Gig Scene: feast of local gigs in festive run-up

Ghosts of Venice.
Ghosts of Venice.

By Graham Chalmers

In the 1990s I virtually lived in the Harrogate music scene and, to a lesser degree, that of Leeds and York.

Now I’m merely a visitor. It’s frustrating having to say ‘no’ these days to most things I’m asked to cover - but the only way round it would be to dedicate every second of my spare time to the cause.

Even then I’d only be scratching the surface, such is the strength of this area’s music scene – and arts and culture, as a whole.

At some point in the future, scientific knowledge may have progressed far enough to provide a way out of this dilemma - cloning.

As a solution, it’s a bit extreme, admittedly, and a scary thought for the planet.

In the meantime, I guess I will have to settle for writing this column which this week serves up a feast of live gigs in the run-up to Christmas period.

Fans of funky house music should get themselves to Lure Bar in Harrogate on Friday, December 13 when Ghosts of Venice will play a rare hometown gig

It’s been a great 12 months for this former Harrogatonian who now runs his own record label in Chicago - a successful single My Love co-created with Josh Jakq, his first US tour and an appearance on the next Hed Kandi Classics compilation.

Entry is free and the dance action kicks off at 10pm.

After another incredibly successful year for long-running, local music promoters RipleyBlues will be ending it on a high with a show by Ripley favourites Nine Below Zero.

Appearing at Ripley Town Hall on Saturday, December 21, these veteran r’n b kings of British blues were the first-ever act booked by RipleyBlues back in 1999.

Tickets are, unsurprisingly, going fast.

Prog rock champion Tim Hunter presents the annual Winter Songs concert at music charity Orb Enterprise’s base on Saturday, December 21.

Located at Elephant and Castle Yard off the High Street, the event stars this singer-songwriter plus guests.

Tickets will be available on the door – and bring your own booze, Incidentally, Tim’s Progyes radio show on Phoenix FM is still going strong. The 29th edition is broadcast next Monday, December 16 at 10pm.

More info at

In complete contrast, Echo The Woods, a Knaresborough-based five-piece are bringing fiddle, mandolin, banjo, vocals and more to The Mitre next Tuesday night.

This folk-country outfit should be on stage at 8.30pm.

Youthful rock n roll alert! A band that formed while at Boston Spa High School, launch their debut album, 1000 Words, tomorrow, Friday with a special gig at The Wardrobe in Leeds.

The album is available now on iTunes and Amazon.

More info at

There’s a strong line-up of young rock bands from our area playing upstairs at Rehab on Parliament Street in Harrogate tomorrow, Friday.

Kicking off at 7.30pm, the bands are - Greetings From The Future, About Town, The Specs and The Sheouls who I’m particularly excited about as they sound a bit like a cross between The Strypes and The Strokes - packed with energy, tunes and charm.

Harrogate’s king of rock, DJ Trev is nearly as much a part of Christmas in Harrogate these days as Santa. His annual Bottom of the Bottle Christmas Ball takes place this Sunday night at Rehab with the headline slot taken by The Wilde.

In complete contrast, again, Echo 42 star in a Christmas Band Dance Night at the Cairn Hotel next Thursday.

This excellent band will be swinging their way through classic dance numbers with a sprinkling of festive dances.

Tickets are available at