Bar Blu in Rhyl town centre closed its doors for the final time on Saturday 19th Jan 2008, not only depriving the community of a nightclub, but more importantly (in my eyes), also ending 5 years of gigs at the most unlikeliest of venues.
We all raised a collective eyebrow when local promoter, Steve Rastin announced he was to put on gigs at Bar Blu. We all raised the other eyebrow when he said it was going to be on a Wednesday night.
Gigs? In a one horse town like Rhyl! On a Wednesday night? It wouldn’t last… Well it didn’t, but 5 years of entertainment, good nights, average nights and poor nights was a good run. We took the rough with the smooth and enjoyed and endured whatever and whoever Bar Blu hosted.
The venue, for all its bad points (bad sound, wrong shape etc) allowed three bands a week, every week to play. That’s around 750 performances from touring Canadian professionals like Zeroscape, to the barely out of school locals like The 4 Sticks. Add to the list the live debuts of Gintis, Jives Room and Der Bomber among others who went on to release albums and record BBC sessions and you may see how vital this place had become to the local music community.
Times have changed though over the last twenty years… Rhyl used to boast more nightclubs than a lot of cities, and most of them were open 6 days a week. Things seemed to turn over the millennium, maybe by coincidence or by public conscience. Tired of being charged high admission prices, even by pubs on New Years Eve, people discovered the fun of partying at home with friends, and also the financial and safety benefits of doing so. The clubs felt the pinch and one by one they began to disappear.
Steve Rastin soon found venues to continue his tireless work in promoting new music in the area.
Here’s a Bar Blu Gigography
March 26: Invisible Sun + Hooper.
April 2: Red Mojo.
April 9: Gintis + Whitewash.
April 16: Hooper + Dusty Moo.
April 23: Invisible Sun + Feedback.
April 30: Lonesome Boys + Kentucky AFC. (review)
May 7: Homespun + 13amp.
May 14: Infinity Chimps + ModelSuperb + Dusty Moo. (review)
May 21: Hooper + Hannah + Sarah Davies.
May 28: Red Mojo + MK + Rob Armstrong.
June 4: Turnstone + Kentucky AFC + Dusty Moo. (review)
June 11: Junebug + Gintis + Jives Room. (review)
June 18: Pistachio Fiends + Kneejerk. (review)
June 25: Cadium + Flesh Resonance. (review)
July 2: Skin Trade + MK + Sarah Davies.
July 9: Jives Room + The Hollow. (review)
July 16: 13amp + Inner City Sumo + Rob Armstrong. (review)
July 23: Flinch + Homespun + Jape. (review)
July 30: Levin + Hooper.
August 6: Junebug + Gintis + Jives Room. (review)
August 13: ModelSuperb + the Hollow + Sarah Davies. (review)
August 20: Kentucky AFC + Bellevue.
August 27: Skinflick + 9XDead + Pain Deleted. (review)
September 3: Fudged + Pistachio Fiends + Inner City Sumo. (review)
September 10: Junk Culture + Giant + Resonate.
September 17: Feedback + Casino + Hooper. (review)
September 24: Flesh Resonsance + Alien Matter + Carbon Atom. (review)
October 1: Gintis + Science + The Hollow. (review)
October 8: Carpet + Jives Room + My Band Is Bigger Than Your Band. (review)
October 15: White Buffalo + Kyle&Christian.
October 22: Junebug + Modern Tradition.
October 29: Stuntface + The Cox + Kneejerk.
November 5: King Sativa + Kobe + Imcygs.
November 12: Resonate + Giant + Kyle Lee.
November 19: Bootnic + Snatch. (review)
November 26: 13amp + The Quarter + Sarah Davies.
December 3: Kentucky AFC + Carpet + The Cox.
December 10: The Hollow + Modern Tradition + Dusty Moonan. (review)
December 17: Fudged + Kyle & Gwynn + Gape.
December 23: Junebug + Jives Room + Gintis.
December 30: The Quarter + Inner City Sumo + Hooper.
