Stay Of Execution For London's Astoria, Metro Venues
SMF Cyndi
Posted 2008-07-15 10:43 PM (#14996)
Subject: Stay Of Execution For London's Astoria, Metro Venues
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Location: Graveyard BLVD.
I guess this has to be a huge blow to some peep's who have alot of Twisted memories!

Stay Of Execution For London's Astoria, Metro Venues
July 15, 2008

By Andre Paine and Lars Brandle, London

London is expected to lose three central live music venues, including the Astoria and Astoria two venues, because of the Crossrail development, due for completion in 2017.

Construction of the new rail service across London will necessitate the demolition of the London Astoria and Astoria 2 on Charing Cross Road, as well as the compulsory purchase of the nearby Metro Club on Oxford Street. However, Parliament is still debating the Crossrail bill. Crossrail says it anticipates work to begin on the Astoria site in early 2009.

Melvin Benn, managing director of the Live Nation-owned Festival Republic, which operates the Astoria venues, is watching developments.

"It's sort of ongoing really," he says. "Maybe the government might have a change of heart [on Crossrail] with the credit crunch. There's no reason to think it isn't going to go ahead at this point in time. In a year's time it may well be that people are saying [it won't happen]. We're keeping an eye on it."

A spokesperson for the Crossrail project confirms the neighboring Astoria Two venue will face the wrecking ball. "Crossrail will be demolishing the Astoria entertainment venue which includes 'Astoria Two' the property at 155 Charing Cross Road," says the spokesperson.

Although the Metro site at 19-23 Oxford Street is not proposed to be demolished, the venue is scheduled to be compulsorily acquired to facilitate the works at TCR.

The 2,000-capacity Astoria venue has become a staple of the live music scene in central London since 1984. "I've done lots of bands there, I've done David Bowie, Madonna and the Rolling Stones there," says promoter John Giddings of London-based Solo. "The Astoria is great because of the atmosphere and the locality."

The 1,000 capacity Astoria 2 -- previously branded as the Mean Fiddler -- stages shows by smaller-scale acts, ranging from Iggy Pop, Moby and Big Star to Primal Scream.

Giddings predicts that Shepherds Bush Empire in west London and the Forum and Electric Ballroom in north London will pick up the slack, but adds that "it's a shame because that location is fantastic, central London, so it's just more of a pain travel-wise."

Although Westminster Council says a replacement venue must be part of any new proposal when the underground building works are complete, Giddings believes "it won't be the same" because "you can't build new, grungy venues."

Metro on Oxford Street has staged early shows by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kings of Leon and Kaiser Chiefs in recent years. "There is a fondness for the place, we do provide a service," says Paul Tunkin of the venue operator BlowUp Metro. "We've had lots of new breaking acts over the years-and it's a good location.

Edited by SMF Cyndi 2008-07-15 10:43 PM
Peter Gray
Posted 2008-07-16 4:30 AM (#14999 - in reply to #14996)
Subject: RE: Stay Of Execution For London's Astoria, Metro Venues
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Nearly A Band Member

Posts: 309
Location: Under the....
My first (and best) Twisted Show was at the Astoria. It was f***ing awesome.

Shame it has to go.
Jim Hudson
Posted 2008-07-20 6:10 PM (#15068 - in reply to #14996)
Subject: RE: Stay Of Execution For London's Astoria, Metro Venues
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Location: Rocking In The Florida Dark !
Thanks Cyndi, I think it is so cool you spend this amount of time to try and keep us informed.Its not allways easy to find out about this stuff and I find it really interesting.Jim PS. Please lf You should hear any distributeable news about Redder ,Greener, Louder,Id like to go.I might be Freezzzzzing MAO After all this time in the heat but willing to risk it.

Edited by Jim Hudson 2008-07-20 6:18 PM