Dragonfly Tattoo to headline next Henshaws live music night

Vicky Whelan of Dragonfly Tattoo.
Vicky Whelan of Dragonfly Tattoo.
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For live music fans, the monthly Friday Night Mix in Knaresborough stands out as one of a kind.

The small venue scene in the Harrogate district does boast regular gigs at the likes of The Blues Bar, The Den, The Hales Bar, Christie and The Ivory in Harrogate, Park Place Social Club in Knaresborough, The One Eyed Rat in Ripon and various country pubs.

Only Friday Night Mix at Henshaws Arts & Crafts Centre in Knaresborough is devoted to indie music to such a degree, though it also offers acoustic and rock.

Organised by Rufus Beckett, a member himself of two local bands, The Four 45s and The Paper Waits, this free event is the showcase for up-and-coming acts who don’t specialise in the blues or cover versions.

Rufus said: "We've been running the Friday Night Mix for two years now. It's great to see the events have gradually grown in attendance and developed a regular following.

"There's a good spirit. What's amazing is that people from bands that play at the event coming down to support other bands when they play."

The event also helps raise funds for Henshaws which

"FNM gigs raise a small amount of money for Henshaws buit also play an important role in making our two annual festivals Fright Fest and Bed Fest successes.

"Last year's Bed Fest raised a total of £4,000 for Henshaws. A huge thanks goes out to all the bands that come and play for free and the volunteers that give up their time to run the nights, in particular Guy Mason and John Reeves."

The latest FNM takes place on Friday, January 29 with a great couple of semi-acoustic acts.

Youngsters The Backyard Bisons triumphed in the grand final of last year’s AMP Awards at the Royal Hall in Harrogate when they represented Ripon Grammar School.

Headliners are the more experienced Dragonfly Tattoo who won the Harrogate Advertiser’s Record of the Year in 2014 with Closer to the Sun with their moody, atmospheric guitar, keyboards and strings-laden sounds..

That spellbinding collection of songs written by the band’s mesmerising lead singer Vicky Whelan is one of two EPs this sophisticated outfit have released to date.

With hints of PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, Beach House and Beth Gibbons of Portishead, their intense, occasionally ethereal music is the work of Vicky on keyboards and vocals, Robert Coxon on guitar, Andy Barrington on bass, Heewon Kang on cello and John Ross on drums.

One of a run of gigs the band will play over the next month, other dates include The Mitre in Knaresborough on February 28 and the 360 Club in Leeds on March 4.

The talented Vicky Whelan, who supported the award-winning Cara Dillon at Harrogate Theatre last year, will also perform solo with cello at Café Nero in Harrogate on January 24.

Other irons in her considerable fire include a possible solo acoustic album as well as new Dragonfly Tattoo with the band’s guitarist Robert Coxon.