A Review of some responsible drinking in Harrogate, plus weekend “What’s on listings”
Yesterday was my Dad’s birthday; my dad is one of the few people who still reads this column regularly so I can dedicate this opening paragraph to him and how awesome he is with no compunction. My dad got me into listening to music and it is down to him that I have such an amazing taste in music and probably owe a deal of my stunning good looks to him too. He does, however, wish to be publicly distanced from my dress sense.
This week rather than write about what is coming up, I am going to write about a night out I had last week. The listings are all present and correct down the bottom but let’s not pretend you are reading that bit.
Last Thursday it was Montey’s 18th Birthday and I got an invite to it. I decided, in my wisdom, to make a full night out of it. So I went to my new local Ten Devonshire Place to kick the night off. This is where I’m heading now for my Scrabble. That’s right, I like to play Scrabble in Pubs. I used to go to bars to meet girls but since the whole “Cease and Desist” restraining order thing I perforce limit myself to girls I already know and who treat me as though I am about as sexual as their brother. They must have some damn sexy brothers. Anyway, I like to go play Scrabble and until recently I was winning. Now I am hanging around less with women who I fancy and more with women who I find intellectually challenging they beat me at Scrabble as often as vice versa. This is worrying for me; really I want to fancy a women who I find intellectually challenging, I mean, that is how it should be… but I’ve never properly gotten over having my heart melted by the big doe eyed twiddling with hair “wow you are a dj that must be so complicated” thing. Consequently, when these leggy beauties actually discover that Djing is the easiest part of my life they lose interest in me in much the same way that people have lost interest with this column.
After a warm up pint of Jever (always excellent) at Ten Dev we moved into town. Major Tom’s Social was hosting a launch night for “Little Less Known” which is an online short film THING. They had a chap called Stephen Preacher singing when we arrived. We only caught a couple of tunes by him but he sounded like a folkey Dylan which went really well with FUBAR from the tiny Rebel brewing company. I’m not sure how in this age of “responsible” drinking they got the name past the censors, but it was a good drop. I enjoyed this whilst watching the short film shewed to us by the Little Less Known boys. Out of context, that is to say, not watched on the internet and watched on a projector in a pub, this was a little weird. Particularly given that the pub featured in the video was the pub we were in. It sort of made it feel a bit “editorial”, you know like all those articles that appear elsewhere on –let’s say some – website purporting to be “news” letting you know a new partner has joined some accountancy firm or something… In context, that is to say, watched on the internet, the Little Less Known videos are much better. The one about the old fashioned Scissor makers is well good, coming in somewhere between “how it’s made”, an “advertorial infomercial” as mentioned earlier, and a “hipster DIY video journal” which is actually what they are. They are well filmed, put together seamlessly and whilst the soundtrack is a little “Jazz-lite” for me, I honestly can’t think how else they could soundtrack it. Industrial Gabber techno probably doesn’t make an ideal bed sound for the spoken word. Their website www.littlelessknown.com needs some more content on but then they have only just launched; I am sure that putting these videos together takes a lot of time and effort, as is in evidence by the results, so once they have been going for a while I think this will be a pretty interesting venture. At this point in the night I am two beers in and the drink is winning, so far no sign of the regret, and so to Montey’s for their Birthday Party.
This was a really well turned out affair, if Major Tom’s had all the hipsters (and I mean ALL the HIPsters, I felt under-bearded and over-socked) Montey’s had all Partiers. I couldn’t move for the faces of Harrogate; literally every two foot was taken up with someone I knew and catching up with a few of them was really nice. The “big surprise guest band” was an Elvis impersonator which, whilst a little underwhelming was certainly a bold choice and did the job well of getting the party vibe going. That said getting the people there to party is kind of like shooting fish in a barrel full of strong liquor. It is tribute to the strong affection people feel for Montey’s that on a Thursday in late November the place was packed with the drinking legends of Harrogate, past and present. I personally got chatting to a girl and all was well in the world. Someone told me the band on at The Blues Bar were playing later than usual so I stayed for another beer (PistonHead. The best looking tinned beer at the moment, more of a “go to” default beer than one I would seek out, but good for all that) and the night was afoot.
