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Flat note for Yarmouth music scene

PUBLISHED: 15:10 12 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:56 03 July 2010

THE music scene in Great Yarmouth has fallen flat due to a shortage of places to play according to some of the town's top bands.

The sudden closure earlier this year of Allens Bar meant the loss of Yarmouth's most recognised gigging venue for rock and indie musicians.

THE music scene in Great Yarmouth has fallen flat due to a shortage of places to play according to some of the town's top bands.

The sudden closure earlier this year of Allens Bar meant the loss of Yarmouth's most recognised gigging venue for rock and indie musicians.

Rockers Canine Feline had been due to play what has become a regular New Year's Eve gig at the Middlegate pub before it shut in

Lead singer Rebecca Nudd described the local music scene as the worst she has known it during 15 years performing in bands.

Rebecca, 38, said: “Gigs have to be booked months in advance and you do wonder more and more whether the venue will still be there at the time.

“The Wrestlers and Allens were the main gigging venues in Yarmouth and are both shut so there is really nowhere to play in the town for bands like us.

“Allens was not the best place to perform in, but always special performance-wise and we would always play there Christmas and New Year's Eve.

“The sad thing I find is that a lot of venues only take established bands and not interested in others who might not bring in the money.

“We have approached places that are not normal gigging venues that always want to know if we will bring a crowd in.”

Alternative indie band Aluminium Risk were also regular performers at Allens but broke up shortly after the pub shut.

The group, who wrote their own songs, also played at venues in Norwich and Chelmsford as well as a charity gig in London last year.

Guitarist Dave Freestone, 27, said: “We had about three gigs lined up at Allens, everybody knew it as a music venue and when it closed we thought it was a good time to call it a day.

“People will happily go and pay £10 to get in a club, but will not want to pay £2 for a gig and unless you are on the radar with promoters, it is not possible to get gigs in places like the Arts Centre and Waterfront in Norwich.”

Rock band Nausia have played in Germany and Austria but now struggle to get gigs in their home town.

Bassist Duff said: “Most places just want to play safe and book covers bands and venues in Norwich only book bands if they can guarantee a crowd.”

Pubs like the Lord Nelson, Belle Vue and King William in Gorleston still host music nights and the Green Gate in Caister hosts gigs most weekends.

Phil Carter, a barman at the Green Gate, said: “We have different genres of music here and the Nightrollers and Monkey Spanner are playing this weekend.

“We tend to book bands that we know are going to bring in a big crowd like the Floating Greyhounds and Emma Hall Band who play cover versions rather than new unknown bands.”

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