Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Farewell to The Gaff and all who sailed in her

This Sunday saw the final trading night of The Gaff, a small music venue on Holloway Road. As with many of London's small venues they were living hand to mouth, and when the landlord was offered a more permanent future, in the shape of an offer from the Costa Coffee chain, he 'jumped at the chance' according to one member of staff I spoke to.

The Gaff was open for less than three years and had recently started gaining momentum in terms of audience number and frequency of gigs. Yes the toilets leaked. Yes it wasn't the easiest place in the world to get home from. Yes the handstamps didn't wash off for days, even with strong soap. But it was the venue of choice for many of the London punk, skin and rockabilly scene, and without it we're back to our other spiritual home of the 12Bar or paying extortionate entry and drink prices at places like the Underworld (which has an even bigger problem with their sewer system!).

So farewell then to The Gaff. I celebrated birthdays there, I organised a benefit for Strummerville there, I got on stage and sang with The Grit there. I've been pegged, I've danced and I've loved it. Thanks to all the staff for making those nights memorable. To all my mates and the rest of Team Special, I'm glad we saw it off in style...

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