And a decision is made. Northgate Rapper will be crawling …………. Bath on Friday. Route and plan TBC.

After all the shenanigans about which beautiful South Western town Northgate Rapper will be crawling on Friday 5th February, it has been decided (i.e. imposed) by our Squire, that we shall be dancing in the pubs of Bath on Friday.

Northgate on telly

Northgate Rapper appear on French television

What this probably means (*) is a start around 7:30pm for 8:00pm at The Curfew and a finish around 11:00pm at The Star, with 8 or so pubs invaded in between. It’s not a bad way to start February to be honest, though Martin is now sulking as he wanted to visit Salisbury to research the finest Wiltshire ale and cider supplies.

We will attempt to keep you updated on the crawl. Young Edwin has downloaded a new app called ‘Periscope’ which allows for live broadcasting. How exciting. And slightly nerdy.

(*) therefore is totally subject to change and the Crawl Squire’s whim



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Northgate Rapper unearth a new translation of an old video, showing that everyone wants to know about Friday’s crawl

falconerNorthgate’s Martin Hanley was recently sent a videogram (*) by our German correspondent and archivist Achim. In this new translation of an old video, we see that even hated dictators want to know where Northgate will be crawling on Friday. On second thoughts, the team also wouldn’t mind knowing this information.

(*) stick with it, it’s 4 minutes of your life you’ll never get back

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Practice Tuesday, crawl Friday, practice Saturday… Crikey.

A poor pun on "crawl"

A poor pun on “crawl”

It’s a non-stop whirlwind of delight for the lads of Northgate this week.

Tuesday sees us practising as normal from 19:30 at the glorious Curfew in Bath.

Friday night is something of a mystery: we’re going on a crawl, but haven’t yet decided where. Top candidates are Bath, Bristol and Frome, although someone has suggested Salisbury(*). Where will we go? When will it start? Keep a keen eye on our Facebook page for details as they emerge, then come along, track us down and buy us beer.

Saturday sees an all-day practice in the lovely Somerset village of Faulkland, coincidentally home to one of the team. This will either be a day of polishing the dance and working on the finer points, or it’ll be a whole day of chattering, argument and inventing clever new figures that we’ll never dance out. We hope for the former.

So there you are, a very full week for the plucky lads of Northgate. Come along to practice on Tuesday, or hunt us down on Friday night to see some delightfully  dexterous dancing.

(*) that’ll be Martin. He always suggests Salisbury.

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This week Northgate Rapper are again quorate for practice, let no-one now fall ill

man flu

Martin catches a deadly virus (pic – Daily Mail, sadly)

For most of the time, the majority of Northgate Rapper are rude in health and ruddy of cheek. Occasionally a member or two will fall desperately ill with the deadly man-flu or some other such syndrome, and will feign a need for complete bed-rest, recuperation and convalescence.

When this happens the rest of the team will always send flowers and a get-well-soon card, then rip the piss on his return; calling into question his team commitment and general virility. On the last occasion young Edwin was the offender, but he assures us that this week he is committed to the team and is generally virile. As he’s having a baby (*) in early March, we would certainly hope the latter is so.

To that end, Edwin and the rest of Bath’s finest (and only) sword dancing team will be meeting as usual in The Curfew between 7:30pm and 9:30pm for some fun with swords and a beer or two. We won’t bite (where it shows) and we love to show off in public, so come along and join the throng.

(*) Jack, as our ambulance driver Medical Officer, assures us that this is a physical impossibility

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Bill dances with swords. Be like Bill.







Enough said.

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Practice makes perfekt (and avoids blood loss)

Just what we don't want

Just what we don’t want    

We’ve had our share of blood-letting over the years, especially when Martin gets carried away with his more enthusiastic new figures, but we decided some time ago that there’s only so much blood we can lose.

And so we practice.

This week we’re practising, as is our habit, at 7:30 in the splendid Curfew pub in Bath on Tuesday night, and you’re more than welcome to come along and join us, either to chance your arm at dancing or try out some of our more cutting edge bandaging techniques.

