City Tastes & Tipples: Music makes Bryn and the crowds happy

Managing Director Bryn Johnson.
Managing Director Bryn Johnson.

It’s the only venue of its kind in Wakefield and it’s fighting to put the city’s music scene on the map.

Warehouse 23 managing director Bryn Johnson knows it’s a big task to compete with more established cities on the gig circuit but he is looking to see more people get on the train from Leeds to Wakefield for a night out rather than the other way around.

Live: The audience at a Warehouse 23 gig.

Live: The audience at a Warehouse 23 gig.

He said: “We’re trying to bring high calibre live music to the city. Ninety-nine per cent of our focus is gigs and we want to bring the bands here rather than them going to Leeds, Manchester of Sheffield.”

The venue, off Westgate, was revamped with a new bar, lights and sound system when it reopened as Warehouse 23.

Since then the bands it has hosted include Pigeon Detectives, metal act Skindred, the Sunshine Underground, and Wakefield’s own Skinny Living.

Bryn said: “As soon as the bands come on stage and play the hits they have the audience in the palms of their hands.

“You see everyone going crazy, you see mosh pits and people fixated on the band for 90 minutes.

“You look at the audience with their eyes fixed on the singer and its hard to put into words – it’s people in their own little world. It’s amazing hosting the bands and bringing that feeling to people in Wakefield.

“As long at the customers and the band leave here and they’ve had a really good time, I’m happy.”

Aside from the main of live music, the bar charges pub prices for drinks rather than the inflated costs often seen at gig venues.

Bryn added: “I don’t like stinging people.”

•July 14 – Swagger
•July 21 – The Rum Festival
•July 27 – Mercury Queen The Legend Lives On
•July 28 – Black Star Riders
•July 29 – Wakefield Soul Club
•August 17 – Chantel McGregor
•August 24 – California Love
•August 25 – Fleetwood Bac and Too Petty
•August 26 – G.L.A.D.