Monday, October 29, 2007

Local Live Music Venue Closes

The demise of the Kings Bar will leave a terrible hole in the local live music scene. The Victoria Club was ruined by the loss of the upstairs club room to flats. The Kings Bar will become shops below and flats above. What a terrible shame. For those of you who didn't know, the Kings Bar hosted six blues festivals, several jazz festivals, open mic nights and more. There were gigs by artists such as JAMIE CULLUM, LIANE CARROLL (both jazz pianists and singers), BEN WATERS (international boogie woogie pianist), THE GUV'NORS (7 piece funk band), saxophonist CLAIRE HIRST, trumpeter BARBARA SNOW and, at the recent new blues festival, members of Jools Holland's Rhythm & Blues Orchestra.
Not forgetting all the wonderful music from local artists such as Jon Sibthorpe, Frankie Rudd, Steve Darrington, Martin Johnson, and so many more.
The Kings Bar offered a positive affordable alternative to the Mowlem Theatre, because not only did the owners give it free, but they were always ready to spend their own money to encourage live music.
Thank you Bruce and Chris for giving us so much great music over the years.

Now what will happen to the local live music scene?

Posted by Anonymous to swanageview at 5:57 PM


Anonymous said...

Nothing much it will wither and die, there are unfortunatly a number of hard core anti music festival carnival residents in town, they think swanage is a go to bed at 10pm cosy town, and all they do is complain about anything that means people enjoy themselves.
and beleive it or not they seem to have one or two councillors on their side.
So RIP live entertainment in swnage.

Anonymous said...

upstairs in the east bar?

Anonymous said...

I've been told that the East Bar has an agreement with the residents of the flats next door not to have any live music at all.

steve darrington said...

Hey! It's not all doom and gloom you know!
If people want live music, there are people like me who will find somewhere to put it on. Just let me know what you want and I'll try to get it going!

For example, the Grand Hotel was such a great success with three gigs over the weekend of the October blues festival, they're launching the first of their new music nights in the bar in November.

So come along on Saturday 17 November for 8.30pm and I'll do my best on keyboards and vocals. Make a date in your diary for the STEVE DARRINGTON BLUES BAND featuring popular local bassist TOMMY MARSH and Bournemouth legend HUGH BUDDEN on harmonica, vocals and dancing!

I've also started an entertainments agency - the right act in the right venue at the right price - to raise money to keep the blues festivals going.

You can email me on
or call 01929 422338.

Anonymous said...

Steve how about some live classical culture? Sort of Proms at Durlston Country Park or Puccini in the Amphitheatre thing?

Steve Darrington said...

Thank you for your confidence in me!
It's not easy making music nowadays, even when the venue is already built and complies with the myriad of laws relating to entertainment, health & safety and all the rest.
To create a venue outdoors costs a lot of money and then you have to contend with the weather! Just look at the Studland carnival this year, what a terrible shame.

Anonymous said...

to the first post , yep you are so damm right and to me it seems that its people who dont even live here though come down for a weekend to stay in their second home. lets search the out and drive them out of our town before its too late

Anonymous said...

I have heard that due to the complaints of a very few idiot second home owners the Council (PDC) are re-evaluating music licenses. Apparently pubs 'have only recently' began playing music, so the recent complaints are 'valid'.
I hear the Red Lion is having problems with a couple of neighbours complaining, and have been warned they'll loose their license. This is dispite being able to prove that in fact music has been played in the pub long, long before these complainers were even born.
Anyone moving into a town centre, next to a pub, then complaining about the noise needs their head examined.
Funny how the rich, how 'weekend' here a couple of times a year have more say than locals and local businesses in our towns. Or rather, not so funny - more perverse.