A Guide to the Venues of Huddersfield

A Guide to the Venues of Huddersfield

Unbeknownst to many a fresher, Huddersfield is actually home to several great little music venues, that often fly under the radar of many a music aficionado. As many of you will know, Huddersfield is ideally located fairly close to Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield, all great cities for live music, however you don’t always have to travel to get your gig fix. Here are some live music venues in Huddersfield that any fan of live music needs to check out.

Wood Street

Wood Street is a delightfully quirky little bar and craft beer shop situated on, you guessed it, Wood Street in the town centre. In addition to its astronomical collection of beer, Wood Street also plays host to numerous live acts of varying descriptions, from folk musicians to reggae artists, everyone is welcome at Wood Street. Certainly a good spot if you are wanting to discover new music, or have a taste for something a little more obscure. Make sure to check out the open mic night on a Thursday, you will not be disappointed.

Look out for: Boo Sutcliffe Band, Rattle & Thud: Battle of the Bands, Taj Abbott

 

Otso

A vibrant, interesting venue situated under the railway arches, Otso (Previously called Little Buddha Bar) is one to explore, with numerous events featured throughout the week. The genres of music you will find here are numerous, but with a large focus on drum & bass, dub and reggae as well as various other fantastic sounds for you to experience, you will never get bored at Otso. This is a great place to discover some fairly underground artists, as well as meet some great people in the incredibly welcoming and friendly atmosphere it provides.

Look out for: DJ Woody, Sawfinger, Philfee

 

Holmfirth Picturedrome

The biggest venue in the Huddersfield area with a capacity of 650, The Picturedrome still feels fairly intimate and welcoming, something which many people agree on, as it placed 2nd in NME’s Britain’s Best Small Venue competition back in 2014. It is a popular venue with some acts, with The Stranglers, Wilko Johnson and The Darkness playing with some frequency. As well as putting on some great acts, The Picturedrome also hosts film nights, and is one of the main venues for the Holmfirth Film Festival. Keep an eye on their events page, some of the acts are certainly worth the short bus ride out there.

Look out for: The Skids, Peter Hook & The Light, Skindred

 

Small Seeds

Formerly known as Bar 1:22, Small Seeds has been a staple of the local music scene for many years, showcasing a variety of acts, with everything from indie, funk and soul, right up to world brass and Balkan folk music. In addition to playing host to local bands, the venue has attracted artists from all over the globe, giving it a really inclusive, welcoming atmosphere, and showing Huddersfield a wider range of music than ever before. Small Seeds also hosts an acoustic club on a Tuesday night which is well worth a visit.

Look out for: Nu Popes, Dana Ali Band, Klonk!

 

The Parish

The Parish is a great little venue that has played host to some fantastic acts, such as While She Sleeps, Sonic Boom Six and Modern Baseball. Despite the relatively small size of The Venue (which is situated in an outbuilding that is actually called ‘The Venue’), it has booked many artists that could attract a crowd much bigger than the 200 person capacity of The Parish, but they come back for the same reasons we do: the guarantee of an intimate show with a great atmosphere. Watch out for acoustic nights featuring local musicians as well as jazz evenings and poetry slam events, all which prove very entertaining. The Parish also features many local bands who are often worth checking out: you never know, you may find your new favourite band.

Look out for: Counterparts/Expire, The Mouse Outfit, Krokodil

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Five artists who have defied gender norms

Many artists over the years have challenged gender norms, whether by their actions or appearance. In some cases, it could be purely for the sake of theatricality, or simply as a way to express themselves further. These five artists have broken down the barriers of gender on numerous occasions, some having a lasting effect for time to come.

Marilyn MansonMarilyn MA

Marilyn Manson has always been one to enjoy theatricality, and his particular brand of gothic androgyny has become so instantly recognisable that few people have seen him without his signature makeup and milky contacts. His public image is so bizarre and sometimes downright confusing, and he revels in it. His androgynous appearance is most evident on the front cover of Mechanical Animals, where he is shown to have a virtually featureless naked body. A true born entertainer, never afraid to do his own thing.

