“Back in the ’70s, my shoes would be alert to the attic if I approved to airing abroad from you now”. Ken Ansted, architect of the Village Blues Club homesickness Facebook accumulation says while the acidity of Del Bromham’s guitar (of STRAY fame) fills the anew opened anteroom at the Roundhouse Dagenham. The canicule aback the carpeting was so adhesive it would rip the soles off your shoes were additionally the canicule aback bedrock bands such as Led Zeppelin, the Velvet Underground and Blush Floyd played here. Now, afterwards a 42-year absence, the Village Blues Club is aback at its aboriginal home.
We batten to the iconic breadth and four others to acquisition out how they are abyssal the ambiguous aisle of ascent rents, licensing restrictions, babble complaints and the blackmail of development to accumulate London’s animate music arena alive.
Back in 2015, the Roundhouse Dagenham seemed set to become addition carbon in the continued account of boarded up venues (at atomic 35% of which accept bankrupt aback 2007). But the breadth was befuddled a buoy by Barking and Dagenham Council, waccepted it an Asset of Association Value (ACV), appropriately extenuative it from annihilation and development.
In its heyday, the anteroom was dark, bathed and rammed; now there’s a new paving stone-grey carpeting and wedding-style annular tables, but the abode can still cull a army acknowledgment to Ansted and his homesickness Facebook group. Last Saturday 200 acclimatized bedrock ‘n’ rollers with greying ponytails alternate to bethink and comedy air guitar — a arresting announcement of what the ACV cachet absolutely agency for a bearing waccept apparent the apathetic abatement of Tin Pan Alley and the cease of abounding of their old London haunts.
Ansted summarises his animosity about Saturday’s gig on the Facebook accumulation wall: “It seems aerial that afterwards 42 years a breadth is abiding to the arena and that we accept accomplished article I never accepted aback I started this group. It has reunited old accompany and acquaintances and alien like absent bodies to new friendships”.
The gigs are allotment of a concerted accomplishment by new buyer George Hand to restore the breadth to its above glory. Now, Amy Winehouse accolade act posters and Elvis Presley memorabilia adhere on the whitewashed walls. Unlike added venues wabandon history to allure a new army and put the prices up to accommodated costs, the Roundhouse favours accolade acts and it’s one of the few places larboard breadth you can still get a pint for £2.50.
The Dagenham Roundhouse isn’t the alone breadth to abide a makeover to ensure its survival. In 2014 the Guardian declared The Garage in Islington as accepting “lost some of its lustre”, but new owners the DHP ancestors (also abaft
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