Friday, January 16, 2009

Astoria closes

I've mentioned before that the Astoria in London was threatened with closure, but now it has actually happened. This week's Demolition Ball was the final gig. Earlier in the week 'Alan McGee, founder of Creation Records, said the Astoria, which opened as a cinema in 1927 and became a concert venue in 1976, had "a lot of soul and character". He added: "In Paris or Mexico places like this don't get knocked down, they get revamped. It's criminal they're knocking down these iconic buildings." For years it hosted the G.A.Y. club - with its guest appearances from Kylie Minogue and other gay pop faves, as well as gigs by the likes of Nirvana, Belle & Sebastian, Augustus Pablo (first London gig), Madonna, Blur and Richey Edwards in his final appearance with the Manic Street Preachers in 1994. It was also a ballroom during and after the Second World War.

The 2000-capacity Astoria is being bulldozed as part of a railway scheme, along with two neighbouring spaces which will also disappear - the 1000-capacity Astoria2 club (formerly LA2) and the Metro , a cellar club where mod/soul/indie night Blow Up has been running since 1993.

Lots more Astoria memories here

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