Jamie introduces new Johns to Alexander’s #chesterculture

Just over six months ago Alexander’s Live was sold to Jamie Northrop. Jamie has been working hard at the venue since then ensuring a complete and full line up of events with something ‘Live’ each day of the week. Jamie also closed the venue for the refurbishment of the main floor in January this year and installed a new bar with quirky lighting made from up-cycled bottled and pipes. Jamie boasts that the lighting was all made by his father. He says; “I have always had an image of what a venue should look like in my head but when we came to sourcing the products we couldn’t find what we wanted… that’s when I turned to Dad (Michael Northrop) and together we got the image out of my head and into a reality.” 

The toilets at Alexander’s Live sadly didn’t get more than a lick of paint back in January as Jamie explains; “We just simply ran out of time.”
Anyone who had been to the venue before Jamie took over would know that the toilets were infamous in Chester for their cracked tiles, bad smells and worn out floors (to say the least).

Well now the toilets have undergone a full refurbishment with new toilets, sinks, cubicles, tiles, modern mirrors and all the accessories to go with it. The gents even have waterless urinals now and the toilets are decorated quite minimally but still with an edgy music and performance twist with the display of different vinyl records and artwork.

Jamie explains; “It was extremely important for us to get the toilets refurbished as a venue is very often judged on its cleanliness, etc, by the state of its loo’s… I know I do that all the time! I am really happy with how the refurbishment has gone and it’s so nice to have things starting to all come together. I only wish we could’ve somehow extended the space to make the toilets less cramped but obviously with the toilets being on the first floor we are limited to the space that we have. Overall though I hope we have done enough to win back all the customers that I have heard exclaim; ‘We’ll return when the loo’s are done…’ ”

Jamie has clearly taken time to consider the venue and its requirements and is working through what must’ve been an extensive list of jobs. His final touch to the new loo’s at Alexander’s are the new doors which he has had painted by good friend and artist, Glen Cross. The doors feature the faces of what Jamie considers two of the most iconic people in music industry history, Jim Morrissey and Madonna. There is a story behind these choices but Jamie says that is just something that customers will have to come and ask him about themselves!

The full line up of upcoming events can be found on www.alexanderslive.com and tickets can be purchased in house, online or by calling the venue on 01244 401402.


Zoot Serious and the Belly Full of Bop – Friday 1st July 2016 at Alexander’s #chesterculture

Zoot Serious and a Belly Full of Bop boogie their way into Chester playing Rhythm and Blues, Jump Jive, Swing and Soul. T

The music performed by Zoot Serious is seriously energetic and delivered by a band with the same traits as the music.
The ten piece band, which includes all that you’d expect along with saxophones, trombones and trumpets, play all the classic jive and R’n’B tunes from James Brown to Ray Charles.

Zoot Serious and the Belly Full of Bop
Alexander’s Live
Friday 1st July 2016.
Tickets are £7 in advance or £8 on the door, with an option of a pre-show dinner for £27. Tickets are available from alexanderslive.com or by calling 01244 401402. 

#chesterculture – Alexander’s Live, Loud and Local Festival – Sunday 29th May 2016 

Alexander’s Live, Loud & Local Festival is an outdoor, independent music festival taking place on Sunday 29th May 2016, live music from midday till midnight across two separate stages – come rain or shine, there is guaranteed to be something on show for everyone.

With a bill featuring over 20 of the finest acts from across the North West & North Wales, live music fans will have the chance to catch homegrown Hip-hop from VIL; red blooded synth rock from Def Neon; scuzzy garage punk from Chupa Cabra and foot-stomping Blues from The Terry Burgin Blues Band. Alongside the sinister outbursts of SPQR; riotous psych-rock of PSYBLINGS; the captivating talent of Jon Coley and the eccentric alt-rock of Elevant.

img_0815The audacious funk of Liverpool’s 12-piece funk battalion, Galactic Funk Militia will be closing the evening, as their thumping dance floor smashers explode with horns and electric guitar, while liquid ballads seduce your ears with sensuous synth and exquisite melody. All driven by impulsive groove, quick-fire rap gymnastics and completed by the incredible voice of Amber Kuti.


