Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Bye Bye Astoria..

From a stupid new building that might get built to a nice old one that's going to get knocked down...

London's legendary Astoria has closed its doors for the last time, soon to be demolished to make way for a shiny new station as part of the massive Crossrail project.

While I'm not overly sentimental, and I'm all for major public transport improvements (take note, Sydney..) and while the Astoria was basically falling apart anyway, it does seem a shame that another of London's historical small-to-medium sized venues has gone to the wall, following the recent closures of The Highbury Garage, The Hammersmith Palais (as in the Clash song), and The Spitz, among others.

Bloggers all over the place are sharing stories about why The Astoria was so great and the amazing gigs they saw there. I only went twice, but both times (for My Morning Jacket and The Polyphonic Spree) rank up there with my all time favourite shows. It was a good size, with good sound, lots of charm and it was easy to get home afterwards. We can only hope that the planned replacement can retain some of the old Astoria's magic.

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