For a long time in Harrogate, there was a bar called Revolution. I know because I worked there for an epoch or two myself. Like most places I’ve worked however, it closed down (no relation). However it didn’t REALLY close down as it just changed it’s name. It became Rift & Co. which is a strange name for a place but then it WAS called Revolution, and whilst Revolution sounds edgy and hip, in all the time I worked there I don’t once remember having a staff training day discussing how the proletariat would bring about the fall of the bourgeoisie through massed worker solidarity, then put into effect an Anarcho-syndicalist commune, to replace the unnecessary bureaucracy inherent within global capitalism.
Maybe I missed that meeting, they usually tended to just be about different kinds of vodka. SO I actually prefer the new name, and am intrigued to see what they have done to the venue, which reopens this Saturday. They have spent a fair crack of money in exposing some of the original features of the Royal Baths which I think will add a bit more soul to the place. Rev’s was a nice enough venue but it kind of felt like a bar that could just be anywhere, so by revealing some of the interesting older stuff there I hope it will make the joint feel much more “Harrogate”. I know from my time of chasing some of the more attractive members of the bar staff around the staff only areas that the traditional fixtures and fittings of the building are actually really nice; uncovering some of those will definitely add to the atmosphere of what is, lest we forget, one of the most important buildings in Harrogate’s history. They are modernising the front bar which definitely needed it and are also launching a new food menu. Given that I am generally hungry (are you… gonna finish that?) I like a good menu and food there has always been decent, particularly in the summer months when you can sit outside and enjoy the weather. That said whilst it’s a bit nippier the new menu will no doubt give you plenty more reason to venture inside, with home made burgers being the order of the day. Something called the “Yorkshire Pudding Burger” is the thing that leapt out at me, so I’m looking forward to getting down myself to get my gums round it. If you are already starting to fret about the fact that you will barely be able to afford your 6 cousins, twice removed, brand new Nintendo x-box 360 stations for Christmas, they have a day called “Let’s Love Mondays” where all the food is half price, which is mad decent. If you can’t tell from the name, that’s on Mondays. The opening do meanwhile kicks off this Saturday at 8pm and if you are so desirious, you can get your name on the guest list by texting it – that is to say, your name – to 64446. The venue has been one of the mainstays in Harrogate for the aforementioned long time, and hopefully this refit will continue to see Harrogate having a good, big lively bar with plenty of stuff going on.
So there is some news about a long standing place in the town centre that is having a nice update. On the other side of the road, literally as well as figuratively, one place that hasn’t changed much in 18 years is Monteys. Indeed it is rapidly approaching their 18th Birthday which will be on Thursday 27th November, and doesn’t really need to change does it? There is a “secret surprise mega band” playing the party which means I don’t know who it is, but their birthday parties are the stuff of legend, as is Montey’s itself. I’m not actually sure how you go about getting a ticket to this event; if I were you I suppose that you could write a weekly “what’s on” guide for a well read independent news website and get one that way. OR you could be a hot single girl aged 18 to, (let’s pretend) 40, and ask a “successful dj” who also writes a weekly “what’s on” guide for a well read independent news website if you could go as his +1. Wear something really sexy. And lower your standards. Don’t however lower your standards for The Monteys Birthday bash as the guys there know how to party and indeed have been doing so for 18 years.
As you may have noticed I’m trying to be a bit more “news” than just listing what is on, but it would be remiss of me not to point out that Echo Town are playing the Blues Bar this Sunday. This is my top pick of this week’s live gigs as they played at Henshaws Frightfest around Halloween and really impressed me; they are a two piece and have not only some great tunes but also an interesting array of instruments. From now on I’ll just be picking out one or two “personal picks” and this one would definitely be my recommendation for this week. I’m a bit gutted I can’t go myself but am down in Nottingham stalking the lead singer out of The Pretty Reckless for two nights, so you’ll have to go in my stead. I will let you know how the stalking of Taylor goes, either in next weeks column, or in a podcast from a prison cell.
