It's only March but we have had three fantastic gigs with a well attended Billionaire performance, a sold out gig with The Godfathers and a near sell out with The BellRays in the larger upstairs room. It's a real pleasure being able to work with the likes of The Godfathers and The BellRays. Attendances for all three gigs were very healthy indeed. We are very fortunate to have a good working relationship with Stephen Callaghan at the Westgarth Social Club in Middlesbrough where we aren't hit financially for lack of bar sales at the end of the night like we were at Stockton's Georgian Theatre and no accountability on their part. On the contrary the bar sales from many of our gigs have been successful, some of these have been on 'off nights' when the club wouldn't expect to have many in. The fact that we have promoted 65 gigs since we left five years ago should tell its own story.
Unfortunately we have had to turn down various bands for differing reasons; some are well known whilst others are obscure for the simple reason I work full time and just can't fit everybody in or they are just too expensive that they leave nothing for the promoter to work with.
Despite the bad weather The BellRays gig is definitely going ahead on Saturday, 3rd March. Doors open at 7pm in the upstairs room for this one. Any doubts ring 07769 258035.
The fourth Riverside Rebellion moves from December to summer and will take place on the August Bank Holiday weekend. Manchester's original punks The Drones headline with Peterlee's UK/DK band Uproar and Manchester's Dead Objectives are all confirmed. Local punk bands The Filth, Kickback Generation, No Way and Weld complete the line-up. Advance tickets will be £10. Doors will open at 4pm for this one.
Rupert Orton has confirmed that Barrence Whitfield & The Savages from Boston, USA, who enjoyed the patronage of dj & broadcaster Andy Kershaw back in 1984, will be playing a gig at Westgarth SC on Friday, 11th May. More info to be revealed shortly.
The Nightingales have confirmed for May 27th Bank Holiday weekend with a supporting cast of The Bitter Springs from London, SHRUG, Pellethead, Swine Tax & Year of Birds.
Gigs confirmed for the New Year include Billionaire, The Godfathers, The BellRays, Interrobang?, TV Smith, Peel Regenerated with The Primevals & skiffle outfit Terry & Gerry return. You can buy tickets and read more on the various pages dedicated to each event.
More bookings are being followed-up and we have the return of an old favourite in May. All will be revealed soon.
Punk stalwart TV Smith has confirmed a solo booking with us for April next year. It will be his fifth appearance for us since we started promoting live music in Sept 2010. Supporting will be Aberdeenshire-based Mark Ayling who counts New Model Army and The Mob amongst his influences. Locally-based Charlie Thomas completes the bill. Advance tickets costing £8 will go on sale very shortly.
A Message from The BellRays: Due to circumstances beyond our control The BellRays must regrettably postpone our EU dates from October 4th through November 5th. We would not do so if it were not a matter of personal wellbeing and we hope you will understand and support us and our privacy. We are currently doing everything we can to reschedule the tour and our release for February 2018.
Those of you familiar with us know that we rarely, if ever, cancel a show, much less an entire tour. Our deepest apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused. Thank you for your support.
- The BellRays
ROCK GARDEN legends 999 return to Middlesbrough to celebrate their 40th Anniversary over the Bank Holiday weekend since the first time they played in the Boro in August 1977 - the night after the infamous Sex Pistols gig. 999 played the Rock Garden on numerous occasions and other venues in the area commanding a loyal fan base and two previous gigs we have promoted with them sold out in advance. Support bands will include local vintage punk bands The Filth, The Amazing Space Frogs and No Way. Klammer and Andy X replace The Drones and Johnny Seven. Advance tickets will be £11. Doors will open at 17.00pm for this one.
Vukovar from St Helens; The Milk Lizards from Sunderland and Warped Freqs from Saltburn are the latest additions to our John Peel gig in October that now commences at 2pm and runs through till 11pm in the downstairs bar of the Westgarth SC. The Folk Devils informed us last week they no longer wish to play in the line-up. There are no hard feelings as we are going to see them with the Inca Babies in Manchester on Friday!
THE mighty BellRays make a return appearance to Middlesbrough following their previous sell out show last year. Bob Vennum and Lisa Kekaula made the BellRays happen in 1991. If you like Beatles, Stevie Wonder, the Who, the Ramones, Billie Holiday, Lou Rawls, Hank Williams, the DB's, Jimmy Reed, Led Zeppelin you will love them to. They will be promoting a new album. This gig will take place in the upstairs room in October. Johnny Seven and Ratty & The Watchers are the local support bands.
