Page last updated at 19:53 GMT, Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Music pub 'rescued from closure'

Halfmoon in Putney
Live acts have performed at the Halfmoon since 1963

One of London's oldest music venues, which has hosted the Rolling Stones, has been saved, its landlord has said.

The Halfmoon in Putney, south-west London, was purportedly due to close at the end of January and reopen as a gastro-pub following falling sales.

But landlord Young's allegedly scrapped the plan after an outcry from music fans and a campaign on Facebook.

Venue tenant James Harris said: "This was never just about jobs but about a part of our music heritage."

X Factor

The Halfmoon has hosted live music nearly every night since 1963, including rock band Kasabian and many unsigned artists.

But rising rates and alcohol duty, coupled with the recession, resulted in financial difficulties at the venue, Mr Harris said.

Mr Harris said he received notice of closure in November last year, which led to a petition receiving hundreds of signatures and a Facebook campaign backed by 6,500 people.

Supporters included X Factor contestant Jamie Archer, solo singer Eddi Reader and Ocean Colour Scene singer Simon Fowler.

The venue will continue to host live music with a new promotions team. It will also now serve food.

Mr Harris said: "We still face tough times ahead, but at least we can move forward now and my staff and myself are thrilled and excited."

'An incredible platform'

Singer Natalie Ross, who has performed at the venue, said: "I wanted to save the Halfmoon.

"It's the only venue in London that has amazing sound and is also an incredible platform for an unsigned artist like myself."

But James White, associate director at Young's, disputed Mr Harris's version of events, claiming there were never plans to close the pub at the end of January and a gastro-pub was not on the cards.

He said: "Young's has worked extensively with the current tenant of the Halfmoon over the past two years and has invested significantly in the pub.

"So we are delighted to have agreed revised terms which will help the landlord run the business effectively and keep the Halfmoon as one of London's leading independent music venues."

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