GUILDFORD’S Boileroom will celebrate its eighth birthday on Saturday (September 27) safe from closure – after bit of help from two Woking music legends.
The live music venue’s licence was under threat after complaints from neighbours, but after a special hearing Guildford Borough Council has confi rmed it can stay open, with new conditions.
A petition of 20,000 music lovers helped sway the councillors’ decision along with personal testimony from gig-goers at the meeting – and emails from two former members of The Jam, Paul Weller and Bruce Foxton. Both musicians emailed the council separately to voice their support for the Boileroom.
Weller wrote: “Without these types of locations for hosting live music, new artists and bands struggle to share, extend and establish their talents to a wider audience.
“As an established artist, I would ask your consideration in allowing this licensed premises to continue as an ambassador in order to promote live music.”
Foxton emailed: “It’s very hard for young bands to get gigs, sadly that hasn’t changed much in the 30 odd years I’ve been in the music business. It would be a travesty if the Boileroom closed.”
New rules, including an earlier curfew and stricter monitoring of the garden area, will come into force but the venue – which has hosted gigs by everyone from Pete Doherty and First Aid Kit to Ed Sheeran and The Stranglers’ Hugh Cornwell – will stay open.
Boileroom licensee Dominique Frazer says: “Thank you so much to everybody that has shown their support over these past few months, words can’t express how much we appreciate it.
“We’re pleased to say we can now move forward, and continue to work with the immediate and creative community to keep supporting live music and the creative arts.”
The venue will celebrate with a pre-planned Quentin Tarantino-themed eighth birthday bash on Saturday. Staff and punters will be dressing as characters from Tarantino’s films and A Band Apart will play music inspired by his movies.
Guildford-born Dominique, who helped set up the Boileroom in 2006, adds: “We were overwhelmed with the support we’ve received and continue to be overwhelmed.
“It’s really quite heart-warming for us to see that what we do and the venue itself is so important to people. Anyone wants that in their job.”
A former music journalist, she says the Boileroom team members have always tried to work with the local community. “I don’t see many other venues going to the levels we go to to try and minimise the nuisance. We do our best.
“But because we’re a music venue we’re an easy target. We’re not naïve so I would never say we don’t have any issues, but it’s about how we deal with it. We’re always quick to tell people to keep the noise down in the garden and to respect our neighbours when they’re leaving.
“We’ll do whatever we need to to continue programming music here. Between 30,000 and 40,000 people come through our doors every year – that’s entertainment for a lot of people.”