In Memoriam: Venues

As a company which hires out a recording studio in London, it is always sad to hear of the closure or bankruptcy of one of Great Britain’s great venues.  Recording studios feel an affinity to venues of quality musical entertainment, as whilst we aid in the capturing the live music experience, they’re the ones showcasing it.

With the news of The Arches, Glasgow’s aesthetic answer to The Cavern, entering administration, it seems appropriate to cast our minds back over the venues we’ve loved and lost, but still live on through the music they’ve helped to platform.

The Cavern Club, Liverpool

Firstly, this blog wouldn’t be worth its weight in pixels if it didn’t acknowledge the aforementioned-Cavern Club.  Made famous by The Fab 4, this now closed musical relic played home to a staggering 292 Beatles appearances between 1961 and 1963 alone.  The Cavern is arguably the place where The Beatles built up their fan base and bred their reputation, and they shared the stage with other huge names in music, such as Gerry & The Pacemakers, the Merseybeats and, surprise surprise, Cilla Black.

The Beatles seemed to dominate the musical imaginations of anyone that could transfer sound waves into music in America by 1964, lending towards The Cavern Club’s legendary status; despite this, it remained financially insecure.  In 1966, owner Ray McFall was declared bankrupt and The Cavern Club was forced to close its doors.

While the current Cavern in Matthew St, Liverpool, is not the original, all aesthetics have been painstakingly mirrored in an attempt to replicate the venue’s previous bouncing vibe.  Being only a semi-quaver in our dad’s ear, many of us may never had the pleasure of experiencing the original, but having frequented the modern replica, From Me To You, I’ve Got A Feeling we’d have been there 8 Days A Week.


CBGB, New York

Another loss, this time primarily from the 70’s music scene, was felt across the pond as recently as 2006; New York’s CBGB was forced to hang up its nasal safety pin due to rent increases and related messy legal issues.

A pivotal part in the American punk movement, CBGB hosted bands such as The Ramones and Television, who were represented in the venue’s final show.  Patti Smith was joined by Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers on bass and Richard Lloyd, Television, who gave testament to the greats who had been before by backing Smith’s Gloria with “Hey Ho!  Let’s Go!”s and reciting musicians who had played the legendary venue but have since passed, over the final encore.

The Haçienda, Manchester

Closer to home, many mourned the closure of the Madchester’s Haçienda in 1997.  Despite only opening in 1982, this still seemed to be a fairly long life due to persistent financial troubles, supported in great part by the record sales from New Order.  The Haçienda played host to much of the up and coming acid house and rave music of the time and showcased many contemporary iconic artists, including The Fall, The Smiths, The Stone Roses and James, who can be seen below, in the club’s early days.

The Astoria, London

A little more on Soho Sonic’s doorstep, The Astoria’s walls had the honour of witnessing legendary bands from a whole range of genres, including Nirvana, The Rolling Stones and The Libertines, as well as hosting the capital’s largest LGBT new year’s parties.  The Astoria was demolished by October 2009.

Unfortunately for music and music lovers, many clubs and venues are forced to reconsider their options; case in point, The Arches.  Thankfully there are success stories in the current economic climate, such as Leeds’ Brudnell Social Club, but many venues find themselves facing an uphill battle between rocketing rental rates and earlier closing times.

If you are in a band and have the pleasure of being able to perform in such venues, like many of those name-dropped above, you will want to capture the live vibe you work so passionately to create.  So come check out our recording studio in London or contact us on +44 (0) 20 7193 4467.