Geographically speaking, of course.
The Gasworks is Out
We started the year with a residency at Bradford's Gasworks. Within a week, we were told the venue was closing and we had to cancel our next event - with The Expelaires, Grassby & Walker, and Scorpion Stare - at very short notice. We hate it when that happens.
The Flock Is Departing
We were still mulling over the restricted options Bradford had to offer when, in February, we were notified of the impending demise of Flock, and offered the residency. For almost a day, we mulled over the pros and cons:
- It's an established residency with a music policy spookily similar to our own.
- Leeds needs a night like Flock. Carpe, say.
- We need a venue like the Library.
- We don't trust anybody else to do it.
· It'll mean not getting quite as drunk.
Despite the overwhelming case against, we went for it.
A Brewery in Need of a Piss-Up
In the meantime, Rhombus and Dead Eyes Open were in need of a gig in May, and Quasimodo and the Fox & Newt were in need of an audience in May, and we, we were in need of a good night out in May. Hence Carpe #100: a piss-up in a (micro-)brewery. It seemed more than apt.
Occupy The Library!
We're now four months in to our residency, and it's a good time to take stock. We've learned stuff.
Leeds Isn’t Bradford
It's possible to get people out partying on a monthly basis, and get them to pay for the privilege. Seriously, Bradford has been very hard work in recent years.
The Library Is a Fab Venue
Promoters, bar staff, door people and sound engineers have been a delight to work with, and we've got well-stocked bars, a decent stage, and great PA and lights. It's not new to us, but nor is it expected: we've muddled through with various of these missing in the past.
Carpe Isn’t Flock – And It Doesn’t Matter
Partly through necessity (Paul went a bit mad in the last few months and booked pretty much every Flock favourite to play) and partly through design (if we weren't brave immediately, we'd never be brave), we've stamped our own personality on the night. Expelaires, Winter Severity Index, The Webb and Little Miss Irony (and, technically, Grassby & Walker) had never played Flock, whilst Dead Eyes Opened had never headlined. We got crowds out for them all. Similarly, the music policy has been shifted a bit faster, looser and punkier toward the Carpe sound, although there's still (inevitably) a huge overlap. But the last thing we'd want to do is to run an increasingly-irrelevant tribute to Flock, frozen at some arbitrary point in time.
The Team Works
Carpe at the Zuu/Rio's/Gasworks was largely a one-man band. We've rebuilt Team Carpe (as nebulous as ever), with Mark and Sam on the door, Viv on rotating duties (roadie, doors, and - vitally - bar-runner) and guest DJs Sinister, Pyromancer and Misrule joining HGV. Whilst he's still an unreformed control freak, he likes the team thing really.
Carpe Is Back
For the first time since we left the 1 in 12, way back, we feel we're delivering the full Carpe Noctum experience. The Beehive didn't have space for bands, the Gasworks was irregular and lacked a decent club night. The Zuu was increasingly hard work through our time there, and the other venues were stopgaps. We feel we're fully up to speed again, for the first time since 2005.
We Ain’t Done Yet
We've got big ambitions for 2015 and beyond. We've found our feet and established our identity again, and fully intend to keep building on what we've delivered so far.
Thanks for joining us on the journey. Have a great Christmas, and we'll see you in 2015.-HGV, for Team Carpe