For the past couple of years around this time of year, an incredibly ‘Harrogate’ corner of Harrogate – nestling behind the Crown Hotel in Crescent Gardens, has been enhanced, for two weeks only (as part of the Harrogate International Festivals) by the presence of a Spiegeltent. This structure almost feels like it was specifically designed for purpose, with Kursaal esque roof line and a perfect fit for the space, form. It, like the immediate locale, oozes Victoriana.
The raison d’être of a Spiegeltent, from it’s continental roots 100+ years ago was (and still is) that of a traveling entertainment venue. It’s essentially a big yurt like structure, with a raised wooden floor, fitted with stage and bar. The feel inside is that of a big, plush, opulent tent, crossed with an oldie worldie theatre crossed with a circus big top.
I popped in last year at the end of proceedings and vowed to check out a show there this year. I’m running out of time though – this weekend is the last weekend… These are the bits that stood out for me…
(Tomorrow) Thursday night THE party in town is definitely Craig Charles who’ll be bringing his 6Music Funk Show vibe to town with the mighty, Haggis Horns. I was lucky enough to see the Haggis Horns a few times when they played a night I was involved with called The Late Lounge, at Bar Med and they were awesome. A friend attended Criag’s show last year and said it was a brilliant. I hardly ever underline things on this blog by the way. That may well be a first.
On Friday night – and this is a night I’m really hoping to get to – Spiegeltent hosts a double helping of things that I want to have an ear taste of.
John Robb – former punk front man cum journalist, who invented the word Britpop, who helped launch The Stone Roses and Nirvana (by conducting their first UK interview) is doing a talk about “Punk Rock and its influence on personal creativity”. I feel I want to attend that just to see if the title is irony or not.
Following on from that, Smoove and Turrell will be brining their thang to town. They’ve been described as “Northern Funk” which piqued my interest. Having checked them out – there’s a video on the Spiegeltent Harrogate official website – they seems to have a charisma, tempo, groove & soul combo. Sort of James Brown meets The Rat Pack. I’ve got high hopes of them turning the atmosphere the Spiegeltent into something spesh. I do love a good party, me. I’m hoping so, because more than anything else, I want to experience the Spiegeltent in all her opulent glory.
There’s only a few days left though but plenty of interesting Speigel acts left by the look of things.. I challenge you to have a look through the remain acts, and not see something, that tickles your fancy.