Rock n' Rose: Theatre boss wants to bring indie stars to Kingston arts venue

This Is Local London: Could indie stars one day be taking to the Rose Theatre stage? Could indie stars one day be taking to the Rose Theatre stage?

Kingston could one day have itself a new rock music venue – in the shape of the Rose Theatre.

Theatre bosses have held talks with independent music store Banquet Records about the possibility of bringing some of its live shows to the High Street venue.

It opens up the possibility of the likes of Liam Gallagher, Franz Ferdinand or Suede – who have all played Kingston shows organised by Banquet – one day playing live in the Rose auditorium.

Although it is unlikely such a show can be organised soon, Rose chief executive Robert O’Dowd has spoken to Banquet manager Jon Tolley about the future.

Mr O’Dowd said: “It’s absolutely our aim to bring contemporary music to the Rose.

“We’ve got a ready-made moshpit here. Everything on the ground floor can be taken out.

“I think with someone like Jon in town, who’s always got an eye out for a new venue, it could definitely work.”

This Is Local London: Robert O'Dowd, new chief executive, said a small deficit was OK

Rose Theatre chief executive Robert O'Dowd

Banquet Records has brought many top acts to Kingston, including Bombay Bicycle Club and Maximo Park, who played back-to-back gigs on Thursday at The Hippodrome and McClusky’s.

Meanwhile, The Rose is looking to shake up its programming after posting a loss of £204,000 in its annual accounts for 2012/13.

Although it already has a musical programme of jazz, classical and even opera, the prospect of established indie acts playing the venue would be a departure.

But it could also appeal to a previously-untapped audience of thousands of young music fans.

However, it will not be easy.

While Banquet is sometimes given only a few days’ notice to organise a gig, the Rose is already finalising its 2014 autumn season.

This Is Local London: Jon Tolley, manager, and Mike Smith of Banquet Records

Banquet managers Jon Tolley and Mike Smith have brought plenty of well known bands to Kingston

On Sunday, an estimated 1,700 fans queued up outside McClusky’s to see rock band You Me At Six play two sold out sets – a show the Rose had to turn down because it clashed with the stage building for Fallen Angels.

Mr O’Dowd said: “It’s just a case of coordinating the timing of the music industry with the timing of theatre land.

“We just don’t seem to be able to find a date at the moment, but we’re damned if we’re not going to make this work.”

Mr Tolley said: “I think the desire is there, but the practices of the venue don’t match up with the desire.

“Co-ordinating the music industry with theatre land – Nail, head.”

Click below to see You Me At Six live at McClusky's - could similar scenes one day be seen at the Rose?

Kingston councillor Barry O’Mahony, a trustee at the Rose, said: “I’d be happy to see that dialogue start.

“If you look at events like Masks and Basques (a burlesque style show organised by Creative Youth) it can get pretty raucous.

“The seats on the floor can come out, and it’s brilliant when that happens. It can be quite edgy.”

PREVIOUS ACTS TO PLAY BANQUET RECORDS SHOWS INCLUDE

Bastille; Beady Eye; Bombay Bicycle Club; The Cribs; Everything Everything; Frank Turner;

Franz Ferdinand; Foals; fun.; The Maccabees; Maximo Park; Suede; The Vaccines;

Vampire Weekend; You Me At Six; The 1975

 

What do you think? Leave your comments below or email letters@surreycomet.co.uk

Comments (1)

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1:03pm Fri 31 Jan 14

kingstonpaul says...

Excellent idea. As much as I'm a supporter of The Rose, it needs to broaden the audience mix. At present, I suspect it's an overwhelmingly white, middle class, 50+ audi - people like me! Little to interest the teen/20s/30s audiences.
Excellent idea. As much as I'm a supporter of The Rose, it needs to broaden the audience mix. At present, I suspect it's an overwhelmingly white, middle class, 50+ audi - people like me! Little to interest the teen/20s/30s audiences. kingstonpaul

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