The Manx Sound Exchange: Bridge over troubled water
LIKE a breath of fresh air comes news of the emergence of The Bridge in Douglas as a keen live music venue.
Current gaffer at the quayside bar and restaurant is none other than Jabberwocky founder Laura Caldwell, and after a few test events she is hoping to establish the Bridge as a hub of local musical talent.
It all begins tonight (Thursday), for the inaugural Batteries Not Included, an open mic night Laura hopes to hold every week.
It looks to be a strong line-up for opening night, with the likes of Nick Barlow, Kris Breadner, Teresa McNulty and Aaron Forster expected to be strumming (or assaulting guitar necks with empty beer bottles in Forster’s case).
If the weekly open mics take off, Laura hopes to start hosting regular gigs on Friday and Saturday nights.
‘The open mics we had at Jabberwocky worked really well, that’s how I got the idea,’ she said, ‘But I want to hold events more consistently at The Bridge.
‘There’s so much talent in Douglas, but with not many places to hear it.’
Laura added the concept will work well in the summer, with the front of the bar all opened up to the outdoor seating area that straddles the harbour.
‘I want it to showcase loads of local talent, and get the name out there,’ she said.
‘We hope to get a band every week. We’ve tried a few DJs too, it’s not just for guitar music. We might even have a ceilidh or two!’
Live events so far have included eclectic DJ Juan Thyme, veteran of the Secret Garden Party, Wilderness, The Glade, and Burning Man festivals in November last year, and a New Year’s Eve party that featured the mellow grooves of multi-instrumentalists Brian Brough and Jack and Lily Wolter. This writer was at both events, and the good news is that the warm atmosphere at The Bridge fits live music like a glove.
The acoustics were crystal-clear for both types of music, and the bar furniture is adjustable enough to make room for a dancefloor, or for the audience to recline and appreciate more subtle sounds too.
It will be a welcome boost for the musician scene, with so many Douglas venues falling by the wayside in recent years, and with the refurbished Railway just a few doors away also looking to host live events, there’s potential for North Quay to become something of a musical nucleus.
The Thursday night Batteries Not Included open mics will also help fill the void left by the Surgery Sessions at the nearby Albert, which served as a vibrant meeting point for musicians. And with the infamous karaoke night at The Saddle every week too, Thursday nights on the quay are looking lively!
• Lee Brooks’ ramblings on the rumblings of the island’s music scene. Help support the scene by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 695674 with Manx music news, reviews and photos
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Isle of Man
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 26 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 7 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: South west