safety in numbers blu
Bar Blu in Rhyl town centre closed its doors one final time tonight (Saturday 19th Jan), 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 débuts of Gintis, Jives Room and Der Bomber amongst 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 Jordan’s had boob jobs, and most of them were open 6 days a week (the clubs, not Jordan’s err…). 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.
On a positive note, by the time you read this Steve Rastin will have struck a new partnership to continue his tireless work in promoting new music in the area.