Cumbria Crack

THE LAB announces October/November schedule, including top bands and debut comedy event

New dates include first-ever stand-up event as part of Barrow Comedy Festival

THE best of the local music scene and top travelling acts are among the new dates announced as part of THE LAB – Live Arts Basement’s October and November schedule.

A packed programme at the Barrow venue over the next two months will also include its first-ever comedy event and a special Halloween night.

To kick off October, THE LAB – Live Arts Basement welcomes the Barrow Comedy Festival’s pub crawl to the intimate underground venue, downstairs from the Townhouse 211 bar and restaurant in Dalton Road. The event on Thursday 3, hosted by well-established stand-up Ben Briggs, calls in at various locations around the town and will raise money for SAFA (Self-Harm Awareness).

A busy weekend will see leading Fleetwood Mac covers outfit Meetwood Flac headline on Friday 4, with support from singer-songwriter Evie Plumb and new indie-folk band The Native Cult, and Saturday 5 will be the return of troubadour Jon Byrne – following his appearance at the venue’s launch this summer – and post-punk act Gumshoe.

Live acts hit the stage at THE LAB – Live Arts Basement on a fortnightly basis, and next up will be well-regarded Ulverston musician Joe Fleming on Friday October 18. The London-based guitarist and vocalist recently made his debut at Kendal Calling, and on this occasion he’ll be joined by much-loved solo performer Jack Hartley.

The following night, Saturday 19, leading Cumbrian blues and soul act the Jon Bowie Band top the bill with a mixture of covers and originals, supported by Grateful Dead-inspired psychedelic jam band Diamond-Eyed Jacks.

November gets under way with a special Halloween-themed event on Friday 1, where you can expect some spooky shenanigans and a soundtrack supplied by live performers for the night, ska supremos Bad Transmission and up-and-coming indie rockers Chncer.

World music-influenced instrumentalists Valparaíso head up the live entertainment on Saturday 2 with their self-penned tunes, and there will be hip-hop flavours from the ever-popular Cartel DJs.

The Auld Reekie String Band play their unique brand of old time Americana on Friday 15 – support is still to be confirmed – and promising punk band The Liars Club appear on Saturday 16 alongside the Blur’d DJs playing their alternative and psychedelic sounds.

The programme rounds out with a visit from Manchester-based cosmic indie act Little Strange on Friday November 29, with support from Barrow’s own soulful stars The Silver Bars, and a headline show on Saturday 30 for another Manchester favourite in foot-stomping blues band Sling (pictured above), following a string of successful appearances in Cumbria in recent years.

Each of the live shows starts at 9pm, and entrance is free. For more, visit the venue’s Facebook page:

October live events at THE LAB – Live Arts Basement

  • Thu 3 – Barrow Comedy Festival pub crawl
  • Fri 4 – Meetwood Flac / Evie Plumb / The Native Cult
  • Sat 5 – Jon Byrne / Gumshoe
  • Fri 18 – Joe Fleming / Jack Hartley
  • Sat 19 – Jon Bowie Band / Diamond-Eyed Jacks


  • Fri 1 – Halloween special, feat Bad Transmission / Chncer
  • Sat 2 – Valparaíso / Cartel DJs
  • Fri 15 – The Auld Reekie Band / TBC
  • Sat 16 – The Liars Club / Blur’d DJs
  • Fri 29 – Little Strange / The Silver Bars
  • Sat 30 – Sling / TBC

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