Batley’s new live music venue aims to capture the city’s showbiz brilliance

Alexandre O’Neill.

Origin Bar on Bradford Road will launch on Saturday, October 30, with a special performance by R&B legend and Northern Soul star Alexander O’Neal – the final act to play at iconic The Frontier before it closes in 2016.

Billed as the “Batley Frontier Reunion”, O’Neal will perform some of his greatest hits of the 80s and 90s, including “Criticize”, “If You Were Here Tonight” and “Fake”.

Alexander said: “I can’t wait to be back on stage at Batley. The last time I was here to play The Frontier the crowd was phenomenal and I’m sure it’s going to be even better this time around.

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The shows will take place on Origin’s ground floor before popular club events start upstairs at midnight. In an effort to make the venue accessible to a wider range of audiences, the venue is expanding the dance floor, building a new stage for live performances, and offering an eclectic program of live music, comedy shows, and bingo nights.

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Origin is the brainchild of owner Nick Westwell, who was previously the director of The Frontier. It aims to return to the golden age of this iconic venue with this new live music program, bringing international names to Batley for the first time since The Frontier closed in 2016.

He said, “Things change, people’s needs change, people’s needs change, so we are changing the venue from a party bar to a live venue before midnight.

“This means we’re making dramatic changes, like building a stage and expanding the dance floor to make it more adaptable to different audiences. We will be doing 70s shows, 80s shows, hosting international artists, comedy acts, the best tribute acts available as well as rock, mod and open mic parties. We will also be hosting an event called Boogie Bingo, an alternative to Bongos Bingo.

“This is all going to happen early before midnight before the upstairs nightclub opens, so they will function as two completely separate places.”

The venue will also host acclaimed comedian Billy Pearce, Britain’s Got Talent star DJ Murray Mint and acclaimed tribute bands Abba Revival, Complete Madness and Oasish at Batley over the coming months.

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