Blues Bar owner takes over popular Leeds music venue

Tis Manager of the Blues Cafe Bar on Montpellier Parade in Harrogate, Simon Colgan.(2307027)

Tis Manager of the Blues Cafe Bar on Montpellier Parade in Harrogate, Simon Colgan.(2307027)

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THE owners of one of Harrogate’s most popular bars have taken over the running of one of Leeds’ most well-known music venues.

Simon and Sharon Colgan, who own the Blues Bar, Harrogate’s only seven-days-a-week live music venue, launched the revamped Josephs Well at the weekend as part of the Live at Leeds festival.

Now known as The Well, the couple aim to to rescue the Leeds venue on Chorley Lane from plans to turn it into a restaurant.

The Colgans have extensive experience in promoting live music, not only at the Blues Bar in Harrogate but The Duck n Drake in Leeds.

Simon Colgan said, “Up until now we have provided free live music in our pubs, so taking on a ticketed venue is a brand new venture for us.

“We’d been watching The Well for a while and we’d been impressed at the quality of music, the allegiance and camaraderie of the clientele and the general atmosphere of the place.”

Their new venture got off to a good start last Saturday when it hosted a stage of the Live at Leeds all-day festival.

The venue’s hardcore fan base was not denied for the Live at Leeds opening day. China Rats kicked off an impressive line up at 1pm. Unions, Bearfoot Beware, Bears Killing Bears, Wot Gorilla, Post War Glamour Girls, Hawk Eyes, Royal Republic, Turbowolf and Blacklisters followed with 30 minute sets each, climaxing with a solid performance from hardcore Leeds band Eagulls.

Simon said: “We were astounded when we learned of its closure, and decided it was an ideal opportunity for us to step in and try to make it great again.

It plays an important part in Leeds’ musical history and deserves to be back at the hub of the scene.”

The Colgans intend to extend The Well’s music genre offerings to blues, rock, indie, soul, DJ nights, comedy and cabaret, it has confirmed it will also be staying loyal to fans of the venue’s more recent specialism of metal and punk.

Sharon said: “We have invested a lot of effort, time and money in equipment and furnishings since we took it on. It already looks a lot cleaner and more welcoming. “