January 16, 2009 2:12
London Astoria closes its doors
Cajun Dance Party, Good Shoes and Lightspeed Champion say farewell to iconic venue
The acts all gave the iconic venue a fitting send off in its small hall, Astoria 2 with club night PUSH hosting proceedings.
Most of the bands on the bill voiced their disapproval at the fate of the venue, which has hosted legendary shows by Nirvana, The Strokes, U2, The Rolling Stones and Arctic Monkeys in its 30-year history.
The venue is being closed and the building demolished to make way for the new Crossrail project linking the centre of London to the east and west of the city.
Speaking after his band's DJ set, which featured 80s classic 'I Ran' by A Flock Of Seagulls and hotly tipped singer Frankmusik, Joe Lean told NME.COM: "It's a shame it's going because it is a big London landmark and it's been a big music landmark for the UK for so many years.
"It was also a really nice place to play because it seemed so massive as a punter but when you play it, its not like Koko where you can see this vast amount of people, it's actually quite cosy.
"We just feel privileged to play all of our favourite songs to people really loud."
Cajun Dance Party singer Daniel Blumberg also said he was sad to see the legendary venue finally close its doors.
"Its horrible they're knocking venues down like this and its a real honour to play tonight because everyone in this band has been to some amazing shows at the Astoria," he added.
Earlier, the five-piece drew a huge crowd in the main room as they rattled through an eight song set which featured four new songs - '5 Days', 'Frozen Girl, 'Dinosaur' and 'Scrape You'.
Over in the Transplant room Lightspeed Champion whipped up the crowd with an uplifting DJ set which included Eminem's classic hit single 'The Real Slim Shady'.
London four-piece Good Shoes were given the honour of rounding off proceedings for an intimate sweat drenched show which resulted in the band constantly urging their fans to move back throughout their performance.
"We played here a long time ago and it is our last chance to play here tonight," singer Rhys Jones told the crowd as he arrived onstage. "If you vandalise it, it isn't going to matter because it is going to be fucking knocked down anyway."
The band showcased a series of new tracks including 'The Way My Heart Beats' and 'I Know' before they rounded off their energetic performance with their early single 'Morden'.
"This place is going to be knocked down and and turned into a railway station. What can we do? What can we do?" Jones added.
PUSH will now move to its new home at Bar Rumba from January 30.
The Astoria meanwhile is reportedly being demolished this weekend.
NME.COM has a photo gallery celebrating the Astoria's history online now, while you can share your London Astoria memories on the NME Blog now.
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