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Sadness as top music venue goes

PUBLISHED: 19:44 23 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:11 06 July 2010

THERE was sadness among musicians and music fans as work began to demolish the old Brewery in Oulton Broad.

Many rumours had circulated over a possible the re-opening of the popular venue since its closure on New Year's Eve 2008 but these proved to be wishful thinking as the builders called time last week.

THERE was sadness among musicians and music fans as work began to demolish the old Brewery in Oulton Broad.

Many rumours had circulated over a possible the re-opening of the popular venue since its closure on New Year's Eve 2008 but these proved to be wishful thinking as the builders called time last week.

The building in Harbour Road originally served as a brewery for the award-winning beers of Green Jack, and then Oulton Ales, but for around 20 years it also hosted many well-attended live music nights.

It was a favourite venue for many of the town's bands and during its live music heyday the Brewery would often be sold out with queues winding down the road awaiting for people to leave before others could be admitted.

Regular performances from the likes of the Buster James Band and the Lee Vasey Band would see the main room filled to capacity and Bank Holiday charity events were also popular pullers as bands performed free of charge for local good causes.

Stuart Perry, the Brewery's final tenant, said: “It is upsetting to see that it has gone. It was one of the few live music venues in the area that put on independent bands, and not just cover acts. It was a great venue for original music.

“We had some great nights there, with bands coming from London and further afield. With the Brewery gone, it's hard for local independent bands to find places to play. It has left a big gap in the market.”

One local band - d-void ­-got their lucky break at the Brewery when they recorded a DVD at the venue for the music satellite channel Scuzz. Many readers will remember the numeric symbols and equations written on part of the interior wall and ceiling, not realizing where they originated. They were actually written on the walls during filming for d-void's single 'Down In Codes', which won the band the opportunity to perform at the Download Festival, the country's largest rock and metal concert.

Rosie Moore, director of Oulton Ales, which previously owned the building, said she was sad to see it levelled.

The brewery sold it, to allow for the expansion of its neighbouring business Pilot Drilling Control (PDC).

“We'd decided we didn't want to run it as a bar anymore, so when we were approached about selling it, it was too good an offer to refuse - particularly in the current economic climate,” Rosie said. “We had it for about 16 years in total.”

Prior to becoming a popular watering hole for lovers of real ales and live music the Brewery was once a canteen for the many workers of the Electrical Apparatus Company (EAC) whose factory premises were situated in Harbour Road.

After moving from the premises, Green Jack Brewery opened a new purpose-built plant behind the Triangle Tavern in Lowestoft town centre in 2003 and is now has its main brewery at Love Road. It has gone on to win many awards for its real ales which include Orange Wheat Beer, Canary and Ripper.

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