Jan 7: Jape + Ethergy
Jan 14: Station Ten + Levin (review)
Jan 21: Perfectly Flawed + Sarah Davies
Jan 28: Gape + Six Year Hangover (review)
Feb 4: Shatterhand + The Cox + Xms3 (review)
Feb 11: Jives Room + Lantern
Feb 18: The Hollow + Resonate + Zenith
Feb 25: Junebug + Modern Tradition
Mar 3: Vinny Peculiar + Gintis + Dionitic (review)
Mar 10: Carpet + Salem (review)
Mar 17: The Well-Off + Kneejerk + L98
Mar 24: David Wrench + Gintis + The Caves (review)
Mar 31: Ethergy + Gotti + Monkey Shuffle (review)
Apr 7: Station Ten + Carbon Atom + Giant
Apr 14: Brokenpavement + Kyle & Gwynn
Apr 21: Kentucky AFC + Jives Room + Winabego (review)
Apr 28: Lantern + Salem + Kagnee (review)
May 5: Flesh Resonance + Brokenpavement (review)
May 12: Gogz + Fear n Loathing + Bechdan Jam
May 19: Junebug + Ship Ahoy! + Valleum (review)
May 26: Kneejerk + Kagnee (review)
Jun 2: Perfectly Flawed + Hannah + John Evans
June 9: Sonic State + Bootnic + Zenith (review)
Jun 16: The Obsession + Winabego + Dusty Moonan (review)
Jun 23: Ethergy + Dressed Naked + John Evans
Jun 30: Swallows + Jaded Youth (review)
Jul 7: Once Over + Kneejerk + Surreal
Jul 14: Flynch + Jives Room + Modern Tradition (review)
Jul 21: Wishing Hour + The Hollow + Inner City Sumo (review)
Jul 28: Nutonic + Minusoneraver + Ephesus (review)
Aug 4: Xms3 + Glen UK + Mishap (review)
Aug 11: Ethergy + Real Crazy Apartment + Legends For A Day + Jamie Cardno (review)
Aug 18: Subterfuge + Fear n Loathing + Junebug
Aug 25: Carpet + Mendes
Sep 1: Babakin + Hannah + Kyle & Gwynn
Sep 8: Cadium + Day With Mary + Snowblind
Sep 15: Trip + Kneejerk (review)
Sep 22: Sonic State + Jives Room (review)
Sep 29: Ethergy + Giant + Legends For A Day
Oct 6: Modern Tradition + Flynch + The Chillers
Oct 13: Micrographia + Gwynn & Aled (review)
Oct 20: Mumm-Ra + Ephesus
Oct 27: King Chimera + Winabego
Nov 3: Modern Tradition + Ralph Latham
Nov 10: Lantern + Inferno + Subterfuge
Nov 17: Carpet (review)
Nov 24: Swallows + Synko + Christian Parry
Dec 1: Bootnic + Sonic State
Dec 8: Once Over + Fear n Loathing + L98 (review)
Dec 15: Vinny Peculiar + Panicking Mannequins + Kneejerk (review)
Dec 22: Jives Room + Junebug + Gintis + Aled & Friends (review)
Dec 29: Zangryus + Kneejerk + The Sympathetic Affliction
Jan 5: Bitchpups + Beehive Project + Sona (review)
Jan 12: Ethergy + Portrait Of A Lifetime
Jan 19: Valleum + the Loungs + Mark Wilson (review)
Jan 26: Kardomah + Sunspy + Giant
Feb 2: Kobe + John Morris + Modern Tradition
Feb 9: The Monzas + Sona
Feb 16: Micrographia + Lantern (review)
Feb 23: Beat Poet + Trip + Gwynn & Aled (review)
Mar 2: Bootnic + The Grain + Winabego + Kyle Lee
Mar 9: From Mars + Kyle Lee (review)
Mar 16: Zeroscape + Jives Room + Modern Tradition (review)
Mar 23: Flynch + Ephesus + Moses Eats Cheese
Mar 30: Fudged + Blueprint + Evolve + John Hughes
Apr 6: Uniting The Elements + Sabretooth + Gintis (review)
Apr 13: Valleum + HyperTraffic + Giant + Ralph Latham (review)
Apr 20: Gods Of Good Living + The Sympathetic Affliction + Snowblind (review)
Apr 27: Xms3 + Mishap (review)
May 4: Lantern + Sweet Leaf + Leni Ward (review)
May 11: The Loungs + Gintis + Der Bomber (review)
May 18: Stone Ocean + Tailors Of Taboo + Ralph Latham
May 25: The Monzas + Sharp Practise + Luiz Stockler + Bootnic
Jun 1: Bitchpups + Sonic State + Eugene
Jun 8: Fudged + Kyle Lee + Jamie Cardno
Jun 15: Der Bomber + Mekha + Lumpheap + Kyle Lee
Jun 22: My Turn To Kill + Dressed Naked + Ralph Latham (review)
Jun 29: X-Ell + Scarlet Letter Union + The Hungry I + Reaper Man
Jul 6: Once Over + The Phlegms + Der Bomber (review)
Jul 13: Phoenix Down + Lantern + Anthony Renshaw + Daniel & Sarah Johnson
Jul 20: Evolve + Anders + Kyle Lee
Jul 27: MBAF + HyperTraffic + Kobe (review)
Aug 3: Zombina & the Skeletones + Jives Room + Delayed Promise (review)
Aug 10: And What Will Be Left Of Them + Gintis + Elcho + Reaper Man
Aug 17: Zeroscape + The Affliction + Wildfire
Aug 24: Dressed Naked + DOA UK + Leni Ward + Kyle Lee
Aug 31: 3 Minute Warning + Sieze The Day + The Scott Bakers + Gwynn Jones
Sep 7: Spargo + Melaphobia + Ephesus
Sep 14: Glen UK + MethodInMadness + Sandbox
Sep 21: Haemosonic + Fear n Loathing + I Am The Door + Rob McCulloch
Sep 28: Uniting the Elements + Makabre + From Plan To Progress + Giant
Oct 5: NewBreed + Wildfire + This Alltime Low
Oct 12: Beehive Project + Junebug + Sweet Leaf
Oct 19: Obsessive Compulsive + Inferno + My Turn To Kill + Kyle Lee (review)
Oct 26: Not Shibby + Blindfold
Nov 2: Killionaire + Fudged + Plantfoot
Nov 9: Ethergy + Starlight Fix + Daniel Johnson + Ben Jackson
Nov 16: X-Ell + Bitchpups + Girl13 + Kyle Parry
Nov 23: Audience + Der Bomber
Nov 30: Jegar + Bankshot
Dec 7: Letdown + Nixon + Wildfire
Dec 14: Dressed Naked + Blindfold + DOA UK (review)
Dec 21: Jives Room + Gintis + Der Bomber + Junebug (review)
Dec 27: Demolution + Evolve
Dec 28: The Emetics + Sona + The Affliction + The Scott Bakers