Happenings in Barnet...

Since the tragic loss of Barnet's best known music venue (Duke of Lancaster R.I.P.) there hasn't been much of interest happening on the local rock scene. However...

All is not lost. Quite. There is no longer anywhere in Barnet booking bands playing original material, but there are now a few pubs booking cover bands again.: Live music is happening most Saturday nights at Ye Olde Monken Holt in Hadley Highstone on the Great North Road. This intimate venue is one of Barnet's oldest pubs and is full of character, as well as having a reputation for serving excellent real ales. The Misty Moon in the High Street is starting to put bands on more regularly on Saturday nights, and there is also a new Western themed bar & grill called Guns and Smoke which is putting bands on now and then. There was a band playing at the Builders Arms in New Barnet most Saturday nights, but this only happens occasionally now - mostly on Bank Holiday weekends... The Prince of Wales in East Barnet village has bands on around once a month, but they aren't very good at letting people know about it... The Black Horse in High Barnet has occasional bands, but this tends to be more in the form of unobtrusive background music. There are regular Open Mic/Jam nights at the White Lion on Thursdays and the Misty Moon on Sundays - all Performers welcome, PA and drums provided.

Currently the best place for keeping up to date with local music is

For more information on the above pubs see the excellent Beer In The Evening website.

The Alexandra in New Barnet has now shut.

The Bell & Buck (formerly the Bailey) has now shut.

The former Bull & Butcher in nearby Whetstone had a major refurb and became the Real Music Club for a while and featured local and 'name' bands. It has now become the iBar and no longer books rock bands. One of it's former promoters now puts on the odd show at the nearby All Saints Arts Centre

The Cat & Lantern has shut.

The Green Man has shut.

The legendary Duke Of Lancaster has been knocked down and replaced by a block of flats.

The Torrington in Finchley has shut.

June 2006 saw the return of the popular free East Barnet Festival in Oakhill Park - featuring many live bands, a beer tent and loads more... Go here to see what I thought of what little I saw of the (2006) festival.

Here's some stuff you missed:

Live music returned briefly to the Cat & Lantern in East Barnet village for a couple of nights after the new manager took over earlier last year. However, the guy who lived in the flat over the pub complained to the council yet again and managed to once more put a stop to bands playing at this (once) popular local watering hole... Update: The Cat & Lantern is now 'under new management' - for the second time this year. No sign of live music returning for the forseeable future...

CAT & LANTERN UPDATE: This once popular pub is no more. It is now a trendy upmarket place called The Village Bar. No live bands, bouncers on the door, Dress code: smart/casual. Everyone I know refuses to set foot inside of it.

UPDATE: The Village Bar has now closed as well. I don't think many people will miss it...

Here's some more stuff you missed:

Binge Drinking made their Barnet debut at the Cat & Lantern on 15th October 2005 - rock 'n' roll, punk, and rock music from the '50 onwards was inflicted on the unsuspecting punters. After a shakey start, the band won people over and by the second set plenty of people were dancing. The management were impressed enough to re-book the band on the spot - they will be back on Christmas Eve.

30th September: Airplay @ The Bell & Buck (formerly The Bailey) in New Barnet. A good night of ROCK!

1st-3rd July: East Barnet Festival
Once again, Sunday seems the day to go if you like ROCK music - I recommend
catching The Haunting AD at around four in the afternoon.
Apart from that, the beer tent will probably be the best place to be...

The Diesel Gang made their debut at The Bailey playing hard rock covers on Friday 27th May. It was a great night and loads of fun was had! The band are back at The Bailey in September.

The Fabulous Feedback Band return to The Green Man on Saturday 23rd April. They have packed the place the previous two times they have played there!

Popular local band Three will be appearing at the Cat & Lantern on Saturday 23rd April.

All girl rock covers band Feline will be returning to the Green Man on Saturday April 30th after their highly successful debut there last year.

The Playgirls made their debut at the Green Man on Saturday 12th March after their other popular gigs elsewhere in Barnet.

JOANovARC at the Green Man on Wednesday 15th December. An excellent debut in Barnet from a terrific new all girl rock band!

