The Underground – the best Bradford venue that you may not have yet been to

Up until fairly recent times, I had been involved in some capacity in the Bradford live music scene other than as a member of a band or punter. For years I was anything from a DJ to venue promoter to events officer and even did a little live sound engineering. I was passionate about everything I did and I tried my level best to make a decent contribution, occasionally to the detriment of my state of mind or health. Nevertheless I soldiered on until I became disillusioned and simply felt I had no more steam left in me for it. It’s a disheartening path to take at times and very difficult to stay positive in the face of doubters and occasionally people who are downright nasty. Anyway, my lifestyle and priorities altered with age and I found myself wanting to concentrate more on making music at my own pace.

I have utmost respect for anyone who is involved in any way in making live music happen and take a keen interest in what’s going on, even though I don’t manage to come along to events as often as I used to.

There have been many ventures in the Bradford area worthy of mention over the years, featuring people with varying intentions and outlooks.

However, I must say that one particularly notable venture in the last year has been The Underground. The Underground is located on Duke Street towards the top end of Bradford and it opened in March 2016. It appeared on the scene at a time when there were lots of other events going on and consequently uptake on the place was not instant.

The building itself housed a music venue and nightclub about 10 years ago, which was fairly successful at the time but the tenant moved premises and left the building in a severely dilapidated condition. It was left empty for years. Nigel and Matthew Booth rebuilt much of the venue from scratch, pouring their hearts and souls into something which they self-admittedly did not know much about at the time. Their intentions are amongst the most genuine and pure I have ever come across.

This attitude and passion was very much synonymous with local sound engineer, promoter and superstar Jim Mitcham, known to us all as JimDog. It was a perfect match then when he hooked up with the guys and since then has worked tirelessly to make it the very best venue it can possibly be. Constantly brainstorming ideas, constantly looking for ways to do things better and all for the love of the music. Although I am not involved, I have done my best to make people aware of the place and point bands, DJs etc. in their direction. I love the versatility of ideas and the fact that the stage is open to any forms of music. From a band point of view, we played there last August and everything was perfect from the hospitality to the sound engineering and the professionalism in which the event was executed by promoter Steve Hamilton.

I would urge everyone to please give this place support and spread awareness as much as you practically can. It’s not very often a team of this caliber come along and give the live music scene at large an opportunity like this, which very much warrants grabbing firmly with both hands. However, don’t just take my word for it. I would welcome everyone to pop along and see for themselves. There are some great events coming up and they are always up for new ideas.

Bradford nightlife is currently enjoying somewhat of a resurgence with new bars opening up at an increasing rate. This is great and there are many different things on offer. However none are quite like the Underground. It’s physically larger, can house touring bands comfortably and the team behind it are very inclusive, going above and beyond to not only accommodate customers but also work with other businesses in the area to improve the wider scene. It deserves you and you deserve it 😉

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