It seems that round these parts, reunions have been big business recently, as in pub/club/venue reunions. I personally enjoy these nights as you come across a few people you haven’t seen for years and you also come across a lot of people whom you see on a regular basis. Bradford used to be legendary and there are at least 3 generations of people that I can think of who spent their formative years in the many colourful rock and alternative orientated places that Bradford has had to offer over the years.
It is nice to hold a candle to the past and relive your memories for just for one night and as a casual observer, it is nice to see the younger generation developing their own future memories. I often spend time with people aged 18-25, who don’t really have many memories of the places which have fallen by the wayside over the years and it is really refreshing to not hear jaded comments about “how it is not as good as it used to be” – something that was all too commonplace even a couple of years ago. Something which also warms my heart is the fact that a lot of old faces are now coming round to the idea that the Bradford music scene is on the up. I have always been of the firm belief that although it changed and decreased in size, it has never died and if people could just get past the past (so to speak) and perhaps get out of the habit of using previous pinnacles as reference points, then it would not be beyond the realms of possibility to rebuild. Thankfully, that is now happening.
Obviously my point of view is mainly coming from The Mannville corner due to what I have been doing since last August. We are perpetually inundated with requests for gigs from bands from all over the UK and beyond. The Polish Club is on the up too, with more and more people utilising the venue room there. Leon Punkined has done an amazing job so far with bands coming from all over the UK. His Room At The Top punk nights have been the flagship event for the venue and have inspired other people to put their own nights on of various styles. I don’t think they have had a bad night so far and word is spreading quickly. The recent Gasworks relocation has excited quite a few folks and with the possibilities of hosting bigger touring bands in the area, the West End of the city is set to reach new heights. The mainstream clubs have been dipping their toes into the water and hosting alternative based club nights (albeit through the week mainly). It has been good to hear that Delius has continued since Deano left last year and although I have seldom been up there in recent times, I fully support what they are doing. The Beehive also continues to host a plethora of independant events, which have been very popular.
The people from Rio’s have been watching this regeneration happen with a keen eye. They recently did a short test run of 4 Wednesday night Exit 1 nights at Lingards and it has been rumoured that they are looking to do something more substantial in the area. There are a couple of other interesting ideas floating about too which would be cool to see unfold. I guess it is a case of watch this space.
Some people have stated that they are concerned about the city being over-saturated with venues with not enough people to go round and although there is some truth in that, I still think that there are scores of people sat in local pubs around West Yorkshire with limited knowledge of what is occuring in the city centre or people who simply don’t feel as though they have much to come out for. Also, a better, bigger scene will not only attract more national and international bands and the fans that they bring along but also give people more of a reason to travel. Give people something to come out for and they will.
So, next time you are contemplating the reunion of some bar which closed down many years ago or flicking through the various Facebook pages with old photos. Why not think about what we have got on our doorstep and that you are never too old to enjoy the zeitgeist and form new memories?
See you at the next gig!