Still time to squeeze in a last dance at The Cellars

Mark Morriss
Mark Morriss
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It may feel as if Christmas is getting earlier every year.

But there’s good reason that one normally festive event has moved from its traditional home at the end of the year.

Mark Morriss, The Bluetones’ frontman, has played a solo show at The Cellars at Eastney every December for the past eight years.

But when he heard that the venue was closing, Morriss was keen to squeeze one last gig in at the venue, on Friday, July 31.

And The Guide had its own small part to play in this, as he was being interviewed for a piece on The Bluetones gig at The Pyramids in September by us the day the news broke of The Cellars pending demise and we passed the word on.

Steve Pitt, who runs The Cellars, says: ‘I think he was quite surprised and upset at the time – Miles Hunt of The Wonderstuff and Mark are our two patrons, unofficially.

‘That was something we were going to work on developing this year, before events overtook us.

‘He wants to do one more Mark Morriss and Friends Christmas Party, but I hope people don’t wear their Christmas jumpers because it is going to be very hot in there.

‘It’s really lovely he wants to come back and do that.

‘Miles was another one asking ‘‘can he fit one more in?’’’

I want people to walk out of there with a smile on their faces and to have had a really good night

Luke Fuller of Beats & Swing

Last Thursday Miles played The Cellars, with Erica Nockalls, for the eighth time.

Steve says: ‘Peter Howarth, lead singer of The Hollies, moved his show from September to July as well.

‘It’s nice to still see some people that we might have otherwise missed.’

There’s still also time to get tickets for Beats & Swing’s The Last Dance on Saturday, August 1, which has a late licence until 1am.

Its line-up includes headliner Jimi Needles along with Great Scott, Deluxe Flamingos, Tom Mayhem and Chip Jacks.

Beats & Swing’s mainman Luke Fuller says: ‘When I heard The Cellars was closing, I was absolutely gutted, I still am. It’s got such a good atmosphere in there. I always say it’s Portsmouth’s best-kept secret, and as good as that is, that’s probably part of its downfall.

‘I’ve been putting on gigs there for the best part of three years and I’m still getting people saying they’ve never been there before.

‘I want this Last Dance to be a real celebration, and I’m so glad we’ve got Jimi Needles – he’s a proper party starter. We’re going to have that party vibe.

‘I want people to walk out of there with a smile on their faces and to have had a really good night.’

Tickets for Mark Morriss are £9 advance, £12.50 advance for Peter Howarth on Wednesday, and The Last Dance is £8.

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The closing down night on Sunday, August 2, headlined by Kassassin Street, has already sold out.