Hits with the (alt) Brits. . .

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By Graham Chalmers

DOES anyone really care about The Brits, ouside of the music biz itself?

They hardly have the kudos or diginity of their American counterparts, The Grammys.

You may have noticed that the BBC did their own Alternative Brit Award nominations recently and two of the nominees have Harrogate connections.

Gruff Rhys, who played Harrogate Theatre for the Fringe last summer, is nominated for the gentle, oddball pop of his Hotel Shampoo album which has also been voted Artrocker magazine’s album of the year.

Also featuring in the BBC list is classic British songwriter Nick Lowe who will shortly be playing tracks from last year’s The Old Magic Fit album and more at a show at Harrogate Theatre organised by Kula Productions.

PREPARATIONS for this June’s Dragongate Music Festival in Harrogate (a sort of alternative to Elton John’s Great Yorkshire Showground concert!) are in full swing.

As well as holding a launch party at The Regency last Friday, there’s also a series of Dragongate warm-up gigs coming up led by Lex Valvos and the band Lobo.

Lobo play the Blues Bar next Tuesday with support from Coral Caves and then return to The Regency on February 4 in the company of Foul Mouthed Outburst and RFG, a new band featuring such minor stalwarts of the ‘Harrogate scene’ as Adam Graham, son of local musician Mike Graham; James Blackwood, Stuart Harris-Jones and Nathan Green.

Lobo had one of their best tracks, Pinewoods, broadcast on BBC Radio York recently and have been invited by presenter Jenny Ells to play a live session for the station in March.

THE best battle of the bands competition ever to run in Harrogate, the 4th annual AMP Awards, have their grand final at the Royal Hall on Thursday, February 23.

Among the talented teenage bands who have made it through their school heats are Dark Days of December from Boroughbridge High School, The Tickets from St Aidan’s High School in Harrogate and Santa Rosa from King James’s High School in Knaresborough.

GIG Scene now has its own Twitter account. Follow me at HarrogateGigs. (Ignore the hyphen, by the way)

MASHAM Town Hall is playing host to a rock tribute band with a high reputation (though, in the context of this band, I should say ‘bad reputation’, ho ho).

Limehouse Lizzy appear tonight, Friday with a reportedly action-packed, pyrotechnic-fuelled, explosive show - but all those big Thin Lizzy tracks. Support comes from Yorkshire band Meanstreak. Tickets costing £13 are available from 01765 680200 or www.limehouselizzy.com

AND another Thin Lizzy band, this time the real thing, minus Phil Lynott, of course.

Scott Gorham, Brian Downey and co play The Barbican in York next Tuesday night.

TALKING of York, two Harrogate bands play on a great double bill at Fibbers tonight, Friday.

Top garage blues rockers Idle Maestro support top Dave Grohl lovers, the UK Foo Fighters.

HARROGATE pianist Derry Jones tells me ex-Glitter Band drummer John White has sadly died. Originally from Harrogate, White played on a few of the hits in an extensive career.

THE Mitre in Knaresborough hosts a special showcase by talented local acoustic artist Angie Shaw this Sunday night. Expect two fulls sets and a variety of guests from 8pm onwards.

IT’S not quite music, well, actually, it’s a film, but it does feature a soundtrack written by Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys.

The film in question, Submarine (critically-acclaimed, offbeat, coming of age indie comedy-drama by Richard Ayoade) is the latest curry and film night at Ripley Town Hall.

For tickets for the show next Friday, January 27, visit www.ripleylive.com