I chatted to John from Gengahr about his fave live music venue. He chose the late Astoria in London. Watch Gengahr’s video for ‘Before Sunrise’ below, then check out the interview.
“Can I choose one that no longer exists? The Astoria. Saw so many great bands there, it was the perfect size and if you found the right spot it sounded great either downstairs or upstairs.”
“You could sit down upstairs if you were knackered. Also it was twinned with the Mean Fiddler and after many years we worked out how to get downstairs to the separate venue without anyone seeing so you could get two gigs for the price of one. This was only useful once when there was a great support band downstairs and a great headline act upstairs.”
“Unfortunately I didn’t make any music anyone would want to hear before it got torn down. The gap by Tottenham Court Road station still makes me sad.”
“I got to see loads of stuff there. A lot of US rock stuff as well as U.K. Indie. I think the last gig I went to was Rancid. I saw Death Cab For Cutie and my mate fell asleep upstairs on the chairs, entirely apt for that band. Saw Biffy Clyro at there last London show before they signed to a major and changed a fair bit.
“I saw a UK band called Seafood that was great, the album ‘when do we start fighting’ is worth looking up. I saw Regina Spektor there before she got really big, I think it was the only time she had a full band and she did some truly awful dancing, probably why she sat behind the piano the rest of her career. The video for Radioheads ‘my iron lung’ is shot there (I’m pretty sure), I wish I was around for that gig.”
The Astoria originally opened as a cinema!
It was sadly closed in 2009.
Richey Edwards had his last live performance with the Manic Street Preachers in the Astoria.
Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, Feeder and The Cranberries all had live albums recorded at the Astoria.
Nirvana, The Strokes, Prince, Blur, Bowie, Madonna and Oasis all played the Astoria.
Gengahr’s second album, Where Wildness Grows, is out now (and its bloody good.) Buy it here or stream it here.
I spoke to Studio Killers about their favourite live music venue. The European electro-pop trio made up of Cherry, Goldie Foxx and Dyna Mink chose the place that they made their live debut, Ruisrock Festival in Finland.
Where is your favourite live venue?
“Ruisrock festival in Finland.”
Why is it your favourite venue?
“We love it so much because it’s located in a beautiful area by the sea. The vibe at the festival is fantastic!”
Who else have you seen perform there?
“We saw Disclosure there in 2015 and thought they were great!”
Have you ever played there yourself?
“Yeah we’ve played there twice before, in 2014 and 2015. The 2014 festival was our first ever live show!”
Ruisrock festival is split into two areas, the beach and the meadow.
The Festival was founded in 1970
The Clash has their last ever live performance at Ruisrock.
This year’s lineup includes Tyler The Creator, First Aid Kit, Skepta, Dua Lipa and N.E.R.D.
I spoke to Leeds band Hookworms about their favourite live venue. Unsurprisingly, they chose one of their hometown’s finest, The Brudenell Social Club. Watch ‘Static Resistance’ from their latest album, Microshift below.
“Our favourite venue is the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds.”
Have you ever played there?
“Yes, we played our first ever show there supporting Wooden Shjips, and we just did a weekend residency there, along with a couple of album launches and many support slots over the years.”
Who else have you seen play there?
Too many to list them all, but some personal highlights over the years have been: Lightning Bolt, Ought, Black Dice, Thee Oh Sees (in the Games Room), Superchunk, Om, The Vaselines…
Facts About The Brudenell:
The Social club was established December 8th, 1913
Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand, The Cribs, Four Tet and The Fall have all played at the Social Club.
It is a community ‘non profitmaking’ venue, that holds charitable status.
Photography, Film and even Origami groups meet up at the Brudenell.
I spoke to Halifax indie trio The Orielles, fresh off the back of releasing their debut album ‘Silver Dollar Moment’ about their favourite live music venue, Hebden Bridge Trades Club. Check out the video for ‘Blue Suitcase (Disco Wrist) below:
What is your favourite venue and why?
“Our favourite venue is the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge.”
“The venue holds a lot of sentimental value for us and is essentially owned and run by the community, which is so inspiring and lovely. The staff there are also the best, as is the sound!”
Have you ever played there?
“We have played there a few times and they have always been the best shows of the tour. Great to see so many people both old and young enjoying live music.”
Who else have you seen play there?
“We’ve seen so many bands play there!! Most notably Khruangbin, around two years ago, when they played an unreal show to only about 30 people.”
“Also every single Heavenly Recordings weekender has been so, so amazing and memorable, but maybe we’re slightly biased here, haha.”
Facts about The Trades Club:
The Trades Club was built in 1924 and still has the original sprung dance floor.
It’s a members co-operative socialist members club. Owned by it’s members and run by a committee.
It has been shortlisted for NME Small Venue of the year 3 times.
Shortlisted for this year’s Music Week Small Venue Award.
They have hosted 3 Heavenly Records weekends at the club, the latest headlined by The Orielles, Gwenno & King Gizzard.
Notable artists to play the Trades in the last few years include Mark Lanegan, Patti Smith, Everything Everything, Fat White Family & The Fall. They have upcoming shows from Girl Ray, IDLES and a Certain Ratio to name a few.
Nick J.D. Hodgson just released his debut solo single, Suitable. I asked him some quick questions about the single, songwriting and more.
How does it feel to have your first solo single out? I forgot how good it is to release music. It’s a very exciting moment when it actually goes live and people start to react to it. You always spend so long in the studio listening to the same bars that you almost become immune to it so when it comes out it suddenly feels fresh. As for being solo, yeh I like it. Lots of work to do cos I’m the label and publisher too but I’ve had 5 years off sooooo.
You’ve written and produced for a lot of other artists; are there any new upcoming acts that you would like to work with? I think Jorja Smith is really good. She has an amazing effortless voice. Would be cool to write with her.
How does it differ writing stuff that will eventually have your own name on it compared to writing for others or as part of a band? It’s easier in a way because I only have to get inside my head. Also you don’t have to try and please anyone else. Although It does mean you’ve got nowhere to hide which can be scary. In the band I had a drum kit in front of me, it’s a good place to keep your head down if people aren’t digging it!
What is your favourite album of the year so far? There’s two. The Cribs, 24-7 Rock Star Shit and Jay Z 4:44