El Born Discuss: The Boileroom & UK Live Music
With Guildford venue the Boileroom facing the possibility of closure, TMMP caught up with Hils – the female half of hyperkinetic rockers El Born – to discuss the Boileroom and the state of the UK’s live music scene.
This interview is part of a larger TMMP feature which can be read in full here.
What is your general opinion of the Boileroom?
The Boileroom is one of our favourite venues to play as it is vibrant, draws a great music crowd, and the sound is always great. Plus, it used to be my local venue!
How did you feel when you heard about the Boileroom’s current problems?
I was sad, as I know how many lengths the staff go to to avoid any noise bleed or disruption to the local area. It would be devastating for Guildford to lose this venue too.
We’ve just toured over 60 venues across the UK and I can tell you that no other venue goes to that sort of sound bleed control set up as much as they do.
What would happen if the Boileroom were to shut down? What impact would that event have?
The Boileroom is the only decent touring venue in Guildford and really in that part of Surrey. It also serves the huge creative mass of children and adults who study music at both ACM and Surrey University. It would have a massive impact, as these people and all touring acts would have nowhere decent to play in Guildford.
What is your favourite Boileroom-related memory?
Probably goes back to when I lived in Guildford and frequented the venue several times a month. I loved seeing the Noisettes there before they broke – but as a band playing there, my favourite things are the amazing sound, and great crowds we’ve played to.
How do you feel about the state of the UK’s live music scene right now? What could be done to improve things?
It’s sad that so many amazing venues are being shut down.
However the real problem I fear is that we have somehow lost that live music culture in this country. It’s been replaced with a drinking culture. It’s bars versus venues now and bars are winning hands down.
The usual situation now is that the music venue section on a premises is tucked away behind closed doors somewhere near the back basement. The venues are segregated off and therefore remain empty most nights. This is why good honest venues like the Boileroom are so vital to what is fast becoming an abandoned live scene.
We have just toured the UK for 7 months. It’s hard to find decent venues in important towns now as so many have gone. It made booking the tour a nightmare.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just what I’ve said before in our petition, but I know that the staff at the Boileroom do everything possible to stop noise bleed and have the highest respect for their community. This venue offers so much to so many in the local community and it would be devastating for it to close down.
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