Twin Guns from Brooklyn, New York, USA, have confirmed a booking for Sunday, 8th October, at the Westgarth SC - fans of The Cramps, The Gun Club and Jesus & Mary Chain might be interested? More info to follow.
THE Vibrators have just confirmed for November. Support bands will be The Filth from Thornaby, Moron-o-phonics from Newcastle and Weld from Stockton. Advance tickets will be £9. More info to follow.
WE have confirmed a booking for July with Kentish Town trio Miraculous Mule after reading about them in Vive Le Rock. Ex-Terrovision rockers Hellbound Hearts from West Yorkshire and local rockers Johnny Seven and Nancy provide the support.
THE annual ritual of line-up changes to the Peel Regenerated line-up in October continues with The Telescopes now unable to take their place. We await the response of one other band but will wait until they have confirmed before we make an announcement.
WE have had to make some line-up changes to the 999/The Drones gig in August. Local Bands The Amazing Space Frogs and Johnny Seven replace Klammer and Slaughterhouse Five. It will be 40 years since 999 and The Drones - give or take a week or two, that both bands made their Rock Garden debut.
SADLY we were informed this morning (Sunday, 25th March) that Ming City Rockers have pulled out of their gig at the Westgarth in Middlesbrough next Saturday (1st April,) because their bass player left them last week and they haven't been able to find a suitable replacement. We apologise to those who bought advance tickets and all will be refunded. We also apologise to the remaining bands on the bill for any inconvenience we may have caused them but its completely beyond our control. If it's any consolation we have lost £150 on advertising and publishing posters/flyers for the gig. It's money we won't get back and we won't be seeking another date with the band.
LONDON who were planning on playing the Westgarth in July have now pulled the gig due to "unforeseen circumstances". Any developments on a replacement will be announced in due course.
ANOTHER cracking gig with the X-Ray Cat Trio and supporting bands ripping the place apart and another healthy crowd has got us off to a great start for this year. Roll on April and two gigs with the Ming City Rockers - local band Nancy have been added to the line-up at short notice and the double header over Bank Holiday weekend with The Nightingales/Blue Orchids and Year of Birds providing the local support. All three bands have brand new records out.
57 (pronounced Oh-Chill in Korean) is a two-piece rock duo based in Seoul (South Korea) featuring guitarist JunHong Yun and drummer Seol Kim. They have been added to the line-up for the Barb Wire Dolls in May. Originally formed in 2012 as a three-piece, 57 (whose name comes from a song by Biffy Clyro, a major influence) reformed as a duo after their third member departed. In 2014, the band moved from their hometown of Jeonju to Seoul, where they immediately caught the attention of both crowds and critics who hailed them as a band to watch, and released their highly acclaimed self-titled debut EP. Heavily influenced by alternative, garage, and punk rock bands, the "57" EP captured the raw energy and sound that fans loved about their electrifying live performances.
WE had a cracking opening gig of 2017 when The Godfathers came to the Westgarth on Thursday, 9th. We had been waiting over 30 years for them to come back to the Boro and they did not let us down. The gig was completely sold out and the band were totally professional to deal with. Thanks to everyone who helped promote the event and made it such a success. The gig was filmed live by Dave Shaw and Paul Standing and is now 'live' on You Tube. Thanks to Peter Coyne and the rest of the band for their permission to film and publish the gig online.
ONE more gig to announce is with Brighton post-punk outfit The Cravats are returning to Teesside a third time. At one point we thought it might not happen but common sense has prevailed and we were able to reach a compromise with them. They will headline in December promoting their first new album in 35 years !
Local singer/songwriters Ben Bateman and Danny Devon have been added to the line-up for the Terry & Gerry gig in November.
YEAR of BIRDS featuring Oli Heffernan of Shrug and many other bands-fame have confirmed they will be supporting The Nightingales/Blue Orchids at the end of April at the Westgarth. They will be promoting their brand new album.
DELIGHTED to announce that Leeds finest vampire surf outfit X-Ray Cat Trio have agreed to replace The Mobbs as headliners for our gig on Friday, 3rd March, at the Westgarth SC. You can read more about them here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1686582541671843/
WE have received a message from The Mobbs informing us they cannot do the gig in March due to a double booking but they do want to rearrange another date. Apologies to all concerned if you were looking forward to this gig but once the band have given us some dates to work from we will announce a new date. Rather than cancel the gig we have spoken to another band whom we have had at the Westgarth before on more than once occasion and we hope to be in a position to confirm their appearance as replacements ASAP.