Eventually prising myself away from the party I made it round to the Blues Bar. Clearly someone had misinformed me about The Memphis Cruisers playing late because as we walked in they said “we’ve got one more”. Fortunately we managed to coax another 4 out of them and even had a bit of a dance. They are a really fun band and even though most of the hardcore faces in town were at one of the previous two parties we’d visited, the Blues Bar is always fun and usually you can find some good soul to quaff with. I ended up chatting to a couple of people who were visiting the town, I forget where from, as the beer was starting to kick in. It perhaps says a deal about how the night was going that at this point I stopped taking notes on what I was drinking. It was a beer on tap and it was good, more than that I cannot tell you. A bit of a dance later we decided we needed to show our new friends from wherever they were from more of the “real” Harrogate so I took a trip down memory lane.
I’ve not been to Hales Bar’s Karaoki night in ages, I used to love it but I think I must have over performed my version of “California Dreamin’” 20 times too many and it has been a couple of months since I’ve been in there in any form. Hales is reassuringly good. A very friendly pub with no mucking about, when you walk in here on a busy night you feel like you are walking into a boozer in the heart of London town where no one knows each other and doesn’t care because really, everyone is just great. I decided to opt for a pint of Pilsner, but I really can’t remember what it was, other than it must have been good as by now I was invincible and had two pints. Naturally I sang a song on the Karaoki and smashed it and to say how messy things were in there the standard of singing from every one I saw was really very decent!
I am drastically single at the moment and the inclinations of several of the Hales Bar regulars mean that it is not the ideal pulling destination for someone of my appetites, and by this stage the girl who I had spoken to earlier was starting to pop unbidden back to mind. Thus inspired we took our leave of Hales to return to Montey’s for the remainder of the evening.
We danced, we drank, we sang along to the finest record ever made (“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen if for some reason you are unsure) and then my friends wisely called it a night. This is the point where the fun drinking turned to regret for me. The girl in question didn’t actually want to speak to me she just wanted to talk about her ex, which I thought everyone knew was MY specialist subject, but she must have misread my bus add because instead of listening to me moaning about mine she spent a while moaning about hers. It became rapidly apparent that the night was not going to end up where I wanted, basically because by this time the kebab shops were as closed to me as her pants, so I duly made my excuses and left.
All in all, other than a glum stroll home lamenting my lack of lovers this was a cracking night and not particularly expensive: the music was fun, the drink was great and the regret lasted exactly 18 hours, which is quite a lot for a hangover but it parted ways with me whilst I was Djing in Manchester in a really busy bar, so really it fortified me for an excellent weekends work. Essentially, that is what nights out are meant to do isn’t it? Something to look forward to during work or remember fondly whilst there. Nice one Harrogate, you can still do it!
Here are this week’s listings, some belters this week. I’ve put a * next to things I would personally recommend but find your own night out and make of it what you will… just go easy on the regret yeah?
Thursday 4th December
*The Den, Dj Trev’s “Time of the Month” Quizzle.
Blues Bar, live music from The Dave Hanson Band.
Ten Devonshire Place, CAMRA Club, 20% off for members.
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 5th December
*Retro Bar, “Playtime”, much loved house and disco night with Tom Kirby plus the Playtime residents. 10pm – 4am free entry.
Viper Rooms either a Michael Buble Tribute or Stevie Richie, which isn’t a real name, off X-Factor. Frankly, I don’t care which enough to look.
Rift & Co. Dj Tex brings the weekend.
Moko Lounge, #Fridays.
*Blues Bar, Little Stevie and The Business, free entry.
Lure Bar, Shuffle with Toby Skinner. House, Breaks & Funk.
Rehab Nightclub, “Electro Circus” dance Night. Free entry.
SATURDAY 6th December
Retro Bar, Unitiy Fareyfirekey Band, with Dj Martin Dodsworth, Reggae and beyond.
Rift & Co. Front bar Dj Tex (Soul & R’n’B), main room Disco Dave (upfront dance and chart) free entry.
Blues Bar, The Jed Thomas Blues Band 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 7th December
*Blues Bar, live all day: Cherry Lee Mewis 3pm, Lithium 6pm, The Matt Goldberg Band 9pm.
*Ten Devonshire Place, Very Quaint Vintage Quiz with Dj Trev PLUS live music from Jonny Skinner.
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 8th December
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 9th December
The Blues Bar, The Pete Oliver Band, 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 & special guest JOE FORD
Coach and Horses Pie and Peas night with proceeds to Martin’s House Children’s Hospice.
WEDNESDAY 10th December
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