Fans rocked as Venue to shut two years early

A RENOWNED music venue which played host to early gigs by the Stone Roses, the Happy Mondays, Travis and the Scissor Sisters is to be shut down two years earlier than planned.

The Venue nightclub in Calton Road will now close by the end of next year to make way for offices and an upmarket delicatessen.

Over more than 20 years the Venue has played host to legendary bands, witnessing onstage bust-ups and future stars performing in front of miniscule audiences.

The Proclaimers, Faith No More, Suede, Coldplay, Franz Ferdinand, Deacon Blue, Texas, The Strokes and Del Amitri are just some of the famous acts to have played there. It has also hosted some of the Capital's most popular club nights, including Pure.

George Duffin, former promoter of gigs at the Venue, which was originally expected to remain open for a further four years, said it was the longest-running live music venue in Scotland.

He said: "I can remember both Travis and Coldplay playing in support slots well down the bill at the Venue when they were unheard of. There were more people on stage than in the audience at the Happy Mondays gig, which ended after 13 minutes when Shaun Ryder and Bez started fighting each other. When The Strokes played they were big enough to play the SECC in Glasgow and there were more people on the guest list than the capacity of the club.

"A few supermodels got in somehow, but we had to turn away the editor of the Face magazine and Finlay Quaye. People are always talking about King Tut's in Glasgow, but the Venue has been going much longer."

The Venue will have to close before anyone moves into the 39-flat complex which is being built above the club by Edinburgh-based BL Developments.

Phil Myrescough, the group's managing director, said every effort had been made to help the current operators of the Venue, Raw Promotions Scotland, find an alternative location, but no progress had been made to date.

He added: "They want to relocate, but it's easier said than done finding an alternative location for somewhere like the Venue."

Stewart MacKinnon, director of Raw Promotions, said: "The developers have been very helpful in trying to find us somewhere and it's very important the Venue doesn't just disappear. There is a whole culture going on here."

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