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So Solid Shootings Slay London's Astoria

Author: Jonty Adderley
Saturday, November 2, 2002
Westminster Council has refused to renew the entertainment licence for leading London live venue the Astoria, citing security concerns following last year's double shooting at a So Solid Crew event.

"The committee was not satisfied that the licensees had done enough to ensure public safety at the venue, particularly in light of the shooting on the 30th October 2001," the council said in a statement.

The licencees in question, The Mean Fiddler, are understood to be appealing against the ruling which could see one of London's busiest live venues shut down if their appeal fails. The leading UK promoters experienced further problems relating to So Solid Crew earlier this year when they were forced to take them off the bill for their Homelands festival, after Winchester Police complained about safety issues.

In more sad news for live music in London, fading London theatre/disco The Hippodrome (also on Charing Cross Road) could be converted into an amusement arcade and offices, in the near future. Though in recent years the 100 year old theatre has become a decidedly naff Leicester Square disco, during the 80s it enjoyed a brief renaissance under Peter Stringfellow, hosting such seminal clubland events as Divine's last ever London performance.