Friday, 8 April 2005


Predator and prey

Back in 1992 or so the Town and Country Club in Kentish Town closed its doors. There was anger amongst regular gig-goers: one of London's best-loved names would be lost as the club was transformed by an agressive new business into The Forum.

(Discussing this with Dad at the time I found out that building was his local cinema during his student days in London.)

I'll admit that when it re-opened, The Forum was better equipped than the T&C, and managed to retain the same spirit. But the way things were reported then, it felt as if Big Business was taking over.

Only recently have I cottoned on to what happened. Most of London's medium-size live music venues (from the Borderline to the Astoria) are now owned by Mean Fiddler. I've heard concern that individual venues are losing their identities, that having one controlling organisation can't be good for artists or punters.

I've heard the same thing worldwide too, criticisms usually levelled against Clear Channel - a company that seems to exert huge influence on live venues.

So today I'm not sure what to make of the news that Clear Channel has taken over Mean Fiddler.

I guess I'll just sigh and remember when Mean Fiddler meant a tiny sweaty club in Harlesden.

Posted by pab at 22:39 | Comments will be back later in the year. Please email me instead!