London venue The Spitz fights closure threat

UK: Following the recent curtain-down at the Hammersmith Palais and speculation about the site currently occupied by the Astoria, The Spitz has become the latest live music venue in London to be confronted by a question mark over its long-term future. The operators of the eclectically-programmed facility have been given six months' notice to quit, prompting a major campaign to try and safeguard its future, reports David Davies.
Author:
Publish date:

UK: Following the recent curtain-down at the Hammersmith Palais and speculation about the site currently occupied by the Astoria, The Spitz has become the latest live music venue in London to be confronted by a question mark over its long-term future. The operators of the eclectically-programmed facility have been given six months' notice to quit, prompting a major campaign to try and safeguard its future, reports David Davies.

The Spitz in Shoreditch - which also houses a bar and bistro, and a gallery specialising in socially aware photo journalism - has evolved to become one of the UK's most prominent non-mainstream music venues over its 12-year history. Ironically given its current predicament, the venue's 2007 schedule looks like being one of its strongest yet, with plans for a trio of festivals dedicated to blues, country and folk.

However, the recently issued notice to quit received from landlord Ballymore Properties could see the venue close its doors for the last time in September.

Encouragingly for the operators, the campaign to save the venue has already attracted some high-profile supporters - not least singer/songwriter Beth Orton, who has played the venue on a number of occasions. "I am outraged to hear that The Spitz is in danger of closing," she said. "In these days of bland, wholesale corporate homogenisation we need truly independent music venues like The Spitz more than ever."

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has also expressed his concern, noting that the city he represents is "known around the world for its arts and entertainment, which is the reason why so many people come here. It has a strong reputation for a cutting edge and innovative music scene, which is nurtured by having a range of live venues where music can flourish. The Spitz is a unique venue which has enhanced the London music scene since it opened. If a classical music venue were under threat, the establishment would rightly be up in arms."

Those wishing to add their support to the campaign can sign an online petition (link below) or make a donation via The Spitz website.

Web
» www.ipetitions.com/petition/TheSpitz
» www.spitz.co.uk

Related

London: live music capital no more?

UK: The prospective demolition of the Hammersmith Palais to make way for offices and a restaurant has dealt a fresh blow to the diversity of London's live music scene. The news emerges during a period when there is also a question mark over the long-term future of another iconic venue in the capital, writes David Davies.

'Groundbreaking' new London venue arrives

UK: Developed by the team responsible for fabric, matter is located in The O2 complex, writes David Davies. The 2,600-capacity site - which had its official launch night on September 19th - incorporates a sound, lighting and video system devised by renowned clubland technical guru Dave Parry and his company Most Technical. Martin Audio, Void Acoustics, Lab.gruppen and Digidesign are among the manufacturers whose equipment has been specified in the venue, which will host both club nights and live music performances.

Martin Audio solution for 'hybrid' London venue

UK: The installation at The Driver - located in the Kings Cross development area - was carried out by Systems Etc, reports David Davies. The multi-purpose site - which is operated by Billy Reilly of Pacha London fame - has been equipped with more than 50 Martin Audio AQ series full-range speakers and subwoofers, with system optimisation courtesy of five of the manufacturer's Engineer 818 DSPs.

E London church selects EV

UK: An East London church has purchased an Electro-Voice sound system, writes PSN-e. The popular Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) has just relocated from its long-term Hackney home to a former cinema in Walthamstow due to construction works relating to the 2012 Olympic Games. While the new site will only serve as a temporary home for KICC, the church has prioritised a highly-specified sound system to cope with the demanding nature of its musical content.

Legendary UK live venue bids farewell

UK: Following last week's Demolition Ball, the London Astoria has closed its doors for the final time, writes David Davies. The Rolling Stones, Oasis and The White Stripes are among the countless major-name acts to have graced the Charing Cross Road venue, which is making way for a worksite to support the Crossrail train service project and the redevelopment of Tottenham Court Road underground station (visualisation pictured).

AKG locates The Cooper Temple Clause as it searches for Unsigned Heroes

UK: The final of the AKG-sponsored Unsigned Heroes competition is to be headlined by British band The Cooper Temple Clause (pictured). The contest - scheduled to reach its climax at London venue KOKO on 26th April - is focusing on "the MySpace community" in its bid to track down the best as-yet unsigned band in the UK and Eire, writes David Davies.

Major new London venue receives Ecler system

UK: The sound installation at Leicester Square Theatre was designed and specified by Total Audio's Peter Knowles, reports David Davies. The fit-out in the 390-capacity main auditorium centred upon the AMBIT series of discreet architecture cabinets from Spanish manufacturer Ecler, which is distributed in the UK by MilTec (UK).