THE LEXINGTON IS­LING­TON, LON­DON

96-98 PENTONVILLE ROAD, LON­DON, N1 9JB MATTHEW HALL, BOOKER/PRO­MOTER

Kerrang! (UK) - - Gigs -

HI, MATT! CAN YOU GIVE US A QUICK HIS­TORY OF THE VENUE?

“The place was built in 1850, but be­fore we moved in it was a vodka bar.they used to have drum’n’bass par­ties un­til four in the morn­ing, which you can imag­ine didn’t go down well with the neigh­bours! So we stripped ev­ery­thing back, sound­proofed it and opened up in 2008. It’s called The Lexington be­cause our down­stairs bar spe­cialises in bourbon, and Lexington is in [bourbon state] Ken­tucky.we ac­tu­ally used some of the earn­ings from the venue to cre­ate our own bourbon,whiskey Thief.”

THAT’S COOL! SO, BE­SIDES BE­ING KER­RANG!’S LO­CAL, HOW DO YOU THINK THE VENUE FITS INTO NORTH LON­DON’S GIG SCENE?

“I al­ways hope that we’re the venue peo­ple would like to play first.where it’s a nice buzzy night, they know the sound will be looked af­ter and the au­di­ence is go­ing to be great. It’s 200 ca­pac­ity, so bands com­ing to the UK for the first time will come here, then they’ll hope­fully move up to [nearby 1,145-ca­pac­ity venue] Scala.”

AND WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR STAND-OUT SHOWS THERE?

“Some of the best are with bands like King Giz­zard & The Lizard Wizard, where there’s seven of them on this small stage and it’s a bit ridicu­lous! We even had an orches­tra of 20 peo­ple play and the brass section was in the DJ booth.when [late garage rocker] Jay Reatard played, he jumped off a speaker stack. Luck­ily, he didn’t squash any­body.”

YOU DO CLUB NIGHTS AS WELL – IS THAT NEC­ES­SARY IN 2017?

“I don’t think you can just be a gig venue in 2017 and get away with it eas­ily. In Lon­don, peo­ple of­ten go home af­ter a gig is fin­ished. If you’ve got a DJ, then a new crowd will turn up and they’ll spend four times more, be­cause that’s their main event. But, that al­lows us to buy nice things for the bands – the PA is mas­sively sub­sidised by hav­ing DJS on a Fri­day and Satur­day.”

NICE. IN THE CUR­RENT ECO­NOMIC CLI­MATE, WHAT CHAL­LENGES DO YOU FACE?

“The venue is up­stairs so it’s not wheel­chair-ac­ces­si­ble.we do what we can car­ry­ing peo­ple up­stairs, but plan­ning-wise there’s only so much you can do with an 170-year-old build­ing. But the big­gest dif­fi­cul­ties are busi­ness rates and rent. Last year our rent dou­bled, and then busi­ness rates came along and it was nearly qua­dru­pling. It’s hap­pen­ing all around the coun­try and venues aren’t ex­actly no­to­ri­ous for rak­ing in pots of cash, so it’s the kind of thing that can put venues out of busi­ness.”

FI­NALLY, LOOK­ING TO THE FU­TURE, WHAT HAVE YOU GOT IN THE WORKS?

“We’re fully-booked be­tween now and next year, which is good for us. We al­ways do a Newyear’s Eve party and a string of gigs be­tween then and Christ­mas, which usu­ally sell out and are great fun.then, in Jan­uary we have out­side pro­mot­ers put on shows of the hot bands com­ing up. So it’s go­ing

to be busy!”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.