Harrogate classic rock band Black Snake reform for 25th anniversary show

Paul Kettley, lead singer of Black Snake, who play Monteys Rock Cafe on October 21.
Paul Kettley, lead singer of Black Snake, who play Monteys Rock Cafe on October 21.

They’re mean, they’re moody and they rock - one of the unsung legends of the Harrogate music scene are back next week for a special reunion to mark their 25th anniversary.

The story of Black Snake involves one of the town’s most popular singers, a member of The Cult and a local musician who later went onto international success, if not fame.
Now this hard rocking five-piece are set to be on stage together for their first gig in more than 15 years when they play Monteys Rock Cafe in Harrogate on Friday, October, 21.
Lead singer Paul Kettley said: “We are planning to make this a real event, a proper rock show, I’m positive anyone who likes heavy rock music will really love it.”
The roots of Black Snake, whose reunion line-up includes long-time drummer Nige Harrison, Nick Sumner, Jonny Newiss and Rob Murray lie in the early 1990s and one of the district’s longest-enduring and most popular bands - MFOR.
Paul explains: “At the time we were an originals band called Creed playing original music, touring, recording and trying to keep our heads above water, which was very hard.
“We decided that we would learn a bunch of cover versions and play a few pub gigs to earn a few pounds. Grant Kirkhope (currently a BAFTA-nominated video games and movies composer), the band’s original guitar player, said it’ll be “Money For Old Rope” and MFOR was born!”
For a brief time, the drummer was someone rather famous. Paul said: “The first gig we played was The Watermill at Pateley Bridge.
At the time Michael Lee, of the Cult was playing drums for us. He had the biggest drum kit you’ve ever seen, and he was the hardest hitter I’ve ever heard. He got told to turn down before the PA had even arrived!”
The Cult drummer didn’t last long but MFOR did, quickly growing a huge reputation for fun covers.
Black Snake carried that on - but in a slightly heavier fashion.
Paul said: “We wanted to play classic heavy metal songs from the 70s and 80s that we grew up with. The name itself is an amalgam of Black Sabbath and Whitesnake.
“As MFOR got busier, we elected to put Blacksnake on ice but always with the intention of re-visiting it when the time was right. We decided when better than now, than on our silver anniversary?”