Spirit of legendary Larbert venue Grubowskis lives on with reunion gigs

David Dowell, wife Lindsay and Ross Fairweather remember the Grubowskis magic.
David Dowell, wife Lindsay and Ross Fairweather remember the Grubowskis magic.
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When you mention the name Grubowskis to a local musician or music fan you’ll probably get a great big grin.

Larbert’s legendary haven for strummers, drummers and all comers closed for good five years ago and the premises has now made way for housing.

However, in the years before that sad event Grubowskis was home to an extended family of bands and performers who used the venue’s small stage to build up their live chops and, above all else, have some fun.

Now two musical reunion nights will explode onto the stage of Larbert’s Dobbie Hall next month to try and recapture some of that old Grubbies magic.

Drummer David Dowell is now a respected drum tutor and businessman, but back in the day he was a member of the Grubowskis House Band.

David added: “They tried to recreate it with 20 Rocks, but there will never be another venue like Grubowskis.

“It provided a strong foundation and gave confidence to a lot of bands and musicians who are still playing today.

“It was all about the love of music. Grubowskis was like a common room for people who like to play and watch live music.”

The line up for the “Back in 5” reunion includes The Media Whores, Hooks ‘n’ Crooks, Midlife Crisis and, of course, the former venue’s revolving door house band, which David estimates has featured over 30 musicians over Grubowskis lifespan.

While David first met and fell in love with his wife Lindsay, daughter of Grubowskis’ Godfather Ronnie Jenkins, at the venue, hard working Falkirk singer songwriter Ross Fairweather, then but an acoustic guitar strumming stripling of a lad, met three guys who would help him form the sublime band Mr Nice.

After calling it quits six years ago, Ross, Billy Kay, Dan Adams and Andy Pratt have now reformed to raise some cash for Larbert-based charity Kidney Kids and enjoy one last nostalgic night together as a unit.

“I really miss those nights,” Ross said. “Walking into Grubowskis was like walking into another world. The patter was quality, especially with our rhythm section Dan and Billy.

“There was a real prestige to playing the Grubowskis stage and to playing with people of that level of musicianship.

“These two nights at the Dobbie will be like a who’s who of the local music scene and our gig will be the last chance to see Mr Nice.”

Tickets for the Mr Nice gig on Friday, June 7, can be purchased on the night or by visiting www.facebook.com/mrnicegig, while tickets for the “Back in 5” Grubowskis reunion on Saturday, June 8, can also be obtained on the night or by logging onto www.facebook.com/grubowskisbackin5 for more information.