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Beatle Mania.
Beatle Mania.
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“YOU wanted a big name,” Monteys Rock Café owner Jason Smith told the packed crowd at the climax of the bar’s 15th birthday celebrations on Sunday night, “well, here are The Beatles.”

Not the Beatles, obviously, but the next best thing, writes Graham Chalmers. No, not Paul and Ringo (though, despite being a massive Beatles fan I have to admit, personally-speaking, it wouldn’t be the next best thing) but internationally-renowned tribute act Beatles Mania.

The boys did turn out to be genuinely loveable ‘Mop Tops’, looking and sounding uncannily like the real thing, especially ‘John Lennon’. Amazing band.

Monteys was packed with all age groups/sexes/dress codes, and even the youngest ones dressed in their Sunday best (short skirts, stockings) seemed to love the likes of A Hard Days Night and Can’t Buy Me Love.

Jay generously gave a standing ovation to his bar staff, including head honcho Colin Spiers, and I was glad I’d been granted a VIP ticket to ride.

l Talking of Monteys, its programme of live gigs continues this month with local band Empress’s Christmas Special tomorrow night, Saturday.

And recently-signed Harrogate metal band Book of Job will play their first hometown gig for five months at Monteys on Sunday, December 11.

LONG-running local promoters RipleyBlues continue to put on top drawer r’n’b and blues acts year after year at their classy home at Ripley Castle.

Tomorrow, Saturday, upstairs in its Blues Room at the town hall there’s a show by internationally-acclaimed slide guitar player and songwriter Martin Harley fresh from the Virgin Music Festival in Barbados (probably a bit warmer there!) Tickets priced £8/£10 are strictly limited.

Also going fast are tickets for RipleyBlues’ traditional Christmas visit from Nine Below zero on Saturday, December 17.

More information from www.ripleyblues.com

IF I’ve got my facts right (not always a given) it’s this week that sees Katana‘s Live Venue Weekender.

The Union Street bar in Harrogate started its relaunch as a live music venue last night, Thursday with Katana Keys, a weekly piano session starting with Andy Crowley and Dave Dowson.

Tonight from 8pm sees a live show by The Birdman Rallies, the Harrogate area’s leading alt-pop geniuses, while tomorrow, Saturday sees a Carnival Latin Party, a new monthly Zumba Brazilian Night with live musicians, dancers, Brazilian cocktails and more.

Finally, this Sunday night sees Musicians Night with acoustic music from Lobo from Lex and more.

If any acts would like to play Katana, please email music@katana-bar.co.uk

More information at www.katana-bar.co.uk

PIXIE Lott supports it (don’t complain yet), Jessie J supports it, Chipmunk supports it (enough, start complaining), the Next Brits competition is under way and one Harrogate 15-year-old is looking for your support.

If Lucy Borgen gets enough of our votes, she will take the first step towards the Next Brit final at the o2 Arena and prizes including a recording session at Abbey Road studios and a share of £10,000 of recording equipment.

Simply visit www.nextbritthing.com/profile/lucyborgen

FESTIVALS certainly take fans’ support for granted these days, such is their poplarity with all of us.

Leeds Festival has announced the release of pre-sale adult weekend tickets for next August’s music extravaganza from today, Friday. Details from www.leedsfestival.com

Meanwhile, excellent North Yorkshire-based, family-friendly Deer Shed Festival has also announced you can buy tickets for next July’s event at www.deershedfestival.com/tickets

LOCAL DJ Rory Hoy has been as busy as ever of late pushing his new album with spots on Craig Charles’ BBC Radio 6 Funk & Soul show, BBC Radio York and BBC Look North.

Hands in the Sky includes a collaboration with Freddy Fresh and is out now on the legend’s own Howlin’ Records label.

You can enjoy a preview of the title track at Rory’s soundcloud site.

I HADN’T realised that the brass band in the current national TV advertising campaign for Yorkshire-based PlusNet broadband is actaully Knaresborough Silver Band!

The band’s Christmas Concert takes place at King James’s School on Saturday, December 17.

H Bomb! charity is back in action next weekend with a live show at The Regency in Harrogate starring local rock band Soundstorm.