ONE other gig to announce is that The Nightingales and the Blue Orchids are touring in April/May so we have booked both bands for a Sunday evening at the end of April. Watch this space for more info in the near future.
THE New Year will see the departure of my co-promoter Martin Mathers who has helped promote 40 gigs with me since April 2013. We have shared many ups and downs since then but his final involvement will take place on Friday, 16th December when we host The Rezillos at the Westgarth SC in Middlesbrough. Martin has become a good friend and the best co-promoter I have worked with in the six years I have been involved - a real pleasure to work alongside and I will miss his contribution. Highlights have included The Bellrays, Gallon Drunk, The Membranes and Sleaford Mods.
WE are pleased to announce that we have agreed six gigs for next year: The Godfathers, The Mobbs, Ming City Rockers, 999, Peel Regenerated featuring the Folk Devils/Inca Babies & Terry & Gerry have all confirmed dates for us. More information will be released in the near future.
A COUPLE of enforced changes to the Riverside Rebellion line-up for this year's event sees Darlo's Hung Like Jack replacing Johnny Seven and Stockton's Sixed replacing Weld who have now split up.
SOME positive news is that Scottish art-punk rockers The Rezillos have confirmed a gig for Friday, 16th December, 2016. Johnny Seven and Newcastle rockers Death to Indie will be supporting. Last year's gig was sold out in advance.
ROCK GARDEN legends 999 celebrate their 40th Anniversary since they played their first ever gig in Middlesbrough with a booking confirmed for Saturday, 26th August, 2017. Slaughterhouse Five from Leeds; Klammer, The Filth & No Way are all confirmed as supports.
ASHLEY REAKS & PLANET GROT are the latest band to confirm their appearance at the Westgarth in December 2017. Ashley recently supported The Dickies on a nationwide UK tour but his many influences include CRASS and The Subhumans but managing to eschew their sound more akin to a punk Todd Rundgren - very hard to pigeonhole. Find out for yourself here: http://www.ashleyreaks.com/
TICKETS for our remaining gigs are now available from Sticky Fingers Cafe & Rock Bar in Linthorpe Road in Middlesbrough: http://www.stickyfingersrockbar.co.uk/
Sound It Out Records in Yarm Street, Stockton on Tees TS18 3DR are also selling tickets for our gigs. Say hello to Tom and Stuart for us: http://www.sounditoutrecords.co.uk/
ABSOLUTELY delighted to confirmed that Roughneck Riot are the second band to confirm for the Westgarth in December 2017. The band played a last minute-booking for us on their way back from Scotland in October 2015 and caused quite a stir so we had to have them back again - special thanks to Dave Hindmarsh again for his help with this. More bands will be announced in due course to join Steve Ignorant's Slice of Life on the bill . Here's a taster from Paul Standing and Dave Shaw:
BACK from Rebellion in Blackpool and had a fantastic time watching bands over four days and meeting up with various friends and bands we have promoted ourselves. Of course there were several clashes but personal highlights included Brix Smith & The Extricated, Chelsea, Dag Nasty, Flag, Jello Biafra & The Guantanamo School of Medicine, The Membranes, Newtown Neurotics, The Nightingales, TSOL & The Weirdos.
LOCALLY-based Largacytl have been added to the line-up for Teesside Punk Festival in September. This means people can pay £10 advance to see 13 bands in action in the downstairs room of the Westgarth.
THE full line-up for the Fringe Festival taking place in the downstairs room of the Westgarth SC on the day of Riverside Rebellion is as follows: Active Minds, Decontrol, Hellkrusher, Prolefeed, Sanction This, Satanic Malfunctions & Vitriolic Response. This room will be curated by Zak Goodwill and the younger Steve Harland, who is much better looking and gets on with everyone.
WE are currently putting together the provisional line-up for Riverside Rebellion in December 2017 and have made initial approaches to three bands and we hope to be able to make an announcement when we hold this year's event on December 3. A four page brochure with stage times will be available on the day of the gig.
