DECEMBER 2023

What a strange year 2023 has been for us. When the Westgarth Social Club in Middlesbrough closed down so abruptly in February the night after we had hosted Richard Strange there it was so sudden but if we are being honest it never really recovered from Covid and every time we drove there for a gig we commented there was an air of decay about it. I can only speak as I find but we were promised a stage extension upstairs that never materialised and the gents toilets were never fixed and the locks on the ladies toilets were never addressed. We promoted some great shows there but time moves on. When news of the venue closing was made public 48 hours later we received a message from a rival club owner mocking us for now having no venue. We were also told not to speak to the press so we ignored all the requests from local journalists for a few comments. In hindsight probably not a bad thing.

We had loads of gigs booked at the venue and shows coming up with Wasted Youth (over 160 tickets sold in advance) and their first show on Teesside for 43 years and His Lordship (100 tickets sold in advance) but we were due in USA a couple of weeks later. We swiftly made arrangements to visit a few venues; some we got too and others we never but thanks to Paul Ford of Johnny Seven we managed to relocate the Wasted Youth gig to Sticky's in Stockton on Tees and Lee Allcock kindly offered his venue at NE Volume Music Bar for the His Lordship show. If we didn't get to speak and even if we did we appreciate your offers.

On returning from America we made arrangements to speak to Chris Cobain at Tees Music Alliance who run The Georgian Theatre in Stockton on Tees. We managed to relocate The Chameleons gig there in July on a Sunday evening what turned out to be our biggest crowd of the year. I would personally like to thank Chris for his co-operation. Sadly some of our other bigger gigs couldn't be accommodated there simply because other promotions had already booked on the dates we wanted. It might have been easier not to bother looking for other venues to host The Men They Couldn't Hang and Riverside Rebellion but we really love TMTCH and Toni from Sticky's kindly agreed to let us have her venue on one of her prime evenings and then we made arrangements to visit The Forum Music Studios in Darlington to be shown round and quickly made a decision to agree to hosting it there. Ironically unbeknown to us at the time 999 had been asking if they could play there again.

Attendances at our gigs since the Westgarth closed down have been really encouraging. We had superb turn outs for The Chameleons, His Lordship, Riverside Rebellion, The Men They Couldn't Hang and Wasted Youth shows. We may no longer have a regular venue to call our own but we have even co -promoted a Punishment of Luxury gig in Sunderland at The Peacock and in Darlington for Riverside Rebellion. We managed one more show at the Georgian Theatre hosting The Godfathers on a Wednesday evening. Some of the smaller gigs have seen some enthusiastic crowds too particularly TV Smith and The Cramps Tribute Evening.

We would like to thank all the venue owners who stepped in to help us out. We managed to promote 11 shows in total bringing the total to 142 since I started promoting in September 2010. We already have 11 gigs booked for next year. Most of all thanks to the people who continue to support our events me and Wendy really do appreciate it. Also to Paul Ford who continues to design most of our gig posters and all the photographers whom turn up at our shows and kindly allow us to use them on social media including Owen Tudor, Mally Such and Steve White.

If we do stage Riverside Rebellion 8 next year it will be staged slightly earlier on Saturday, 30th November (that date is subject to confirmation) at The Forum Music Studios in Darlington. We already have a couple of bands in mind for it including Dead Objectives and Red London. There's a lot of bands contacted us asking us to be considered including Aerial Salad, The Battery Farm, The Dirt, The Fauves, Filthy Filthy, The Gakk, King Effers, MC16, Red Anger, Smalltown Tigers & UK Dissent. It's never easy deciding who plays and who doesn't.

So now we have a slightly nomadic existence and have used six different venues this year. Have a great Christmas and prosperous New Year.

Long Live the Music !

Mally Such took the photographs including my doppelganger appearing in Dead Pollys !!

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MARCH 2023

SOME great news is that we have managed to reschedule some more of our gigs.   

We had a very productive chat with Chris Cobain of Tees Music Alliance who run the Georgian Theatre in Stockton on Tees a few weeks ago and they have agreed to host The Chameleons on Sunday, 9th July.  We are truly grateful for them being able to accommodate us for this particular show.   

We also have a co-promotion confirmed with Ian Hedley from the band Cazimi to host Punishment of Luxury at The Peacock in Sunderland for Friday, 20th October with Cazimi  themselves and The Roxy Girls supporting.   It's a great venue with excellent acoustics.  

