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Final countdown for Fez Club
After weeks of rumours and murmurings it has been confirmed that the Fez Club is to close for refurbishment on Sunday 27 January 2008. After three months the club is due to re-open as Sakura, but in the meantime gigs booked there have to be moved.
It started off as an anxious rumour, then a posting on the Reading Fez Club's own website confirmed what music fans have been dreading: that one of the town's leading gig venues is to close.
The last gig will be held on Sunday 27 December, when The Courteneers play a sold-out night at the popular Gun Street venue, before the club's doors close for a three-month refurbishment.
The club will be rebranded as Sakura. A former Po Na Na club in Lincoln recently had the Sakura makeover and in the listings it shows the club predominately hosts DJ nights - no live music.
Klaxons at the Fez (C) Chris Harris
The Reading Fez Club's current entertainment manager Dani Davis confirmed that "the company has decided on a refurbishment and the club will open as Sakura."
She added: "The club is staying with the same company, and it's still going to have the stage area.
"The club will primarily be a more upmarket venue. We're still going to have the regular nights such as Rock Night on Monday for the students, but there will also be a restaurant area downstairs.
However, whether the new Reading venue will still host live music nights is still unknown.
"Whether there'll be live music is up to the promoters and the management that come in," says Dani, "but we'll still have a good sound system and we're keeping the main hall area."
The Fez Club has provided Reading with eight years of live music. The venue's previous incarnation was the legendary Alleycats, where bands such as Blur and Ride played.
Alan Day from gig promoters TCT music, responsible for staging most of the touring band gigs in Reading, said: "This decision was a big shock to us.
Buzzcocks at the Fez Club, Reading
"We are obviously in discussions with the management to ensure live music is part of their plans for the new venue, but we are unable to confirm at present if this will definitely be the case."
He adds: "If the new venue isn't suitable, we will be working hard to find a new similar capacity space to promote shows."
Three TCT Music gigs due to take place at the Reading Fez club are now moving to Plug 'n' Play studios at 33-35 Milford Road in Reading.
All tickets are valid for the new venue. Please note Plug 'n' Play is much smaller, therefore tickets are likely to sell out faster.
Book tickets here:
Alan adds that TCT Music will continue to book touring bands at venues such as Plug 'n' Play, The University, The Hexagon and Rivermead.
The Fez Club, like Alleycats before it, was also a popular hub for live music from local bands. As well as popular showcase nights, local bands would also have the chance to support a touring band there.
The last local band at the Fez Club will take place on Wednesday 23 January with Reading bands The Colours, Heartwear Process and White Sunday on the bill.
last updated: 16/01/2008 at 18:37
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