been listening to directly into the live show.”

Q. Well done on continuing to fly the flag for Reading! Is Reading Festival still the iconic live gig for you, as when we last chatted? “I’ve said many times before: No Reading, No Amazons! It’s the biggest event for us this summer that’s for sure. Reading is a very quiet place.. but for three days a year the carnival comes to town and injects the place with colour and excitement. I cannot overstate how influential the festival has been, especially during our formative years.”

Q. How much have you been in Berkshire over the last year & any great nights out? Purple Turtle etc?! “We DJed at the Turtle after our Reading show last month, that was a lot of fun. We truthfully don’t get to come back a lot. You realise through touring the world is big and it’s there for taking. We’ve had our time at home and that’s OK.”

Q. Are there any other local bands you’d love to show some love to/ recommend our readers follow? “I’ve seen Valeras are doing great things at the moment, especially in Europe. I see the Keep Cats pop up all the time too. Plenty of bands coming through, it’ll be interesting to see how it looks in the next couple years…”

Q. Can you tell us more about your love for Howlin’ Wolf & other influences on this new album? “We were really introduced to Wolf and a lot of other blues artists through the bands we first loved, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin etc… We love rock ‘n’ roll and I think when you love something, you want to work out where it came from, what makes it tick, why we’re doing what we’re doing in 2019. We fell down a bit of a rabbit hole and discovered a lot of raw, rich, complex characters. The likes of Little Richard, Muddy Waters, Jerry Lee Lewis. You don’t really get those kind of characters any more and I’ve been interested in why that is.”

Q. August serves our food & drink special so… What are your fave snacks & tipples when on tour? I know everyone asks this but what’s on your rider?! Has it changed? “Our rider is in a state of constant flux. Our drummer Joe is big into his wine so top of the list is good local wine. We like a bit of bourbon and tequila to back that up. Nuts and fruit for snacks. We try to get the promoter to provide some local delicacies, especially in Europe and beyond so you usually get fun cheeses or strange sweets.”

Q. Where are your favourite pubs & restaurants in the county? “I used to work at The Pot Kiln in Yattendon, lovely pub. We’ve always enjoyed Milk in Reading town centre too. We’ve been regulars at the Oakford Social Club for the best part of seven-plus years.”

Q. Go on, tell us what dreams you have & future ambitions on the horizon? Any dream will do! “In terms of Reading, we’re always trying to dream up bigger and bigger shows. Events that can bring the town together. Our show at the Hexagon was a lot of fun and of course the place has a lot of memories attached for everyone. We’re definitely looking at something bigger for possibly next year. Beyond that we’ve just released Future Dust so it’s now about taking it around the world and seeing where we end up.”


The Amazons will play the Radio One stage at Reading on the Sunday; For Amazons news, see their website and follow @theamazons