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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 January 2007, 14:56 GMT
Top London music venue to close
Hammersmith Palais
The Palais first opened in 1919
Hammersmith Palais - the legendary London music venue immortalised in song by The Clash - is to be demolished.

The decision to close the venue was taken by Hammersmith and Fulham councillors in a meeting on Monday.

The building is expected to be bulldozed to make way for office blocks by developers Parkway Properties. No date for the closure has been given.

The venue, which opened after World War I, was hailed in The Clash's (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais in 1978.

'Insufficient merit'

Last year the Metropolitan Police had asked the council to revoke the licence of Hammersmith Palais, in west London.

The force said it had become blighted by violent crime and disorder but instead of closure the council decided to cut the venue's opening hours.

Councillor Lucy Ivimy, the council's planning committee chairman, said: "Having given permission to demolish the Palais in 2001, the current planning committee had no justifiable grounds for refusing permission on this occasion.

The Clash
The Clash paid tribute to the venue in a 1978 single

"English Heritage has inspected the site and has confirmed that there is insufficient architectural merit in the building to justify listing it.

"Sadly none of the original 1930s interior features remain and in recent years residents have complained more and more about antisocial behaviour at the venue," she said.

She added: "We recognise that some people will have fond memories of the golden era at The Hammersmith Palais and it is true to say it played a huge part in west London's music scene. Sadly the golden era for the Palais is long gone."

In 2002 planning permission was granted for the redevelopment of the site, and in October 2006 a three-year planning permission extension was granted.

The Palais has played host to a number of top bands in the past such as U2 and The Sex Pistols.

'A shame'

It is now known for holding School Disco events.

It has also held the annual awards run by music magazine NME.

Paul Stokes, NME's news editor, said the Palais' demolition would be a huge loss.

"There's just something about gigs at the Palais. You had the crowd right the way round, not just hanging off the balconies. It just seems a shame."

U2 are among bands who have played at Hammersmith Palais

Mr Stokes said the venue's golden age was far from over, and cited recent gigs by west London band Hard-Fi and US rockers My Chemical Romance as proof top bands were still playing the venue.

Meanwhile, the Competition Commission has issued its final ruling on concert venue owner Live Nation's planned takeover of Academy Music Group, saying it has to sell off two venues, according to reports.

Industry magazine Music Week said it would have to sell off Brixton Academy or Hammersmith Apollo, along with either The Forum or Shepherd's Bush Empire if the takeover is to go through.

Top music venue escapes closure
02 Mar 06 |  London

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