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Saturday, 7 January 2012

The story so far

In my opinion - and it's an opinion shared by many - the best pub/bar in Kilmarnock is by far Jollys Sports bar.
While I'm not the sort that pops in for a pint every second day, or even every week, it is still my local.
It's a much loved oasis where I can kick back and relax with friends old and new, but more importantly for me it is the hub of the local music scene.
Others bars and small venues have put on bands and acts over the years, but Jollys (previously Dirty Martinis) has been the venue that constantly sets the benchmark.
It would be fair to say that music is a passion for the team that runs it, and not one promoter would be able to say that they have been less than welcomed with open arms by them.
From well known acts to young guns cutting their teeth live for the first time Jollys has been there to provide a stage for them all to show off their talents and entertain the locals.
Sadly the last year has been littered with bad luck for the bar.
Each issue they have faced could be filed away as 'sods law'.
There was a break in that left the pub damaged and the people who did it left the taps running and decimated the stock they had.
There's been necessary work needing done from sound proofing to wiring.
Then there's been issues with the utility providers, and now this week a second break in has seen them lose all their flat screens.
A painful blow for a sports bar.
Now, and I mean right now at this very minute, the people who own run it have some very difficult decisions to make.
All of the knock-backs that they have had have to be considered in the light of a failing economy, and realisticly the bastards who broke in and robbed them this week may well have delivered a knock out blow.
The bottom line is that Jollys could be no more.
If this is the case, and I hope it isn't, then Kilmarnock will have lost far more than a pub.
The local music scene will have lost its champion to.
Proof of how cherished the venue is came to me today from Tragic O'Hara, one of the artists who has played there many times, and who I have booked to play there at the end of this month as part of a 'Sunday Session' line up.
To quote him.
'I just wanted to say that from the Sunday Session that's coming up I want to donate my bit of the donations back to Jollys to try and help out a wee bit.'
I think that an artist freely saying that they want to donate anything they make from performing to the bar speaks volumes about the integrity of the venue.
Now in closing I'll add a little personal bit.
Chris, Dudge, Faither and the rest of the Jollys team are far more important than bricks and mortar.
So my thoughts are with them at this time and I sincerely hope that they do what is best for them and their families.
The Sunday Sessions will either go ahead in Jollys if it reopens, and if not then I will endevour to sort out an alternative venue, but if that is the case then people should note that there will be a very good chance that this will be the last session, or even gig, that I promote in Kilmarnock.
So with this in mind I'd like to say in local parlance to those who broke in, and may have hastened the bars demise, that I hope your next shite is a hedgehog.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the bands and artists that I have booked to play in Jollys/Dirtys, and I apologize in advance for anyone missed, but I would like to thank you all.
Along with the bar you have provided us with some magical nights of entertainment.
Your efforts are appreciated.

The Hangmen (Newcastle)
Promises (Holland)
Cal Murray
Hyperjax (Manchester)
Roscoe Vacant
Tragic City Thieves (Glasgow)
Filthy Little Secret (Glasgow)
Devilish Presley (London)
The Hold Up.
Jinx Lennon (Ireland)
Mike Peters (The Alarm/Big Country)
Dave Sharp (The Alarm)
Glen Matlock and the Philistines (Including members of Stereophonics)
Girobabies (Glasgow)
Junkmans Choir
Zoe Lewis
Little Fire
Tragic OHara
Matt Scott
Colin Hunter
Emma Forman
Anna Sweeney
Ross Gilchrist
The Zips (Glasgow)
The Snipes (Glasgow)
Chris Devotion (Glasgow)
Japanese Mafia
Variety Suite
Jon Zip (Glasgow)
Billy Liar
The Parrafins
Ari (of Rose Parade) (Glasgow/Ayr)
Homesick Aldo (Fife)
Alan Bishop (of the Red Eyes) (Glasgow)


  1. I am on the other side of the world my friend. California to be precise and I am a regularly reader of your blog since I stumbled across the review you did of the Stooges gig in London.
    After I read one of your reviews I normally have a listen to the bands that you have spoken about and it is rare for me to be disappointed with what I hear.
    I often wonder what it would be like to be in the crowd of this bar and listen to the wonderful music.
    From my distant view it isn't a punk bar, a rock bar or anything else that caters to a narrow fanbase, but a real music bar.
    I may be romanticizing this but I would love to have one just like it within an easy drive from my home.
    I would reserve a seat with my name on it.


  2. Thank you Richard.
    It is indeed a great bar and the bands I have booked as just the tip of the iceberg.
    A fella called David Hanvey has put on many many shows in there and a Taylor Buntain had a regular open mic night.
    Apart from that there's even been a few comedy nights to.
    My opinion of it is that it is like a musical version of the US sitcom Cheers.
    Everybody actually does know your name and they're always glad you came.