 

Brian Molko. brian-molko-profile

With the heavy makeup, painted nails and occasional crop top, Brian Molko really went against the current in the 90s, wading through Britpop and indie bands to show the world the sheer brilliance of Placebo. He is most notable for his openness on topics such as sexual fluidity, mental health and cross dressing. He is sometimes linked to the resurgence of Goth in the 90s and with great songs like Nancy Boy, he brought a fantastic new sound to accompany his eye catching appearance.

Pete Burns

 

Pete Burns

Pete Burns, former frontman of pop group Dead or Alive (best known for the massive hit You Spin Me Round), is well known in the media for his androgynous appearance, heavily altered by cosmetic surgery over the years. He has undergone many procedures in recent years, which has often caused controversy, in addition to his various appearances on reality tv shows such as Celebrity Big Brother 2006.

 

Little Richard.Little-Richard-beautiful-001

Little Richard is seen by some as the first androgynous Rock’n’Roll star, often wearing dresses and makeup during live performances. This coupled with his (often censored) sexually explicit lyrics on huge hits such as ‘Tutti Frutti’ garnered him a great deal of attention throughout his career, cementing him as one of the first androgynous icons to appear in popular music. He is often seen as having issues finding his identity, however he was still fairly influential to later artists.

 

David Bowie. Ziggy Stardust

David Bowie was the ultimate icon, an absolute trailblazing trendsetter for the music world, and while his music is still as iconic as ever, that is not the only legacy he has left behind. His contribution to the world in terms of showcasing gender fluidity and rebelling against all gender stereotypes, ultimately paved the way for so many others to embrace their identity, and to be whoever they wanted to be. This is particularly well shown on albums such as Aladdin Sane and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. He showed the world not just that it was okay to be different, but that we should celebrate our differences.

My Top 10 Covers of All Time

10. I Fought the Law – The Clash the_clash.jpg

Originally by The Crickets, and later covered by the Bobby Fuller Four, The Clash got hold of this song and added some attitude and it became one of their most popular tracks. It also made it more relatable for their fans, as it encapsulated a lot of the feelings of the Punk movement. Listen here: https://youtu.be/cLQJVKP3YlM

 

9. Walk – Avenged Sevenfold

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The brutal intensity of Walk by Pantera has never been captured as perfectly as it was by these guys, who are, it is safe to say, Pantera’s biggest fans. While their last album certainly left something to be desired, their cover of Walk is absolutely on point. Check it out: https://youtu.be/bTSbT-Gu00E

 

8. Express Yourself – N.W.A

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OG West Coast Hip Hop group N.W.A took the signature tune of Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band and added some serious attitude. One of the few N.W.A tracks that Dr Dre. takes the lead on and actually pulls off, this song is notable for having significantly less profanity than most of their work, and is no worse for it. Give it a listen here: https://youtu.be/u31FO_4d9TY

 

7. Sweet Dreams – Marilyn Manson

marilyn_manson-band

Marilyn Manson took the Eurythmics super popular synthpop single Sweet Dreams (are made of this) and turned it into a dark alt. rock anthem that would remain one of their most popular tracks, which is still getting airplay almost two decades later. Chck it out here: https://youtu.be/QUvVdTlA23w

 

6. Respect – Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin.jpg

Otis Redding absolutely brought the house down with the original version, but there is a reason Aretha Franklin is better known for the song. While Otis’ version is the tale of a desperate man trying to please his woman, Franklin’s version garnered new meaning with the Civil Rights movement, as well as bringing the image of a strong independent woman to the masses, a step in the right direction concerning women’s rights. Listen here: https://youtu.be/6FOUqQt3Kg0

 

5. Hurt – Johnny Cash Cash Hurt

While the original by Nine Inch Nails is a great track in it’s own right, this is the one that steals our hearts. By the time he recorded his version, Cash had been around for such a long time, seen and done so much, that the lyrics just had more meaning coming from him. This song is enough to bring the hardest man to tears, and there is nothing to be ashamed in that, because it is a truly hauntingly beautiful song. Give it a listen: https://youtu.be/vt1Pwfnh5pc

