From The Astoria all the way to the Hacienda
Ed Keeble

13:10 25th July 2014

Lamenting lost venues sometimes feels like counting your fallen comrades. You've both had some great times together, maybe a few bad ones and at the same time you've grown up together. But now it's years later and your friend has only been demolished and replaced by flats, a supermarket, Crossrail or offices. Excuse us while we shake our fist at the sky.

It's no secret that there has been a mass culling of venues across the country in recent years, the most recent of which is Elephant and Castle's Coronet Theatre. The thing is we need to hang onto these places because if we don't, sooner or later we'll end up going to endless soulless replicas of the O2 Arena. Noone wants that...

  • 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 Monkey, 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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 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 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 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 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.

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