FOR three years they have brought bands from as far away as New York, Seattle and Sweden to Bolton.
Now local promoters Interkonnect are taking a well-earned rest — but not without one final, huge send-off.
This weekend’s 24-band mini festival includes Interkonnect favourites Humanfly, The Freezing Fog, Apes Fight Back, Random Number and Tigers.
The range of bands playing is as eclectic as ever with the “Lancashire Americana” of Andrea Glass and the Last Waltz sitting next to the one-man electronic chaos of Random Number and the explosive rock of Blackburn’s Apes Fight Back.
Also playing are retro rock band The Freezing Fog, from Manchester, Leeds psychedelic post-rock band Humanfly and “death metal party band” Tigers.
The local angle is covered by several Bolton bands, including Andrea Glass and the Last Waltz, who recently appeared on BBC television, punk band Appease, Stooges-esque garage rockers The Kiss Off and post-punk quartet Total Victory.
Completing the bill are Manatees, Day For Airstrikes, Straylight, Burnst, Freestyle Disorder and Khuda on the Friday, and I Concur, The Living Daylights, Chickenhawk, Vipers, Cissy, Celebrity Love Crisis, Monroe Effect and Goat Speed on Saturday.
Interkonnect was started by Ivan Crompton and Chelly Molyneux at the now-defunct bar and music venue Number 15, as a way to raise money for Chelly’s inclusion project, Kids Konnect.
“We said as a laugh, ‘oh we’ll put a few bands on’,” says Ivan. “It turned into a three-day festival. But the main aim was just to raise some money for charity.”
After Number 15’s demise, they moved to the Dog and Partridge, on Manor Street, where they have remained ever since.
Ivan says: “A lot of the bands we have put on have really raised the bar for the sort of music you would expect to see in a pub in Bolton. People either love them or hate then, but they’ll always watch them because it’s like nothing they’ve ever seen before.”
Alongside local bands including The VCs, To The Bones, The Kiss Off and Our Fold, Interkonnect have hosted American bands Hella, Holy Ghost Revival and The Clorox Girls, Swedish bands Last Days Of April and numerous others.
In doing so, they have raised over £20,000 for Kids Konnect.
Kids Konnect was set up in May 2005 using East Bolton regeneration funding. The group was awarded just over £20,000 to deliver social and recreational activities to disabled eight to 16-year-olds who were not accessing any other provision.
Chelly says: “We deliberately made sure that the projects were set up so that children in both special and mainstream schools could attend, because so many organisations won’t take children from special schools.”
Projects organised by the charity have included allotment projects, drumming workshops, IT tutoring and drama workshops and performances.
“Without Interkonnect there would have been no way we could have done half the stuff we have,” says Chelly. “We’ve done so much — it’s unbelievable.
“We had parties at Christmas and Halloween for the kids, and trips and visits, funded by Interkonnect gigs.
“Things like that wouldn’t normally get funding from the usual bodies, but they can be so beneficial and the kids absolutely loved them.”
Chelly is now looking at the possibility of merging Kids Konnect with another group to ensure it can carry on offering even bigger projects.
“Jim Bob, Miles Hunt and New Amsterdams were probably the most rewarding,” says Ivan. “I said to Chelly years ago that if we could get those people to play we’d stop. It didn’t happen of course — Jim Bob played twice.”
“There’s been loads of great moments,” says Chelly. “I could go about it on forever.”
• Interkonnect Farewell Festival, tomorrow and Saturday, The Dog and Partridge, Manor Street. Admission £3 on both days. Doors open at 7pm tomorrow and 4pm on Saturday.