London venue The Borderline to close

13 May 2019, 19:16 | Updated: 13 May 2019, 19:21

The Borderline in London
The Borderline in London. Picture: Nicky J. Sims/Redferns/Getty Images

The venue - which has played host to Oasis, Blur, R.E.M. and many more is to shut its doors this summer.

One of Central London’s last remaining live music venues is to shut its doors at the end of August.

The Borderline, in Manette Street, just off Charing Cross Road, has played host to gigs by Pulp, Suede, PJ Harvey, Pearl Jam, The Verve, Biffy Clyro, Bloc Party, Rage Against The Machine and thousands more.

Oasis played a show around the release of Definitely Maybe on 21 August 1994, while Muse launched their debut album Showbiz with a gig at The Borderline in 1999.

Oasis - Listen Up (Live at Borderline, London 1994) audio

R.E.M. performed two “secret” shows as “Bingo Hand Job” in March 1991 for the launch of their classic album Out Of Time.

REM (Bingo Hand Job) @ The Borderline (1) - 1991

In a statement, the venue’s owners, DHP Family blamed “ever increasing rents, rising business rates and ongoing redevelopment plans for Soho”.

Managing director of The Borderline, George Akins, said: “This has been a difficult decision, but given intentions by the landlord to increase the rent significantly for a second time since we took it over in 2016 as well as plans to redevelop the building housing the Borderline, we now know the venue doesn’t have a long term future so it makes no sense for us to continue to invest."

“We’ve put our all into trying to revive this iconic venue but unfortunately, it has been impossible to turn into a sustainable operation due to so many external factors. This is a sad day for all of us who love live music and believe in grassroots venues.”

The sad announcement comes two years after the company invested significant amounts into the venue, with a hope of returning live music to the Soho area. The legendary Astoria, situated not far away on the corner of Oxford Street and Charing Cross Road, closed its doors in 2009 to make way for the multi-million pound Crossrail project, which saw a new rail interchange and tube station built in its place.

Black Francis plays one of his first post-Pixies solo shows at The Borderline in 1993
Black Francis plays one of his first post-Pixies solo shows at The Borderline in 1993. Picture: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images

DHP Family have said that they will continue to invest in other venues, including Bristol’s Thekla and Nottingham’s Rock City, which celebrates is 40th anniversary in 2020.

Staff have been informed and The Borderline will close its doors on 31 August 2019.

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