Riverside Rebellion 7 has now moved dates from Saturday 2nd December to Saturday 16th December and will feature 999 as headliners.  We would like to thank June Patrice Daly for her help in coming forward with a suitable venue.  The full line up will be revealed very shortly.


FEBRUARY 2023

FIVE days ago I received a telephone call from the Westgarth Social Club in Middlesbrough informing me that the venue was closing down almost immediately.   Bearing in mind we had a gig there on the Saturday evening with Richard 'Kid' Strange and nothing was mentioned of the imminent closure.  We had even put posters for forthcoming shows up at the venue.   Gigs were booked right through to May 2024 and we only received confirmation of  the return of The Chameleons on Friday and when this was mentioned on Saturday, again nothing was said to us.   It's all been so disappointing and frustrating for us, especially as we have promoted nearly 100 shows at the Westgarth. 

Our immediate thought was the two gigs we have with Wasted Youth and His Lordship in March and April, especially as we are away in USA at the beginning of March.   Advance ticket sales are over 100 now for Wasted Youth and we thank owner Toni Cook for stepping in and offering her venue Sticky's in Stockton on Tees which used to be known as Peppermint Park back in the early eighties.  Lee Allcock of NE Volume Music Bar in Stockton on Tees too offered his his venue for His Lordship.    

We have spoken to people and visited venues on Teesside and into next week we have set up meetings.  Regarding the other gigs we had booked we are seeking to relocate them pending successful negotiations  so all we can say is watch this space.

We do appreciate all the positive comments and support on social media  and would publicly like to thank Nathan Stephenson who always supplied us with a PA and a perfect sound.   Stephen Callaghan at the Westgarth  and the bar staff for all their help and support over the years and anyone who came to the gigs and supported what we did.   We don't intend to quit just yet.   


Dave Griffiths of Fast Forward Promotions

Some sad news to relay. Dave Griffiths passed away from cancer on Friday, 6th January. I knew he was unwell from close friends when attending a Damned gig in Sunderland last summer and even more so when he cancelled gigs he had lined up in the Autumn.

Me, Dave and Gary Mcgee started promoting live music together in the summer of 2010 under the guise of 'Rock Garden Revisited'. I can't speak for the others but my only experience of putting anything on previously was when I co-promoted a comedy evening at Darlington FC in 1995 with the late Sean Lock headlining.

I started the 'Middlesbrough Rock Garden'  group in 2009 and before long several members were suggesting a reunion should be held. I asked for some help and Dave volunteered and Gary came in slightly afterwards. We all contributed the same amount of money to get the venture off the ground. We really wanted to host it at the Arena but they ignored all our calls and e-mails. That's when I suggested we consider the Georgian Theatre in Stockton on Tees as an alternative. I had seen bands in there myself and thought it would be perfect. Dave was reluctant initially but we set up a meeting to speak with Paul Burns from Tees Music Alliance. Paul was very helpful initially and thought it was a good idea and everything just snowballed from there. At this point though there was no intention to promote live music beyond a 'Rock Garden Reunion'.

We drew up a list of bands from back in the day and some who had already expressed an interest in playing. This was in the days before the venue was upgraded. Capacity was 180 and the reunion sold out a month in advance. People travelled from far and wide to be there, some of whom we never saw again and others who supported what we did. It was great to see so many familiar faces. We had such a good time we decided to carry on. Dave wanted to put Penetration on and I had wanted to put Punishment of Luxury on. Dave had to wait for some time before they agreed but Punilux quickly agreed a deal with us to come back to Teesside for the first time in over 30 years. It was our second gig but first featuring a headliner from the Rock Garden days. It snowed heavily all day and we weren't sure if everyone would make it but we had a grand time.

We put on some great bands together, some were more successful than others but we shared both the good with the bad and we took financial risks, none more so than when we lost over a thousand quid on putting a rescheduled gig with The Wolfmen on who proceeded to play for no more than 45 minutes. We also lost £500 on a solo performance from Sylvain Sylvain of the New York Dolls but we couldn't refuse to not put him on ! There were so many highs including 999, John Otway, Penetration, Spear of Destiny, Theatre of Hate, The Rezillos & Ruts DC.

Gary decided in the Spring of 2013 to call it a day after a successful Ruts DC gig. We gave him some money back and thanked him for his contribution. I knew there and then me and Dave wouldn't last as Gary was the glue that held us together. I guess in hindsight we were both wanting our own way. We had already started promoting our own shows and we decided that Theatre of Hate and 999 would be our last shows working together in December 2013. Ironically we then worked together one last time promoting The House of Love in the spring of 2014. There was no fanfare.

