As you may have noticed recently, I’ve started doing a fair bit of work in Manchester. This might sound like I’m bragging and going “ooh get me, I Dj in Manchester, I INSIST you start addressing me with the honorific “DJ” in front of my name” but let me say: Firstly) that I’ve insisted on that for 15 years; and fourthly) really what this actually means is that I’m only good enough to get work if I travel to places where people don’t know me. News of my ineptitude and unprofessionalism has been slow to cross the Pennines, so I’m ruthlessly optimistic that I might be able to wring out another 5 years from this DJing lark, if I keep my head down and play inoffensive material by Rihanna on a daily.
Nevertheless; what all this means is that I’m beginning to think I’m not perhaps best placed to write a column about “What’s on in Harrogate”. To be sure, I still live here and peradventure will do for some time as I love the town (also pending how things go with this week’s ‘THIS GIRL is definitely the answer to all my problems’ I may have another reason to stick around) but I’m 56 now and don’t go out as much as I did in my salad days when I was just a mere 38, and I really don’t want this to become a column about going out in Harrogate written by someone who doesn’t go out in Harrogate.
This leaves me with a couple of options. Or 3, to be correct.
First: I could just stop writing it. Did you hear that sound? It was the collective sound of my 5 remaining dedicated readers going “meh, plenty more internet out there sonshine”.
Second: I could just keep on doing it like I have been, safe in the knowledge that no one really pays any attention anyway, and if a tree falls down in the woods and there is not one to hear it, it’s still probably gonna kill some evil woodland critters innit?
Finally: I could tweak the output a bit, maybe include a few recommendations for further afield (don’t worry, I’d not start recommending you come to my nights in Manchester, I can’t even – with hand on my heart – recommend my djing to people who are actually ALREADY in the bars I’m playing. I give out free ear plugs and comfort blankets. And lemsip. And crack, in the rougher spots).
To be honest, if I stop working in Harrogate completely I am liable to stop writing this, as it just seems silly. Theoretically I will be setting up my own blog and grog site but given that theoretically I have been doing that tomorrow since 6 years ago yesterday, that is not to be relied upon. As it stands, currently I am still doing a massive 2 (T.W.O.) nights a month in Harrogate:
I’ve got my quizzle night at The Den, which returns on Thursday 6th November, and before then I’ve got The Bottom of the Bottle Hallowe’en Party which is actually on Sunday 26th October. More on that in a bit….
I also have a charity gig at Henshaws “Frightfest” on Saturday 1st November, plus I’m doing another Oxfam Window sit, also based around Hallowe’en, on Thursday 30th and Friday 31st October. So d’y’see you’ve not got rid of me yet… but it can surely only be a matter of time.
You may well ask why I would still want to bother writing this at all – indeed I frequently ask that myself. The thing is, there are some really smart people in Harrogate who work very hard on things that I feel are really worth while. And I know HOW hard it is to keep doing that work here and want to support them in my small way. If you read this column, you know the bars I love, I’m always giving them the equivalent of a keyboard handjob, so I’ll not go on about them today, but there are also promoters who put on the nights they love… I’ve been doing that for 13 years, and know it’s hard work. Don’t get me wrong, the rewards can be great, but when times are hard it is tough to keep bothering. I don’t know what times are like for the following promoters, but I hear really good things about their nights and suspect that are very busy…if I can add to that in any small way by pushing their nights on here then THAT is what keeps me writing this column.
I know for a fact The Geek Pub quiz is always very busy and doesn’t really need my plugs, but I love talking about it as it is the kind of quirky thing that is great to have on. They have their Hallowe’en Quiz on Friday 24th October. Pretty sure that will be a fancy dress job and VERY sure you’ll need to turn up early if you plan on sitting down!
The Knee Deep guys, whose Deep House night returns to Moko ON Hallowe’en are cool lads putting on nights of music they love and doing REALLY well with it. Likewise the Playtime boys who run their monthly night at Retro Bar, people running nights for their love of music.
