The Royal Oak Tingewick, the Tingewick Village Hall, and Richmond Fontaine

On Friday night we went out in a village called Tingewick, near Buckingham. It’s not a place we have ever been to before, but we were there to see Richmond Fontaine, an excellent band from Portland, Oregon. And they were playing in an unlikely little venue, the Tingewick Village Hall.

Tingewick Village Hall

Tingewick Village Hall

Upon seeing the village hall in the afternoon we were sure we were in the wrong place – surely this venue couldn’t accommodate a band? There were no signs that a band would be playing there that night, it was just an empty – and tiny – village hall. We started to get a bit worried. But after double checking in the Royal Oak, the pub across the road from the hall, we were assured this was indeed the right venue, and it would get very busy later!

The Royal Oak

The Royal Oak

The Royal Oak is a lovely old pub with a lounge bar, antique decorations with a fake wood- burning stove, a pool table, really friendly staff, good Chinese food, and the obligatory pub dog, as well as pub cats who took great pleasure in trying to wind up the poor old pub dog.  Richmond Fontaine were in the pub having a meal and a beer before the show, and Willy Vlautin, the lead singer and also a wonderful novelist, was kind enough to sign his latest book for me ‘Lean on Pete’, which I just so happened to have with me in my bag. (It’s a great book I must add, so read it if you get the chance).

Inside the pub, with pub dog

The pub serves a couple of real ales, GK IPA and Courage Best (I went for the latter), but this pub is really not about the range of ales on tap; it’s about the atmosphere and location. This is one of two pubs in the village, the Crown being the other, but I think the Royal Oak is where the village’s heart is at. They even let you take your beer across the road to the village hall which doesn’t have a bar. It must always be an interesting place to be for the locals, chatting to new people all the time, sometimes from the other side of the world.  And I hope that Richmond Fontaine enjoyed experiencing a little piece of England in Tingewick in the local pub before the gig.

Richmond Fontaine

As it happens, the village hall as a venue was great. The gig was promoted by Empty Rooms, and we had a chat with Mike from the company and asked him how he managed to get Richmond Fontaine to play in this village hall;  he said, with a twinkle in his eye, that it was down to his charm and charisma, and I can well believe it! The venue holds just 150 people making it a really intimate atmosphere, the sound and lighting was excellent, and I managed to get up nice and close to the band who were fantastic. In fact, the word ‘fantastic’ doesn’t quite do them justice, but I can’t find the right words; I think they would understand what I mean. Thanks to Richmond Fontaine and everyone at the Royal Oak for a wonderful evening. And see you next week guys at the gig in London!

 

 

 
Update 22.03.12 – Richmond Fontaine brought out some beer-related merchandise last year to coincide with the release of their new album ‘The High Country’. I have been getting  lot of people searching on my blog for Richmond Fontaine Beer – for more information about their ‘beer’, visit @pintsandpubs blog by clicking here!

 

 

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  1. I was just in the Oak on the 28th…did you try the poop filled garden? Lovely, warm atmosphere and fantastic fittings to this house: http://1pumplane.wordpress.com/2010/03/05/the-royal-oak-tingewick-buckinghamshire-and-bicester-hhh-1868/


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