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Is Ripley Town Hall our best local venue?

PAGE 8 (NORTH)
Ripley Town Hall.

Tours around the town hall, or Hotel de Ville, at Ripley, in between Harrogate and Ripon, are to be held. The guide will be local man, Andy Herrington.  picture mike cowling  feb n5 2008

PAGE 8 (NORTH) Ripley Town Hall. Tours around the town hall, or Hotel de Ville, at Ripley, in between Harrogate and Ripon, are to be held. The guide will be local man, Andy Herrington. picture mike cowling feb n5 2008

This week’s Gig Scene is really a continuation of last week’s when I rabbited on about the lack of good venues for live music in Harrogate, writes Graham Chalmers.

Not that there’s anything wrong with me rabbiting on about the quality of live venues in Harrogate in itself, though I suppose it’s a bit like demanding to know why well-paid jobs don’t grow on trees inMiddlesborough?

There is one great local venue in particular I’d like to draw your attention to, however.

It’s one which is being put to very good use by long-standing local promoters RipleyBlues, run by keen r’n’b fan Andy Herrington.

The latest big name act Andy is bringing to our area sounds like it will be a real humdinger - as well as being a bit unusual.

Basically, it’s a double bill in a single act.

Appearing on February 8, The Animals with Steve Cropper is a show truly not to be missed.

Can you imagine? All those Animals classics (House of the Rising Son, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, We’ve Gotta Get Out of this Place) played by a classy band which happens to include Stax records 60s soul icon and veteran guitarist/songwriter/producer Steve Cropper.

The latter, most famous for being a founder member of Booker T and the MGs, also throws in some of his slightly famous songs – Green Onions, Knock on Wood, In the Midnight Hour, Soul Man, (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay. Phew.

As if that wasn’t enough, next month’s concert will take place in a venue whose capacity is big enough to attract internationally-renowned acts.

It’s also intimate enough to have a great atmosphere with an easy mix of seated and standing areas .

Plus the bar serves some great beers!

Simply put Ripley Town Hall is a brilliant live venue.

There is one tiny problem from my selfish point of view - it’s in Ripley, not Harrogate.

Also coming up locally next month is another famous group with a sackload of hits.

Smokie aren’t exactly my favourite band of all time but their list of big hits is sure to attract a big crowd to Frazer Theatre in Knaresborough on February 1.

Besides, this concert promoted by Kula Productions is in a good cause – to raise funds for this great little theatre itself.

From so-called ‘heritage’ acts, as they are now called, to and an up-and-coming newcomer.Dragonfly Tattoo are holding a launch night for their new EP Songs of Love and Murder on Saturday, January 19 in Leeds.In Leeds, I hear you cry wondering why the ultra-parochial Gig Scene should be supporting a Leeds event!

Well, firstly, this funky five-piece have a local angle in the form of singer Vicky Whelan.

Vicky is well known to Harrogate audiences through many live shows at the Blues Bar and appearances at Dragongate Festival and the Harrogate International Festival Fringe.

Secondly, the Leeds venue they are appearing at is the Seven Arts, a great jazz café and hub for contemporary, acessible jazz.

Thirdly, well, this accomplished band are good, mixing a little of Portishead’s Beth Gibbons with a dash of PJ Harvey and a splash of haunting melodies.

The VJ for last month’s debut Later at the Circle Bar with the Four 45s is certainly a well-travelled man.

Before doing his mix of live visual projections and DJ-ing at Harrogate Theatre just after Christmas, Quadrod had been performing in film director David Lynch’s Paris night club for Lynch himself.

Now Quadrod is about to set off to appear at the Perth Festival in Australia alongside the likes of Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass, Dead Can Dance and the Kronos Quartet.

 

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