The number's up for the 100 Club - London's legendary Oxford Street venue to close
Posted: 27th September 2010
Another day, another social meeting place with significant historical value is set to close. Oxford Street's 100 Club, the 68 year old basement of dreams for so many key British (and international) artists looks odds-on to shut its doors for good at the end of the year.
An official statement from the venue director, Jeff Horton, states:
The writing has been on the wall, so to speak, since the rent increased by 45% in 2007. It was an increase that was unsustainable. Just as pertinent have been the increase year on year in Business Rates that have now reached a ludicrous level of £1000 per week, and now the Government are increasing VAT to 20% from January. There have been over a dozen increases in duty on alcohol in the last two years or so as well, meaning that my supplier's bills have increased some 40% in that period.
The venue opened in 1942 and held a regular jazz-swing night called the Feldman Swing Club, before becoming an iconic venue during the 60s r 'n' b scene, the 70s punk scene and the 80s jazz revival. The walls are still decked with memorabilia and photographs of previous performers, including Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Memphis Slim, Jeff Beck, Muse, George Melly and many more. On a less well-known scale, I witnessed Screaming Lights put on a cracking show there last year - it'll be a shame to see it go.
Unless a buyer or investor can step in between now and December, the 100 Club (complete with an ironic debt of 100k), will join the elite of the Astoria, The George Robey and (almost but not quite) The Half Moon and the Electric Ballroom. Cardiff lost its Barfly venue recently as well. I am sure we would all welcome yet another Starbucks on Oxford Street, eh rich rock-stars?
You can show your continued support for the venue by joining their Facebook group (currently at just over 9,000 members - check the "Save 100 Club [Facebook]" link in the sidebar) or by attending a gig! In true time-honoured tradition, there are a few familiar iconic faces from British musical history due to perform, such as Glen Matlock, Curved Air, Ray Gelato and newbies Krakatoa and iLiKETRAiNS - see below.