Monday, 27 September 2010

100 Club

Old farts and musos in general will be alarmed and depressed to learn that the 100 Club in Oxford Street is scheduled to close at the end of the year. The owner says the club has been losing £100K per year for the last three years mainly because of a 45% rent increase in 2007, and increases in taxes and business rates meanwhile.
The 100 Club is really quite grotty, run down and squalid. But it has atmosphere (and not just the one you can smell). The owner's policy has always been to encourage originality and not to aim for the 'corporate market' i.e. the over-fed executives on expenses who can afford to pay £40 smackers for a bottle of wine and £25 quid on burger and chips. Admission prices are kept low and the place is fairly relaxed in matters of dress and decorum. So I guess you don't make much money that way, even though the venue is successful, well-attended and musicians want to play there.
The roll-call of luminaries to have played the 100 Club is impressive. Not only has our Phil played there with his former band Hanzo, but so too have Humphrey Lyttleton, The Rolling Stones, B B King, Eric Clapton, The Clash, and many more. It'll be a shame if it closes down and the world loses such a prestigious and independent venue. But so it goes. Maybe Mick Jagger could shell out some of his spare cash and buy a share in the business. £100K a year is not much to him - he probably spends more on having his hair done.

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