  3. Had a great time the one and only time i played there. Bar staff and audience very appreciative and friendly.
    Really hope it survives and i get to play again.
    Wishing everyone involved all the very best for 2012 and long live Jollys!!
    Alan (The Red Eyes)

  4. I must say this is shite! The people will be caught out an get whys coming to them. I am a musician but I have stage fright and I find it hard to actualy play live and my first gig was in jollys just for the fact that the staff and punters are all do welcoming and nice an they actualy enjoy music. From that night I have gained so much confidence due to the lovely words and support from the people there. I hope they don't let the bastards bring them down and I hope they figure out a way to raise money to help them.
    Nicky smith

  5. Regardless of the outcome, thank you, Jolly's.
    Playing Jolly's for the first time got me back into playing shows. Since then I have played there more than anywhere else.

    I said to Chris M. that "Jolly's is the best room in Scotland for what I'm trying to do..."
    He kind of laughed it off, but it wasn't flattering rhetoric. 90% of the audience would be musicians themselves or long time fans.
    Scott L. Himself said, "(I) fast becoming a member of the Jolly's family". It's terrible that may be no more, but I certainly hope they do what is best for themselves in the end.
    Hopefully the family is, worst case scenario, just moving.

  6. Great blog Mainy, it would be a bloody shame tae let these bastards get the better of this - let me know if there's anything I can help out with! A wee fundraiser or something perhaps? It's a cracking bar with a great atmosphere (within staggering home distance for me tae!! :P) they don't deserve this. Zoe Lewis xx

  7. Im a friend of the bar staff in jollys and was a regualr pool player and drinker in the venue for a couple of years and although this last 6 month i have only been in a handfull of times its a venue me and so many people are made so welcome and tbh its a cracking pint in the place and i feel so gutted for chris and dudge as i know how hard they work and the effort that they put into the place to make it the way it is.chin up lads n remember what goes around comes around. All the best lads in whatever happens, Raymond Clark

  8. Thank you Zoe.
    Obviously it's a waiting game just now, but if the guys in the bar want to go ahead with anything then I will be more than happy to assist in arranging it and I'll give you a shout.

  9. i am disgusted with this recent news again to find that some bastards have as you said probably added to the closure of this amazing pub where for the past years it has seen amazing talent . and the team who run it and promote and bring bands gigs etc to this pub for little reward and sometimes take a heavy loss for the sake of people who love live music to bring the talent to kilmarnock .

    jollys has certainly enriched my life and will be lost without it ,not just for the music but also the warmth and great people that frequent this bar .if any thing can be done to get this amazing bar back up on its feet you have my support robbie

  10. The hedgehog comment is disgusting. How a course man like you is the best blogger according to the newspaper is disgusting to.
    You have stories about men touching you and paedos.
    Children could read this filth.

  11. This must be a joke, but then again it is Ayrshire.
    Okay....How about if I said it was a spineless hedgehog covered in KY jelly.
    Is that better?
    I really wish you hadn't put men touching me and paedos in the same sentence though.
    I mean c'mon, that could be misconstrued.
    Anyway if that isn't a joke then I have a solution to the problem of you being offended.

  12. It's all true though. Not stories.

  13. maby hes considered a good blogger because hes a course man and dosent dress up his opinions and beliefs with fairy feel good crap to entertain you and the likes. Go vent your anger in the youtube coments section like the rest of you have a go hero pc mad nuptys.
    The only person responsible for censoring what children see on the internet are the parents of said children. So use your obviously abundent free time to download a free internet censoring programe. And for the record the paedo coment was missleading.

  14. An absolutely gut-wrenching kick in the stones for the Jolly's guys, who've put various bodily fluids into keeping our local music scene vibrant and active, and the Jolly's crowd, who will no doubt be lost without it (should the worst happen). Personally I wouldn't even bother going into Kilmarnock for a drink otherwise. Like Mainy, I'm not in every second day to drink and watch football, but every time a gig is on I drum up a rag-tag band of merry fellows and support the night, out of respect and eager anticipation of anything put together by the collective and often combined efforts of Chris, Dudge, Faither, Stumpy and Mainy.

    Hedgehog? Hope these bottom feeders next shite is a dry lukewarm penis in a jail cell.

    Taylor Buntain

  15. *ahem*

    "...bottom feeders'..."

    Hate misplacing that possessive apostrophe.

  16. played there a couple of times at the open mics and have gone to many of the gigs that they have put on over the years, it really is ashame if this good pub goes to the wall, the effort they have put in to bring decent acts to kilmarnock aswell as promoting local acts speaks volumes for them. it really is a gutter if this happens, hope there is light at the end of the tunnel for jollys.

    and to moan about the hedgehog comment ,get a grip, it was used to get a point across so get of your high horse and stop moaning.

    terry king