Don’t make a monkey of Anna. . .

Monkey Anna's video.
Monkey Anna's video.

IN my experience, it’s not often you come across a young local singer who already has the ambition and vision of a national star.

Take one look at her videos and you know Monkey Anna from Wetherby is just such a singer.

No, that’s not her real name but Monkey Anna (aka Anna Brooke) does seem like the real deal and she’s made the next round of the national Live & Unsigned competition at Huddersfield Town Hall on May 20.

But let’s let her talk for herself: “My pop music is quite different to most other stuff that’s out there at the moment. My live performances usually include an interactive video – The Monkey Anna TV Dinner Show.”

IT may not be Leeds or Manchester or London (the one place it does respect) but the Harrogate area does have a much bigger and better music scene than most comparably-sized areas – and I should know, I’m originally from Grangemouth and Falkirk.

One great place is Great Northern Wine in Ripon, a highly civilised establishment which puts on high quality acoustic nights one Sunday in most months with visiting acts.

This Sunday’s is a beauty, featuring two highly talented young-ish singer-songwriters who take folk and Americana in whole new directions – David Broad and Sam Barrett, previously Sam ‘Serious’ Barrett. Maybe he’s more light-hearted now?

For ticket information, see our What’s On section.

ANOTHER local venue, well I say venue, it’s actually a café-restaurant, worth visiting is Jakes on Oxford Street in Harrogate.

Tonight it plays host to a show by acoustic musician Lewis Fieldhouse who trained with one Sir Paul McCartney, though I shouldn’t embarass this talented young man by going on about it.

Expect songs by the likes of Paul Simon, Elton John, John Lennon and more from 7.30pm.

IT’S not only forthcoming Leeds Festival stars Foo Fighters who are bigger than ever – so are locally-based tribute act The UK Foo Fighters.

Led by Jay Apperley, the boys achieved the bestselling pre-sales ticket figures ever for a tribute act at Fibbers in York earlier this year.

Catch them at The Alexandra in Harrogate next Thursday night when their rocking set will include lots of tracks from the Foos’ most recent album Wasting Light, as well as the expected classics.

HARROGATE singer Angie Shaw enjoyed her afternoon slot at the Blues Bar last Sunday afternoon. Taking to a stool for a songwriters circle with touring Texas soul master David Fenley and northeastern singer-songwriter Simon Todd, the trio not only pulled a big crowd but engaged in a highly impressive ‘song swap’. It’s an American idea. . .

TALKING of the Blues Bar, excellent local modern blues masters Idle Maestro are back in live action there this Sunday night with support from And The Hangnails.

ALSO in live action shortly is former CODA company boss and talented songwriter Mike Starkings is in live action at Korks Wine Bar in Otley next Thursday night.

BUT back to the blues. The next live guest at Ripley Town Hall courtesy of RipleyBlues is the superb Ian Parker who returns to the venue on Saturday, April 28.

YOU might remember Rod Birchall from that gently likeable and rootsy soul-blues act Joez Café (and a few other acts in the past). Well, he’s back on the scene with a new solo mini-album called Lovers Dance which Gig Scene looks forward to reviewing. You can catch him live at the Blues Bar’s monthly acoustic night next Tuesday.

ROCK n roll will never die, they once sang, and it may just be true if you visit the Manhattan Club in Harrogate tonight, Friday when Harrogate Rock n Roll present a night of live and recorded shake, rattle and rolling until the wee small hours. Entry costs £6. Doors 7.30pm.