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London Astoria – Thank You For The Music
Music fans in London are in mourning after news that one of London’s most popular live music venues, the Astoria Theatre, is set to close for good.
Rumors of the closure of the legendary central London venue have long been circulating, with 35,000 people reportedly signing a petition to try to prevent its demolition. However, London Mayor Ken Livingstone revealed in a report in March 2008 that the Astoria would close due to new building and transport development in the area.
Regarding preventing closure, Livingstone said that due to the construction of Crossrail, a new underground railway line, it would be impossible to save the Astoria. However, he said the Astoria would be replaced by a new venue designed as part of the nearby Tottenham Court Road development, and the developers had already developed the area with a larger concert venue in mind. Livingstone also revealed that he is now preparing a live music strategy in order to protect the city’s iconic venues after other venues such as the Hammersmith Palais (immortalized in The Clash song “(White Man In) Hammersmith Palais” and The Spitz have also been forced to close their doors in recent months.
The Astoria was opened in 1927 as a cinema. However, it was converted for theatrical use in 1976 and is now exclusively a concert hall with a capacity of 2,000 people. The Astoria is linked to the Astoria 2 in such a way that the two sites can operate as one location if required.
By far its busiest nights are GAY nightclub promotions, but the venue has hosted many up-and-coming bands, such as Radiohead’s performance for MTV in 1994 (later released on VHS/DVD as ‘ Live at the Astoria’) and Nirvana in 1989, as well as world-class bands wishing to play low-key shows, including U2 in 2001, The Rolling Stones in 2003, Pearl Jam in 2006, and Oasis’ first performance of their 2005 tour .
Mean Fiddler acquired the lease of the London Astoria in May 2000, securing the future of live music at the famous venue. It has since been the first choice for intimate club gigs by well-established bands in London, with big names playing at the Astoria including Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Rage Against The Machine, Amy Winehouse and Blur, who played a five-night residency in 2003.
The Astoria also hosts concerts by unsigned bands, but only two have managed to sell the venue – The Darkness and Enbter Shikari. The Astoria also hosted the last concert of the Manic Street Preachers, before guitarist and composer Richey Edwards died in 1995.
However, with the London Astoria set to close for good soon, there is no doubt that London hotels near the venue will be bracing for an invasion of music fans eager to sample the venue’s unique atmosphere before it does. . is lost forever.
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