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Kilburn’s last music venue The Good Ship to close

PUBLISHED: 15:17 05 September 2017 | UPDATED: 13:29 06 September 2017

Lulu Mullarkey, John McCooke, James Newmarch and Stephan O'Neil from The Good Ship   Pic credit: Jonathan Goldberg

Lulu Mullarkey, John McCooke, James Newmarch and Stephan O'Neil from The Good Ship Pic credit: Jonathan Goldberg

Jonathan Goldberg

Kilburn’s last remaining live music and entertainment pub where singer Adele and rock band The XX honed their acts is to close next month.

The Good Ship is threatened with closureThe Good Ship is threatened with closure

The Good Ship, in Kilburn High Road, announced its closure on Monday with a note saying it “will be pulling into dock for good on the 29th October”.

It adds: “It’s a long story but the short version is that the business is no longer viable since we had our hours cut at the end of 2016.”

The club first opened its doors in 2005 and has gone on to become a grassroots music venue, bar, nightclub and comedy venue all rolled into one.

The highly popular venue has seen early gigs by bands and performers such singer Kate Nash and band Years and Years.

Comedians including Stewart Lee and Stephen Merchant have entertained crowds.

The QPR Podcast used it as its home while high profile footballers such as Peter Crouch drew in a “mob of fans post QPR’s play off victory at Wembley” said John McCooke, owner of the Good Ship.

He added: “We have supported a ton of local bands by providing them their first gig and very often second and third.”

He would not expand on the club’s misfortunes, saying simply “The pub is no longer viable.”

Following a review of its licence last year, the club had its closing hours cut from 2am to 1.30am despite police requests to close earlier.

Mr McCooke had already voluntarily changed the opening hours from 4am to 3am but warned that forcing the club to close at 1am at the weekend would hit his takings hard and make the business unviable.

One group who will suffer is the nearby London’s Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP), based in Dyne Road.

ICMP student Shakila K is performing a Gig For Grenfell fundraiser at the Good Ship on September 10.

Karim Ullah, Shakila K’s father, said: “We found out yesterday. We were going to book more dates with them. It’s incredibly sad news.

“Many venues are closing and it’s a disaster for musicians trying to make their way in the world. There are not many places for them to play live and hone their skills.

“It’s a shame a lot more wasn’t done to help this venue. The choices for people are just getting smaller and smaller.”

Cllr Tom Miller, Brent Council’s cabinet member for stronger communities, said: “The Good Ship has made a huge contribution both to the cultural make-up and the night-time economy of Kilburn, so this is very disappointing news.

“As a visitor myself in the past, I know the Good Ship is a much-loved pub with a deserved reputation as a great place to catch live music, but clearly things took a bad turn there a year or so ago with a spate of violent attacks and action was needed.

“The good news is that since then, the pub has really got to grips with these issues and could even now apply for its opening hours to be extended again, which would take around six weeks.”

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