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You are in: Berkshire > Entertainment > Music > Previews and features > Final countdown for Fez Club

My Luminaries at the Fez Club (C) Alex Flahive

My Luminaries at the Fez

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.

"Whether there'll be live music is up to the promoters and the management that come in."

Dani Davis, Reading Fez ents manager

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 Reading Fez (C) Chris Harris

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.

Pete Doherty at the Fez

"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

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.

  • Wednesday 30 Jan - One Night Only
  • Thursday 7 Feb - Late Of The Pier
  • Wedensday 20 Feb - Los Campesinos!

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
created: 16/01/2008

Have Your Say

What do you think of the Fez Club's refurbishment plans?

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

what a disaster- a disgusting tacky club replacing a frankly legendary venue. Where am I meant to go now to see such fantastic bands as the Klaxons, Maccabees, air traffic, foals, milburn and THE JAM! in a classically intimate venue with great acoustics? sakura will never play live music and as a result will descend into a sleazy, generic watering hole. give us back the fez!

I think it is about time that Reading had a decent club that isn't the size of a match box like Mango that plays decent dance music. However to see Reading loose its connection with live bands would be a big loss. Reading is a an expanding place. Someone needs to cash in by opening up new venues.

hmm... katie, don't be fooled by appearances. it's an utter waste of a brilliant venue - Reading has too many faceless and unatmospheric venues, spewing the same music as each other. the company should have done their research and realised that they had something unique in the town and should have listened to their customers before turning it into a 'trendy' venue. Reading doesn't need it. it's the home of the festival and somewhere needs to showcase the awesome talent in the area!!!!

Jane Smith
Fine to refurbish if they must but do not do away with a fine small gig venue that gives new bands the chance to support the up-coming bands - to many of these venues are becoming faceless DJ clubs. Reading must not lose its tradition of supporting new music!

Noooooooooooo!!! I don't want an "upmarket" club?! I want a quirky venue where I can get cheap drinks and jump around to rock music. I can't believe "the man" got to the fez.

We liked it as it was - do we really need another club playing dance music in Reading?

Its a sad day when Live music gets the snub. Where will all the breeding grounds of talent go? We have too many soul-less DJs, too many Pop Idols idiots and a dwindling music industry that needs a boost. The Fez was spit & saw dust, it had guts. The new club will doubtless be santitised and lacking in spirit.

RUBBISH! the whole point of the fez is that it isnt "upmarket" (pretentious), fez on a monday is the only night i go out and now i have nowhere to go!

Joe Logg
Brilliant news. I, for one, won't be sad to see it go.

Mr Fudeg

Booooooo! Bring back Ed!

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