Furthermore, there are still loads of bands playing around Harrogate who play some great music, and it’s as hard for them as it is for anyone. To that end I’m gutted to say that the superb funk rock band PIPS are playing their last gig this Sunday. It’s at The Blues Bar (see earlier “Bars I love” reference). So another really good band falls by the wayside, BUT there are still great bands out there playing regularly if you make the effort. For example: Dragonfly Tattoo. They play stuff that reminds me of PJ Harvey but with a slightly more swirling cosmic feel. I’ve met the singer who’s a very lovely person who is blessed with a great voice. Instrumentally there are some Elbow momentsthat occupy that kind of “almost indie acousticish alternative rock” bracket that is basically 60% of what I listen to at home these days (regular readers will be relived to know that the other 40% is still either Gabber, Acid House or Hardcore Metal). Other reviewers have alluded to “hauntingly dark melodies” which pretty much nails it, but this is starting to read like a review and it’s not… (maybe I’ll start reviewing local bands, who knows)… but the purpose of this weeks prose it to say “I’m not losing faith with Harrogate, undoubtedly the nightlife scene is quieter, really than I can ever remember it being, but if you are prepared to look, there are still some great things to do and awesome nights, bands and ‘other’ to check out”.
It IS likely this column will change over the next few months, but first things first, I’ve got Bottom of the Bottle’s Halloween party coming up, it is first of numerous Halloweeny type things that I’m doing but is the most personal, falling on Sunday 26th October. It’s a big ask really, Sundays in Harrogate are very quiet right now, indeed Rehab, my last weekly Harrogate residency is closed on Sundays now – with the exception of when I run Bottom of the Bottle! On the plus side, that weekend is the Harrogate tattoo convention at the international centre and that is the closing night so I’m hoping we’ll get a load of people from that, plus the Halloween party tends to bring out a lot of the old school BotB crowd. TBH if it’s not busy enough it might be the last one, if not ever, certainly for a while as I’m not sure that people are that bothered about a monthly night of heavy music these days; that said I am looking forward to it no matter what it’s like cos the 5 bands playing are awesome. Here is a link to that event if you are interested https://www.facebook.com/groups/166312460046223/ it would be great to see you, and remember if you were doing a night I’d come to that ;)
I’m kind of rambling, so in other news, and there is other news, Moko Lounge have done the impossible by changing the worst name for a club night ever (“Shakalakaboom”??) to an even worse one. “#Fridays” (That’s “hashtag Fridays”) are, obviously, every Friday apart from when it’s Knee Deep, and I can’t help but feel they should pay the Knee Deep guys the extra five pounds and get them to come up with a name for Moko’s regular night, as for me, throwing consonants and vowels and punctuation into a tank full of Manatees and seeing what they com up with is not producing results. Still, they keep having busy nights so they are obviously getting it right and they do have really a good team down there. I can say that honestly and for once I’m not even looking for work. Or a free drink even. Though obviously if a free drink were offered I would be too polite to refuse.
Johnny Skinner is playing at The Den on Saturday, and I feel I can round off this weeks somewhat extensive and exhausting essay by saying he’s a devilish good lookin’ feller, and he writes a good tune.
Here are the full listings, I’ve waffled a bit this week, so just find something you’ll like and DO IT!
STOP PRESS Oops, just found out about this: Theoretically as this goes to press, tonight at the Market Tavern in Knaresborough there is a Burlesque night. So there we are, something for everyone!
Thursday 16th October
Market Tavern, Knaresborough, Burlesque night!
Blues Bar, live music from Skapegoat Kelly
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 17th October
Moko Lounge, #Fridays.
Blue Bar, Brother Duke and the Delta live, free entry.
Lure Bar, Shuffle with Toby Skinner. House, Breaks & Funk.
Rehab Nightclub, “Electro Circus” dance Night. Free entry.
SATURDAY 18th October
Blues Bar, The Jed Thomas Blues Band.
The Den, Johnny Skinner live.
Rift & Co. Bar, front bar Dj Tex (Soul & R’n’B), main room Disco Dave (upfront dance and chart) free entry.
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 19th October
Blues Bar, live all day: Owterzeds 3pm, Rhiannon Mair and Anna Pancaldi 6pm & The Pips and Ten Foot Wizard at 9pm.
Rehab Nightclub, Dj Trev’s Sunday Social, whatever music happens to be working that night, interspersed by terrible requests.
Viper Rooms. Peek-a-Boo R’n’B night.
Hales Pub, live acoustic night.
Fat Badger, Cold Bath Road, Pub Quiz.
MONDAY 20th October
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 21st October
The Blues Bar, Gaz Brookfield, Free entry.
The Tap n’ Spile pub, 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 22nd October
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.
Trev x x x