We have been hit by a couple of bands withdrawing from the PEEL REGENERATED gig taking place in October. Quarterlight stated 'unforeseen circumstances' and then Darkness & Jive said they didn't feel they were ready to play live. Eric Random had already been removed from the line-up at this request, so we have decided to run with eight bands/solos and reduce the cost of the advance tickets from £15 to £12. Mark Wynn from Harbinger Records - sort of Patrik Fitzgerald meets John Cooper-Clarke. joins us with The Nightingales headlining and I, Ludicrous, Minny Pops, Eton Crop, The Ceramic Hobs, X Ray Cat Trio and Pellethead all still involved. Doors will open slightly later now at 2pm and the gig will take place in the smaller downstairs room. We appreciate the bands that have stayed loyal to us.
LAST Saturday we had a wonderful time promoting the Small Wonder Records all-dayer at Westgarth SC. We pulled in our biggest crowd of the year so far which when all things are considered we were facing competition from quite a few other festivals and local gigs was a very satisfying outcome. All the bands: Punishment of Luxury, whom I was promoting for the third time and The Cravats, Pete Fender, Anthrax UK, Murder The Disturbed & The Proles were great to work with and were all well received. We had people attending who had travelled from as far afield as from Bristol, London, Sheffield, Scotland, Shropshire, Worcestershire and even New York, USA. It was a great evening and tribute to Pete Stennett who ran Small Wonder Records in Walthamstow. Watch out for a special show in September in Walthamstow itself organised by Mark Hart & others.
THERE'S been a change in the Peel Regenerated line-up for October. Eric Random has now been replaced by Mark Wynn who shares the same record label as Sleaford Mods. Originally from York and now domiciled in Edinburgh we are glad to have him as part of our line-up:
SOME great news for the third Riverside Rebellion in December is that Nic Austin's CHURCH of EON have re-negotiated their original deal with us so now they will definitely be appearing on the bill. They will be joined by punk veterans THE VIBRATORS, DUNCAN REID & THE BIG HEADS, NEWTOWN NEUROTICS & CYANIDE PILLS plus a host of supporting bands. Advance tickets are now on sale.
SADLY we have to cancel the MDC gig planned for August. We sustained a substantial financial loss at the Tav Falco gig and their agent wasn't willing to re-negotiate the fee and we were looking at covering a near four figure sum for a Wednesday evening in Middlesbrough - it's a no-brainer isn't it? Those who bought advance tickets will be fully refunded.
NEWS JUST IN! Two more gigs have been announced - one featuring FIGHT ROSA FIGHT/LITTLE FISTS from Cheltenham/London in August and a mini music festival in November featuring THE MEMBRANES, FLIES ON YOU, SHRUG, PELLETHEAD and one other TBA. Watch this space for further developments.
UNFORTUNATELY we have been informed tonight (Friday, 13th May) that KLAMMER cannot fulfil their booking with us at the CHELSEA gig - their drummer has now left and they haven't got the time to find a replacement. It's a great shame but these things happen and we will look at booking them again in the near future. We have decided just to run with three bands.
FROM behind the magnolia curtain we are proud to announce that TAV FALCO & THE PANTHER BURNS are returning to Middlesbrough on Saturday, 4th June at Westgarth SC. We have got the ONLY NORTH EASTERN DATE. More details will be released very shortly:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTIEcyjvLFc
WE are delighted to announce that the LENE LOVICH BAND have confirmed a booking with us at Westgarth SC in Middlesbrough for Saturday, 15th October. Many will recollect that Lene played a Tuesday evening at Middlesbrough Rock Garden in February 1979 which was reviewed in SOUNDS music paper by Phil Sutcliffe. She also had Top 60 hits with 'Lucky Number', 'Say When', 'Bird Song' & 'New Toy' and two Top 40 albums with 'Stateless' and 'Flex'. It's a personal coup for Steve as he has been chasing the band for three years and originally agreed a deal in principle back in 2013 only to see his efforts subjected to skulduggery of the highest order. News of the booking on Facebook brought many positive comments including friends in Whitby and Winchester. We would like to go on record in mentioning Jude Rawlins the guitarist in the band who quickly concluded a deal satisfactory to both parties. More details and ticket prices will be announced in due course. Keep an eye on the Forthcoming Gigs page for updates.
SADLY Kickback Generation have had to withdraw from the CHELSEA gig in May due to personal circumstances. We received a detailed response from them yesterday and fully understand their situation and will book them again in the near future. KLAMMER from West Yorkshire replace them. They recently supported The Sex Pistols Experience in Billingham and were originally one of then bands supporting The Membranes gig which got cancelled but is being rescheduled for November.
