Events in Chester

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Chester often list weelky nights at Cruise Nightclub, Rosies Nightclub and The Laugh Inn to name a few.

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Thea Gilmore Christmas Party
Tickets £16


“Here’s to tonic, here’s to gin, here’s to sparks and here’s to gasoline…” You’re The Radio

We are lucky to have musicians like Thea Gilmore, musicians that want more from themselves and more from music than some pre-formed, whistle-friendly cud, something to chew on but never fully digest. In an age where artists – male and female – tend to be either hyper-sexualised or completely neutered, Gilmore is that rare creature, an actual adult with a heart and a soul, a grown up with an opinion. Thea Gilmore is a real person tackling the sort of issues real people deal with every day, only, unlike the rest of us, she tackles those issues with an utterly beautiful voice and songs that touch on folk and jazz and rock and Americana.

Not for no reason does Bruce Springsteen buy her records, do artistes ranging from Martha Wainwright to Mike Scott seek to collaborate with her, and not for no reason does Tom Waits’ celebrated percussionist Michael Blair appear on Murphy’s Heart, Gilmore’s tenth album – one that follows a sustained period of artistic and critical success.

2008’s Liejacker was a deeply personal collection that included a track with Joan Baez. It was, in Gilmore’s words, “the lovechild of whisky and heartache”. The Observer seemed to agree, noting that these songs would, “make your heart catch, your skin prickle and your eyes fill with tears”, which seems a good place to start. The Times said that last year’s Strange Communion was so good it just proved that Gilmore is, “unarguably one of the finest singer-songwriters of her generation.”  There is the sense of a tipping point being reached. Album ten is a serious landmark release in anyone’s book except, perhaps, that one owned by the artist in question.

“It’s just a number,” Gilmore says, laughing, a cup of tea in her hands. “If it’s a milestone at all it’s because I feel my guard has dropped a bit and that’s something I’ve always battled with in the past. There’s been a bit of a glass wall in front of what I do. I never tended to let people in. If that’s not all gone, then it’s only clingfilm now.”

Gilmore says she’s not “an easy going sort of girl”, but if that translates into firmly resisting pressure to conform to singer-songwriter stereotypes then we should hope more people take up the fight.

“Maybe being 30 and being a mother has changed me,” she says. “That’s my everyday now, but the greatest art comes from the everyday. I always used to be getting told what to do, getting told to be more like whoever was happening at the time, but that’s what happens when you put baked-bean salesmen in charge of art. I hate calling it “art” as that sounds awful, but when you’re dealing with what comes from the human psyche, you’re dealing with art. Trying to make one person’s mind like another inevitably leads to failure. It struck me even at 16 or 17 that this was weird. So I got this name as someone who was stridently against signing a major record deal, but I just thought of it as being sensible.”

For someone who has grown up “standing back and making great state of the union addresses”, Gilmore is quietly delighting in examining the tiny aspects of life and pulling at each thread to see what just how enormous the repercussions can be.

“I don’t have to live my life with this sense of impending self-importance anymore,” she says. “That’s very liberating. You don’t have to be trying to write Masters Of War every time. You can write about your own decisions, turn small parts of your life into songs that people can relate to.”

So Gilmore’s new record Murphy’s Heart is smart and honest and confident enough to concentrate on life’s most important themes: love and sex. She considers both the damage that love does, the violence that it can invoke, the guilt that comes with parental love, but also the maddening truth that one means precisely nothing without the other. Gilmore is wise enough to write a song like God’s Got Nothing On You which casually nails an habitual self-regarder (already speculation has it that one Tony Blair was the inspiration) who abandons “all those friends you outgrew with Bombay gin and a rose tattoo…”, while being uncynical and open enough to write something as beautiful as Due South where a young man heads off, “feet on the dash of a rented car” only to soon find himself alone and lost, “looking for hope in stiletto heels…”

If not all of life is here, then certainly the bits that really matter are dealt with in ways that will have you going back repeatedly, poring over her thoughts and words, her actions and their attendant inactions.

“I’m a 30-year-old woman with a 3 1/2 year old son,” Gilmore says. “I feel like I know life a little more now. I am in the dance rather than watching from the sidelines.”

Parenthood crops up – subtly – on the album. Mexico is about impending parenthood, how your life is changed forever in that moment of discovery, while Wondrous Thing is about suddenly being a parent, imagining that the world might just stop at any moment with the shock of this strange, undying love.