After their impressive performance at this years’s Gathering Festival, emerging buzz-band Greenroom (and Alexander’s Live house favourites) will also be headlining our outdoor stage.

There will also be a variety of independent stalls from local businesses on show, face painting and fun-filled activities for the whole family and a pop-up bar/BBQ serving Alexander’s locally sourced burgers!


Festival wristbands cost only £6 and can be bought in-house or online here

Full line-up with full band bio’s and further info can be found here

#chesterculture – The Gathering 2016 – Sunday 1st May 2016

Spring is coming and music is in the air and thoughts turn to the coming festival season!

The Gathering 2016 is Chester’s very own music and arts festival here found every May Day bank holiday weekend at Alexander’s: Amazing bands and acoustic performers, DJ’s, street artists, stalls and poets: all the stuff you would find at a festival but in the middle of Chester, so don’t miss it!

“The Gathering has simply become one of the best small independent festivals in the northwest and the Gathering 2016 is going to be everything you would expect from a festival but right here in the middle of Chester!” – Northern Shout

Main Stage Line Up:

Broken 3 Ways
Green Room
The Stops
The Instinctive
Dead Pixels
Kindest of Thieves
Jonathan Coley
Ollie Gosling

12973314_10154911626837715_6914465656251199534_oat The Gathering 

Indoor Acoustic Stage
12.00 – Flipside DJ’s
2.00 – Ginger Poetry, Flash Fiction & Dance –
Cal Buckley / Edward Little / Chris Mapp / Rhys Jones / Joshua Cialis
David Subacchii / Nala Rollo / Lucy Jones / Tom Sraz / Emma Apple
4.00 – Peter Douglas
4.30 – Ross Buckley
5.00 – Joseph Leo
5.30 – Bean
6.00 – Special Guest
6.30 – Texas Banjo Massacre


Flipside DJ’s in the The Pop-Up Club
7.00 – Ole Smokey
8.00 – Chris Sutton
9.00 – Daniel Schott
10.00 – Eddie Shields

The Draw Inn at The Gathering: (Street artists and Painting Wall)



Plus Stalls, BBQ, outdoor bar and much, much more.

The Gathering
Sunday 1st May 2016
Midday Onwards
Pay on the door
 18+ – £6.00, 17 to 13yrs – £4.50, 12 to 8yrs – £2.50, Under 7 years free
2 adults and 2 people under 18: £15



#chesterculture – Chester Sexual Abuse Support Service welcomed Survivors Knitwork on Saturday 23rd April for a day of Craftivision (craft and activism)

CSASS and Survivor’s Knitwork got together on Saturday 25th May 2016 in at Alexander’s to knit squares for an enormous purple scarf as part of a national campaign to support people who have survived or are surviving sexual violence.

Survivor’s Knitwork is a survivor led UK wide arts project which began in winter 2014-15 and will end with a multi-media installation in January 2017.

It’s centrepiece is a giant scarf of knitted squares, created by sexual abuse survivors and their allies across the UK. The symbolism of the scarf, or comfort, and also the hidden nature of abuse, is inspired by the work of Dr Nina Burrowes, cartoon psychologist.


Fabia Bates, Director of Survivors’ Network described the value of the project: ‘For many survivors the idea of being put in a situation where they have to talk can be enormously pressurised. The opportunity to come together in a supportive atmosphere, doing something practical and creative, can be a crucial first step in their healing journey’.
You can still contribute by sending a purple knitted (or other material) square 20cm x 20cm and it will become part of the scarf which will be exhibited in London and Leeds

To find out more about the project visit The Survivor’s Knitwork website.

Chester Sexual Abuse Support Service offers support, information and free counselling. To make an appointment you can call in confidence during office hours. CSASS are also open on Monday and Wednesday evenings 6-8pm. Call on 0808 284 0484 

CSASS Facebook

CSASS website

#chesterculture – Brand Spankin’ Comedy Open Mic at Alexander’s

Been watching Live At The Apollo or Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast and thought to yourself ‘I could do that’? Now is your chance.

