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Upcoming events

Sep 25 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

‘Carousel’, based in Essex will be appearing at Cambridge Folk Festival 2018 and returning to the area as part of a small UK headline tour

“Honestly one of the most thought provoking sets

From an unsignedband that I’ve ever seen.”

– Ollie Winiberg, BBC Introducing


Carousel formed in 2015 after four established musicians and friends came together with one goal – to spread their stories and passion through their unique, captivating and emotional music. Their eclectic blend of Indie-Americana exudes influences such as the lyrical power of Bob Dylan and the energy and delivery of The Lone Bellow. Their brand of heartfelt, engaging music is breathing new life into venues all over the UK as the band begins to spread their gospel.

With support from Chris Fox

Elma album launch
Sep 27 @ 7:45 pm – 11:00 pm

Elma – debut album launch party

Elma are a local duo who over the past year have been wowing audiences up and down the country with their unique brand of 60s pop. Now on home soil and at long last they release their debut album Dreamland accompanied by a full band, this show is not to be missed!

Roddy Hart – BBC Radio Scotland – “Finely crafted and assured retro-pop from a promising young duo.”

Sue Marchant – BBC Radio Cambridgeshire – “Slo Mo used to be synonymous with The Matrix, but now it’s Elma’s vibrant retro pop – the last thing you want to dodge!”

Maddie Hickish – BBC Radio 4 – “What butter does for crumpets, Elma will do for your life. Their music is delectable, comforting, fortifying and essential.”

Support from Chris Fox and Fragile Lives (Sandy Mill)

Portland Comedy Club
Sep 28 @ 8:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Back after our summer break, it’s our monthly night of comedy.

Headline: DAMIAN KINGSLEY (a change from previously advertised)
Damian is best known for single-handedly producing and performing the grueling “Knock Knock” Penniless Comedy Tour for Shelter, in which he travelled from Land’s End to Edinburgh using no money or public transport while doing shows every night at venues ranging from big theatres to pubs and working men’s clubs. He raised over £21K and contributed all funds raised from his debut Edinburgh solo show (“Knock Knock”) to Shelter, the homelessness charity.


Tickets just £6 advance, available online here or from the bar.

MacMillan coffee Morning
Sep 29 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Cash -Johnny Cash Tribute
Sep 29 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

For the first time to The Portland Arms we welcome CASH (paying respect to the man in black) the ultimate Johnny Cash tribute show.

As is so often the case with unique artists, it takes another one to fully appreciate them. Having lived the life and music of Johnny Cash and other country heroes who came before and since, Ben Welburn, aka CASH, has effortlessly recreated the sound, vibe and appeal of the master himself.

This is the early 4 piece Johnny cash show as it should sound.

Private event
Oct 2 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
AKU Society Stand-up comedy night
Oct 3 @ 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm

STAND UP FOR AKU brings five stand up stars to Cambridge’s Portland Arms for a night of charitable comedy.
The acts are:
PAM FORD (MC and host)

Tickets £10 (+booking fee) or £15 on the door. A raffle will also take place.
All proceeds go to the AKU Society, which supports patients with the ultra-rare black bone disease – also known as alkaptonuria (AKU).

Green Mind presents THE NIGHTINGALES + Near Jazz Experience + Stewart Lee ***SOLD OUT***
Oct 4 @ 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Green Mind presents THE NIGHTINGALES + Near Jazz Experience + Stewart Lee ***SOLD OUT***

The Nightingales was formed by former members of Birmingham’s original punk group The Prefects. With an ever fluctuating lineup, based around lyricist / singer Robert Lloyd, the band recorded a bunch of singles, three albums and many radio sessions for John Peel before it stopped working in the late 80s.
The Near Jazz Experience formed by multi-instrumentalist Terry Edwards (Gallon Drunk, The Higsons), bassist Mark Bedford (Madness) and drummer Simon Charterton (The Higsons) in the spring of 2011. Born out of a love of improvised music which was accessible (funky beats and grooves) yet experimental enough to break the mould of middle-of-the-road jamming, the trio built up a following at a residency in the heart of London’s East End, headlining the monthly Sartorial Records music nights.

