It inspired the biggest family in the town centre.
And soon its innumerable members will come back together to celebrate the 15th birthday of the renowned Bar 1:22 acoustic club which has run weekly, almost without fail, since 2000.
A call out to all the 3,000 musicians, poets and spectators who have ever been to a free session and “new friends” who have not yet ventured to it, has been made to ensure that the celebration on Tuesday, September 29, will be the biggest the New Street venue has ever seen.
Megan Pacey, manager of the bar and upstairs lounge Bar Maroc, is the latest compère of the acoustic club in which people get on stage to try out their own material or create sometimes spectacular spur-of-the-moment group performances.
“It’s one of the friendliest, most welcoming and comfortable places I’ve ever known”, said Megan, who has been captivated by the atmosphere of the club since she moved to Huddersfield in 2010 as a student.
“It’s something really special because it has brought so many people with diverse talents together who are so supportive of each other – it’s like a really close-knit family.
“I’ve just started playing guitar and was so nervous about performing but having that support made it so much easier.”
It was Bar Maroc and Bar 1:22 owner Stephen Horton, who first started the night and compèred it for its first 13 years, which Megan says quickly developed a life of its own without needing to be advertised through social media.
“It began at Abrahams on West Gate where it stayed until January 2004, when it moved to the first-floor Elements bar on New Street, which is now Bar Maroc.
“A couple of years later it moved downstairs and it’s been there since then, with other compères Sam Hodgson and Liz Mackenzie.
“It’s never been cancelled – even during the snow and when the ground-floor flooded – we just moved it upstairs again because so many people will come to it, no matter what.
“It’s the people who have made the club and kept it alive for so long with sounds as diverse as harmonica, sax, spoken word, dance, contemporary music and didgeridoo.
Over the years the club has acted as the launchpad for many now professional performers.
“Noah Burton and Ruby Wood from Submotion Orchestra started their careers here, as did Huddersfield acts Thabo of Thabo and the Real Deal. Many other local musicians have played, such as the hilarious Micky Filth.
“We’ve also welcomed musicians such as acoustic artists Nick Harper, John Gomm, Roger Davies, previous world champion Beatboxer Ball Zee and former Radio Two folk award winner Jack Rutter.”
Club veteran Tom Beaumont remembered some of the high points of the night.
He said: “You never know what to expect.
“When the club used to be at Abrahams someone managed to push an industrial wheely bin up the three flights of stairs.
“He then performed a poem from inside it, opening the lid for the final verse.
“I have no idea if the poem was any good as I was laughing too much.
“Then there was the time someone played an accordion on stage with a chicken as accompaniment.
“It didn’t poo or lay an egg as far as I can remember. It just stood there.
“And of course there have been so many special moments, such as when very young performers play their first song which brings up the hairs on the back of my neck and when improvised collaborations that can produce incredible versions of songs that can never be repeated.”
Megan hopes that as many people as possible will come along to tune up or pull up a chair on September 29 from 8pm.
“It would be fantastic if all those who used to come but have stopped for what ever reason came back for this night – we want to know what they’re doing now.
“And we want so many more new people to come along and discover something very different and continue on the club’s journey.
“As it has always done, it will become whatever it is by itself, dependent on who comes through the doors.”