Wednesday, January 29, 2020

London club that hosted Oasis and Sex Pistols saved by tax cut | The Guardian

Musicians have welcomed plans to give the legendary 100 Club special status as part of an attempt to protect grassroots venues.

The London venue, which has hosted the Rolling Stones, Oasis and The Sex Pistols, had been facing the threat of closure. It has now called for councils to help other venues under pressure because of high business rates.

Sir Paul McCartney played a gig at the Oxford Street club in 2010 in an attempt to save it from closure, while Sir Mick Jagger and Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie supported a campaign to keep it open.

The venue, which has been home to live music since 1942, will benefit from a business rates relief plan from Westminster City Council.

The decision reduces overhead costs by more than £70,000 a year, according to the Music Venue Trust.

KT Tunstall said she “couldn’t be happier to know it will be a space for music for years to come”.

She said: “These iconic small venues all over the country are the lifeblood of the UK music scene, and rates can and do force them out of business.”

Billy Bragg said: “The 100 Club has played host to some of the most dynamic pop music that the UK has produced during its eight decades of existence. It was the crucible of trad jazz, played host to the skiffle boom and made room for 60s beat groups.

“In 1976, its storied stage saw British punk rock take its first baby steps. So news that Westminster Council has decided to support the continued existence of the 100 Club is most welcome.

“Very few venues have survived from the dawn of British pop and it is fitting that the tenacity of those who run the 100 Club has been rewarded in this way.”

The venue’s owner, Jeff Horton, said the move “means we can continue to support the careers of the hundreds of artists who take to our stage each year”.

After “a decade of financial turmoil and struggle the venue can, at last, move forward and continue its work, secure in the knowledge that there is now a much greater chance of sustainability,” he said.

Mark Davyd, the chief executive and founder of the Music Venue Trust, said: “Across our major cities, we have key, iconic grassroots music venues that we desperately need to find a way to keep.

“Other boroughs in London, in Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Brighton, Glasgow, Cardiff, now need to follow suit.”


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