Programme to include huge international artists, comedians and the best tribute acts in the UK
‘ORIGIN Live’, a new programme of live music and entertainment at the Origin bar in Batley, is launching on Saturday 30th October with a special performance from the R&B legend and Northern Soul star, Alexander O’Neal – the last act to play the iconic venue The Frontier before its closure in 2016.
Billed as the ‘Batley Frontier Reunion’, O’Neal will be performing some of his biggest hits from the 80s and 90s, including ‘Criticize’, ‘If You Were Here Tonight’ and ‘Fake’.
During the course of his prolific career, O’Neal has achieved huge critical and commercial success, releasing fourteen UK Top 40 singles and three Top 5 albums. In the US, his 1987 album, Hearsay was certified gold, while in the UK where his popularity was soaring, the album achieved triple platinum status and is now considered a classic record from the golden era of R&B.
Originating from Minneapolis, Minnesota, O’Neal cut his teeth playing with some of the city’s brightest soul artists, including Flyte Tyme, Monet Moire and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, who would later become close associates of international stars such as Prince and Janet Jackson.
His performance at ORIGIN Live on the 30th of October will be a rare opportunity to see the soul legend performing some of his greatest hits in an intimate live setting.
“I can’t wait to be back on stage in Batley again,” O’Neal said. “Last time I was here performing at The Frontier, the crowd was phenomenal and I’m sure it’s going to be even better this time around.”
The venue will also be bringing the celebrated comic Billy Pearce, Britain’s Got Talent star DJ Murray Mint and the renowned tribute bands Abba Revival, Complete Madness and Oasish to Batley over the coming months.
The shows will take place on the ground floor at Origin before its popular club events begin upstairs at midnight. In an effort to make the venue accessible to a wider range of audiences, the venue is extending the dancefloor, building a new stage for live performances and offering an eclectic programme of live music, comedy shows and bingo nights.
“A more intimate version of Batley Variety Club” – Nick Westwell, owner of Origin
The venue owners say the new venture will operate completely independent of its club room nights upstairs, offering more discerning audiences of all ages a relaxed environment to enjoy top-quality live music and entertainment.
The brainchild behind ORIGIN Live, Nick Westwelll commented: “Things change, people’s requirements change, people’s needs change, so we’re changing the venue from a party bar into a live venue before midnight.
“This means we’re making some dramatic changes, like building a stage and extending the dance floor to make it more adaptable to different audiences. We’ll be doing 70’s shows, 80’s shows, hosting international artists, comedy acts, the very best tribute acts available as well as rock, mod and open mic nights. We’ll also be running an event called Boogie Bingo, an alternative to Bongos Bingo.
“This is all going to happen early doors before midnight ahead of the nightclub opening upstairs, so they will be operating as two completely separate venues.”
Westwell is the former general manager of The Frontier (previously known as Batley Variety Club) until it closed its doors in 2016. Just a week after its closure, he opened Origin and has since invested half a million pounds into the venues.
With this new venture, Westwell promises to offer the people of Batley and beyond an intimate take on the world-famous Variety Club which, over the years, played host to the likes of Tom Jones, Roy Orbison, Shirley Bassey and Louis Armstrong. To pay homage to The Frontier, Origin will be installing the original sign inside the venue.
“We’re constantly investing in new technologies and new ideas, and this is just one of those,” Westwell continued. “After so many people have been locked up for the past couple of years, we feel that they want more than just music and dancing; they need entertaining and that’s what we propose to do.
“With ORIGIN Live we are investing in the venue and in the town. There’s a lot of people of all different ages that need entertaining and we’re trying to facilitate that while also becoming part of the community.”
ORIGIN Live will launch on Saturday 30th October with ‘Alexander O’Neal: Up Close and Personal’. Tickets will go on sale at 9am on Friday 1st October and will be available via ticketmaster.com
Other acts already confirmed include:
6th November: Billy Pearce (Tickets from £15 + bf)
12th November: P!nk Tribute – Miss Understood (Tickets from £8 + bf)
19th November: DJ Murray Mint and the Luv Bugs 70’s Show (Tickets from £10 + bf)
27th November: Boogie Bingo (Tickets from £8 + bf)
3rd December: Revival – Abba Tribute Band (Tickets from £22.50 + bf)
11th December: Oasish (Tickets from £13 + bf)
17th December: Complete Madness (Tickets from £15 + bf)
23rd December: William Hicks – Barry White Tribute Show (Tickets from £22.50 + bf)
26th December: Oktober Fest with Live Comedy Oompah Show (Tickets from £10 + bf)
29th December: Boogie Bingo (Tickets from £8 + bf)