Anniversary Day of Dance – blast from the past!

Handsome young men

Handsome young men

The first details of Northgate’s Silver Jubilee Anniversary Day of Dance are announced, and it’s promising to be quite an occasion.

It will take place in the beautiful city of Bath (of course) on Saturday 29th October, starting at noon in The Bell.

Many other pubs will be involved, of course, but for now we’re saying nothing more than we’ll be pitching up at The Westgate around 5 o’clock for a quiet pint or two, and will no doubt end up in The Star a bit later on.

Friends

We thought this might be a little selfish to keep this to ourselves, so we’ve invited along some friends. From Bristol, the delightful Silver Flame; from London, the unsmiling Thrales and the chirpy Tower Ravens; from Oxford, the redoubtable Mabel Gubbins; and from Bournemouth, Dorset Buttons, who are also in their 25th year.

Wow. This is going to be good. Honestly, we’re spoiling you.

Young Men

And who, you ask, are the young men in the 25-year-old photo?

Back row, left to right: Henry, Ron, Martin, Dave, Brian and Doug.
Front row: Ken and Mike.

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Practice moves to the Assembly Inn due to Christmas

The Assembly Inn

The Assembly Inn

Look, we understand that it’s hard to get a venue for your Christmas parties when December comes along, but really, do you need to book one in September in our new practice venue to avoid clashes?

Yep, that’s right: someone has booked tomorrow night’s practice venue for a bloody Christmas party!

Once again homeless, we floundered for nearly an hour before Bagman Jack solved the problem by popping into one of our other potential new pubs and brought our try-out forward a week.

The upshot of all this is that we’re moving tomorrow’s practice to the Assembly Inn. See you there at 19:30.

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New venue this Tuesday: The Bath Brew House

What a lovely floor

What a lovely floor

This Tuesday sees the second in a series of tests of new practice venues.

This time we’re trying out The Bath Brew House, a splendid pub with its own microbrewery churning out some spectacularly good beers.

We’ll be judging the place on a number of criteria vital to a rapper practice venue, namely:

  1. Quality of floor.
  2. Quality of beer.
  3. Lack of low-hanging light fittings*.

Our previous candidate, The Boater, ranked well on (1) and middling on (2), but did very badly on (3) due to a number of dangling and expensive-looking light bulbs.

Anyway, come along to the Bath Brew House on James Street West at 19:30 on Tuesday night to join in the fun. We’ll even let you play with our blades of death. We are, after all, looking for new blood.

(*) It is entirely possible that this is uniquely applicable to Northgate.

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New practice venue evaluation begins, but we forget to tell you about it.

We mean it

We mean it

OK, look. It’s nothing personal, we’ve just been busy, and in all the excitement we forgot to say something very important.

We’re sorry.

That’s not what we forgot to say; that’s what we needed to say now to assuage our shame and makes us feel better. And it worked!

So, we did practice last night in the first of our experimental new practice venues, this one being the cellar bar of The Boater, and we forgot to tell anyone where we were! Oh well.

Not a bad venue, although anyone who knows anything about us will recoil in horror when we mention that there were some very expensive lights hanging from the ceiling. Oh, and it was the main thoroughfare to the beer garden, which was good and bad. Good, because many, many people stopped by to watch and join in; bad because it kind of hindered practice. Ho hum.

Where next?

Next week, we’ll be looking at our second candidate venue, and if you’re very good, we may even tell you in advance so you can join us.

Hint: it has its own on-site brewery.

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Summer holidays draw to a close… practice returns soon.

We've still got it

We’ve still got it

As Northgate’s summer holidays draw to a close, and the last few festivals take place, the lads begin the long return to Bath from across the world. England, Wales, South Africa and Japan have all been graced with our presence, and soon it will be time to come home.

We’ve also been at various festivals in various guises this year, from South to North, from West to East, yet we all feel the strong pull of Bath’s siren song calling us back to where we belong. A sad tear on departure perhaps, but certainly a happy homecoming.

And there’s even more to come this year. We have our upcoming visit to London with the splendid Thrales Rapper, and even more importantly on our own Silver Jubilee celebrations, as we invite not one, not two but many teams to join us dancing in the pubs in Bath. Oh yes, and don’t forget our 25th Anniversary Crawl!

Wow. So much to look forward too.

Anyway, the upshot of all this is that our summer holidays are coming to an end and we will be returning to practice on Tuesday next week. Our secret new venue will be announced in due course.

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Ely Folk Festival video… mind the lights!

 

You spin me right round baby right round etc.

