Smiths landmark Salford Lads’ Club to become music venue

Manchester venue famously appeared on the The Smiths' 1986 album 'The Queen Is Dead'

Salford Lads’ Club, the recreational club made famous by The Smiths, is set to become a music venue, hosting a series of intimate gigs.

The club, located in Ordsall, Greater Manchester, has become a place of pilgrimage for Smiths fans ever since it was used as the backdrop for a photo that appeared on the inner sleeve of the band’s 1986 LP ‘The Queen Is Dead’.

Thye club has played host to gigs in the past, with The Charlatans curating a gig there in 2010 and The Courteeners playing there that same year, but this would be the first time the venue promotes shows on a semi-regular basis.

The Manchester Evening News has reported that there is “interest from major promoters” after the owners announced plans to stage “about 10 gigs a year”. The MEN has also suggested former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr may be a consideration for one of these shows.

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Club spokesman Leslie Holmes said: “We have put in new fire escapes and a lift. We have improved access to the building with a grant. Now we can have 200 [people at the venue], and the sound gets better the more people you have in the room.”

“We could have small exclusive gigs. In the past we had a secret XFM gig with Liam Fray, of the Courteeners, and we have had Billy Bragg here. We had a limited number for the concert hall, and since we did the work with the Sport England grant we can accommodate more.”

Holmes added: “We think there will be a lot of interest from bands wanting to play here. We can apply for up to 10 temporary licences per year. We have one or two people interested already – promoters wanting to help us.”

Last week, The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess visited Salford Lads’ Club with a TV crew, where he played a harmonica on stage in the venue’s concert hall.