As for sex, well if the song Teach Me To Be Bad had a subtitle it might well be, Teach Me To Do Bad Things. “I’m from a small dreamy village in rural Oxfordshire,” Gilmore says with a twinkle… “So I grew up appreciating people who take their time over things… and, err,  further education can never be a bad thing?”

She also describes Jazz Hands as, “a pure sex thing. I wrote it and it made me laugh so it had to go on. I love that track…”

The single, You’re On The Radio is a decidedly sunny take on being properly in love, appropriately as it’s a co-write with her partner, Nigel Stonier. It is, Gilmore admits with a laugh, a distinct artistic departure for her.

“I’ve not done much like that, no! But you can’t be dark all the time. I wondered about whether I wanted a bright, breezy, happy person for a few minutes – then I thought, why not? What could go wrong! In fact, being upfront and honest about the positivity in my life is way more of a challenge for me than getting the dark stuff across”

That darker side (“I think of it as bleak optimism…”) is well represented by How The Love Gets In, a piano-led piece that considers the “glimpses” we get of fulfillmnent and happiness, while Automatic Blue deals with a friend of Gilmore’s who met the love of his life some years after getting married and having children to someone else.

“Watching someone so in love with the person they couldn’t have made me very, very sad,” she says. “I come from a background of having experience of that – my father did the same thing for years and years and years – so I know what the fallout feels like. But my friend was very dignified. He backed off and it made me feel very sad. That was an unknown feeling for me as I’ve always been on the side of the injured party, the person who had been cheated on, as that’s what I’ve always dealt with.”

Gilmore grew up in a house was full of “hippy” music. Dylan, Beatles, Fairport Convention, Hendrix, Cream, but they found room for Dire Straits and Abba too. Her dad was a fairly hardcore folky – there were John Renbourne and Jake Thackery records – while her mum was a huge classical music fan who, famously, refused to even enter the Isle Of Wight festival when she saw the state of the place.

Gilmore was a solitary child. There were only two other children in her village, both boys. She was “gobby”, but the youngest of two, so she could be gobby and not get a smack for it. “I was pretty bookish,” she says. “I loved to read and write. I enjoyed my own company.”

When Gilmore was 6 she had an all-three-books-in-one copy of Lord Of The Rings. She took it into school only to be told she was not allowed to read it as it was “too grown up”.

“My mother steamed into the school and tore shreds off this teacher. I loved her for doing that, but I also thought, why aren’t more people doing this?”

Gilmore was, she says, “raised on Guinness and live music”, though she insists she never wanted a wild party lifestyle, which was lucky as, “there wasn’t one to be had!” At 17 she moved to the heaving metropolis that was Sandbach in Cheshire taking her Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and Tom Waits records with her.

Thea had got some work experience at a recording sudio when she was sixteen. She loved words and loved singing but she never wanted to be a singer – it never crossed her mind apparently. But she met Nigel, wrote a few songs and got a deal with a tiny label in Oxford. “I was passionate,” she says. “But I never thought anyone could get that lucky. I thought it was magic – and it is! Writing music is magical and the idea of selling it was too much to imagine. But these things kept on happening.”

She still looks back on the ten years that have passed with bewilderment, like she can’t quite believe the way things have really evolved. The first time she got on the radio she was already on album three. Her career had been fuelled by her own passion for writing and making music, but also by the small, close-knit team she had put together.

“That feeling never diminishes,” she says. “Especially as I don’t have a £300000 ad campaign behind me. When I get radio play it’s because they like the song. Incredible. And it keeps getting better.”

So now Gilmore gets to play Glastonbury and go backstage to meet Bruce Springsteen.

“His whole team is amazing,” she says. “The first time I met Bruce he’d just done three hours on stage in Manchester and he was still bouncing off the walls – he has so much energy. He said  he’d just bought another one of my albums. I said Bruce you buy albums?? You so should have just called me I could have spared you one!!But he goes to record shops and buys what he likes. He puts his hand in his pocket and supports the musicians – that’s an amazing person…”

Ten albums in, Gilmore has a strong and supportive fanbase in place, the sort of people who turn up for every show and want to meet and talk, to share how her music makes them feel.

“So much of our life now is transient,” she says, “but there are people out there who have really stuck with me. I speak to a lot of people who come to gigs, but I try and speak to everyone. With this record I want people to hear the progression, the broadening of what I do. I’ve stepped outside my musical box and actually pulled it off!”

How does that feel, I ask?

