From the Astoria to The Coronet - when iconic venues close their doors for good
Gigwise
14:42 4th November 2015

And now, the UK is set to lose yet another legendary music venue as the Coronet is no more - that's one less life-changing place to experience live music. There has never been a better time to support your local venue, with countless great spaces closing their doors every year. 

From London to Glasgow via Nottingham and Manchester, stages that once played host to the likes of Oasis, Pink Floyd, The Sex Pistols and The Libertines are being demolished to make way for cafes, expensive flats, public transport or chain supermarkets. 

No monument to these great venues stands in their place - yet we still mourn them. From The Astoria to The Coronet, here are 21 of the UK's greatest lost venues. RIP. 

 

  • The Astoria, London: See that huge bombsite of construction that currently dominates Oxford Street? Well that was once the legendary Astoria venue that played host to the likes of Radiohead, The Smashing Pumpkins, Arctic Monkeys, David Bowie, Muse and Deep Purple just to name a few. It closed in 2009 after Festival Republic sold it to make way for Crossrail to move in and begin demolition. Damn you Boris Johnson!

  • The Marquee, London: Another iconic London venue, it played a huge part in the music history of the capital, with performances from The Who, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd. It experienced its most lucrative period from 1966 - 1988 at Wardour Street in Soho. Various attempts to resurrect the name at different sites have taken place over the years, with the final Covent Garden venue closing in 2008.

  • Vibe Bar, London: Brick Lane's Vibe Bar fell victim to noise ordinances changing since it opened as a home for Acid House in the 90s. A major player in the influx of culture to the East End, Vibe Bar has hosted Goldie, DJ Spoony and Mark Ronson. The project seemed unfeasible when they arrived, twenty years later the venue has had to shut its doors for going too hard.

  • The Hacienda, Manchester: Commonly referred to as the greatest nightclub of all time, it was instrumental to the Manchester scene in the 80's and 90's, it played host to the rise of New Order, The Happy Mondays and the acid house scene. It finally closed in 1997 after years of financial trouble, only to be replaced by... You guessed it... Flats. A book has since been written by Peter Hook, recording the history of the venue, along with awesome film 24 Hour Party People.

  • The Odeon, Nottingham: The venue which went on to become a cinema of the same name was extremely important in the history of Nottingham, playing host to The Beatles, who played there three times, twice in 1963 and once in 1964. It also played host to The Everly Brothers, The Rolling Stones and many others. It is now due to be turned into flats.

  • Turnmills, London: One of the first in the great London club culling that has ensued over the last 10 years, it was the first to secure a 24-hour license and frequently featured shows from Tall Paul, The Chemical Brothers, Paul Van Dyk, Armin Van Buuren and many many more. It 2008 it was demolished in favour of office blocks after the lease ran out.

  • The Boardwalk, Sheffield: A venue that closed down all too soon, it shut in 2010 after the owners went into administration. It is important, as it played a huge part in career of the Arctic Monkeys with a bootleg of a show their being largely responsible for their fame. It's hallowed walls also saw shows from AC/DC, Genesis, The Clash, Sex Pistols and The Buzzcocks. Legendary indeed.

  • The Picture House, Edinburgh: Taken over in the most sacrilegious of manners by JD Wetherspoon in 2013, it is being turned into a "super pub". It's kind of like a "super club", but filled with the kind of people that start drinking at 6 in the morning and never wash.

  • The Hammersmith Palais: Closed in 2007, the West London venue had been going down hill for years with its School Disco nights that caused huge disruption in the local community. A mid sized room meant it was a great place to catch huge name acts like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, David Bowie, The Sex Pistols, The Cure just to name a few. It's also the inspiration for the Clash song '(White Man) in Hammersmith Palais.

  • Matter, London: A huge undertaking by London clubland behemoths Fabric, it was sadly an ill fated one with the 2,600 people capacity venue managing to drag the company into administration. Hugely expensive to run, with a top notch lighting and sound rig on top of multiple rooms, it was sadly let down by the venues location and size. It was closed in 2010 and later bought by Proud, going on to become Proud 2, a vastly inferior club that was voted worst in the country.

