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Newport venue Le Pub up for sale

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James McLaren James McLaren | 09:53 UK time, Thursday, 21 June 2012

News is coming in this morning that, just a couple of years since the demise of TJ's, another great Newport venue could be in danger of falling out of live music usage.

Le Pub, on the city's Caxton Place, has been put up for sale. The tiny two storey venue has gained a very special place in the hearts of fans of all kinds of music thanks to its proximity between artist and audience and the generally easy-going, relaxed atmosphere.

Die! Chihuahua Die! Photo: Nadine Ballantyne

Die! Chihuahua Die! Photo: Nadine Ballantyne

Certainly it has been the venue for some of my very favourite shows over the past decade and more, so the news that the venue is for sale comes as something of a shock. There is no guarantee that any new owner would retain its current usage.

The estate agents managing the sale, Davis & Sons, say that at the moment it is marketed as a going concern, but as I understand it, there would be no obligation for any new owner to maintain its live music usage.

If it does cease to be a live music venue, Newport - once the jewel in the crown of south Wales rock and indie - will not have a live music set-up that matches its importance and history, despite the best efforts of venues and promoters at the moment.

Indeed, Ashley Sicolo, the grandson of TJ's owner John Sicolo, has made his own move to boost the city's music scene with the launch of the 200 Club on Stow Hill on 29 June.

But venues need time to establish themselves. Le Pub has a history of which many small venues would be jealous.

Bands and other friends of the venue have been quick to express their support on social media. On Twitter, the hashtag #savelepub has been adopted. Aled Phillips of Kids In Glass Houses tweeted: "Devastated to hear about @lepub. I hope someone with the right intentions can come in and preserve it. Best venue. ‪#savelepub."

Save Your Breath tweeted: "#savelepub‬ a place that means the world to us. they have supported us insane amounts."

Jamie Allen, once of Welsh punks Douglas, who played there regularly, tweeted: "Can't believe the news about @Lepub. Really hope someone comes through and saves what is a venue. Had the best nights there.. ‪#savelepub."

As of 10.30am, other acts out of bed and who have rallied to the hashtag include Lilygreen And Maguire, Man Of The Hour, Stars And Flights, The Boy Royals, The Guns and Beasts.

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