See what we did there?

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Northgate Rapper’s DERT 2016 preparations continue apace. Someone’s actually bought some shoe polish.

Kiwi shoe polishThe 2016 Dancing England Rapper Tournament will take place in exactly 2 months from now. Last year we organised it in Bristol (very well actually, in our humble opinion), and this year the competition decamps back up north to Manchester, on the right side of the Pennines. Medlock Rapper are the hosts of DERT 2016 and are putting on what looks to be a terrific event.

There’ll be 30 or so rapper teams dancing competitively in pubs to try and impress the judges, to win prizes and gain significant bragging rights for the next 12 months. There’s plenty of competitive banter, and a little bit of beer drinking too.

Every point counts for Northgate Rapper at DERT 2016. A smart, neat appearance should assist in that aim. This means a pristine white and freshly ironed shirt (Jonathan), socks that actually stay up for the whole dance (Ioan and Richard) and brand new sashes, now with just a single dangler. Freshly bulled shoes are a must, hence Jerome’s purchase of some trusty Kiwi Black.

Obviously an energetic and well balanced dance, chock full with feats of innovation and the appropriate nods to tradition, should get us some good marks. The ability to step in time with the music and each other also always helps. Swords held high, no ducking, and everyone either smiling like Sheffield Steel or as steely-faced as Thrales, these are some of the things that count.

To perform well at DERT 2016, and in our our aim of remaining a credible sword dance team, we’ll be busy practising every Tuesday at the Curfew in Bath from 7:30pm until 9:30pm.


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Meet Northgate Rapper’s Bagman: he drives an ambulance, you know

Jack digs deep

Jack digs deep for the next dance

Seeing as the recent hagiography hatchet job on our Squire was so well received, we decided to introduce the world to our Bagman, Jack.

Jack is a local Somerset lad and wears a uniform to work. Cue all the ladies swooning, because it’s an ambulance driver’s uniform. And he’s really allowed to drive. In fact Jack has even been seen by the team driving using the Blues and Twos in a real and actual emergency. We know, it’s very exciting.

We’ve allowed Jack to be a member of Northgate Rapper for the last 5 years, and his dancing has improved no end in this time. But if you watch very closely whilst he’s dancing, you can just about see the furrowed brow and his tongue sticking out in concentration. It’s very cute, apparently.

Jack Bagman

What lies beneath the Northgate kit

He was recently elected as our Bagman, a thankless task full of confirming bookings, ironing sashes and ensuring that the boys turn up to the right booking at the right time.

I mean, a pub’s a pub in Northgate’s eyes but for some unknown reason the Bagman likes it to be the right one, where we’are actually booked.

In his spare time, Jack enjoys walking in the mountains, chilling on the beach, and occasionally wearing his girlfriend’s underwear.

He’s also known as Twink to his mates.

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Northgate Rapper enter 2016 with an epiphany, taking up arms for practice on Tuesday.

After a wet and windy Christmas break spread across numerous geographical locations, Bath’s finest will be back in action on Tuesday with their famous blades of death. Not as weapons of mass destruction, but as tools for the creative art of dancing with swords.

Church sign

A genuine holiday snap

An eagle-eyed Northgate member was on holiday in the States over Christmas, and happened upon this church sign (*). Pretty pertinent don’t you think?

The boys have missed each other, and have heard that you’ve missed our vaguely humorous postings online. There’ll be such updates in due course on Northgate’s spring and summer bookings, as well as crawls aplenty where you can watch the boys in action.

You’ll find Northgate Rapper upstairs in The Curfew on Tuesday, BA1 5DG, from 7:30pm onwards. All casual visitors and admirers most welcome, as well as anyone interested in dancing with swords.

(*) This is untrue, as if you hadn’t guessed already.

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Happy New Year!

This hasn't happened yet

This hasn’t happened yet

Well, that was 2015, and very good it was too.

We’re all out tonight looking for excitement, adventure and really wild things, and have no time at all for writing our usual long and witty articles so if that’s what you’re here for, tough luck.

To everyone else, happy New Year!


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