Oh we do like to be beside the seaside. Bath’s Northgate Rapper decamp to Sidmouth Folk Festival. 

Knotted hankies. Check. 

Factor 95 for Jonathon’s delicate skin. Check. 

Suitable canvas bijou residences. Check. 

Swords. Check. 

Aye, the regionally famous and locally renowned Northgate Rapper and their polished blades of death are officially appearing at Sidmouth Folk Festival. It’s the grandfather of folk festivals, now in it’s 60th year in various guises. And we’re dancing!

Northgate aren’t the only sword team, oh no. Also on the rosta are the award winning women of Star and Shadow from Newcastle and the stripey socked simians from Nottinghamshire; Stone Monkey. We also hear that Silver Flame are coming along with Edinburgh’s finest; Mons Meg. 

Along with everything else folkie, morrisy and musicy, it looks to be a terrific week. 

Martin’s even bought a Kiss Me Quick hat, this is a warning to those of an unattached nature to run like the wind. And get the flock out of there. 

We’ll try and keep you posted with amusing anecdotes and smashing snapshots. 

Southward bound!



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Bristol Folk Festival: socks, sitting and Silver Flame

Us with Silver Flame

And so we had a splendid day with our chums Silver Flame dancing at the Bristol Folk Festival. We danced in pubs, at the Folk House and on College Green. Oh, and at a wake, which was rather moving.

Sock maintenance

And many interesting things happened, chief among which was Ioan adjusting his sock mid-dance, which got a tremendous reaction from the Society of Hosiery Arrangement Professionals, who happened to be having their annual conference in Bristol that very afternoon. They were said to be “well pleased” with Ioan’s performance, although they added it was slightly spoilt by our insistence on waving steel blades around. This apparently distracted from his “manly performance” and “practised tugging”.

It's been a long day

Alas, it was a long day and for one of us it all became a bit much. Poor Edwin had to have a little sit-down in the middle of a dance. He is reported to be nicely rested now, and recovering well after our ministrations of a nice cup of tea and a biscuit.


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DERT delightfully done; Bristol folk festival follows

BFFWe’ve taken a bit of a holiday during the run up to DERT, which we hosted quite fabulously in Bristol a couple of weeks ago. And indeed we’ve also taken a longer holiday following DERT to recover.

But now we’re back.

We’ll be dancing in the Bristol Folk Festival with the delightful Silver Flame around Park Street throughout the day on Saturday the 2nd of May, and may even pay a visit to the Folk House in Park Street around 4pm.

Come along, say hello and buy us drinks. You know it makes sense.

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DERT is nigh and we’re getting a little excited

We're getting a little carried away

We’re getting a little carried away

DERT is less than three weeks away now and the lads of Northgate are getting a little excited.

As can be seen from this Actual Photo taken by CCTV in Bath city centre just last night, we’re rather letting the upcoming dance fest overcome our normal restraint.

Indeed, the prospect of organising competitive English sword dancing in the pubs of Bristol on Saturday 11 April is driving some of our less self-controlled members into a frenzy of anticipation.

We can hardly wait. Can you?

All the details are here.

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Crawl tonight, plus surprise new recruit

Potential new recruit

Potential new recruit

Do not forget, people of Bath, that we are bringing our unique brand of bemusing danger to your pubs tonight, starting at 8pm in the King’s Arms.

If you’re trying to avoid Comic Relief, we are the antidote. The only red noses you’ll see on us are those coloured with our own precious blood.

Also, we may have a new recruit. He was hanging around the job centre and clearly had nothing better to do.

Some say he lost his job because a middle-aged man threw a tantrum, and that the only steak he would eat is made from Clarkson’s flesh. All we know is, he’s called The Rapper Stig.

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We have a Plan! Friday crawl starting at King’s Arms, 8pm

Merely the start of The Plan

Merely the start of The Plan

This Friday sees Northgate heading off on yet another crawl, starting at 8 o’clock in the delightful music pub that is the King’s Arms on Monmouth Place, Bath.

Despite the success of our deliberately unplanned Bristol Crawl, we’ve chosen this time to have some idea where we’re going to go. We have A Plan. This does not sit well with some of us.

You can see our itinerary here. We may even stick to it.

Oh, and don’t forget we’ll end up in The Star whatever else we do and wherever else we go.

And that’s all the guarantee you’ll get.



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Bristol crawl proves that (sometimes) a plan might be useful

A famous bridge in Bristol

A famous bridge in Bristol

So for all our bravado, perhaps it might have been better to have a plan for Saturday’s crawl of Bristol. Oh sure, the pubs were superb and the punters therein were extremely enthusiastic and welcoming, but perhaps the lack of a plan might have cut down on the number of pubs we did. Oh yes, and perhaps it would have been worth checking that all the pubs were still open before we turned up.

Nevertheless, it was a fantastic crawl, visiting two DERT pubs (The Beer Emporium and The Shakespeare Tavern), rediscovering some old favourites on St Michael’s Hill, and discovering a lovely German-themed bar, The Bavarian Bierhaus.

If you want to find out what you missed, check us out on Facebook or Twitter, then follow it up in reality. We practise every week at 8pm on Tuesday nights at The Curfew in Bath.

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Bristol Crawl: Details? You’re talking to the wrong people

Potential pubs (possibly)

Potential pubs (possibly)

As previously reported, we are on Saturday abandoning the fair city of Bath for a short trip down the road to visit her more disreputable sister city Bristol, wherein we shall dance the night away in as many pubs as we can manage before the last train back.

We’ve been asked by many people (some of them in the team itself) for a sort of “itinerary” or “plan” for the evening. Well, really. Do we look like the sort of people who plan things? Or work them out to the last minute detail? Hardly.

However, given the number of people wanting to join us throughout the evening, we’ve decided to go against our principles and put together a rough map of what may very well be our route. You’ll see here no timings, no promises and certainly no guarantees.

What we will guarantee is that we’ll start at the Beer Emporium in King Street at 4pm, and we’ll add a promise that whatever follows will involve steel, beer, and vigour aplenty.

There’s a rough map here. You can trust it if you like.

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Bar sits poignantly empty as Northgate postpone practice to protect crawl

A bar remains poignantly empty

A bar remaining poignantly empty

As everyone knows, one must be careful not to practise rapper dancing too much lest you suffer from over-toning of the calf muscles or RSI in the wrist (this latter being a risk to many users of the internet, too).

We have therefore decided that we’d skip practice this week to ensure no training-related injuries prior to next Saturday’s epic Bristol crawl. Safety first and all that.

So don’t turn up at the Curfew this Tuesday: leave it till the week after.

But do join us in Bristol starting at 4pm on Saturday 7th in the Beer Emporium. It’s going to be legen – wait for it – dary.

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Bristol beware: sword-wielding maniacs set to invade

Bristol - DERT lush

Bristol – DERT lush, innit?

Yes, the lads of Northgate have decided to get off their collective arses and hurry back to Bristol to check out yet more of the pubs in advance of the upcoming and incredibly exciting DERT competition.

We were in Bristol only recently but enjoyed it so much we can’t stay away. Is it Bristol’s lively arts scene that calls to us? The restaurants? Or is it the pubs?

Whatever, we’re meeting at The Beer Emporium on King Street at the incredibly early hour of 4pm on Saturday 7th February. We have literally no idea where we’re going to go from there, but suspect that other pubs will be involved.

More details as they appear on Twitter and Facebook.


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