Historic Putney Music Venue Faces Closure

One of London's last independent live music venues, may have to call time

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Due to a combination of rising rents, rates and wholesale beer prices, never-ending increases in alcohol duty and the current economic crisis, The Halfmoon will not be able to carry on as a music venue after 31st January 2010.

The Halfmoon has been hosting live music regularly since 1963. Since that time it has seen performances by, among others, The Rolling Stones, U2, The Small Faces, Ralph McTell, Badly Drawn Boy, Kate Bush and countless more.

As well as still catering for touring bands and artists The Halfmoon has, more recently, been an important stepping stone for emerging talent, notably Kasabian, Imogen Heap, The Wombats, Newton Faulkner, Mr Hudson, Amy McDonald, and Natasha Bedingfield. Oh, and Jamie Archer of X Factor fame!

When bands are making the transition from playing in the corner of a pub to much bigger venues, they need that stepping stone. Places like The Halfmoon fill that niche. 

Current tenant James Harris says "We are at the grass roots of live music and The Halfmoon is an engine room for rising bands throughout the UK, who are now running out of quality venues to play. Since the closure was annaounced yesterday, messages of support and sadness from music lovers, musicians, radio DJ's and others in the industry have been flooding in to The Halfmoon Forum "

Local rock singer Jamie "Afro" Archer said he was,"obviously surprised and saddened to hear this great venue is to close. I've been told there maybe a petition to stop its closure, and if there is, I will of course be signing it in support. I've been asked to play there, and if my schedule allows I would love the opportunity."

Thamesfield councillor Edward Lister said, "We're proud to have the Half Moon in our borough. It's a unique place which is popular with live music fans of all ages. It's like the Boat Race: it puts Putney on the map. It is one of London's best known music venues and a great place for young bands. It would be devastating if it became the latest victim of the recession."

Band member, sound engineer and host of Halfmoon Unplugged - Redvers Bailey says:
"It will be a sad day when The Halfmoon closes. I can't think of many venues I've been to who can cater for professional touring bands and rising unsigned bands and are willing to treat the two no differently. Speaking as a band member I'd say I haven't played at any 200 capacity venue that offers as good sound/lighting production, atmosphere and door deal." 

Without the right measures being taken The Halfmoon could easily join a growing list of music venues that have closed in recent months/years. It would be another blow to music and culture in London if The Halfmoon disappears as well.


November 27, 2009