DERT practice disaster – another one bites the dust


We descended yesterday on the excellent Angel Hotel in Chippenham for a final pre-DERT practice day, and it all went pretty well.

Up to a point. Because, just after lunch we had a little accident with one of our swords, proving yet again that having fixed wooden handles at both ends of the blade is not a guarantee of unbreakability.

To be honest, we had already realised this when a similar snapping event happened, and we have started reblading them already. I suppose that this just makes it all a little more urgent!

Anyway, just one crawl and one practice to go before the big day at DERT in Kendal. We can’t wait. See you there!


No light fittings were hurt during the making of this article.

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OFFICIAL! Candidate replacement for Stickman!

Cyanide Rapper Man – the future?

In this post-truth age, we have decided that we need to move on from our old fashioned and frankly old hat stickman logo.

After an intense and prolonged seven minute trawl of the internet, we’ve decided on a new candidate, and we think that we’ve found on that embodies everything that Northgate stands for:

  • excellent rapper
  • fancy footwork
  • good beer

Stickman – old hat

We truly believe that this new logo, known(*) as Cyanide Rapper Man, can make Northgate great again!

Come along to practice at the Curfew in Bath on Tuesday night to see the plan in action.

(*) but only briefly

With apologies to

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A butcher’s from history, and a pub from the near future

As it’s still early in the year, we thought we’d look back at some of the more unusual things we’ve done over the last quarter of a century. And what better place to start than with dancing behind the counter in a Belgian butcher’s shop?

Why did we dance there? A moment’s thought gives the obvious answer: because the undertaker’s was locked and they couldn’t find the key.

It was a nice place to dance, to be honest, with a great floor, although the sign saying “Zwaard danser €10/kg” did make us a little nervous. Luckily no one was hurt, except Mike who lost his genitals in an accident with the bacon slicer(*).

But you said there’d be a bit from the near future!?!

Indeed we did. We’ll be practising as ever this Tuesday at 19:30 in The Curfew in Bath. See you there.

(*) Insert your favourite Carry-On style joke about the bacon slicer having a lovely personality here.

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We give birth to a new figure and play Cupid

We had a bit of playtime at our practice last night, spurred on by two random strangers coming along to watch. See below for what happened to them: you couldn’t make it up!

While it’s nice to have an audience, they probably got a skewed view of what rapper is, because normally it does not include quite so much swearing, being hit with swords or having your glasses knocked off. But hey, that’s practice for you.

Anyway, the new figure tacks nicely on to the end of El Diablo and Archers, and the whole sequence is very much in the Northgate tradition of one-the-edge, fast transitions between displays, with a large side order of “bloody hell, this is unusually risky, even for us.” Still, it’s only Number 3 (Martin) who could end up with concussion, though as you can see from the picture Number 2 (Edwin) is looking rather concerned. He was probably worried he’d get blood on his delightful shirt.

Next Time…

If you’d like to see what happens next with this exciting new dance segment, join us (and possibly the two punters who wondered into the wrong room) next Tuesday at 19:30 in The Curfew, Bath.

Playing Cupid…

As for the two people who were watching, they had never met before last night. By the end of the evening, they had planned to go out on a date. Northgate Rapper: Cupid or what?

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Practises galore and a safety moment with lights

We’ve been extra busy since the new year, keen as we are to burn off the extra calories taken in over the festive season. Back again in The Curfew, we’ve been playing with blades like nobody’s business, and we’ll be back there on Tuesday for more.

Indeed, we’re so keen that we’ve spent the whole day today working on new figures, eating food, polishing old figures, eating food, and practising new tunes. But mostly the eating thing. There was a distinct lack of get up and go after lunch, that’s for sure.

Anyway, it was a great and useful day, and we’ll build on the work we’ve done on Tuesday.

But you mentioned a light? Did you break another light?

No. Don’t be silly.

However, the owners of the Curfew have become aware of our ill-deserved reputation concerning light fittings, and we noticed last week that they’ve raised their lovely lights well out of what we like to call rapper range.

We find their lack of faith disturbing.

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Happy new year!

Happy new year to all of you!

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Merry Christmas! That is all.

Merry Christmas!

We’re taking the next couple of weeks off, and suggest you do the same. See you next year!

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Twas the week before Christmas… so it’s time for a crawl!

The lads and lasses of Northgate have come over all festive, but were feeling a little despondent that we’d cancelled practices for the rest of the year, and had already begun to miss each other terribly. Christmas can be a lonely time for a rapper dancer.

Luckily, Natasha is so dedicated to the team that she has decided to become a year older this week just to give us a reason for a crawl. That’s team spirit.

And so we’ll be going on a little celebratory crawl on Tuesday night, starting in our fantastic practice venue, The Curfew, at 19:30.

We’ll be joined by an extra-special Birthday Team, created just for this crawl. We are confidently expecting them to be wearing a special kit on the night, and very much look forward to seeing them in their birthday suits.

So come along on Tuesday night for a fun-filled festive frolic throughout Bath!


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Christmas, crawls and education for Richard

The Northgate School of Swordplay

It’s coming up to Christmas, so we’ve given ourselves an early present and are letting ourselves off practice for the rest of the month. Nice.

However, we wouldn’t want to spend too long apart, so our lovely melodeon player, Natasha, has decided to have a birthday in a week or so, and to celebrate it with a crawl! Needless to say, we were delighted with this suggestion and have offered to help her with the dancing and indeed the drinking. It’s the least we could do.

The photo here is of our first dance in Oxford last weekend, and you can see Squire Martin teaching young Richard how to make a proper lock.

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Oxford Sunday, practice Tuesday: mind the lights!

curfew-lightsWe’re going on our yearly trip to Oxford to join the redoubtable Mabel Gubbins on their annual day of dance, and we could scarcely be more excited. It all kicks off in the Royal Blenheim at noon, and after several hours of pub-related shenanigans we’ll all meet up again for a rappertastic display of epic proportions in the King’s Arms at 4pm. Wow.

In other news, after last week’s triumphant return to practising in the glorious Curfew, we will be back again this Tuesday.

The upstairs floor is even better than we remembered following the recent refurbishment, although we were worried as we left a few scuff marks on its otherwise pristine surface. But no worries, the delightful new owners forgave us.

However, there was one moment of concern for us when we saw the lovely lights hanging above the dance space. Now, we do have something of a reputation in this area so a load of lightshades made from crystal decanters was a bit of a worry.

Never fear. We broke nothing. But that might not be the case this Sunday as some of those Oxford pubs have very low lights indeed…

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