Live from the land of X Factor. . .

Misha B at Viper Rooms. (Picture by Stuart Rhodes)
Misha B at Viper Rooms. (Picture by Stuart Rhodes)
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ONE thing which really annoys me is when snobby music fans disparage talentless, manufactured pop stars who are made famous purely by the power of reality TV shows such as X Factor.

As if there haven’t been manufactured pop stars in every era of pop history stretching all the way back to the day impressario Larry Parnes launched Reginald Leonard Smith as Marty Wilde in 1957 and Ron Wycherley as Billy Fury the following year or producer George ‘Shadow’ Morton sculpted The Shangri-Las into hitmakers in 1964.

All of the above, incidentally, led to classic songs which still inspire bands such as the Arctic Monkeys and the Jesus & Mary Chain to this day.

Actually, when I mentioned “snobby music fans“ earlier what I meant to say was me.

So, I’m not going to say anything nasty about the most recent X Factor finalist, Misha B’s visit to Harrogate nightclub The Viper Rooms.

Or how she’d never have worked her way up the ladder the hard way in the days when the record industry was big enough not to be dominated by performing pet seals.

Instead, here’s what esteemed local reviewer Stuart Rhodes, who was there in person live at the Viper Rooms to see Miss B had to say about the show:

“A packed club welcomed X Factor’s fourth-placed finalist Misha B to the stage as she raced through a medley of classic songs delivered in a confident and brash manner before closing with an X-rated version of the Celo Green hit Forget You, complete with less than flattering hand gestures.

“This month saw the release of the runner up of last years X Factor, Rebecca Ferguson’s debut album titled Heaven, and a stunning album it is too.

“Rebecca has a far superior voice and presence than Misha B and given Miss B’s performance well to paraphrase Celo, let’s hope we don’t simply forget her too.”

Thank you Stu.

AFTER the success of ProgYes’s show at Knaresborough’s Frazer Theatre last year, main man Tim Hunter is expanding the whole show into a three-day festival of “progressive and contemporary music.”

Bouyed partly by the reaction to his new online station, ProgYes Internet radio, the event will run from September 21-23 at Frazer Theatre with musical guests including Leeds-based prog rock bad Manning and more.

For more info, visit the ProgYes facebook page

You can find the radio station links at

FANS of the almost local ambient rockers Breathing Space who disbanded may like to know that their former guitarist Mark Rowen is still active on the scene as part of four-piece outfit Idlefish who specialise in 80s covers.Rowen is also writing his debut solo album called Radiance.

A few other ex-Breathing Space members have been subsumed back into the ever-popular Mostly Autumn.

If you would like to keep up to date with Mark’s activities, check out Idle fish on Facebook.

MORE good news for live music fans in Knaresborough.

Folk titan Dave Swarbrick is to play an ‘Intimate Evening’ show at Frazer Theatre courtesy of Kula Productions on February 18.

More info at

DRAGONGATE, Harrogate’s only outdoor rock music festival of the past 20 years is returning this year and to get the ball rolling there’ going to be a warm-up party at The Regency next Friday, January 13.

D’NILE guitarist Steve Mosby, who performed recently on stage at the Royal Albert Hll in London, has formed a new Harrogate band with his brother. Called Strangers in Paradise, they are to have an EP out shortly.