Vanilla Pod (last ever Cambridge gig)
Oct 5 @ 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Vanilla Pod (last ever Cambridge gig)

King’s Lynn skate punk stalwarts VANILLA POD are calling it a day having formed all the way back in 1995.

The past 20+ years have seen the band share stages with pretty much any punk band you can think of – No Use For a Name, Less Than Jake, Bouncing Souls and Samiam, to name but four – as well as countless festivals and worldwide tours.

Support from GRIEVING and HOLDING PATTERNS (ex Crash of Rhinos).

Presented by Aaahh!!! Real Records, Debts and Booze & Ababoonsass

RockSoc Freshers’ Gig
Oct 6 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Cambridge RockSoc proudly presents its annual Freshers’ Gig featuring:

BUFFO’S WAKE (High Octane Gypsy Carnival Madness)
Returning to Cambridge for the third time, Buffo’s Wake are a twelve-legged beast hatched in the murky backwater of Brighton. Armed with accordions, violins and a bucket full of gusto they waltz, tango, mosh and kolo their way through various influences from Eastern European, Balkan and Russian folk, to punk rock and cabaret, telling tales of debauchery, deformity, zombies, incest and anatomy and making the audience dance into the night in the process.
Festival veterans, regularly appearing at some of the UK’s biggest festivals including Glastonbury and Boomtown, Buffo’s Wake will grab you, and leave you dancing like a man possessed. Guaranteed to raise hell!

IDESTROY (Punk Rock)
“If you like your rock’n’roll short, sharp and spiky, then Bristol grrrl rockers IDestroy might just be your favourite new band. They snap, they crackle, they pop, and they wear studded leather jackets with a feisty punk sneer.” – Classic Rock Magazine

ICE CREAM HEADACHE (Erratic-prog-rock-avant-garde-outsider-alternative-post punk-chaotic noise pop)
Formed in 2016, Peterborough boys Ice Cream Headache have a complex compositional style with influences from Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, Soundgarden, Blur and Mclusky. Excellent stuff and no mistake!

Oct 11 @ 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult

Following a few years of performing and recording solo (see 2014’s House Music and 2016’s Old Magick), Adams has a new band – featuring members of The Drink and Absentee – and a new album; Virtue Signals (Hudson Records).

“He returns with a new band and fresh intensity, particularly on the furiously Neu!-like “Ex Future” and “Free Will”
“National treasure has a great new band”
“Indie snowflake remoaners left casting about for a smart, literate purveyor of melodic indie rock should really be taking Steven Adams to their hearts”

Though the band worked on the songs for several months, the album was recorded in a little over a week, in September 2017, at Half Ton Studios in Cambridge. It was produced by Ben Nicholls, (Nadine Shah, Cara Dillon, Kings of the South Seas). Adams was initially ambivalent about having a producer on board, but Ben’s head is full of music. He came to a rehearsal and started making the occasional suggestion about songs and arrangements. At first we were a bit freaked out, but everything he suggested worked. In the studio he was in charge, which was oddly liberating. The album was then mixed by acclaimed producer and engineer (and Hudson Records supremo) Andy Bell.

It’s over 16 years since Adams started making music with The Broken Family Band, generating critical acclaim with each subsequent release and maintaining a dedicated cult following ever since. So, all these years later having been called a national treasure enough times to fill a pirate’s chest, without ever having become an actual pop star why does Steven Adams still do it? “I try not to overthink it or to feel reliant on this for anything other than what it is; sounds, words, feelings, and an excuse to hang out with good people. That’s virtue signalling, in case anyone asks.”

Aaahh!!! Real Records & Green Mind present BLOODY KNEES
Oct 12 @ 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Aaahh!!! Real Records & Green Mind present BLOODY KNEES

Cambridge/London four-piece BLOODY KNEES return in support of their new EP “You Can Have It”.