So, we took a little trip the other weekend to the delightful Ely Folk Festival, and had a jolly nice time indeed. There are some photos up on Facebook, and at some point we may even get around to uploading the video of the lads holding up the whole procession in order to score some free gin.

We must take this moment to extend our thanks to the lovely Tracy, for special hot chocolates, photographs and above all bacon sandwiches. It would have been a poorer booking with her motherly ministrations.

Mind the Lights!

In the meantime, though, we offer this video of Northgate doing what we do best, by which we mean dancing in a pub and repeatedly menacing the light fittings.

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Pokégate Go takes world by storm: #CatchEmAll

Pokégate Go!It’s been barely a week since the phenomenon that is Pokégate Go was unleashed upon the British public, and in that time it’s taken the country by storm.

In a nutshell, players use their phones to walk around like zombies while trying to catch one of the Pokégate characters, each of which is based on one of the members of the Northgate team, from the easily-found Jerdude all the way up to the likes of the rare Jakachu.

Jakachu

The rare Jakachu

The lads are said to be honoured by their inclusion in the game, but are apparently getting a little tired of being chased around Bath by phone-wielding youths shouting, “Throw your balls at them!”

“It’s disturbing,” said Bagman Jack, the model for the Jakachu, “but on the other hand, I’m popular now and that’s new.”

Squire Ioan Jigglypuff added, “It’s possible that at some point we’ll get some royalties from this, but for now the adoration of the young is enough.”

In other news, Northgate continue to practise every Tuesday evening. It is rumoured that they’ll be practising in Bristol next week, just because. Keep an eye on Facebook to find out more.

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We break an unbreakable sword, and we’re not happy!

Oops

Oops

Northgate have danced for decades now using swords with fixed handles on both ends. These were pretty much unique when we had the first set made, but seem to have caught on over the last few years. This is gratifying. Indeed, we have come to look down on those that use the more conventional rappers with one fixed handle and one rotating one (or, in technical talk, the spinny bit): these are easier to use, but give less control over the blade.

The construction of our swords means that there is no metal-on-flexing-metal join as there is on those that have the spinny bit. Instead, we have wood-on-flexing-metal, and we thought that this would remove one of the most annoying features of the “normal” rappers, which is stress fractures and the consequent breaking of the blades.

Two decades of dancing has backed up this “unbreakable” theory. However, last night one of our lads (let’s call him Dave) managed finally to break one of them! There was a long pause as we let the scene of devastation settle in, our faces carrying looks of horror mixed with disbelief. Finally the truth managed to work its way into our shocked minds and, as we stared as one at the broken blade, we muttered in unison a word of great power and wisdom and consolation to the soul in times of need: “Bugger.”

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Referendum special: will Northgate Remain or Leave?

Should I stay or should I go now?

Should I stay or should I go now?

In a move that has stunned markets around the world, Northgate have announced that the are to decide whether to remain using their current practice venue, or leave and find another.

The “Nexit” decision has been forced upon them by the new management of the heretofore beloved Curfew (the CU) who have raised the weekly rent by THIRTY POUNDS to a new price of thirty pounds.

Ioan Farage (Northgate Independence Party, NGIP) said, “If we don’t pay £30 a week to the CU, we could spend it on healthcare. We won’t, obvs, but we could. And I’ll write that on a bus so you can hold me to it later.”

Ioan was supported by Boris Hanley (Conservatory Party) who added, “Yes, and we wouldn’t have the CU’s other customers coming into our practice room without proper checks. Although we’ll still welcome anyone anyway.”

The Remain campaign is being championed by no one. Nobody at all went on record as saying, “The CU has treated us well over the years, and for a mere £30 a week we could have access to as much beer as we could buy. Like before, but with a weekly fee. That sounds pretty fair. And we’d probably get a rebate or something.”

The decision will go to a referendum in the coming weeks, once a new place that wants us has been found. “Mad” Jack McSavage, our unbalanced bagman, has decided to engage in negotiations directly with the CU in the hope of heading off the oncoming storm. However, since making that decision he has spent all his time picking up litter at Glastonbury festival, so little progress has been made.

The upshot of this is that we will be practising this Tuesday, but have literally no idea where. Best wait for a week or two for things to settle down. If you’re very keen, ask us on Facebook and we’ll let you know where we’ll be.

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A video from Ioan’s wedding

Wedding videos are normally a little … dull. You know the sort of thing: a bride, a groom, tears and embarrassing family.

That’s not really our style.

Therefore we offer this:

Sorry about what we’re wearing. We’ll get back to our normal kit soon.

In other news, we’re taking a week off from practising, so please don’t come to see us at The Curfew this week; you’d only be disappointed. We’ll be back next week.

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