By Gig Scene Editor Graham Chalmers
If there’s one reason Harrogate doesn’t have a better music scene than it does, it’s an absence of a student population which provides the majority of the audiences for gigs in bigger towns and cities.
Considering this fact, it’s amazing the scene is as healthy as it is and, if it is, it’s down to intrepid individuals doing things independently for the love of it as much as anything else.
People like Blues Bar co-owners Simon and Sharon Colgan, Bottom of the Bottle’s DJ Trev and, more recently, musician Rufus Beckett.*
The former bassist/vocalist/songwriter in local indie band The Four 45s put on Bedfest successfully at Henshaws Arts and Crafts Centre in Knaresborough earlier this year.
Now he’s got another great-sounding mini-music festival coming up at the venue in just over a week’s time.
Taking place on Saturday, October 26 on two stages, Frightfest is packed with great local acts - and special guest headliners.
The Bottom of The Bottle Band Stage compered by DJ Trev features big name headliners Hawk Eyes who recently supported System of a Down on tour, plus local band PseudoNympho, Oscilantern, PIPS, Set Sails and Red Ocean Nectar.
The Henshaws Horror Show Acoustic Stage features Biz Denton of Kasiuss, According To Eve, James Sant, Tom Peacock and After The Rain - plus horror movies on the screen.
Tickets for Frightfest are available from the venue and PEAR Records, 24 High Street, Knaresborough and SPACE Vintage & Retro, 1 The Ginnel, Harrogate.
Or telephone 01423 541888.
*Not to forget the efforts of Lex Lobo and Ghostown Soldier and North Yorkshire Hardcore and Loz at The Alexandra and Andy at RipleyBlues.
As if to prove Harrogate is even better than I’m arguing, Rehab is hosting a Hip Hop Beats Special on Friday, October 18 from 9.30pm til very late.
With at least six DJs performing everything from techno-house to grime to drum and bass to hip hop (obviously), it sounds like a great event is in prospect.
The line-up includes James Taymal, Davy King, Elliot Bowman, Lence, Uncle Kipper plus ace rapper Tre will be in the house around 10.30pm.
Knaresborough takes over Fibbers for charity shock!
Two sixth formers at King James’s School in Knaresborough, Erin Josh and Briony Sayers have organised a gig at Fibbers in York with three local bands playing.
Appearing next Monday, October 21 as part of the Oxjam music festival will be four-piece indie rock band King No-One, who played on the BBC Introducing Stage at Leeds and Reading Festivals, plus three bands from King James’s - Red Ocean Nectar, The Ramblers and Beau.
Tickets are available in advance from www.FIBBERS.co.uk , on the door or text 07532425971.
In complete and faintly ridiculous contrast, The Viper Rooms in Harrogate has started its now traditional pre-Christmas series of X Factor shows where one finalist each week makes a live appearance on a Friday night at the club all the way to the Friday, December 27. As always, fans can also buy meet and greet tickets. www.theviperrooms.com
One of my favourite Harrogate rock bands, the amazing Strangers in Paradise, (as powerful as three-piece Cream, for you old rockers out there, which means me, too) are appearign this Sunday tea-time at the Blues Bar. Steve Mobsy and this instrumentally dynamic three-piece, who like Zeppelin and Dr Dre, will be joined by Tre and Soul Deep.
One of the best guitar/bass combinations I’ve ever seen live have formed a new band. Fans of Echo & The Bunnymen will know Will Sergeant and Les Pattison well already but they might not have heard of Poltergeist.
Will and Les’ s new outfit are reportedlyi nfluenced by the likes of Can, Neu and Amon Duull.
Touring their debut album Your Mind Is A Box, Poltergeist will hit Leeds’ Brudenell Social Club this Saturday and Fibbers in York next Tuesday.
An act I fell under the spell of at this year’s Live at Leeds Day, London Grammar have seen their stock rise rapidly since then.
The impossibly romantic and atmospheric young trio are currently touring their debut album and reach Leeds next Thursday with a show at The Cockpit.
Last, but not least, thoughtful and talented local singer-songwriter Angie Shaw finally has a new ‘record’ out. Her EP Head For Heights is released a mere three years after her debut album - but it sounds well worth the wait.
Produced by Nigel Stonier, who also helmed an excellent EP by Dragonfly Tattoo earlier in the year, I will be reviewing Angie’s four new tracks once I’ve done my usual thing of playing it to death!