There are rumblings that London's live music scene is being silenced due to rising rent and rates on one flank, and developers wanting to minimise unwanted noises that could affect prime property values on another. This may be true for much of capital but here in Borough and Bermondsey, as one venue is squeezed too tightly, the talent simply resurfaces somewhere else nearby.
Such was the destiny of The Glad pub, tucked along Lant Street behind Borough station. When the two Dannys who ran the quirky old corner pub were forced to move on, they took their music scene with them, around the corner to the newly refurbished Spit and Sawdust pub by the roundabout where Tower Bridge Road and the Old Kent Road meet. 'Superglad' nights are a weekly fixture and the public have followed them there. In fact the move has made them all the stronger and they now have a widening network of venues where they provide musical entertainments, including Union Theatre and Leadbelly's Bar in Canada Water, Rotherhithe.
Recently Ben Lovett of Mumford and Sons opened his O'Meara venue at the back of Flat Iron Yard (just off Union Street), an intimate stylish club with echoes of great gig locations of the past. Unsurprisingly it took off from day one adding an audio backdrop to a creative, social and food-festival vibe that has blossomed in SE1 with staggering speed.
Councils and developers should remember that a lively cultural scene is what brings communities together, adds flavour and texture to the local lifestyle and value to the properties too. Hushing the local talent is just short-sighted - celebrating it instead is the way to go. We are fortunate that our local musicians are not only exceptionally entertaining but resilient and inventive enough to withstand the pressures of the times.
SuperGlad at The Spit & Sawdust Pub
21 Bartholomew Street
6 O’Meara Street