Facebook page for Alan McGee’s new club
These are tough times.
Quite often music gets accused of hiding its head in the sand but Alan McGee who has always operated at a grass roots level has opened a venue in his local town on the Welsh border near Hereford that acknowledges the circumstances by putting on quality events at budget prices.
‘People are broke and I want to put something back,’ an excited Mcgee tells me down the phone ‘this club is an arts and music venue where anything can happen and it’s three quid to get in. It can be less if you are really broke. It’s up to you. I’m putting my money back in and trying to make something happen. We’ve had a couple of gigs on so far and they have been packed and the atmosphere has been electric.’
Alan McGee opened the venue in the local village near where he now lives in the Welsh hills
The former Creation boss and current boss of 359 opened the venue in the old disused chapel in his local village in Talgarth in the Welsh hills.
Promising entry at ‘1977 or Glasgow prices’ McGee has booked a series of gigs including an acoustic set from the Farm and many more varied events.
‘People round here really know their music but they don’t often get the chance to see it so the enthusiasm is out of bounds. People are hungry for stuff but because of the recession people are broke so I made sure the prices were cheap. I’m not the only person doing this Jayne Casey is doing something similar in Liverpool and the artist Jim Lambie is opening something in Glasgow with the same kind of concept- of course it’s political but it’s about the music as well.’
Alan McGee and his wife Kate Holmes fell in love with the derelict Baptist chapel and bought it for £40,000 and have converted it into a space for doing stuff but making sure they kept the chapel’s original features including pews and gravestones. The venue holds 100 people and is perfect for off the wall an interesting stuff like pop-up restaurants, acoustic music, private parties, christenings and even wakes
McGee said: “It’s been brilliant – one of the best things I’ve been involved in.
“We saw the chapel and then Kate said it was for sale. I kind of went: “Well just buy it,” not knowing what to do with it.
“But Kate had this idea to do it up and turn it into something good for the community – we both have this thing about regenerating rural areas.”