“It feels natural,” she says, putting the teacup back in the saucer, “but it took a long time to get here!”

 

.... more info


When: December 12, 2017, 12:00 am
Where: Telford's Warehouse
Latin Mania!
Salsa classes and Latin dance night
Free Bar Entry – Classes £4 each or £6 for both

Latin MANIA!
Salsa classes and Latin dance night

Telfords has hosted a salsa club in Chester for over 15 years and we’re now launching Latin MANIA!

Learn Cuban salsa lessons every Wednesday with Banderas (Havana, Cuba), Lee Baker and Rachel Forshaw. Lessons are provided for all levels of ability, from complete beginners to experienced dancers. You don’t need a partner – you’ll change partners all the time in a friendly, fun group.

8.00 pm: Separate classes for Beginners and Improver level

8.45 pm: Intermediate level partnerwork and Improver (and above) rueda (Cuban group dance, performed in a circle or ‘wheel’)

- Beginner classes introduce you to salsa music, teach the basic footwork steps and let you take your first steps dancing with a partner.

- Improver classes build up your repertoire of fundamental partner work sequences.

- Intermediate classes build up more advanced partner work and solo patterns, and help develop body movement and musicality.

9.30 pm till 12.30: Dance into the night with a mix that includes salsa, timba, bachata, regaetton, merengue, latin pop and more.

Classes are just £4 for one class or £6 for two classes. Entry to social dancing after 9.30 is free.

.... more info


When: December 13, 2017, 12:00 am
Where: Telford's Warehouse
The Chocolate Men Wrexham Show
.... more info


When: December 13, 2017, 7:00 pm
Where: Liquid And Envy Wrexham
A Night In The Spotlight - Wednesday 13th Dec 2017
Musical Theatre: A Night in the Spotlight is an entertaining, vibrant and exciting musical revue show. Featuring musical numbers from a variety of musicals including Rent, Chicago, Wonderland and many more. It will have you reminiscing about the musicals you know, and it will introduce you to a world of iconic musicals you have never heard of before. This musical revue showcases the talent, imagination and creativity of our Performing Arts Level 3 Extended Diploma students. This show will introduce you to the talented learners at Coleg Cambria as they showcase their solo singing skills with a selection of group choral numbers. Medea: Medea is a wife and a mother. When her husband abandons his family for a new life, she exacts an appalling revenge and destroys everything she holds dear. This revenge tragedy has been brought to life with a contemporary style that will have you on the edge of your seats.  .... more info


When: December 13, 2017, 7:00 pm
Where: Theatr Iâl
Galleon Blast
Tickets £9
Follow link below or phone (01244) 390 090

 

.... more info


When: December 14, 2017, 12:00 am
Where: Telford's Warehouse
A Night In The Spotlight - Thursday 14th Dec 2017 MATINEE
Musical Theatre: A Night in the Spotlight is an entertaining, vibrant and exciting musical revue show. Featuring musical numbers from a variety of musicals including Rent, Chicago, Wonderland and many more. It will have you reminiscing about the musicals you know, and it will introduce you to a world of iconic musicals you have never heard of before. This musical revue showcases the talent, imagination and creativity of our Performing Arts Level 3 Extended Diploma students. This show will introduce you to the talented learners at Coleg Cambria as they showcase their solo singing skills with a selection of group choral numbers. Medea: Medea is a wife and a mother. When her husband abandons his family for a new life, she exacts an appalling revenge and destroys everything she holds dear. This revenge tragedy has been brought to life with a contemporary style that will have you on the edge of your seats.  .... more info


