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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Last day of term: Christmas Carols and mulled cider

The Bear, scene of spell-binding carols

The Bear, scene of spell-binding carols

It’s Christmas, and that means we’ve closed down for our traditional over-indulgence in food, alcohol and simplistic emotions.

To start things off, a few of the Northgate lads headed over to the marvellous Bear in Bradford on Avon, wherein we succumbed to mulled cider and the beautiful singing of old Somerset carols.

We are now duly primed to watch It’s a Wonderful Life, Elf and of course Doctor Who, and  will restart practices in early January.

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Big Bristol crawl tonight: three teams, nine pubs, one aim

DERT-2015-logoTonight’s the night for Bristol!

The lads of Northgate, along with Silver Flame Rapper and Taff Rapper, are dancing in the nine shortlisted pubs to decide the venues for DERT next year

The pubs are below along with some (inevitably approximate) times.

The Big Chill 19:30
Elephant 19:45
Small Bar 20:00
The Apple 20:15
Ye Shakespeare 20:45
Seven Stars 21:05
The Shakespeare Tavern 21:30
Bag o’ Nails 22:00
Hope & Anchor 22:30

Follow us on Twitter as events unfold. Or better still, come along and buy us a drink.

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Practice tonight 8pm sharp

A clock. With Swords. Not showing 8 o'clock though.

A clock. With Swords. Not showing 8 o’clock though.

Yes, with a rather weak sword-related pun, we remind you that the lads are practising this very day at 8pm in The Curfew in Bath.

Come along, watch us throw some shapes and then apply bandages to the wounds.

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Northgate’s philosophy inspired by Confucious

ConfuciusAt last the truth can be revealed: the true philosophy of Northgate is inspired by the writings of 5th century BC Chinese wise man Confucious.

A spokesman for the team said, “We are glad that this has come out at last. We’ve been living by his words ever since we heard this quotation ten minutes ago, and have spent the intervening time diligently searching online for other quotes that might relate to sword dancing. There weren’t any. There was a good one about opening a book though.”

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Northgate practice before big Bristol beano

DERT-2015-logoOn Saturday 22 November, Northgate and their chums Silver Flame and Taff Rapper will be hitting the pubs of Bristol to decide which ones make the grade to be used in next year’s DERT competition.

This is a very serious business and requires a lot of consideration, based on the three main criteria of decent flooring, decent beer and decent landlord and landlady. The assembled hoard will therefore be heading to The Big City to check out just some of the hundreds of pubs on offer.

In order to ensure they’re in peak condition for this arduous task, the lads of Northgate are having a super-special practice on Tuesday 18th in the lovely upstairs bar of The Curfew in Bath. Join us. Join us. JOIN US.


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A week off practice to catch up on a little reading

A delightful read (possibly)We’re been busy practising and crawling and damn it, we deserve a week off!

So practice is cancelled this week to allow us some time to catch up with our reading, and top of our list(*) is the possibly delightful Sword Dancer by Jennifer Roberson. It’s currently available on Amazon for a penny, which I suspect says it all. In case it doesn’t, the first review on the site might: “One of the worst books I have ever read.”

Anyway, we’re ducking out of practice next week and will reconvene on Tuesday the 18th at the Curfew. See you there.


(*) This is a lie. We’re reading Secrecy by Rupert Thomson at the moment, and very good it is too.

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Excellent crawl with a few wistful moments

Some reprobates enjoying themselves in The Star

Some reprobates enjoying themselves in The Star

And so Northgate danced their way from Larkhall into Bath for the twenty third consecutive year, comprising as they did a healthy mix of founder members, long-serving members and relative newcomers. We had a jolly good time with much dancing and free beer in some great pubs.

But the distances between those pubs grows each year. Nearly half pubs that we used to have in this crawl but have now closed(*). It’s a sad state of affairs.

Those that remain, however, are on the whole good places to go, with a couple being excellent. They all had a good number of people in them, they all served good beer. The all welcomed us and donated willingly and generously. Many of them gave us free beer. And free snuff.

But something’s been lost. Some of the closed pubs may have been insular, one or two may have been scary, but they all represented the people who used them and gave a place for those people to meet, and talk, and drink, and that’s gone.

But to end on a positive note, the crawl itself was executed with Northgate’s customary vim and vigour, the audiences were great and a most excellent time was had by all. Roll on our 24th anniversary!

(*) The Bladud’s Arms, The Brains Surgery, The Fairfield Arms, Filos, The Porter Butt and The Longacre Tavern. RIP.

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Shock update! 23rd Anniversary Crawl this Friday

Embarrassed apology

Embarrassed apology

In a shocking move, Northgate have been contacted by a member of the public who has corrected them on how old they actually are. Given they were formed in 1991, this makes them officially 23 this year.

A Northgate spokesman said, “It’s getting hard to remember how old the team is, mainly due to the ridiculously hard training we put in for our art. It really is rather tiring. Oh yes, there’s the beer too, but we’re sure that’s not the reason.”

He then giggled, hiccuped and returned to the bar.

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22nd Anniversary Crawl this Friday: Larkhall beware!

Some of our reasonably attractive fans

Some of our reasonably attractive fans

Northgate have now achieved the ripe old age of 22, or maybe 23. We’ve lost count. To celebrate our advancing age, we’ve decided to do something unique the same this year as we’ve done every year for nearly a quarter of a century, which is to go to Larkhall in Bath and dance in all the pubs that remain open.

As is now traditional, we’ll be joined along the way by many of our fans and followers. We include here a photograph of the marvellous Silver Flame Rapper who will almost certainly not be there on Friday but who are much more attractive than most of the people who will be. Paul, Ron, Pete: we mean you.

Anyway, the crawl starts at 8pm in The Curfew in Bath, then heads into all the pubs in darkest Larkhall before returning to finish at The Star at some ridiculously late hour. Be there.

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