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'A music wasteland' - Pub landlord hoping to revive live gig scene

PUBLISHED: 11:48 20 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:51 20 November 2019

Five Past Million, a band playing rock and pop covers, hope to be part of a revival of the Great Yarmouth live music scene. Picture: Five Past Million.

Five Past Million, a band playing rock and pop covers, hope to be part of a revival of the Great Yarmouth live music scene. Picture: Five Past Million.

Archant

A pub landlord is trying to revive the music scene in a coastal town after it was described as a "wasteland".

Garibaldis, a former nightclub and music venue in Great Yarmouth.Garibaldis, a former nightclub and music venue in Great Yarmouth.

Jimmy Price, 56, has been putting on gigs by local bands at Allen's Bar, a venue on Greyfriars Way in Great Yarmouth.

He started managing the pub almost five months ago and this weekend two groups will perform there, with one of the musicians resigned to not playing again in the town if not enough punters turn up.

On Friday (November 22), the venue will host Five Past Million, a local band playing rock and pop covers, but drummer Tim Ward, 55, has been lamenting the state of the town's live music scene.

"Yarmouth used to be a good place for live music but it's now a music wasteland," he said.

The Tower Complex on Marine Parade in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Archant.The Tower Complex on Marine Parade in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Archant.

"Nothing is left in Yarmouth for live music anymore and there are some talented Yarmouth musicians."

In the 1980s the town had three venues: Garibaldis, the Brunswick and the Big Apple.

"They're all gone," Mr Ward said.

"The last big gig I ever saw in Yarmouth, I was about 19, the Eurythmics played in the Tower Ballroom.

"Only 168 people turned up to a venue that held 1,500," he said.

And if Friday night's event doesn't work out, if not enough people turn up, the band will give up on playing in the town.

"We need to get a crowd in there," he said.

The drummer, who lives in West Caister, said he admires the bar's efforts.

"They're really trying hard," he said.

Mr Price said: "Because we have a stage we've decided to give it a go and see what happens.

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"We're just going to keep trying, we're not going to give up."

Will many people turn up for this weekend's pair of gigs?

"Fingers crossed," he said.

Five Past Million, who play covers from Kelly Clarkson to the Foo Fighters, take to the stage at 8pm on Friday night.

Saturday night will see a performance by Powerhouse, who do covers of Green Day, Led Zeppelin, Guns N Roses and more.

The bar will also continue to put on karaoke nights.

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