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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 March 2008, 13:33 GMT
Bands' dismay at music venue closure
The Astoria
The Astoria opened in 1927 as a cinema and has a capacity of 2,000
British bands have spoken out in support of the Astoria music venue, which will be demolished to make way for London's new Crossrail service.

The decision has been confirmed by Mayor Ken Livingstone, despite an online petition to save the building.

Futureheads frontman Barry Hyde has told Newsbeat that music fans and bands will be disappointed.

He said: "It's a terrible shame. It's got a great heritage and it is an awesome place to play a gig."

Bands understood to have supported the petition include Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand and Maximo Park.

Mayor Livingstone says a new music venue will be built as a replacement.
The Future heads
The Futureheads think the closure of The Astoria is a 'great shame'

He said: "I understand the historics but it wasn't at the cutting edge of modern comfort.

"Where you demolish something, you have to replace it with something better."

But Hyde reckons that will be little consolation to music fans and bands who have ever been to the Astoria.

He said: "Venues should be dirty, they should be a bit smelly because smelly things happen in venues.

"Sweaty people had fun and The Astoria was always something that you'd look forward to."
I understand the historics but it wasn't at the cutting edge of modern comfort
London Mayor Ken Livingstone

Hard-Fi singer Rich Archer agrees that a venue is about more than decent toilets and a good paintjob.

He said: "A lot of these older venues have something about them. They were built for live performance and this is one more gone.

"It's a real shame, I'm gutted."

The building, on London's Charing Cross Road, was first opened in 1927 as a cinema and was converted to a theatre in 1976.

Bands including Nirvana, Radiohead, The Rolling Stones and Arctic Monkeys have all played there though the years.

It is the second London venue to close in the past 12 months, after the Hammersmith Palais shut its doors to make way for a residential development.



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