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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 6:56 pm 
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That you in the burgundy harrington jacket, Milch?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 7:22 pm 
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He Who Hears Horses wrote:
That you in the burgundy harrington jacket, Milch?

Yep, that's me.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 9:51 pm 
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Nice, I've got the same/very similar jacket.

I saw that MP wrote a letter to the new owners. It's just such a shame that great music venues are so often at the mercy of clueless, culture destroying fuckheads who's only interest is in wringing the last pennies out of the crumbling ruins of modern capitalism.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 11:09 am 
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Here's a copy of Emily Thornberry MP's letter, which she has sent to the CEOs of both Stonegate and County Estate Pubs.

-----------

I am writing to you as a constituency MP and a woman in her 50s. Though I don’t wish to make too many assumptions, I’m guessing that we may be of similar ages and may share a similar taste in music and therefore the cultural important of the Buffalo Bar may not have got onto your radar. I’m afraid it certainly hadn’t crossed mine – until recently!

I have recently had a meeting with a large number of members of the public who are worried about the future of the Buffalo Bar. They explained to me, with great patience, that a number of famous bands have began playing and continue to play at this bar. I really felt my age by the end of the meeting but I came away completely convinced that we have a cultural jewel in our midst whose future is under threat. This bar clearly makes a very important contribution to youth culture and I think you should consider the impact the closure of this bar could have, not just on patrons, but on the cultural significance of this part of London.

The owners of the Buffalo Bar have been subletting the basement area under The Famous Cock Tavern for the past 14 years and I was very concerned to hear that, as a result of the pub upstairs changing hands The Buffalo Bar will be forced to close.

A Community Venue

I agreed to meet with concerned users and staff at the Buffalo Bar last week having received a number of emails about this. It became clear how important this venue has become to the local community here in Islington as well as amongst the music community across the UK. I have received emails regarding this matter from people all across London who travel to the Buffalo Bar on a regular basis to see bands as well as people from as far afield as Bristol and Inverness.

One concerned regular of the Buffalo Bar started a change.org
petition to try and save the bar, which has attracted over 5000 signatures in the space of a week.

One regular told me at the meeting that she met her husband at the Buffalo Bar and others mentioned that many couples who had met there have now gone on to start families.

The women in the group also explained how the venue had always made them feel safe and welcomed, even as a woman alone. They talked about how welcoming and caring the staff and other customers are at the Buffalo Bar always are so that even someone attending an event at the bar for the first time felt welcomed and part of the community.

Diverse Music Selection

As well as a clear focus on community spirit, those who attended the meeting were also keen for me to know that the gigs and club nights put on by the Buffalo Bar are extremely diverse in terms of the types of music you can expect to hear there. Club nights have catered for lovers of a huge range of musical genres including: indie, britpop, R’n’B, afro-cuban, Christian hip hop, northern soul, glam, punk, rock and roll, and many more.

One regular told me that she had spent a lot of time in London looking for people who shared her love of some sort of glam rock but found so few bars or clubs catering to this type of music until she found the Buffalo Bar. Like so many others I met last week, it is clear that she has many happy memories from nights spent here and it would be shame to lose a venue that people have such an emotional and personal connection to.

As well as regular customers of the bar, a number of the people at the meeting were members of bands that have played at the venue. They told me that the majority of promoters running gigs across London are solely focused on making profit from their nights but that the independent promoters involved in booking bands for the Buffalo Bar are in it not for the money but because they love music.

The managers tell me that some venues put pressure on bands to put money behind the bar or to sell a certain number of tickets for their night. In contrast, bands playing at the Buffalo Bar have often run at a loss but have been allowed to play because the bar wants to give new bands a platform that may not otherwise be open to them. Despite this, the bar is far from being a charity and I understand that overall it is a financial success.

Offering a platform for new bands is vital for a vibrant music scene and a number of bands that have played at the Buffalo Bar have gone on to great success, including The Libertines, Keane, Bloc Party and Hot Chip (I understand that these bans are very popular and my children assure me that this is the case!). I am told that some of these bands still choose to play secret warm up gigs here before embarking on a tour so that their fans can hear the songs they love in a far more intimate setting than can be found at large, impersonal, corporately owned venues.

I am told that Frank Sidebottom has also played at the Buffalo Bar and that I really ought to recognise him from the pictures they showed me but, again let me confess, I had no idea who he was.

Impact on the local community

As the local MP, I often receive emails, phone calls and letters from my constituents about bars and clubs in Islington but for all of the wrong reasons. Many local residents feel plagued by antisocial behaviour and have noted that the patrons of certain establishments in this area create a lot of noise problems, partake in violent behaviour and can be intimidating to passersby. In 9 years as the MP for Islington South & Finsbury, I have never received a complaint about the Buffalo Bar.

We discussed this at the meeting and I was told that the last time they had to phone the police to attend to an incident at the bar, the police officers could not find the place. I think this shows quite clearly that the bar is not a well-known hotspot for trouble makers and the bar staff clearly take pride in this. The friendly atmosphere and strong sense of community amongst the regular customers of the bar means that unlike other premises with late licenses, they are not a blight on the area and I see no real reason for Stonegate to have any concerns about allowing the bar to remain open on this basis.

Impact on The Famous Cock

I understand that Stonegate has no interest in making use of the area currently used by the Buffalo Bar and that it may just be used for storage purposes for The Famous Cock after the Buffalo Bar is forced to close at the end of the year. As the pub has had no requirement for this storage space to date, I cannot see that this is a good use of the space and is certainly not in the business interests of Stonegate.

