LEGENDARY LONDON venue The Troubadour (cap. 110) is hoping to enjoy a renaissance, having booked in a new series of monthly and weekly nights working with emerging musicians.
Ian Williamson, who describes himself as ‘director of happenings’, says that since his tenure began in August, significant efforts have been made to keep the venue’s listings eclectic and fresh.
“That can range from rock club nights, which comprise both acts and DJs, via what I’m pretty sure is London’s only electronic open mic night, through to ska and reggae performances in association with the Alpha Institute in Kingston [Jamaica],” he says.
“We have a lot of options with different rooms in the building, from the basement stage through to the cafe and gallery area that used to be a wine shop, so we can put different acts on in more appropriate places.”
The venue was bought outright by existing shareholder Giles McNamee after falling into administration last summer, and Williamson says that getting the buzz back will require a thoughtful strategy.
“Obviously we’re keen to make sure the venue reasserts itself as an artistic hub for the area – the number of legendary artistes that have passed through these doors is incredible, and the venue itself is beautiful, so it’s just a case of making sure the right artistes are here,” he explains.
“I’m looking at getting the capacity increased soon, and we’ve upgraded the sound system along with hiring the talents of some world class live engineers, so there’s a lot of potential.
“There’s nothing of this size in the area either so it can be a great place for emerging artistes.”
Artistes to have previously played the venue in its heyday include Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix, while in recent years Jamie T, The Dead 60s and Paolo Nutini have taken to the stage.