Although me and Dave had a somewhat acrimonious parting of the ways we never spoke to one another again, even though we attended similar gigs. Once we were promoting our own events I was given the impression that I was now a rival and had to be vanquished.   I found Dave unwilling to co-operate and provide a copy of the contacts we had built up over the three years we had worked together.  That said none of what we ever did would have ever happened if we hadn't have got together in the first place. I am grateful for that opportunity.

I send my condolences to his widow Debbie, family and friends

JANUARY 2023



Happy New Year 

A few events to report on.  Firstly we received two separate requests to host Richard 'Kid' Strange in Middlesbrough; one from Richard himself and one from a former guitarist in Penetration.  I am pleased to say we quickly agreed a deal with Richard.  His band Doctors of Madness had the Sex Pistols supporting at Middlesbrough Town Hall back in the day.    This takes place at the beginning of February.   Post punk band Wasted Youth consisting of two original members reformed last year and we were alerted to  them wanting others gigs.  Advance tickets are selling well for this one in March and its quite a coup for us to welcome back Wasted Youth for the first time in over 40 years especially as ours is the only north eastern gig.   His Lordship (the current rhythm section of The Chrissie Hynde Band) play for us in April.   They sold out The Lexington at a Christmas show in London. 

News on other shows will be revealed very shortly.

DECEMBER 2022

THANKS to the last three shows we can now confirm that we have decided to continue promoting live music next year.   Attendances for our last three shows have shown a big improvement so we have gone ahead and already booked Wasted Youth who have reformed, His Lordship, John (Peel Regenerated) and a Cramps Tribute show for November 2023.   Thanks to everyone who attended the Gun Club Tribute, The BellRays and the Newtown Neurotics shows.   There will possibly be more gigs but we have listened to what feedback we received and we will try not to cram as many bands into the schedule and finish earlier to accommodate people who use public transport.    

OCTOBER 2022

IT is with great regret that we have had to cancel this year's Riverside Rebellion planned for December.  Advance ticket sales were not what they should be and having experienced some erratic attendances for previous shows we have hosted since March we decided it wasn't worth gambling and potentially losing a four figure sum.  We apologise to everyone but we couldn't afford another huge loss.

WE have three shows left at the Westgarth Social Club which feature The BellRays, Newtown Neurotics and Punishment of Luxury.  All three bands have played for us before to healthy turnouts.  We will be monitoring the attendances at all three then making a decision whether we carry on promoting next year.  We have turned down several bands for next year until we make a final decision but if we do carry on we will be promoting  a lot less than we have in the past.  Attendances have generally been some 25% down on pre - Covid levels and if it continues the decision will be made for us.    

AUGUST 2022

SADLY The Thanes show scheduled for November has had to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.  We hope to reschedule this event next year. 

JULY 2022

BLUE ORCHIDS have now confirmed for Saturday, 24th September, at Westgarth Social Club in Middlesbrough.  Klammer, Ginnel and Rudi Betamax will be the support acts.  They will be playing their new album 'Angus Tempus Memoir' live.  Here's a taster:   https://blueorchids.bandcamp.com/album/angus-tempu...

THE THANES from Edinburgh have now confirmed for Saturday, 19th November at the Westgarth Social Club in the downstairs room.  Tyneside based The Ferriday Fireballs will be one of the supports.  We are still waiting to hear back from local lads The Wainstones as to whether they would like to play an acoustic set as they are currently without a drummer. 

OUR  Gun Club Tribute scheduled for September is going ahead after all !   We have managed to put a line - up together that is within budget and now Manchester's Inca Babies replace The Primevals and will now headline with Nervous Twitch from Leeds; Dead Hombres from London and Sunderland's Milk Lizards complete the bands.   Local singer songwriter Charlie Thomas will open proceedings.  One bonus is we have been able to reduce the price of the advance tickets to £10.   Please note this event is taking place at Lee Allcock's NE Volume Music Bar & Cafe in Stockton on Tees.

JUNE 2022

WE can confirm that Scottish garage rock legends The Thanes will be playing the Westgarth in November.  Moron-o-phonics will be one of the supports.  More info soon.

THE David Lance Callaghan show planned for October has now been cancelled.


