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Wednesday, 5 August 2015

As Brixton loses another pub, so Battersea's QuecumBar launches Kickstarter funding campaign to fight massive rent hike

Battersea's Le QuecumBar to fight rent hike with a crowd funding campaign as more south London pubs and clubs bite the dust
You know when they say things are coming to a head? As in, when bad things have happened so many times, and the people have taken it, kept quiet, grumbled amongst themselves, but not done very much?

Then another bad thing happens and you suddenly have the French Revolution, or the Poll Tax Riot, or whatever?

Well, the continuing litany of much-loved London pub and music closures has reached a new and almost absurd peak in this silly-season month of August.

First the deeply depressing news that Brixton's Canterbury Arms - under threat for so long, maybe we thought it would be ok, maybe they've forgotten about it? Er, no. It's going, in September, to be replaced by a 9-storey block of….you know what.

For the full, horribly sad story, including the gut-wrenching message from the pub's landlord, read the  story on the consistently excellent Brixton Buzz.

Then, sort of out of the blue, comes news that a well-established and truly quirky music venue in south west London is also under threat.

A report on the  London Jazz News site comes like another hammer blow:  the future of Battersea's Le QuecumBar, probably the only venue in the UK devoted entirely to the types of gypsy swing jazz made famous by  Django Rheinhardt's Hot Club of Paris, is under threat due to a 50 per cent rent increase.

Rather more hearteningly, this unique venue is fighting back, and has launched a crowd-funding initiative on Kickstarter to raise funds to pay this hugely hiked-up  rent. It's planning to increase its food offering, to set up a Swing Jazz school, and to run a festival next year, among other things.

Manager Steve Tennison also hopes to improve "the look and feel"of the place, though I must say I like the rather dusty old Parissienne café look and feel it has right now.

ANd yes it needs all our support, so I for one will be going along to get a taste of this 1940s revival music - and yes, they really do have live music, every night.

Get down there, or get to their "Kickstarter" fundraising page and throw some cash their way, if you care about the quality of life and music in this strange city we live in.

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