The Scene Column: Bar Central back to its best!

Music reporter Vicki McCarthy interviews DJ Scissors about the history of Bar Central and how well its recent incarnation is going ahead of its next event on February 16th…

As one would expect, Milton Keynes has grown and changed in many ways since it was created in 1967 and, something else that’s also evolved and got bigger, is the night life and local music scene here.

Back in the 90s, we had the go-to live venue of The Pitz in Woughton, DJ sets at The Point and pop-up club nights Fat Tuesdays and Happy Wednesdays at The Winter Gardens.

But the venue that sticks in the memory of many alternative aficionados was Bar Central. Heck, I even had a short stint on the bar there myself!

Tucked away upstairs in the CMK Food Hall, Bar Central was a massive draw for a number of years and firmly cemented itself into MK’s history books and Indie music-lovers’ hearts.

Last month I caught up with DJ Scissors, who – alongside fellow DJ from back in the day, Witters – is keeping the nostalgia alive, with a Bar Central reboot.

Scissors explained: “Back in the 90s, it all started off with me pestering local legend Lee Scriven, who DJd at Bar Central at the time! I was always asking him to play songs he didn’t have.

“So one week, he told me, ‘Bring some of your tunes next week, let’s see what we can do’.

“So I did! I turned up with a bag full of my CDs and it sort of went from there!”

Taking on the student nights on Mondays and Wednesdays, Scissors and Witters started DJing and the success of the nights led to them being offered the coveted Friday slot, spinning tunes alongside fellow DJs Popkid, Trish, Flo Jo, Smithy and Alex Taylor.

This drew in the crowds in their droves. Like all good things, the nights sadly came to an end, when Bar Central was closed down by the company that owned it, and that was seemingly the end of an era.

Fast forward to 2009, thinking back to the good old days, Scissors pondered whether Bar Central could be reborn as a DJ night at another venue.

He said: “After a favourable response from social media and a successful meeting with Craufurd Arms’ head honcho, Jason Hall, Bar Central was back!”

The current incarnation of Bar Central has been going from strength to strength since, and the next event which takes place on 16th February at the Craufurd, sees the DJs joined by Blur Tribute Band, Bit of a Blur.

Scissors expects to see the usual mix of Bar Central veterans alongside those who were babies back in the 90s, but that’s what makes the night so special.

An event run by passion and fuelled by equally enthused punters. So I say, get on down to this event, enjoy it and be part of MK’s future musical history.

For more info visit

This feature was published in the February 2019 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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