 

4. Where Did You Sleep Last Night – Nirvana

Nirvana MTV

A traditional American folk song first brought to prominence by Lead Belly, Nirvana really brought this song to a wider audience, and Kurt Cobain’s raw vocal really brings the pain and sorrow behind this song to the forefront, in a way that has not been done since Lead Belly himself. Listen here: https://youtu.be/mcXYz0gtJeM

 

3. Feeling Good – Muse

Muse FG

Originally written for a musical in 1964, Feeling Good rose to popularity when it was recorded by Nina Simone a year later. Nobody saw it coming when Muse recorded it as a single for 2001 album Origin of Symmetry, and I doubt anyone expected it to be as good as it was. But not many have taken an already iconic song and truly made it their own, while still retaining the soul and beauty of it quite like Muse did with this monumental track. Check it out here: https://youtu.be/CmwRQqJsegw

 

2. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley JeffBuckley

While Leonard Cohen did the original, and it has been covered time and time again, Jeff Buckley’s version is the one that has garnered the most critical acclaim, and rightly so. While the original is fairly dispassionate and monotonous, Buckley adds real soul and feeling to the track, immersing us in the emotion and feelings he was going through. Sadly Buckley would not live to see its success, as he died while swimming in the Mississippi aged 30. Check it out: https://youtu.be/y8AWFf7EAc4

 

  1. All Along The Watchtower – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

While Bob Dylan is undoubtedly one of the best Jimi Hsongwriters this world has ever seen, Jimi took this song, strapped on that upside down Strat and turned it up to 11. He made this song reach its potential, so much so that I didn’t even know this was a Dylan song til I was 12, I was convinced it was Jimi. Listen here: https://youtu.be/TLV4_xaYynY

 

My Top 5 EDM records since 2010

 

5. Skrillex and Diplo Present: Jack Ü – Jack Ü (2015) Skrillex_and_Diplo_Present_Jack_Ü

The first record released by Jack Ü, the name under which Diplo and Skrillex collaborate under, is an absolute banger. As well as nabbing the Grammy for best Dance/Electronic album earlier this year and producing the massive hit Where are Ü Now ft. Justin Bieber (which also won a Grammy) , They create a great album that features a sound that perfectly mixes their own musical backgrounds while producing a fresh and interesting sound.

 

4. Random Access Memories – Daft Punk (2013)

Daft Punk

The Grammy award-winning Random Access Memories was a triumphant return for French Electro Duo Daft Punk after being pretty quiet on the creative front for a few years, with the terribly infectious Get Lucky as the lead single. Probably their best album since Discovery, it is definitely one of the best Electro Pop albums in the past decade.

 

3. Album Title Goes Here – Deadmau5 (2012)

Album Title goes here

The sixth studio album from Canadian Progressive House DJ Deadmau5 is a bit more experimental than previous albums, and is all the better for it. Standout track Professional Griefers ft. Gerard Way is one of the catchiest songs to ever grace the ears of man (check out the video too, it has giant robot mice throwing down UFC style) and while the album has a fairly dark tone, you can’t help but move to it.

 

2. No More Idols – Chase & Status (2011)

No_More_Idols

No More Idols broke a lot of ground when it was released, every track sounding vastly different from the previous one, taking elements of D’n’B, Dubstep, Big Beat and Grime, as well as many other genres. Another thing that adds to the quality of the album is the choice of guest vocalists, from the powerful performance by Mali on Let You Go, to the manic intensity of Tempa T on Hypest Hype. Overall this makes for an intriguing listen that perfectly showcases the talent that Chase & Status have expressed throughout their career.

In Colour – Jamie XX (2015)

Jamie XX In ColourNominated for best Electronic/Dance album earlier this year, In Colour blends elements of Electronic, House and Future Garage into 13 tracks of pure greatness. This being his first solo outing, he has done well to separate himself from his band, despite tracks like Loud Places ft. Romy sounding just like an XX track with extra Jamie, there are plenty great tunes such as Obvs and I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times) that show his diverse influences and his ability to seemingly turn his hand to any form of electronic music he pleases.