Some of you will remember the Fabulous Feedback Band from their many many gigs at the much missed Duke Of Lancaster and also the Felix & Firkin (now The Avenue). They made their long awaited return to Barnet on 26th November 2004 at the Green Man. It was a great night and the place was so full people were being turned away at the door!

November 6th at the Green Man: Feline - all girl hard rock cover band. Amazingly good!

November 5th at The Green Man: The Gems - sleazy female fronted ROCK from Camden - well worth checking out!.

14th August: The Diesel Gang at the Green Man - a good night!

Unfortunately, it looks like after several great nights at the Cat & Lantern 9th July was the last time The Playgirls will play at this venue due to problems over noise levels. The band already have another local venue in their sights so they should be back in Barnet before too long...

The 2004 East Barnet Festival proved to be a bit of an anti-climax, with many people complaining about it being badly organised. Unlike last year there was no information whatever available on the festival website about the live music bill over the weekend. In the past, the Saturday has been mainly folk and acoustic music with the rock bands playing on Sunday. Consequently, many rock fans stayed away on the Saturday this year. Unknown to them, the format had been changed for 2004 and some rock bands did play on the Saturday - to rather less people than they would have done if some information on this had been available on the festival website. Quite a few rock fans did turn up on the Sunday - to find only one rock band actually playing. The festival had been advertised as a FREE event, so many people were somewhat taken aback to be asked to pay 3 to get into the tent to see the day's only proper 'rock' band (the excellent Three) perform. Nearly all the disappointed punters voted with their feet and stayed in the beer tent area instead. The band ended up playing to only a handful of people as a result. Later in the afternoon when one of the event's the organisers was performing an acoustic set in the music tent to only a few people the admission charge was suddenly dropped... This ensured a bigger audience for said artiste, but did not go down well with some of the people who had actually paid to get into the music tent earlier!

On 17th July (2003) there will be two bands playing their own stuff at the Cat & Lantern: Smash The Vision (indie) and Daddy Those Men Scare Me (punk) will be playing that night. It's free to get in as well.

The 2003 East Barnet Festival takes place on the 5th and 6th of July - there will be a load of bands playing. Sunday is the best day to go unless you like folk music. Oh - and there's a beer tent, as well as a couple of decent pubs nearby!

Does anyone remember a sleazy British rock 'n' roll band called Dogs D'Amour? Their ex-guitarist Darrell Bath is bringing his band to the musical wastelands of Barnet on June 21st. Apparently there are another three bands on as well:

Live at Barnet Rugby Club (Byng Rd, Barnet, Herts)
Saturday 21 June

Friday 13th June: All girl rock cover band The Playgirls will be returning to the Cat & Lantern after their highly successful debut there earlier this year.

There's a new band called 'Three' playing at the above venue on (strangely enough) the 3rd of May. Bet you can't guess how many people are in the band? Three feature some familiar faces from other local bands and play 'a mixture of music, new and old'. Free entry and a late licence - what have you got to lose?

Up the road in New Barnet on Saturday 17th May at the Bailey on the corner of Victoria Road and East Barnet Road you can expect some ROCK! This will be provided by a band consisting of parts of Goth/rock band The Haunting AD and Airplay. Free entry and a late bar - what more do you want? The Haunting AD will also be playing at the The East Barnet Festival on Sunday 6th July. Have look at the band's (out of date) website.

Friday 7th March 2003: All girl rock cover band The Playgirls make their debut in Barnet at the above venue - should be a night to remember!

Sunday 26th January 2003 The Magnificent Seven play at the Old Bull Centre in Barnet - should be fun!

Friday 8th November 2002: The most fun and entertaining band to play at this year's East Barnet Festival will be playing in Barnet again - The Magnificent Seven will be appearing at the Cat & Lantern. Their drummer used to be in Adam & The Ants, and they have been known to play the odd bit of 'Ant Music'...

On Sunday 7th July 2002 Fabulous Feedback Band. return to Barnet - this is the last night before the Felix & Firkin shuts for refurbishment and changes forever!

The 2002 East Barnet Festival takes place on the 29th/30th June - there will be a load of bands playing - some of them are really good. Sunday is the best day to go unless you like folk music. Oh - and there's a beer tent, as well as a couple of decent pubs nearby!

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