Jakes Café Bar may not be a place one associates with live music. Many of us know the place for the beautiful cakes you see on display as you walk along Oxford Street, or for the popular monthly wine club. But contrary to what one might expect, it also turns out that it is a thriving music venue, with artists the calibre of Miss Denters regularly making an appearance.
Now, for those of you whose cultural radars have failed to register a blip regarding the Esmee Denters phenomenon, she is a singer and songwriter from Gelderland, Holland who began her career regularly posting videos of herself singing on Youtube. Her talent soon ensured an international audience with hits for her music videos sometimes in the millions. A few years on and she can boast various top ten successes around Europe, including a number 3 in this country, and can even claim to have worked and recorded with no other than the pop megastar, Justin Timberlake – In fact, at 18 years of age she was the first signing to his label, Tennman Records. So what brings her Harrogate and specifically Jakes Café Bar?
Well it turns out that Jakes have a rather special relationship with another trending Harrogate-based business, Ont’ Sofa. Ont’ Sofa, comprising of Ben Davis and Jason Odle are two young men who are making considerable waves in the future of music entertainment. Their concept is to take budding artists – such as Luke Friend before his appearance on X-factor – situate them on a sofa and record them performing in one take with no effects, no gimmicks and I quote – ‘specifically NO AUTOTUNE!’ These videos are then uploaded onto YouTube to a rapidly widening audience. The contacts they have made in this rather successful venture are then invited to come and play in the team’s home town of Harrogate – thus Jakes Unplugged is born.
Rather than stop there and follow the normal format for music events however, the combined intellectual forces of the Ont’ Sofa team and Dr. Suzanne Knowles, proprietor of Jakes, came up with an idea that goes one step further. The audience at a Jakes Unplugged night first sit down to dine together, during which they receive a seranata of one song from each of the various artists playing on the evening. After the food, the artists then go up to the sofa (not the same one from their London studio apparently – I asked) to perform to the gastronomically satisfied audience. In doing this the Jakes Unplugged team create an atmosphere far more intimate than you would normally get from a musical event – they tell me sometimes the artists even sit down to eat with the audience. This format makes for 50 highly sought after tickets.
I spoke to Suzanne, regarding her thoughts on the upcoming event.
Suzanne said: I’m delighted to be working with the boys. We simply wouldn’t be getting these fabulous artists coming to Harrogate if it wasn’t for them. They use the night more as a celebration of the recording work they do with the artists down in London as opposed to a money-making venture. It’s just a fun night for everyone.
So there you have it, music, food, wine, intimate atmosphere what more could one ask for from a night out? Esmee Denters will be supported by the Yorkshire based songwriters Skinny Living and Chesire-based Fabian Belassie.
Doors open for diners at 7pm. Dining tickets are £20 and are available from http://jakesunplugged.bigcartel.com.