Musicians welcome move to keep 100 Club open

The Rolling Stones, Oasis and The Sex Pistols have all performed at the venue.

Press Association
Last updated: 29 January 2020 - 1.10pm

Musicians have welcomed plans to give the legendary 100 Club special status as part of a move to protect grassroots venues.

The Rolling Stones, Oasis and The Sex Pistols have all performed at the 100 Club, in London.

The venue, which had faced the threat of closure, has now called for councils to help other venues under pressure because of high business rates.

Sir Paul McCartney played a gig at 100 Club, on Oxford Street, in 2010 after it faced having to close its doors, while Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie and Sir Mick Jagger supported a campaign to keep it open.

Sir Paul McCartney during a lunchtime show at London’s famous 100 Club
Sir Paul McCartney during a lunchtime show at London’s famous 100 Club (MJ Kim/PA)

The venue, which has been home to live music since 1942, will benefit from a business rates relief plan from Westminster City Council.

The decision reduces overhead costs by over £70,000 a year, according to the Music Venue Trust.

KT Tunstall said she “couldn’t be happier to know it will be a space for music for years to come”.

She said: “These iconic small venues all over the country are the lifeblood of the UK music scene, and rates can and do force them out of business.”

KT Tunstall
KT Tunstall (Ian West/PA)

Billy Bragg said: “The 100 Club has played host to some of the most dynamic pop music that the UK has produced during its eight decades of existence.

“It was the crucible of trad jazz, played host to the skiffle boom and made room for 60s beat groups.

“In 1976, its storied stage saw British punk rock take its first baby steps.

“So news that Westminster Council has decided to support the continued existence of the 100 Club is most welcome.

“Very few venues have survived from the dawn of British pop and it is fitting that the tenacity of those who run the 100 Club has been rewarded in this way.”

Billy Bragg on stage
Billy Bragg on stage (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The venue’s owner Jeff Horton said the move “means we can continue to support the careers of the hundreds of artists who take to our stage each year.”

After “a decade of financial turmoil and struggle the venue can, at last, move forward and continue its work, secure in the knowledge that there is now a much greater chance of sustainability,” he said.

Mark Davyd, chief executive and founder of Music Venue Trust said:  “Across our major cities, we have key, iconic grassroots music venues that we desperately need to find a way to keep….

“Other Boroughs in London, in Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Brighton, Glasgow, Cardiff, now need to follow suit.”

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