Blues In Britain

A selective list of recommended venues where you will hear great music in a good venue - ran by people who care about music, about live music and about running a place that is conducive to enjoying the live experience.

Blues at the Bay, Yarm

Ran by Peter Rafferty - this is described as the most intimate music venue in the North East. Friendly is hardly a good enough term! Expect free sandwiches served at half time to all. Warm welcomes, cheerful chats (not when the band is playing!) and all round great hospitality.

Don't know a single band who doesn't love playing here - and Peter and his regulars are the reason. Blues night is usually Friday - but check the website for the occasional change - extra show etc

 Here's a clip of Gypsy Bill and The Resonators live at Blues @ The Bay

Harrogate Blues Bar

There's music to be enjoyed here pretty much all the time. Always a good atmosphere - and in a lovely setting. Sunday lunches in the cafe upstairs - including Yorkshire Tapas!! But downstairs - the music is always hot.

Every weekday there will be a band on in the evening and during the weekend - there's usually an afternoon show and an evening show. There's never a bad time to visit Harrogate Blues Bar - but imagine a sunny Sunday afternoon - chilling on Harrogate green - enjoying a lovely lunch and watching a great band in a lovely setting - oh yes - add a couple of cold drinks - heaven in God's country!

Here's a clip of Lewis Hamilton Band live at Harrogate Blues Cafe

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Duck and Drake, Leeds

An historic Victorian pub in the centre of Leeds. Real cask ales and really Rock and Roll. Live music pretty much every night - including jam nights and nights when bands can roll up and showcase their stuff - and maybe get a gig.

Always check the website for up to date band info. and parking, dog friendly details etc! This is one of the last surviving true down to the bone pub rock venues. What you see is what you get - it's friendly, fun, rocky and raw. The beer is good - well looked after. The food is reasonably priced and wholesome. It's proper Yorkshire.

Here's Federal Charm live at The Duck and Drake

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The Hope Tavern, Market Rasen

The home of the blues in Lincolnshire. On certain Sundays during the year, this lovely little pub finishes serving glorious Sunday lunches, the tables are tidied away, satisfied diners head out to walk off their yorkshire puddings, and the place transforms into an intimate, packed, warm, friendly and enthusiastic venue.

The place is full of music lovers - from host Graeme - thru all the regulars - there's a genuine love of good live music. Check the website for dates - you will be amazed to see all the name bands lining up to play this little place - it's a testament to the manager, the audience and the whole vibe - it's a joy to be there.

Here's The Blue Bishops playing Black Diamond at The Hope Tavern

The Supporters Club, Hartlepool

This is a great live venue. Not always blues - they cover a lot of genres (motown, northern soul, rock, blues - good music in all shapes and form) - what is a constant - is the warm welcome, the great value, the quality of the music and the audiences appreciation of good music.

Check the Facebook page for details of events - you will find there's something happening pretty much every week.

Here's a clip of Tommy Castro jamming with Aynsley Lister at The Hartlepool Supporters Club

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The Flying Circus, Newark

Now for something completely different. Or, No one expects the Spanish Inquisition - not in Newark anyway. What they do expect is this brilliant little venue that features a tiny stage and is bijou to say the least - but then - something magic happens - the bands start to play and the night picks up and takes off - cos this is a really cool place - the feel, the vibe, the people, the atmosphere - it all works - and the main man, Tony, pulls it all together cos he loves the music and puts in the efforts to make it work.

That's why bands from all around the country are really keen to play here. Check the facebook page in advance - gigs are usually Friday and Saturday - and you really never know who is gonna be playing - they get some headline bands popping in, they aren't afraid to try different things - in fact - something completely different - which is where we came in. Didn't expect that, did you?

Here's a clip of Deep Blue Sea playing Deep Inside live at The Flying Circus: