As Blues venues go the Retreat in Bocking, Essex, is a well kept secret, but one that’s slowly leaking out. The pub looks the typical eighteenth century Inn with exposed beams, horse brasses and roaring fires. It serves good ale, great food, Traditional British Food, and excellent Sunday Lunches either in the bar or in the recently opened Retreat Garden Restaurant, in short not much to get the blues about.
However a quick glance at the walls shows that instead of the expected prints of hunting scenes there are gold discs, signed photos of music legends and a selection of backstage passes that give pretty good clues to the fact that this is a serious music venue.
The retreat staging regular music events, has attracted such acts as:
- THE YARDBIRDS
- CONNIE LUSH AND BLUES SHOUTER
- THE HAMSTERS
- JACK BRUCE
As well as talented UK bands, they all come back attracted by an intimate atmosphere which is a change from their normal larger venues.
The appreciative audience has to number eighty or under. Gregg Wright over from L.A. awed his audience with his fender playing, staying afterward to enthral a small crowd with tales of life on the road.
A house band looks a probability.
If you like good music, this is a warm and friendly venue. If you like good beer and good company so much the better.