Blues Bar management takes on the Leeds music venue ‘The Well’

On 5th May 2012, The Well Live Music Venue in Leeds opened its doors under the management of Blues Bar’s owners, The Colgan Machine, ready for the massive live music phenomenon that is Live at Leeds.

Featuring China Rats and Royal Republic, (the latter of which is currently supporting Blink 182 and The Subways as part of their international tour) The Well’s opening day proved it was well and truly back in the game as one of Leeds’ best loved live music venues.

Although under new management The Colgan Machine will be extending The Well’s music genre offerings to blues, rock, indie, soul, DJ nights, comedy and cabaret, it has confirmed it will also be staying loyal to fans of the venue’s more recent specialism of metal and punk.

About The Colgan Machine

On 16th March 2012, Simon and Sharon Colgan of the Colgan Machine took over management of The Well, formerly Josephs Well, Perfectly positioned to rescue the legendary music venue from its destiny as a restaurant and restore it to its former glory, the Colgan Machine has extensive experience in promoting live music at its two other highly successful pubs The Duck n Drake in Leeds, and Blues Bar in Harrogate.

Simon Colgan explained:

Up until now we have provided free live music in our pubs, so taking on a ticketed venue is a brand new venture for us.

We’d been watching The Well for a while and we’d been impressed at the quality of music, the allegiance and camaraderie of the clientele and the general atmosphere of the place.

We were astounded when we learned of its closure, and decided it was an ideal opportunity for us to step in and try to make it great again. It plays an important part in Leeds’ musical history and deserves to be back at the hub of the scene.

The combined force of Simon’s and Sharon’s experience and enthusiasm, and their passion for mixing live music, fun and beer with insightful business acumen is obvious. Sharon is a talented and well-established singer in her own right, so she is well aware of the makings of putting on a good show. Simon has been booking high quality live music for years, is well respected in the industry, and as such, has an eye for a good band and an impressive book of contacts.

 Sharon said:

The Well has such a revered history of live music in Leeds. It was one of the first, and one of the best.

We have invested a lot of effort, time and money in equipment and furnishings since we took it on. It already looks a lot cleaner and more welcoming.

Although we have much more work in store, we are confident that the people of Leeds, promoters and performance artists will support us and enjoy building the pub and the music venue back up to where it belongs.

Live at Leeds was a fantastic opener and we can’t thank the bands, organisers and customers enough.

Live at Leeds Opening Day

The Well’s hardcore fan base was not denied for the Live at Leeds opening day. China Rats kicked off an impressive line up at 1pm. Unions, Bearfoot Beware, Bears Killing Bears, Wot Gorilla, Post War Glamour Girls, Hawk Eyes, Royal Republic, Turbowolf and Blacklisters followed with 30 minute sets each, climaxing with a solid performance from hardcore Leeds band Eagulls,

After a comparatively gentle but enthusiastic start, the arrival of Turbowolf hailed the start of the stage diving, crowd surfing and mosh pits for which The Well is famed. The fun and mayhem continued with hearty vigour right up to ‘total carnage’ on the stage at the end of the Blacklistersset, with more than one crowd member being supported in his first ‘surf’. It was no doubt reassuring to the new managers that by and large, the audience of metal and hardcore punk is often of the most friendly, welcoming, considerate and entertaining around.

Even with cheap drinks on offer throughout the event, and a venue full to capacity, there was not so much as an angry word in earshot. Instead, the gig room was alive with showmanship. And there’s nothing better than a good inclusive show to enhance the feel-good factor.

New manager Simon Colgan of the ColganMachine said:

The atmosphere was electric for Live at Leeds, . “The Well was back in action and everyone was happy. The sense of togetherness down here was positively inspiring. We were extremely lucky to have had massive support from the Live at Leeds organisers, who selected the bands that would perform here and helped us promote our participation in the event.

The whole of Leeds buzzing with music lovers out for a great day. It was incredible to be a part of the Live at Leeds scene. We were told on several occasions that we had a quality line-up, which was an amazing start to getting The Well back up on its feet.

We used social media a lot on the day to spread the word that we were open, and the comments we were getting were so supportive. The place was packed and everyone had a great time. The city has one of the best live music support system in the UK and we are really optimistic about the future of The Well.

With high aspirations and a positive attitude, The Colgan Machine is determined to bring The Well back up to its rightful place as one of Leeds’ best-loved music venues. Watch this space everyone. The Well is back.


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