Legendary amongst lovers of live music, Harrow’s Trinity bar was opened in 1992 and has helped launch the careers of a number of prominent artists including Scouting For Girls, Bastille and Kate Nash – who played her debut gig at the bar.
Sound and vision
Although a few pubs within the borough have tried their hand at live music, none have come close to the reputation of the Trinity bar.
Trinity’s Manager and DJ, Chris Perdue, revealed that, after the bar’s inception in 1992, the general plan had involved playing David Bowie records on both floors of the venue but, it soon became clear that Trinity-goers were bringing their dancing shoes!
This promoted the hiring of DJs – which included Leftfield and The Chemical Brothers as well as a number of house DJs and, as the bar’s reputation grew, so did the demand for live music. Chris says, “This involved quite a lot of capital expenditure as we didn’t really have the sound system for it. Initially, we hired equipment but, as we received more and more requests from bands looking to play in the bar, we bit the bullet and purchased our first PA system – which was terrible!’
In the early nineties, Rico Rodiguez of The Specials played a fun night titled ‘Jazz Jamaica’ at Trinity – leading the way for many more big names including Scouting For Girls who became regulars at the venue.
Chris shared a story about the time that Brixton born electronics band, Alabama 3, played at the venue: “I was a big fan of the band who had been booked by a friend of a friend. When they didn’t show up for their soundcheck at 6pm, I resigned myself to the fact that it wasn’t going to happen.
Phone calls were flying around the place as we tried to confirm whether or not they were going to be there – it was really stressful as I had a sold out crowd waiting for them by this point! Eventually, they rocked up about 10pm looking a bit worse for wear – then jumped on stage and played for 90 minutes which I can only describe as magical! Then they didn’t leave. I think, Larry, the singer, was still there two days later, enjoying what I can only describe as a 48 hour bender.”
Hitting the right note
As a DJ – and an 80s kid – Chris was influenced by some of the decade’s giants, including New Order, The Cure and Depeche Mode, as well as an eclectic mix ranging from hip hop and punk to reggae and ska. A champion of live music, Chris says, “Live music is vital – especially at a grass roots level.
Without grass roots venues, those bands who go on to play the 02 or headline festivals will simply stop existing. Every band has to hone their talent somewhere, otherwise you reach the stage where all the big acts are either long established dinosaurs or over-produced puppets. Allow that to carry on and, Ed Sheeran will have to headline Glastonbury every year – and nobody wants that!
As other music venues fall by the wayside, Trinity continues to go from strength to strength, despite business rates doubling in the last year and general footfall within Harrow shopping centre falling.
These days, bands are queueing up to play this prestigious venue and, Chris spends a lot of time going to gigs and ploughing through correspondence in order to source fresh talent for the venue. Trinity is also actively involved in supporting a number of charities with regular quiz nights – and a memorable show at the venue in support of the Wish Centre – an evening which left visitors a little starstruck with appearances by Kate Nash and Edwin Collins backed up by members of Primal Scream.
As Summer season at Trinity gets into its groove, Chris hints at the return of a big band for a charity show in September but, for now, his lips are sealed – follow Trinity on Facebook to receive updates on this exciting show.
By Nicci Rae