There are two charity events coming up that I want to talk about. The first is The Harrogate Music Party. That is something I am running in conjunction with Foundation UK & Oxfam, with sound kindly provided by the lovely Dan Mizen. The idea is to try and recapture the feel of the old Music Parties they held at The Harrogate Theatre once upon a time. Those tended to involve pretty much every band ever, and we’ve managed to rope in 11 acts to play this event, which is at Rehab on Saturday 22nd November. Entry is 6 quid and it runs from 1pm til 8pm. Rather than list all the artists playing I’ll be lazy and give you a link to the facebook event page, so you can “like” and “share” it, and if you have, say for example, a 44” Plasma Screen TV with surround sound that you don’t want, you could let us have it for the tombola. They wanted to do a raffle but I’m not standing there like a plankton reading out numbers, what do they think I am? Anyway, go to this: https://www.facebook.com/events/718543561571585/
Louise Hartley, Emma Binns and Nick O’Brien are admins on Harrogate Grumbler, which is a facebook page that I’m not on because I never ever grumble about anything, as regular readers will know. Anyway, they went to visit the Homeless Project in Harrogate and in their own words (because that is easier than having to come up with my own) “saw just how much time and patience they have for the homeless and vulnerable of Harrogate.” They started off raising money on Grumbler by getting members to donate and have now decided to hold a Christmas Party for the Members with proceeds of tickets going to Corinna’s Homeless and Vulnerable Project. This Charity needs to raise £5,000 to make them a registered charity and as such relies entirely on donations at the moment as they cannot yet ask for help from companies as yet. The Party is going to be at The High Harrogate Working Mens Club on Friday 19th December. It is a ticket only event with a full night of entertainment including a quiz, play your cards right, grumbler awards and music provided by my good mate Max Czernic. There is also going to be food which has been donated for the night by Get Stuffed. A great deal of local businesses have donated raffle prizes too, which is jolly nice of them. I realize this seems a little early to be talking about Christmas parties and that, but it’s in aid of a really good cause so lets let this one through eh?
If you didn’t see it, last week I wrote something that is almost coherent, about a new pub that is opening in High Harrogate/Devonshire Place. http://www.harrogate-news.co.uk/2014/11/07/dj-trevs-cook-report-investigative-journalism-latest-pub-open-town/ is a link to that, if, however, it’s just listings you want, well, I can do that, and to that end Here is the bit that you skim through:
ACTUAL LISTINGS for this week
Thursday 13th November
Major Toms, Birdman Rallies live with support from Sarah Louise Boyle.
Blues Bar, live music from The Resonators.
Christies Pub, Sean McGrath’s Pub quiz.
Viper Rooms “YOLO” R’n’B studenty night.
Lure “Thirsty Thursdays”, house & beats with Dj Scuba.
Rehab “Flex” Upfront R’n’B & Party.
FRIDAY 14th November
Bilton Working Men’s Club, Robbie Williams Tribute.
Moko Lounge, #Fridays.
Blues Bar, The Revolators, free entry.
Lure Bar, Shuffle with Toby Skinner. House, Breaks & Funk.
Rehab Nightclub, “Electro Circus” dance Night. Free entry.
SATURDAY 15th November
Rift & Co. Bar, Grand Re-Opening following refit. Front bar Dj Tex (Soul & R’n’B), main room Disco Dave (upfront dance and chart) free entry.
Bilton Working Men’s Club, Barcode Zebra.
Blues Bar, The Jed Thomas Blues Band.
Viper Rooms, Angel Lee & Neil Jaques upstairs, Harvey Westwood Downstairs. Door charge applies, or contact the venue for guest list before 11pm.
Moko Lounge, Drop Out house night. Door charge applies, or contact the venue for guest list before 11pm.
Rehab nightclub, two floors of music: Top Floor : Max Czernic Pop Punk 10pm ‘til 4am.Downstairs: Doors open 8pm with Pop & Dance music from Djs Wayne & James. Free entry.
SUNDAY 16th November
Blues Bar, live all day: Vibetown 3pm, High Hazels 6pm & Echo Town at 9pm.
Major Tom’s Social, Dj Scooby’s Big Band Sundays.
Viper Rooms. Peek-a-Boo R’n’B night.
Hales Pub, live acoustic night.
Fat Badger, Cold Bath Road, Pub Quiz.
MONDAY 17th November
The Harlow Inn, Otley road, Pub Quiz.
So! Bar, Otley Road, Pub Quiz.
Rehab, late bar.
Blues Bar, fully hosted fully entertaining open mic session, hosted by Pete Oliver.
Moko Lounge nightclub, Karaoke.
TUESDAY 18th November
The Blues Bar, Keith James live, Free entry.
The Tap n’ Spile pub, Folk Night.
The Cross Keys Pub, Knaresborough, Folk Night.
Pitcher & Piano Re:Session cheap drinks night.
Rehab nightclub, Dj Max Czernic.
Moko Lounge Nightclub, “Skint” main room upfront dance and electro, VIP Room Rock Box Rock night Dj Jaye Selway.
Rift & Co. Bar, “Back to Rev’s” House Night, Half Price Drinks with Toby Skinner & Steve “Scuba”.
Coach and Horses Pie and Peas night with proceeds to Martin’s House Children’s Hospice.
WEDNESDAY 19th November
The Harlow Pub “Midweek Madness” pub quiz with Dj Tim Paul.
The Regency Pub, big screen quiz.
Rehab nightclub, Dj Max Czernic. Anything goes party set with Harrogate’s next big hair.
The Blues Bar, live music from the Paul Middleton Angst band .
Thanks for reading, drink responsibly and don’t be loose with your affections. Enjoy yourself!
Trev x x x