Playing a mixture of grunge/slacker/punk, the foursome always put on a great live show. The last time they played Cambridge sold out the Blue Moon, so expect tickets to move quickly.

Plus special guests Lemondaze.

Presented by Aaahh!!! Real Records & Green Mind Gigs.

A Band Called Malice -The Jam tribute
Oct 13 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

A Band Called Malice – The Definitive Tribute to The Jam

Rapidly becoming the UK’s most popular tribute to The Jam, you are guaranteed to be taken right back to the late 70s/early 80s as the band recreates hit after hit of The Jam, one of the most influential and iconic bands in music history. With a wealth of experience, Andy Coultas, the frontman of the band has over 10 years experience performing as “Paul Weller.”  The band is committed to giving a performance that is both energetic and authentic capturing the raw essence of the Woking 3!  Expect to hear all the classics such as “That’s Entertainment”, “Going Underground”, “Town Called Malice and many more.

A Band Called Malice recently performed in Carnaby Street, London to rave reviews releasing a video from this performance and in one week this has had over 230,000 views.

If you love The Jam, you really don’t want to miss this show.. see you there!!

Controversy Fundraiser 2.0
Oct 14 @ 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Controversy Fundraiser 2.0

We’re here, we’re queer, we’re back with a bigger venue and we’re ready to raise more money for organisations supporting detainees! get ready for a radical queer party with an all feminist/queer line up to kick off the 2018-19 year ♥

as before, the space is primarily designed to be a place queer women & non-binary people can feel safe – all genders welcome but please be respectful

TICKETS: with an option to donate if you can’t make it !

— this time we’re raising money for —
SOAS Detainee Support (SDS): a great London-based group providing practical and emotional support for those in detention, check them out at

Cambridge Migrant Support: newly set up this yr to raise awareness of the detention system and provide support to detainees, especially those in Yarl’s Wood. We’ll be having introductory meetings this term and hopefully will be able to get some training from external groups so message the page (or Flic Kersting) if you’d like to get involved!


Esme Garlake : feminist & queer tunes with an acoustic guitar!
Nim Chimpsky : angry noisy whirlwind of acerbic feminist pop you can dance to
You Know It Makes Sense : a female DJ collective playing beats to make you move

If you want to perform something (spoken word, singing, instrument, anything feminist/queer!) either get in touch with the page directly or message Flic Kersting (or if u have questions about performing)


Detention in the UK is kept quiet – it’s a clear example of state violence against migrants, especially those who are also part of other oppressed groups (eg LGBT+ or PoC migrants). It’s racist, xenophobic and has no valid basis – something the UK government knows, meaning they try to cover it up as much as possible.
Currently, around 30,000 people are detained in UK detention centres each year and the UK is the only European country to have no upper time limit on detention. The recent BBC panorama drew some attention to it, however this cannot portray the ongoing atrocities faced by those that experience detention and violent border enforcement first hand.
Border controls are enforced under the guise of ‘national secruity’. In actual fact, they are something put forward by the state to help it create an image of ‘otherness’, allowing an idea of ‘us vs them’ to foster nationalism and help the government maintain its power. Migrants often face similar oppression to that which has been faced by LGBTQ+ people so it is vital we stand in solidarity with them and support them in their struggle.
Border enforcement is racist and violent and must not be allowed to go unchallenged.


– wheelchair access: “Due to the age of the building the Portland is not easily accessible by wheel chair but we will endeavour to provide any help we can. Generally entry to the venue and public bar is no problem.” – from the venue website
– gender neutral toilets will be available
– there is seating available in the venue
– a safer spaces policy is in place – racism,, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, classism, ableism and any other kind of bigotry is not accepted and we will ask you to leave if needed (please report it to bar staff if you see it)
– message us if you have any other accessibility requirements/questions about the night and we’ll see what we can do xx

The Honeysuckle Room Burlesque and Cabaret Show
Oct 15 @ 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm

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