When: December 14, 2017, 1:00 pm
Where: Theatr Iâl
Santa Cruz
SANTA CRUZ is a Finnish modern hard rock band formed on the hot summer of 2007 in Helsinki by Archie and Johnny. With the mutual aspiration of playing their rear ends off and kicking people’s derrieres the two teens shared the same goals and similar same passion for a band to be. Inspired by greats as Skid Row and Guns N’ Roses, the name Santa Cruz was chosen as the title of their vision of a perfect hard rock band. In the beginning of the following year, Middy joined in to play the bass. A year and a half (and two drummers) later Taz was found to man the drum throne permanently, cementing the line-up of the 4-piece band. Introducing themselves to a larger audience in the semifinal stage of the Finnish nationwide band competition Ääni ja Vimma in 2009, Santa Cruz released two demos in 2008–2009, the latter of which, “Another Rush Of Adrenaline”, received remarkable reviews on the media. Word of mouth about Cruz crew’s explosive stage presence and rabble-rousing shows spread like wildfire, resulting in a lengthy succession of shows (the band played well over a 150 shows while still in demo stage) which in turn established the band as the hardest working men of metal mayhem in Finland. After dropping a self-released EP of six songs under the title “Anthems for the Young ‘n’ Restless” and a music video for the title track, the band was already news internationally too. The media attention and an unbroken continuum of hellraising performances had the Finnish hotbed label of music with edge and attitude, Spinefarm Records, lend their ear to the tunes of the Cruz Crew. Eventually in 2012 the band scored a worldwide record deal with the Finnish metal behemoth, and after intensive studio sessions at Hollola and Helsinki, the ass-kicking, 11 track label debut “Screaming For Adrenaline” was unleashed upon the anticipating audience on April 26th, 2013. As the chant in the debut single “Relentless Renegades” quotes Julius Caesar “We Came, We Saw, We Conquered!,” the album was released to raving reviews and cracked the Top40 on Finnish album chart. The album saw the sound of Santa Cruz truly take flight, assaulting the ears with an explosion of pure adrenaline and attitude in the form of honest Rock ‘n’ Roll, not to mention the virtuoso level of musicianship, especially in the flashy guitar work of Archie & Johnny. The band was aiming high and the Party had now seriously started. Now everyone started to take note. In 2013 the band signed an international booking deal with TKO Agency (Motörhead, Anthrax, Buckcherry etc.) and subsequently played their first three British Tours. The year also saw the fearsome foursome continue their heavy gigging domestically. In addition to complete conquest of Finnish stages big and small, Santa Cruz also paid their first visits to Germany and Belgium supporting their heroes Skid Row. In between all the touring Santa Cruz somehow also found a way to squeeze in the time to prepare for the recording of their 2nd album. Completing the recordings slow and sweet, meanwhile they took over the Finnish radio waves with their two highly regarded vinyl/digital singles, “We Are the Ones To Fall” and “Wasted And Wounded”, each accompanied by smashing videos by up-and-coming L.A. –based director Ville Juurikkala. And when 2014 came to a close, “We Are the Ones To Fall” was the most aired song of the year on the Finnish nationwide station Radio Rock. Mission complete. In December 2014 the band did their first North American press trip, which was wrapped up with an amazing acoustic performance at the New York Offices of Spinefarm Records. The band played to a packed room, in front of some of the most influential press and industry heavyweights in the area. The four song acoustic set featured “We Are The Ones To Fall”, “Aiming High”, “Wasted And Wounded” and rounded things out with an emotionally powerful cover version of Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You”. March 2015 saw the release of the band’s eponymous sophomore effort, which further distances the band from the throwback glam metal sound, as they mix their influence of the 80’s and early 90’s hard rock sound with elements of modern rock and metal and put it in their own special blender, ice the mix with blinding energy, stupefying stage show and a healthy dash of bad attitude! Now in 2017 NEW ALBUM "BAD BLOOD RISING" OUT 10th NOV! Support Skarlett Riot, Black Cat Bones £12 adv // 7pm // 14+ (U16 to be accompanied .... more info


When: December 14, 2017, 7:00 pm
Where: The Live Rooms (Seated)
A Night In The Spotlight - Thursday 14th Dec 2017
Musical Theatre: A Night in the Spotlight is an entertaining, vibrant and exciting musical revue show. Featuring musical numbers from a variety of musicals including Rent, Chicago, Wonderland and many more. It will have you reminiscing about the musicals you know, and it will introduce you to a world of iconic musicals you have never heard of before. This musical revue showcases the talent, imagination and creativity of our Performing Arts Level 3 Extended Diploma students. This show will introduce you to the talented learners at Coleg Cambria as they showcase their solo singing skills with a selection of group choral numbers. Medea: Medea is a wife and a mother. When her husband abandons his family for a new life, she exacts an appalling revenge and destroys everything she holds dear. This revenge tragedy has been brought to life with a contemporary style that will have you on the edge of your seats.  .... more info


When: December 14, 2017, 7:00 pm
Where: Theatr Iâl
Mischief presents The Ultimate Christmas Party with East 17
.... more info


When: December 14, 2017, 10:00 pm
Where: Rosies
Friday Night Comedy
Friday Night Comedy brings the very best comedians from the UK and beyond to Alexander's Live in the heart of Chester.
.... more info


When: December 15, 2017, 12:00 am
Where: Alexander's Live
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