Last minute reprieve for Kilburn’s iconic Luminaire?

Kilburn music college say it will fight to keep the iconic music venue open

THE LEGENDARY Kilburn independent music venue The Luminaire has announced it is set to close in January – but the nearby music college won’t see it go without a fight.

The self-confessed ‘labour of love’ that for the past five years has led the way in promoting young bands, and has helped launch superstars Hot Chip and Babyshambles, will be closing its doors for the last time on December 31.

The King’s Head ‘dive bar’ below the 300-capacity music venue in Kilburn High Road, will also shut.

In a message sent to fans last Wednesday evening its owner Andy Inglis said: “It is with sadness that we have to announce the closure of The Luminaire and The King’s Head on January 1 2011.

“It’s been a labour of love for a while now, and at this point it makes no sense for us to continue.

“To all of you - who supported this independent venue, and the great artists who played here, since we opened back on 1st March 2005 – you have our grateful thanks.”

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Mr Inglis told the Kilburn Times: “There’s no doubt a wider conversation needs to be had about how we value cultural institutions in this country, and how we fund them, but it’s really as simple as this - a small business found it tough in a recession and closed.”

However Paul Kirkham, Managing Director at Kilburn’s Institute of Contemporary Music, who has worked closely with the Luminaire team over the past four years is holding out hope that this won’t be the end of the road for the venue.

He said: “The Luminaire is one of those clubs that feels like it had been open forever but has actually only been open since 2005.

“It operates with such good ethos and principles - it really is a cut above the rest in the way it supports artists and the audience.

“It’s very, very sad news and I am hopeful that something can be done, we don’t want this to be the end of the line for them. We’ll be having a chat to the guys, the institute and the Luminaire have been working closely together for years and we really hope this is not the end of the story.

Mr Kirkum said that the venue had become a local treasure but added: “It is important to say that the economics today of running a small live music venue is bloody hard work.”

Luminaire fan Tom Brooks-Pollock, 29 said: “It would be great if some sort of sugar daddy - perhaps from one of the great bands who played there - could stump up the money to keep it going.”

Band member Dan Dhondy who had played at the venue said: “Very sorry to hear the news. The gigs my band played at the Lumi were very special and will live long in the memory.”

The team at the Luminaire plan to put on some final farewell shows in late March. More details will be available closer to the time.