A year in which the valley moved to a beat...

IT would be fair to say that 2011 was something of a landmark year for music in the Calder Valley.

With venues like the Hole In The Wall at Hebden Bridge, or the Polished Knob and Jack’s House at Todmorden all committed to putting on live music, there has rarely been a shortage of things to listen to and see, writes John Greenwood.

In the long term, there were exciting debuts for two new festivals aimed at bringing music fans into the area and another, in its second year, not only consolidated on its first year success but built on it.

The festivals making their debut were the Hebden Bridge Blues Festival and, later in the year, the first Hebden Bridge Folk Festival, while in the summer Todstock returned to Todmorden with a varied mix of music.

For the area’s leading gig venue, Hebden Bridge Trades Club, it was a bumper year with musicians as diverse as U.S. psychedelic rock legends It’s A Beautiful Day and English star Julian Cope enhancing its reputation.

It was good stuff indeed. May it continue into 2012!