Lunatrix Discuss: The Boileroom & UK Live Music
With Guildford venue the Boileroom facing the possibility of closure, TMMP caught up with quirky gypsy-swingers Lunatrix 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?
We all consider the Boileroom to be a fantastic venue. Extremely friendly staff who always have a smile for people, a wicked garden, and last but not least they go out of their way to put on consistently good nights of music. When you see a venue that caters for as many music tastes as the Boileroom does, you have to doff your hat to ’em. Also, a side note…I don’t think we ever saw a fight occur at that place ONCE, which is rare with nighttime music venues. Punters were always there to have fun and see good music and that speaks volumes about a venue….excuse the pun ;)
How did you feel when you heard about the Boileroom’s current problems?
We were gutted when we heard they may have to close their doors permanently!
Literally every time we’ve been there the staff are so on it with keeping noise levels down around the venue. The current situation feels very much an injustice, especially considering the place is soundproofed to the rafters and at closing time the bouncers always politely get people to keep noise down.
Just the fact they’ve received noise complaints is crazy. We were glad to see so many people leap to its defence though.
What would happen if the Boileroom were to shut down? What impact would that event have?
If the Boileroom were to shut down it would have a catastrophic effect on Guildford. It may sound like we’re exaggerating, but we feel it’s true. Shutting down the ONLY independent music venue in the city would leave the place devoid of true character in its night life, making Guildford’s night time culture a homogenised collection of Wetherspoons, Flares and equally distressing venues.
Firstly, it would destroy the place where both people from Guildford and outside the city come to watch acts that simply would not be put on anywhere else. There’s no way people like Dizraeli, Submotion Orchestra, Gentleman’s Dub Club, and Mungo’s Hi Fi (to name a few) would play a gig in Guildford if The Boileroom were to shut down, and that’s just talking about big leftfield acts…which brings us on to our next point.
The Boileroom is THE place for independent bands, newly formed projects, ACM bands and other leftfield acts to play. The venue is always trying to help new bands get on their feet by giving them a place to play and gain valuable gigging experience, and they book bands that people want to see that no other venue in Guildford would. Closing it down would be a crushing blow to Guildford’s cultural scene.
What is your favourite Boileroom-related memory?
Ahh, there have been so many good memories! Haha! One of them has to be our first gig there. It was our first gig EVER and we were received so graciously and lovingly by everyone there.
How do you feel about the state of the UK’s live music scene right now? What could be done to improve things?
In our eyes, It seems that independent venues who are doing good things for the cultural and social side of their towns / cities are being shut down, and in their place is a sea of chain venues who are more interested in turning a profit and not particularly interested in showcasing live music.
Don’t get us wrong – some of us have worked as promoters and worked very closely with venue owners, and we completely understand the monetary aspect of keeping venues going…and it can be difficult! We’d like to see venues taking chances with more original music, putting on different genre nights, and working more closely with communities to create better nights for everyone.
We have to say though, the festival music scene is incredible in the U.K. Whether you prefer smaller festies or larger ones, there’s some AMAZING music in this country and it seems the place to see it is in the fields. We’re very lucky, in such a small country to have such a crazy amount of talent, creativity and originality in our music…You just have to search a little bit to find it!
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