  • The Duchess, Leeds: One of the most important venues in the history of music in Leeds, it featured shows from Nirvana, Oasis, Green Day, Muse, Pulp and Blur, all while they were ascending to the legendary status they now enjoy. After 20 years of putting on incredible shows, it shut its doors for the last time in 2000.

  • TJs, Newport: The South Wales club saw performances from Manic Street Preachers, Primal Scream, Oasis, Green Day, Joe Strummer and Hole. A popular legend is that this is the place where Kurt Cobain proposed to Courtney Love. The club closed in 2010 with the death of its owner, John Sicolo. Photo credit: Wikipedia/Pwimageglow

  • The Luminaire, Kilburn: The Luminaire hosted Babyshambles, Mumford & Sons, Starsailor and Hot Chip, doing its best in its five-year lifespan. However, running the club as a labour of love was not enough to keep the lights on at the Luminaire and it announced its closure in 2010. Photo credit: Kilburn Times

  • The End & AKA, London: The owners of The End didn't close because of a lease, or because of development. No they chose to close at their peak so that the club could bow out and be remembered as it always should have been. Featuring possibly the most innovative design seen, it featured a circular DJ booth in the middle of the dance floor and a stonking sound system to boot. Some cheeky promoters tried to cash in years later with anagram venue The Den, but thankfully they were closed down for not having a proper license.

  • The Cockpit, Leeds: Renowned for it's intimate setting, sweaty shows and electric atmosphere, The Cockpit is the latest venue to close its doors. Announcing their demise, they said: "After 20 great years as an integral pillar of the Leeds music scene we have decided that it is no longer viable to deliver you the level of service you deserve with the building in it’s current condition."

  • Blind Tiger Club, Brighton: A licensed music venue for over 160 years, it finally closed in May 2014 following noise complaints from a tenant living above. Despite petitions, local politicians getting involved and local uproar, it was sadly the end.

  • Cable, London: The saying 'you don't no a good thing until it's gone' rings very true in this case. Situated at London Bridge it was a dark and moody venue with an excellent sound system and some incredible nights curated by the likes of Goldie, Butterz and Chew the Fat. Also if you were so inclined after a Saturday night you could party until 12am on Sunday. Sadly it closed in 2013 after Network Rail took possession of the venue earlier than previously agreed.

  • The Mean Fiddler, London: The little sibling of The Astoria, situated just beside, suffered exactly the same fate as it was demolished in favor of Crossrail development in 2009. An intimate and brilliant two floor venue, it had huge names come through its doors since it opened in 1982, including Johnny Cash, The Pogues and Eric Clapton to name a few.

  • Jilly's Rockworld (Rafters), Manchester: Jilly's Rockworld was the home to alternative music in Manchester throughout the 70s and 80s. Bauhaus, Joy Division and Depeche Mode all graced Jilly's stage. The club was also used as a venue for the film, 24 Hour Party People. The club eventually called it quits in 2010. Photo credit: Manchester Confidential

  • The Arches, Glasgow: In May 2015, the legendary club, venue and nightspot lost its licence, putting its future in doubt. They then went into administration - not without protest from the likes of Erol Alkan and Hudson Mohawke. In its time, it played host to the likes of Jeff Mills, Carl Craig, Derrick Carter, Richie Hawtin, Laurent Garnier, Felix da Housecat, Ricardo Villalobos, Boys Noize, Vitalic,

  • The Coronet, London: The iconic Elephant & Castle venue is the latest to close its doors after entertaining Londoners for 138 years. It's now been 'decommissioned' after an unsuccessful campaign to stay alive. A very young Charlie Chaplin once performed there, but since has become a favourite among the likes of Justin Timberlake, The Maccabees, LCD Soundsystem, The Libertines, Tama Impala and Oasis who have all graced its stage over the years


Photo: Wenn/Press