On the first Wednesday of the month Alexander’s are providing a safe space for both experienced comedians to try out new material and for people that have never performed stand up before to try their hand at comedy.

Brand Spankin’ Comedy Open Mic
First Wednesday of every month

£2 entry, Free with NUS

#ChesterCulture – Preview: The Muffin Men: 25th anniversary tour – Captain Beefheart and Zappa! – Alexander’s 3rd April 2016.

Tonight sees Alexander’s playing host to the MufFinZ Power Quartet plus special guest Denny Walley on slide guitar and vocal.

The Muffin Men have played nearly 2000 dates around Europe, often featuring ex-Zappa alumni.  The band play their own arrangements of Zappa material, along with some note-for-note versions of some favourites.  

At least 12 ex-Zappa musicians have performed with The Muffin Men along the years.
This year the band are joined by Denny Walley, ex Zappa guitarist notable for his work on the “Bongo Fury” and “Joe’s Garage” albums”  Denny was also a member of Captain Beefhearts’s Magic Band, appearing on the classic “Bat Chain Puller” original album.  He has previously played with the band many times adding his original slide guitar style and soulful vocal, expect renditions of Joe’s Garage favourites such as “Crew Slut” and even a few Beefheart pieces.

The Muffin Men
Sunday 3rd April 2016
£10 advance
£12 on the door

#ChesterCulture – Preview: Alexander’s Saturday 2nd April 2016

This afternoon sees Chester’s own Ashley Fayth returning with her weekly residency.

This evening sees local troubadours Macca, who some of you may recognise from previous bands, fusing the sounds of Bristish 60’s pop with Americana on stage at Alexander’s.


Ashley Fayth
Free Entry

£4 advance. £5 on the door


#ChesterCulture – Preview: Indigo Sky, Chupa Cabra and Sustinere at Alexander’s

Tonight (Thursday 31st March 2016) at Alexander’s Chester: Indigo Sky, Chupa Cabra and Sustinere .


To hear more or buy Indigo Sky’s music click here.

Indigo Sky, Chupa Cabra and Sustinere


31st March 2016



Ashley Fayth and The Compass Rose – Take Back The Fire

img_0212Chester’s own Ashley Fayth has a new album out.

For her latest release Ashley has combined forces with Daniel J. Logan, Chris Harvey, Oscar South, Jack Beacall, and Jon Fellowes to form the trans-Atlantic country-folk collaborative, Ashley Fayth & The Compass Rose.

“I’ve always been a solo artist” says Ashley, “but this experience – the opportunity to join forces with five incredible musicians with such varied backgrounds and styles –  it has allowed me to explore a more layered, mature, and in some cases, slightly darker, sound that I’ve been wanting to experiment with for a while.”

The group’s new album, Take Back the Fire, features 11 original songs and one traditional Newfoundland ballad. It is Ashley’s first collaborative work with the band. This new record succeeds her critically acclaimed 2012 solo release, Wonder Wonder, which secured international songwriting commendations, and awards from Universal Music and the Canadian Songwriters Association.

Produced by Russell Cottier and Daniel J. Logan and recorded at Parr Street Studios and Orchard Studios, Cheshire, the album is a move toward a much more textured and organic sound. Thematically and musically, the album ebbs and flows in darkness and intensity, like the sea swells that inspired so many of its songs.

“The album is about growing up once in Newfoundland, and then growing up again in the UK,” says Ashley. “These islands are my home, and I wanted to express my relationships with them both in these songs.”

The album was partially funded using the popular crowd-funding website, Indiegogo. The project raised nearly £2000 from supporters worldwide.

Ashley can be found performing as Alexander’s artist in residency every Saturday afternoon between four and six.
Take Back the Fire is now available from http://www.AshleyFayth.com and from all major online music retailers.