CLOSING TIME FOR LEEDS T&C?

One of the UK's premier live music venues is sold to a "large leisure company"...

The future of the LEEDS TOWN & COUNTRY CLUB as a live music venue has been thrown into serious doubt, following the news it is to be sold to a “large leisure company”.

In a statement released to fans on the 1,800 capacity Town & Country Club‘s mailing list, the club management announced: “Unfortunately the Town And Country Club has been bought out by a large leisure company and as a result will stop trading at the end of this month (June). The Happy Mondays gig will be the very last live performance at the T&C.

“On behalf of the staff at the T&C, may I take this opportunity to thank you for your custom over the last eight years and wish you every happiness and success in the future.”

Employees at the venue have revealed to nme.com that the club has not yet been officially sold, although contracts are waiting to be signed. It is unclear what the venue will be used for in the future.

The T&C has for many years remained one of the favourite live music venues in the country with both fans and bands. In last year’s NME reader’s poll, it came fifth in the Best Venue category behind the London Brixton Academy, Glasgow Barrowlands, Manchester Academy and London Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

Faye Harrison, a fan who has been visiting the T&C in Leeds for a number of years, told nme.com: “The T&C is an important and special venue, not just to the Leeds music scene but to the British music scene as a whole…it has become part of Leeds‘ culture…so much talent has appeared there.

“Now it looks like Manchester and Sheffield will get all the big gigs. Leeds University is a great venue, but not really big enough to sustain the big bands. We lost the Duchess Of York (famous pub venue) in March, so the Leeds music scene may really be affected.”

The T&C became a live music venue in 1992, although it has been an entertainment venue since 1885, when it was used as a music hall and indoor circus. In the century that followed it was also used as a cinema and a bingo hall. The venue then closed in 1969 and was almost demolished, but the building became listed and was refurbished and reopened in October 1992.

At present it is unclear what will happen to the gigs already scheduled to take place at the T&C, including Melanie C, Dream Theater and Bjorn Again.