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Thursday, September 05, 2013

It's not just the BBC Big Band that are being hit!

I've lost count of the local (north east) venues that have either closed or decided to no longer support live jazz. In the past 12 months or so we've lost The Corner House, The Porthole, The Marquis of Granby, The Jazz Café, The Piper, Rosie Malone’s, Pizza Express, The Star, The Ouseburn Cafe, The Boardwalk, Hoochie Coochie, The Customs House, Trinity Church and possibly many others in the region that I'm not aware of. Jazz venues come and go, it just seems a lot have suddenly gone and not many have come..
Can anyone add to the list or, better still, come up with some new venues?
Brian Bennett.

4 comments :

Lance said...

Of course it's sad that venues close down but let's look at the reasons. At grass roots levels where promoters work with their own money it is imperative that the band pulls in punters who drink and/or dine. Too many have a half of beer which lasts them from Stomp Off Let's go to Farewell Blues.
At other venues the band is paid on the door take or in some cases - a free pint and a bag of crisps (your words from way back).
Pubs are struggling and if a band isn't putting bums on seats then caput!
Lack of Arts Council funding has also had an effect although that never reached down to the level we're talking about. Plenty money for "big names" but f... all for the bands that go out and do it every night in their local pub/club.
Ref Hoochie, although their Thursdays failed through lack of support, Warren does present acts which are still quite often jazz orientated - Fred Wesley in October being one who springs to mind and the Strictly Smokin' Big Band do their Sunday afternoon monthly session so all is not totally lost there. But I agree times are tough. Perhaps Jazz North East should have a sub-division supporting bands that are at the club face with reps from bands and venues forming a committee irrespective of the genre?

Anonymous said...

Or maybe people are becoming bored of listening to the same old bobbins? Jazz; "the sound of surprise"? Don't make me laugh...

Paul said...

There's a new lunchtime gig starting this month in Durham, upstairs at the Gala Theatre. The lunchtime series at the Lit and Phil has (so far) been a success. There is the gigs at St Cuthbert's Centre in Crook, and I think the gigs at the Forum in Darlington are still relatively new. It's not all doom and gloom (although there's a lot of that about!).

Paul Grainger said...

From Saturday 21 September, Salsa on Westgate Road (in conjunction with the Pink Lane Jazz Coop) are presenting live jazz from 9 until late.

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