Fez parties its way into the history books
January 24, 2008
After eight years of wonderful service, The Fez Club is well into its last week of existence.
As the town’s best-loved live venue prepares to close its doors and re-emerge, Stars In Their Eyes style, rejuvenated and rebranded by a full facelift, only one more live gig remains in the diary.
Wednesday’s scheduled local showcase gig featuring The Colours, White Sunday (pictured), Heartwear Process and One Dollar Peep Show, was hastily arranged to allow local bands – and fans of local bands – to say a poignant farewell to The Fez.
Sunday’s visit of The Courteeners will be the last by an emerging band – and the last gig full stop before the builders move in next week.
Eclectic Bars, the company which operates the Gun Street venue and is rebranding its venue as Sakura, has declined to comment on the future of live music at the venue.
But I understand that those closest to the venue strongly believe local bands and touring bands should be given a stage on which to play – and that a new sound system has already been purchased in readiness for the new venue.
A statement on The Fez Club website offered no further clues, but did set out the agenda for what it hoped would be a week-long party at the venue.
The statement read: “After eight years, the Reading Fez Club is closing its doors for the last time on Sunday. The club will be undergoing a major re-development project and is due to open later this year.
“To commiserate and celebrate, there will be a series of special events leading up to closure to ensure it goes out with the bang it deserves.”
Those events began on Monday with the last ever Rock and Indie night and were due to continue with last night’s final band night. Tonight’s Unisex Student Night and tomorrow’s Flick The Bass, featuring Roll Deep, will be followed by a special DJ night on Saturday.
Titled The Final Chapter, the event will feature all the best local DJs to have played The Fez – though the finalised line-up had not been revealed at the time of going to press.
Sunday’s live finale should be impressive too, with The Courteeners returning to action off the back of their new single, What Took You So Long?
The current tour is the first opportunity for their fans to hear the results of their recording sessions with Stephen Street and is a taster for the band’s debut album, due in just a few weeks time.
They are just the kind of emerging act The Fez has been famed for offering a platform to during the past eight years. Ironic, then, that the celebration of their emergence should coincide with the venue’s final farewell.