The Groundhogs Bowes Cellar Darlington 1985?

The Groundhogs Bowes Cellar Darlington 1985?
groundhigsdarlobowes This was quite an eventful gig, and is thus worthy of mention on its own. It was probably in 1985 (I must have seen the Hogs many times in that year) and I went with my mate Dave. At the time the Bowes was a well-known pub in Skinnergate in the centre of Darlington; I understand it is now an Italian Restaurant; it’s sad how many great old pub venues have disappeared. In the 80s it hosted a number of gigs; I remember Man playing there and a few other bands; I only went this once. The gigs were in a Cellar bar under the main pub. I am pretty sure that there was a support act; The Force who are a well known local rock band, and were quite new at the time. To get to the Cellar bar you went through a door in the middle of the pub, and down a flight of stairs. The gig was on a Saturday night, and the upstairs bar was full of bikers. The Cellar wasn’t very big, so you were quite close to and facing the band, and the music was very LOUD. The Force played a good (loud) set of rock covers before the Groundhogs took the stage. Just before the Groundhogs were due to come on, we could hear some commotion upstairs in the bar. A voice shouted downstairs telling us that the bikers were fighting up in the bar; the door to the cellar was locked and we were told to stay down there, until the police arrived to stop the fighting. The Groundhogs played a great set, and we remained oblivious of the events upstairs, but somewhat nervous as to what else might occur. As it happened, all was well; by the time Tony and the guys had finished playing all signs of bikers and trouble had been dispersed by the police and we emerged safe from the Cellar and able to drive home in one piece. The ticket for this gig is a piece of art in itself, and very professionally produced 🙂 The line-up was the (now very familiar to me) Tony, Alan Fish (bass), Mick Kirton (drums). I remember that we were so close to the band that the drum kit looked massive, and that my ears were ringing for days after.

3 responses to this post.

  1. I’m from Darlington and spent many a night in The Bowes cellar watching local bands or going to their rock nights. I’d moved away by the mid eighties so didn’t get to this gig but I know a few people who were there.


    • Posted by scratch on August 25, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      I worked the cellear bar as Doorman then D’J lol


      • Posted by Pekka on January 20, 2017 at 9:58 am

        I came to this town in 86 or something. I was hitchhiking and the guy dropped me of somewhere near the city centre. I asked some people for a decent rock bar and they told me to go the the Bowes Cellar. I went there and it was a good place. Small with good music. I met decent people who put me up for a few days, then helped me to find a place to stay. Now we have the internet, and sometimes I just check out places I visited when I was travelling. The Bowes Cellar, yes, good memories.

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