Being one of Huddersfield’s finest Victorian architectural gems and best place for independent shopping would be enough boasts for most buildings.
But the 1881 built Byram Arcade can now add the title as arguably the town’s atmospheric music hub to its belt.
Step through the fanciful ironwork entrance some nights and you will not just get to see the building in its glorious twilight splendour but the whole of it brought alive by a host of eclectic bands.
They are now realising the potential of the novel three level venue, whose transparent glass roof adds star-studded, out of this world feel to events.
Its musical renaissance has been made possible by the arcade’s Blue Rooms bar manager, Bex Tyas, who, with the support of other shop owners in the arcade, has been putting on shows since 2013 when she took over the running of the bar.
Now, she is hoping to realise its full potential by increasing the amount of events in the arcade and making a big impact on Huddersfield’s music scene.
“The idea for it all started after some musical friends of mine suggested using the space to put on gigs because it’s so beautiful,” said Bex.
“So I decided to give it a go and Leo Brazil (a rootsy-pop cum blues and lots more act) headlined the first gig outside the Blue Rooms on the ground floor and we opened the bar – it was great and so were the acoustics.
“After that I decided to host some more – around a few nights per year.
“Some of the other acts we’ve had are the Suitcase Dwellers, Klonk and events hosted by HOOT with performances by Crooks and Claridge.
“We let them choose to set up and play wherever they like on the ground floor of the arcade and do what they like with the space so each event is really special.
“They can play plugged in with our PA system or their own or acoustic, it’s all about letting the artists choose and so far 40 acts have performed.
“I just love seeing people have such a lovely time here – that’s what it’s all about.”
Bex is now feeling more ambitious this year.
“I really want to ramp up the amount of events we host because I’m really passionate about making this venue work and if we can get two to four a month that would be perfect.
“Unfortunately, the night life of Huddersfield has changed and now there are not as many live music venues as there used to be but I think with the arcade and support of the other shop owners we can change this.
“A lot of people may still not know we’re here but some of the events we’ve put on have been really successful and really diverse – there’s lots of reasons to come check the venue out.
“I think with being in a Victorian building, we’ve got a really unique space to play with that has some great potential.”
Bex has called on musicians to come to her with suggestions for gigs or other musical events they’d like to stage.
“I’m open to suggestions about what we could do with the space from everyone who’s interested in it.
“There’s even the possibility of a having a music festival if the other shop owners agreed – just watch this space.”
The next gig to be held in Byram Arcade will be headed by singer-songwriter Jack Manning on June 20 and supported by Taj Abbot.
Anyone who would like to perform or suggest a music event to be put on in the arcade should email Bex at firstname.lastname@example.org.