Saturday, February 17, 2007

Ivy House Still Open

There was a brief scare last week that the Ivy House pub in Stuart Road (Nunhead/Peckham Rye) was closing. In fact it did shut for a short while, but is now back open again 'under new management', apparently following the brewery who own it repossessing it from the previous landlord.

No reason to fear then that its place as an important local music venue is under threat, and tonight Dulwich Ukelele Club were going ahead with their Valentines's Party there. Presumably the Easycome Acoustic Night (which found a temporary new home at Page Two in Nunhead last week) will be back at the Ivy House next Wednesday.

The Ivy House was recently highlighted in a Guardian article by Will Hodgkinson, which also mentioned the fine Indigo Moss as an up and coming band getting attention via this venue. Then there was The June Brides fine gig there last year.

The pub does though have a much longer history as a music venue, particularly in its previous incarnation as the Newlands Tavern when it was a key point on the 1970s pub rock circuit in the lead up to punk. Bands that played there at this time included Eddie and the Hot Rods, Flip City (with Elvis Costello), The Kursaal Flyers, Kilburn and the High Roads (with Ian Dury), The 101ers (Joe Strummer's pre-Clash band), Dr Feelgood and Johnny Sox (with Hugh Cornwall, later of The Stranglers). According to 'No Sleep Till Canvey Island - The Great Pub Rock Revolution' by Will Birch, Graham Parker and The Rumour rehearsed and debuted there in 1975. At this time the pub was run by Reg and Sue Fentiman.

Locals will also tell you that the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd played there, but this may just be pub folklore - there are obsessive Pink Floyd websites which purport to list all their gigs and make no mention of it (on the other hand Syd Barrett was at Camberwell Art College so maybe one of the Pre-Floyd incarnations of the band played there). If anyone's got any further information on these tales, let us know.

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