Salon #1

Ijo Pona - harrogate blogger


Went to gig tonight – no biggy in that itself – but, if I said it was the start of monthly installments of manifesto spouting artistic brilliance then, YES, it was a biggy.

Salon #1 was hosted by cAVE – an improvisational outfit heading from North Yorkshire – and they opened the show. I did have a bit of an idea of what to expect as I had played in bands in the past with some of the members. However, what I was not expecting was the sheer level of ingenuity and accomplishment that they (all four of them) bought to the stage.

There was sweeping bleeps, ambient drones & field recordings of the highest calibre – my only gripe was that it was difficult to hear them over the level of chatter from the audience. I do not know how to take this – maybe it was an accomplished mission on the account of cAVE in that they lulled the members of the audience in to comfort – or, maybe it was a rude audience? I am unsure of the motives of both group and of the audience – but, surely, if you want to talk you go to the pub?

At the start of the show, cAVE handed out a mini-manifesto for their series of nights (Salon #1.2, Salon #1.3 or Salon #2, Salon #3) – here is a type up of it:

Welcome. cAVE presents a new monthly evening of sonic goodness: conversation, creativity, genre exploration, entertainment and fun. We encourage interested artists and musicians to perform and participate. cAVE celebrates:

  • Ears of Distinction
  • Noise in all its forms
  • The talented and not so talented
  • Triers
  • The Curious
  • The Playful
  • Leftfielders
  • Absurdists
  • Inside Outers
  • Upside Downers
  • Inventors
  • Tinkerers
  • The Quiet
  • Observationists
  • Idlers
  • Non Electronic Folksters
  • And those who were chosen last on the footy team

We will be running a regular event on the first Saturday of every month. If you have enjoyed this evening and wish to either participate in a future event, or simply come along please join our mailing list. Find out more about future events on: |

So that is my plug for cAVE – a real band on a mission with direction and poise. I managed to get to talk to David from cAVE after the gig – he said he took the whole experience as a learning curve.

The second / main act was Mik Artistik’s Ego Trip. I freely admit – I was there to see cAVE and I was a bit down in the mouth after how they were received and I was a bit worried about how the crowd would receive an act like Mik – whatever Mik was to sound like – I had not done my homework and was walking in to the gig blind. I could not name a song he had done and didn’t even know what genre he played. Turned out he is damn good – I would compare him to a side-splitting Ian Drury and he held the crowd in the palm of his hand.

There was laughter and the beer was flowing – for the bar, there had to be a trip to the local offie to stock up on bland beer (which I really appreciated – thanks, Kendall & Mark!)

Personally, the best song of his repertoire was a track called Plastic Fox –

…. actually, I take it back – Mik Artistik is nothing like Ian Drury; Mik excels at his own game. With a really tight band behind him (guitar & bass) Mik is out front either in the crowd or behind a synthesiser with programmed drums.

Dressed in a charity shop trilby, which any Sunday driver would be proud of, and a painter’s jacket (complete with paint) – Mik stepped on stage to a group of people and stepped off the stage from a room full of fans.

Best thing to happen in k-Town since the Tour de France’s Tidswell gig.

By Andy B*

Ijo Pona is the Harrogate adventure blog written by a Funny Little Man. Andy is a freelance web designer in Harrogate and he is also a well-received sound artist and runs a mastering studio in Yorkshire. The Wire Magazine once described him as "... difficult to dislike." Still at my most enthusiastic and naive.

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