THE BELLRAYS gig at the weekend was the most successful one we have ever hosted in the smaller downstairs room at the Westgarth SC. There was a buzz about the gig in the days leading up to it taking place and it was officially sold out on Friday evening. Lisa Kekaula the band's vocalist tweeted the day after saying it had been the best gig of the tour so far which was greatly appreciated by us. The atmosphere was electric from the beginning with both support bands: Thee Strawberry Mynde and Johnny Seven building the tension on stage. It was certainly one of the most exciting gigs we have ever been involved in - thanks to everyone who came and supported it.
THE MEMBRANES gig that was cancelled at Easter is to be rescheduled with a completely new set of support bands. It's looking likely that the band will be commencing a UK tour in November and we will be part of that. No date has been confirmed but both the band and ourselves are keen to rebook another date when there are not so many other things going on. Nothing has been confirmed but talks have taken place and its all positive. Watch this space for further developments.
PELLETHEAD are the final band to be added to the MDC gig in August. The Teesside-based four piece replace My Rules who can no longer commit to the gig and have supported several bands for us in the past including Vic Godard & Subway Set, The Cravats, Punishment of Luxury, The Nightingales plus many others. The band have played to crowds of 20,000 in the Czech Republic. You can listen to their Beefheartian-stomp here: https://soundcloud.com/pellethead
TICKETS for gigs can now be purchased via the website. Just click on the page for the band you want to see and there will be a 'buy tickets' button at the top for you to click on.
TV Smith of The Adverts/Explorers has confirmed he will now headline the We Shall Overcome gig at Middlesbrough's Westgarth SC (downstairs room) on Friday, 7th October. It will be the fourth time that Tim has played for us; three times as a solo performer and once with the Bored Teenagers in five years. Supporting bands will include Alien8, Charlie Thomas (solo), The Glad Eye, The Golden Age of Nothing, Ghosts/Signals, I Palindrome I, Largacytl, Pellethead & Werbenuik. Sadly Voorhees cannot do it because one of their band members has other commitments elsewhere. Admission will be via donating cash or food via a list provided by Middlesbrough Food Bank. This will include all bands playing on the night. It's likely the doors will open at 4pm to accommodate everyone. Sets will largely be 20/25 mins long and there will be 15 mins between each band except the headliner who will play for at least 75 mins. Line checks will be in order. We will provide the backline and drumkit but please bring cymbals, snare, etc. The room has a limited capacity of 100 so advance donations of £5 will be made available via a Facebook event page.
We have enclosed the link for Middlesbrough Foodbank website link. If you scroll down to the Donating Food section you can download the list of food they would like donating. We are proposing a minimum £5 donation.
More info to follow.
TEESSIDE PUNK FESTIVAL in September will now feature 14 bands with The Breakdowns from Nottingham and Armpit & The Glitterbabies from Hartlepool now added to the line-up. The Breakdowns were supporting The Flamin' Groovies in Leeds recently and if you like The Ramones/Johnny Thunders & the New York Dolls then you will love them. AATGB were recommended to us by Brian Barnes of Pindrop Promotions. Headliners are Jaded Eyes from Leeds with vintage punk from The Filth and No Way and up & coming bands from around the north including The Carnival Rejects (York), Death to Indie (Newcastle), Nosebleed (Leeds) and The Relitics (Durham) plus many others. Admission will be a tenner advance and doors will open at 11am for this one. https://www.facebook.com/events/535324849982126/
YORK-based Fat Spatula - 'Talking Heads meets The Minutemen' have confirmed they will be the opening band for The Urban Voodoo Machine gig in May at the Westgarth. You can read more about them here: https://www.facebook.com/fatspatulaband/?fref=ts and listen to them here: https://soundcloud.com/fatspatula
BIRMINGHAM's Terry & Gerry have just confirmed a booking at the Westgarth for November - they will be supported by Serious Sam Barrett from Leeds, Johnny Campbell from Huddersfield and Charlie Thomas from Hartlepool.
THE BELLRAYS from California, USA, will be appearing at the Westgarth in April supported by Johnny Seven and Thee Strawberry Mynde. Think Aretha Franklyn fronting the MC5 or The Stooges this will be one special gig.