By Gig Scene Editor Graham Chalmers
I wonder which of today’s big indie and rock bands will still be selling out venues in 30/40 years time?
Will a balding, sixtysomething Alex Turner be attracting veteran indie fans with grey hair and grey clothes to shell out decent money to hear Fluorescent Adolescent one more time?
Will the Kings of Leon still be belting out Sex on Fire while tucking their bulging tums into their trousers?
I raise this scary prospect because Harrogate is such a strong area for touring ‘heritage’ rock and blues bands from the 1970s and 80s.
Mind you, in that era, being great performers, instrumentally, on stage was much more ‘de rigueur’ than it is now.
Which is why there’s so much interest in local promoters RipleyBlues’ latest gig coming up at Ripley Town Hall on Saturday, March 16 and starring Gerry McEvoy’s Band of Friends.
Billed as a celebration of the life and music of legendary guitarist Rory Gallagher, the band’s pedigree is impeccable
The band features two original members of Rory’s band which sleighed audiences in the 70s and 80s – bassist Gerry McAvoy and drummer Ted McKenna.
This superior tribute outfit also include ace Dutch guitarist Marcel Scherpenzeel.
Gallagher himself may have died in 1995 but this band is keeping his memory alive – and the quality of his stunning blues-rock.
A gig not to be missed, especially as it also features local vocalist/pianist Dan Burnett as support act.
For info and ticket details, visit www.ripleyblues.com
l The 50th anniversary concert at the Royal Hall starring The Upbeat Beatles at the end of the month isn’t the only local gig marking the day The Beatles played Harrogate in March 1963.
The village hall in Scotton near Knaresborough is presenting The Fab Beatles tribute band on Saturday, March 16 in aid of a new roof for the hall - and the good news is the concert is nearly sold out.
For tickets, visit Pear on Knaresborough High Street or telephone 01423 864120 or 01423 862061.
l Bottom of the Bottle’s Battle of the Bands reaches heat six this Sunday night at Rehab in Harrogate when IV Words Lost, The Wilde and Audio Nightmare will be competing. Trev tells Gig Scene the standard of bands has been incredibly high so far. He’s been particularly impressed with young Ripon rockers These Young Sons who I thought were unlucky not to do better in the recent AMP Awards final at the Royal Hall.
Helmed by DJ Trev, this high-quality competition featuring local rock and indie bands reaches it semi-final stage on the weekends of March 17 and 25, then the grand final on Easter Sunday.
Incidentally, it may be worth checking out Wilde on Sunday as they’re an offshoot of local rockers Silvertone who produced one of the best EPs I’ve ever heard.
l Good to see Harrogate’s answer to Led Zeppelin and Mars Volta in fine form last week at The Alexandra.Truth be told, what makes Strangers in Paradise different from those two bands is this powerful, Harrogate three-piece’s affinity for soul and funk. That’s why their spectacular live shows always take off when guest rapper Tre plus Soul Deep join them.
Support act Hellfire Jack were also amazing. If you thought Idle Maestro made a fine racket with their Black Keys-influenced blues-rock, this spin-off shorn down to a two-piece are even livelier - despite the lack of bass guitar!
l Last, but not least, young singer-songwriter Natalie Tuvey has got through to the regional finals of the TeenStar competition, run by Future Music who also run Open Mic UK. The talented youngster now goes forward to do battle in Sheffield on March 31 where you can cheer her on.
The bling at the end of the tunnel is a possible place in the national final at the 02 Arena in London.