MARCH 2022

SEPTEMBER sees us host a tribute show in honour of The 40th Anniversary of The Gun Club's 'Miami' album.   Vintage Glaswegian garage rockers The Primevals will headline.  Manchester's Inca Babies; Leeds-based Nervous Twitch and London's Dead Hombres provide the support.  Locally based Charlie Thomas will open the show with a solo performance.   Doors at 5pm for this one and advance tickets will be £12.  


FEBRUARY 2022

NEWS of three bookings.   Firstly we are delighted The Courettes have agreed to come back to the Westgarth having played an impressive set back in October last year.  They will be returning in June.

DAVID Lance Callahan of The Wolfhounds will headline a solo show on the back of a follow-up album to his debut solo record 'English Primitive I'.  This gig will take place at NE Volume Music Bar in Stockton on Tees in November.

FINALLY we have the full line - up for this year's Riverside Rebellion which will take place later in mid-December.   Ex-Boys member Duncan Reid & The Big Heads will headline with Birmingham's Black Bombers the main support.  Manchester's Dead Objectives and Cumbrians Voodoo Radio will also be on the bill with local bands The Continental Quilts and Hot Rockets.  Advance tickets will be £15.


JANUARY 2022

NEWS of a couple of gigs and a replacement.   RUM LAD (solo) will headline a show at NE Volume Music Bar in Stockton on Tees on Friday, 27th May with The White Ribbons and Hot Rockets supporting.  This is a co - promotion with Steve White of Pulsebeat Promotions.

IMPERIAL WAX - the rhythm section of the final and longest lasting line - up of The Fall are now confirmed as replacements for the Blue Orchids in March at the Westgarth Social Club.  Support comes from Klammer and Cazimi.  Pellethead have now pulled out and attempts to replace them at this late stage came to nothing, sadly.

SADLY we have had to cancel The Outcasts show we had planned for Good Friday (15th April).  This is entirely due to my employers ( I work for the local authority as an enforcement officer ) informing me just after New Year that staff will no longer be allowed to put AL in over Bank Holiday periods.   This is due to high levels of absenteeism over Xmas and New Year to Covid 19 and having no staff to cover the work that was needed.  All ticket holders will be refunded.   


DECEMBER 2021

SADLY our last event of the year (TV Smith) has fallen victim to the Omicron Virus.  Tim informed us five days before our date in Stockton on Tees.  Other dates in York, Glasgow & Edinburgh have also been cancelled.   We have agreed to re-book Tim when things improve.   All advance ticket holders will be refunded online through ticket agencies or directly to us on 07769 258035. 

WE had a great turnout for our annual all - dayer punk festival (Riverside Rebellion) that we have already decided to proceed with next year's event.  This will take place on Saturday, 17th December, 2022, at Westgarth Social Club in Middlesbrough.

The full line - up will be revealed in the New Year.


NOVEMBER 2021

MORE bookings confirmed for next year include Martin Stephenson of The Daintees fame playing a solo show in April and Punishment of Luxury return for a fifth time to the Westgarth in December with Rubella Ballet the main support plus Klammer, Cazimi & Cherry & Peesh.  

THANKS to everyone who attended The Nightingales gig last Friday at the Westgarth.  It was our best attended event since The Delta Bombers were over touring from Las Vegas three years ago.   We also had a decent turn out for The Courettes too and the good news is they will be returning to the Westgarth next year.   We really appreciate the support for these events from the audience and the bands playing.   

SEPTEMBER 2021

THE GODFATHERS show for October has now been postponed and rescheduled for April 2022.   The band will be recording a new album and undertaking a UK Tour.   All advance ticket holders are valid for the new date.   If you cannot make the new date a full refund is available.  We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.   

THE COURETTES show for Saturday , 23rd October, will now feature The Continental Quilts as support.  Moron-o-phonics can no longer do the gig.

JULY 2021

WE are back up and running promoting live music.  Our first two shows involved restrictions and featured Helen McCookerybook at NE Volume Music Bar in Stockton on Tees and Paul-Ronney Angel of The Urban Voodoo Machine at the first event back at the Westgarth.   

The Courettes have confirmed a booking for the Westgarth on Saturday, 23rd October.   Moron-o-phonics will support them.  Doors at 7pm and advance tickets are available for £10.

MAY 2021

FOUR shows to announce.    Firstly, Paul-Ronney Angel of The Urban Voodoo Machine has agreed to do a solo show with Luke Arnold at the Westgarth Social Club in Middlesbrough for Saturday, 17th July.  Doors at 7pm.

THE MEMBRANES return to the Westgarth on Saturday, 4th September with a stellar line - up of five other bands.  Klammer, Dead Objectives, The White Ribbons, Vile Assembly,  Rudi Betamax and Slalom D provide the support.  Doors will now open at 3pm and it will run too 11.30pm

OUR Peel Regenerated show returns for one night on Friday, 19th November with Bradford band 1919 replacing the Folk Devils, Inca Babies and The Wolfhounds coming to the Westgarth Social Club on Friday 19th November.  Local band Rudi Betamax provide the local support.  Doors at 7pm

TV Smith of The Adverts has confirmed a booking for Sunday, 19th December, 2021 at NE Volume Music Bar & Cafe in Stockton on Tees.  It will be the sixth occasion Tim has played for us as previous shows took place at The Legion, Libertys and The Westgarth.  Doors at 6pm and Cherry & Peesh will be the support band.  

APRIL 2021

ABSOLUTELY delighted to announce we have been added to The Chameleons rescheduled UK Tour for 2022 with the added bonus of The Membranes as the tour support. The band will be playing the Westgarth on Sunday, 13th February, 2022, and doors will open at 6pm and finish around 10pm. The band will be performing their second album live, one that they recorded to get away from Statik Records plus some classic tracks from their back catalogue.

I would like to publicly thank Mark Burgess for his help in us securing a date with them and also their UK agent Ed from Spider Touring Agency who worked with me to help us in getting the band to come to Middlesbrough.

The Chameleons are a band I have been trying to get for the past eight years as their debut album 'Script Of The Bridge' was never off my record player back in the 1980s.

'Tomorrow Remember Yesterday'

Event page here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/263918485272290

TICKETS online can be bought here:

https://www.seetickets.com/.../westgarth-social-club/1812282

Any issues or queries ring me on 07769 258035. If you want tickets posting out let me know.

Listen to the band's second album here:


THE NIGHTINGALES show for November is practically almost sold out.  Only 13 tickets remain online through SEE tickets. Advance ticket sales priced at £10 have remained healthy on the back of the Stewart Lee King Rocker  'documentary' about vocalist Robert Lloyd.  Shrug and The Subterranean Gentleman will be the support bands. 

https://www.facebook.com/events/728772097659599



THE GODFATHERS have rescheduled their show from February to take place on Thursday, 7th October, 2021 @ 7pm at the Westgarth.  Advance tickets are priced at £15.   Southend's Eight Rounds Rapid featuring Wilko Johnson's son Simon and The Continental Quilts will be supporting.  

https://www.facebook.com/events/239375420368371

https://www.facebook.com/thegodfathers


THE WESTGARTH WONDER is set to take place on Saturday, 4th September at 4pm providing we can operate without a reduced capacity for being an indoors venue.  This event was planned for last year to celebrate 10 years of promoting live music but we had to cancel because of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

We have already had acceptances from Dead Objectives, Klammer, Tim Loud (solo) and Slalom D who are providing the back line.  We are waiting to hear back from The Membranes to headline the event and Modern Hinterland are set to replace Headsticks who had an outdoor festival invitation offer they could not turn down.  Headsticks will play for us another time when things are more stable.

MARCH 2021

HELEN McCOOKERYBOOK has confirmed she will be playing North East Volume Music Bar in Stockton on Tees on Sunday 23rd May @ 6pm. McCormick and Charlotte Grayson will be the supports.   Tickets priced at £8 advance  must be bought  online as tables in variants of 2,3,4 and 6 from SEE Tickets.  

Event page here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/280229503540891

Helen McCookerybook music links here:

https://helenmccookerybook.bandcamp.com/



BLUE ORCHIDS have confirmed a show for Saturday, 5th March, 2022, at the Westgarth.  Advance tickets are £10 and the support bands will be Klammer, Pellethead & The Shan.  The band feature Martin Bramah who was one of the original members of The Fall.  The band have played for us three times before headlining a John Peel Festival and supporting The Nightingales on two of those occasions.   

https://www.facebook.com/events/5148589541881796

https://blueorchids.bandcamp.com/


THE OUTCASTS from Northern Ireland have rescheduled their show from last year cancelled because of the Coronavirus Pandemic to Friday, 15th April, 2022.  Advance tickets are £10.  Supports will be The Filth, Zero Tolerance and Hot Rockets.  Doors will open at 7pm.

Event page here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/925331577986177

The Outcasts links here:

https://www.facebook.com/officialoutcasts