Friday, April 02, 2004

PICKET A GONER: Despite an attempt to rally support, the Liverpool Picket venue will close at the end of April. The People's Centre, who own the building, have confirmed they intend to sell the site - an old police station - and shan't be renewing the venue's licence which expires at the end of April.

Although having played a major role in nuturing Liverpool talent in the dark days of the 1980s, over recent years the Picket has suffered from smarter, more go ahead venues and had increasingly come to rely on its heritage as the main reason to keep itself going. It's probably cruel but fair to say that the loss of the Picket pub is going to be more of a blow to the city than the loss of the Upstairs venue. A disastorous makeover a few years back turned the bar area into something akin to an airport lounge, smoking was banned and the actual performance area hobbled by a shape that said "corridor" rather than "temple of sound." It's always a shame to see a venue go - especially one which had hosted a lot of great acts not so long back, even more so knowing it's probably going to be converted either into loft apartments or a theme/student bar; and while it makes more of a mockery of Liverpool's European Capital of Culture title, it's probably time.

Nice piece of boundary re-drawing in the Echo piece, though: "The Picket is known for nurturing local music talent. Cast, The La's, The Coral and Travis [our emphasis] are just some of the big names which have appeared on its stage."

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