The Buffalo Bar being located where it is clearly benefits The Famous Cock. The emails I have received that make clear that while people will meet friends for a drink or meal in the pub before a gig downstairs, it is not a place that they would frequent otherwise. There are gigs and club nights held every day at the Buffalo Bar so I am concerned that the loss of this venue will have a knock-on effect on the success of the pub itself.

Given the above information and the volume of emails that I am sure Stonegate have now received from concerned patrons of the Buffalo Bar I would be grateful if you could review your plans with regard to the bar. Surely an agreement can be reached to ensure that such a fantasticly vibrant venue, loved by people all across the country is protected during the lease changes for The Famous Cock?

Is Stonegate willing or able to negotiate with the new freeholders, Country Estate Pubs, for a new subletting agreement for the Buffalo Bar? If not, the owners of the Buffalo Bar have suggested that Stonegate take the bar on themselves as part of The Famous Cock but continue to run it as a music venue? Would this be something Stonegate could consider at this stage, given that there are currently no other plans for the basement area?

If you’d like to come along to the Buffalo Bar sometime so we can both have our musical minds expanded and have an insight into its importance, I would be happy to go along with you!

Thank you for your help in this matter. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Emily Thornberry MP
Islington South and Finsbury

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:50 pm 
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The National dedicated Mistaken for Strangers to the Buffalo Bar the other night when they played that little venue the 02 or rather as I know it, The Millennium Dome. It was a pivotal gig at the Buffalo Bar 12 years ago that lead them on to sign with 4AD.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:10 pm 
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Vodka-Volauvent wrote:
The National dedicated Mistaken for Strangers to the Buffalo Bar the other night when they played that little venue the 02 or rather as I know it, The Millennium Dome. It was a pivotal gig at the Buffalo Bar 12 years ago that lead them on to sign with 4AD.


Cue Trev chaning his tune and launching a petition to support shutting it down...

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:58 pm 
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SPT wrote:
Vodka-Volauvent wrote:
The National dedicated Mistaken for Strangers to the Buffalo Bar the other night when they played that little venue the 02 or rather as I know it, The Millennium Dome. It was a pivotal gig at the Buffalo Bar 12 years ago that lead them on to sign with 4AD.


cue Trev chaning his tune and launching a petition to support shutting it down...

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Nah, shit bands get to play good venues all the time. ;-)

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 7:39 pm 
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Add 12 Bar Club to list of little venues shutting

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:11 pm 
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Bovine Juice wrote:
Add 12 Bar Club to list of little venues shutting


A petition did the rounds back in early Summer but seeing as the development is probably tied to the Crossrail developments I guess it could have been too late long ago. So, in that area we've lost the Astoria, Metro and now the 12 Bar Club - at least we'll have a colossal train station that'll bring people into London from the 'burbs at high speed so they can walk around and wonder where all the good stuff has gone.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:27 pm 
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Prescient article written about Denmark Street over the summer:

http://greatwen.com/2014/08/26/denmark- ... t-rebirth/

Doesn't look good at all.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:31 pm 
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Bovine Juice wrote:
Add 12 Bar Club to list of little venues shutting


Gutted, never got to play there and always wanted to! Same with the Astoria.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:42 pm 
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Vodka-Volauvent wrote:
Bovine Juice wrote:
Add 12 Bar Club to list of little venues shutting


A petition did the rounds back in early Summer but seeing as the development is probably tied to the Crossrail developments I guess it could have been too late long ago. So, in that area we've lost the Astoria, Metro and now the 12 Bar Club - at least we'll have a colossal train station that'll bring people into London from the 'burbs at high speed so they can walk around and wonder where all the good stuff has gone.


Must be noted actually there's a separation here. Astoria and Metro had to go to make room for actually building Crossrail. It seems the Intrepid Fox and, now the 12 Bar are part of a secondary wave of Crossrail impact where developers are wanting to make more money out of their developments from Crossrail being there. So that's all pretty rank.

Not sure this sort of 'London of the future' is a London I particularly want to live in to be honest.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:46 pm 
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Vodka-Volauvent wrote:
So, in that area we've lost the Astoria, Metro and now the 12 Bar Club - at least we'll have a colossal train station that'll bring people into London from the 'burbs at high speed so they can walk around and wonder where all the good stuff has gone.

Are there actually any venues at all left in the West End, other than The 100 Club, The Borderline, Ronnie Scotts and the occasional live music nights at Heaven?
A few more long gone from the immediate vicinity in question, The Fly, just round the corner on New Oxford St and the third incarnation of The Marquee on Charing Cross Road, The Alley Cat (also on Denmark St) and two more I can't remember the name of ...the place where Douglas Hart ran his Speed club nights, think it was on Charring Cross Road, almost opposite the Astoria and the place round the back of the Astoria where the Potty Mouth and Club Motherfucker women did a few gigs. Anybody remember the name of either of those?
Plus several more from elsewhere in the West End - most recently Madam Jo Jo's (Soho), but also The Marquee (Wardour St), The Rock Garden (Covent Garden), The Lyceum (off The Strand) Infinity (near Berkely Square), as well as places like Action Space (off Tottenham Court Road) and The Africa Centre (Covent Garden) which although not regular music or club venues did host several gigs, as well as several pubs, universities and colleges that used to, but no longer, do occasional gigs and if you want to go back further (to before even my time) The Roxy & The Vortex.
Any others?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:24 pm 
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Not sure if The Spice of Life could ever have been called a live music venue but... not sure if they still do stuff.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:05 pm 
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The Metro Bar went at the same time as the Astoria. That was on Oxford Street.

(edit VV already mentioned that one. oops).

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