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Loss of Lavery's Bunker
  1. avatar Recycled Alien
    As mentioned on http://fastfude.org/topic.php?id=47958 it seems that Lavery's have decided to stop using the Bunker for live music. As also mentioned, that thread is about a particular gig, so it wouldn't be polite to fill it with irrelevant complaining.

    My take on it is that you have to accept that things are tough for the trade and Lavery's have to make the best business decisions for their own survival. They aren't a musical charity. (Although always very well-disposed towards music.)

    Still, it's a pity. There was a period when I was going to so many gigs, and playing gigs, and working at gigs, and photographing at gigs that Lav's seemed almost more like home than my real home.
  2. avatar Steven Dedalus
    So, just to get this straight....does this mean that as of the end of March there will be no live music in Lav's anymore, at all?
  3. avatar Chi-Lite
    I haven't been to a gig there in a couple of years, to be honest. It was good about for gigs four or five eyars ago, but there's been a reduction in live music there for a while now hasn't there, or is that just me not going to gigs?
  4. avatar Steven Dedalus
    You just don't care no more, maaaaaan.

    You've SOLD OUT.

    Which is exactly what War Hole didn't do at Lavery's Bunker!

    (Or any venue they've played at, for that matter.)
  5. avatar Chi-Lite
    I tell you what, I didn't get much, but it was well worth it.
  6. avatar spirit of division
    It seems that places often start with gigs as a way of getting regular crowds and a certain cool...then when there's a perceived status they opt for club nights which are a) cheaper and b) reach a larger crowd.

    Aww well.
  7. avatar Alex-Circadian
    Complete shame this, though I've got to say I kind of saw it coming. For the past year or two (since the Bunker was initially refurbished) the *appropriate management in Lavery's seemed to treat the gigs almost as a burden from what I've experienced. Sometimes it just felt as though they didn't want the gig to be happening at all (coming in during sets and asking for the music to be turned down otherwise the gig would be stopped when the bands weren't significantly loud at all, and generally being somewhat apathetic and unreasonable). I don't mean to offend by this, it's merely what I've felt after gigging and attending gigs in the Bunker for the past 3-4 years.

    Anyway, all this really hit me at the recent Your Demise/Lower Than Atlantis tour gig, in which the bands were only allowed to play 'til around half 10 or so to make way for the club night afterwards. These are two relatively high profile bands (at least within the hardcore/punk scene in the UK) and considering there were also two local-ish supports on the bill (ie. all four bands had to have their sets/changeovers etc done and dusted in around 2-2.5 hours or so) I thought this was quite an unfair demand to place on all the bands involved, and a pretty shitty move by Lavs to say the least. I understand that ultimately Lav's are a business and the club nights do draw in a lot of punters for them, but I thought that to compromise a relatively high-profile gig like that for the sake of drawing in some extra benjamin's wasn't particularly cool, and not exemplary of a venue that's supposed to be (and was) so supportive of live music.

    I don't mean to sound resentful, but I just hate seeing such an invaluable asset to the local scene suddenly be removed from it for good. There's less and less venues for original bands to play, and even less good one's. I've seen so many great venues in and around my local area (Downpatrick) close down and their closure had a devastating impact on the local scene (and there was one!) to the point that it's essentially non-existent today. And of the venues that are left the idea of hosting bands with original material has been deeply submerged below a sea of dodgy cover bands and pretend dj's playing "I've Got A Feeling" et al on loop from a laptop playlist for 3 hours straight. Depressing doesn't even cover it.

    I really hope this isn't a sign of things to come.



    *I say "appropriate management" because in truth I really don't know what position they held. I think it may have been entertainment's manager or something similar. Anyway, it was the same guy every single time and I don't think I'd seen him before that initial refurbishment a year or two ago.
  8. avatar spirit of division
    It's a business...they need to make money...they were and would always do whatever works best for the business. Most clubs in Dublin have bands first then a club night...the only difference is that clubs open later and people turn out because of good transport links.

    I love early gigs...I'm sure the promoter of the Your Demise/Lower Than Atlantis show new what time scale they had.
  9. avatar flightstrip
    i agree with alex that bands were seen by the management as a pain in the arse but then that sorta came from the amount of gigs organised by total fuckin halfwits who knew fek all about the sound system,broke stuff,stole stuff and generally were a nuisance.u know who u are!
    as spirit of division says,it is a business and they gotta go with the dosh so unfortunately thats all that dancey shite most of us hate.im sure this gap will be filled by other bars in no time
  10. avatar Smitch
    Yeah, any gig I was ever at in Lavery's sounded terrible! Sound was always a nightmare in there. Even Foy and Duke Special sounded woeful in Lavs.
  11. avatar Recycled Alien
    [quote:0d58a135fc="Smitch"]Even Foy and Duke Special sounded woeful in Lavs.[/quote:0d58a135fc] :lol: Well, that cheered me up no end.
  12. avatar tinpot anto
    Lavs Bunker was probably the worst designed gig venue ever.
  13. avatar Bileofwood
    What about The Coach, Ballymena?
  14. avatar tinpot anto
    Never played there, i played plenty of bars where everything was very awkward, but The Bunker was purposely fitted out for live bands.

    I nearly cracked my skull open on the low stage ceiling one time.
  15. avatar iain
    [quote:e9824a5d22]Even Foy and Duke Special sounded woeful in Lavs.[/quote:e9824a5d22]

    Yeah, pretty sure thats not Lavery's fault.

    [quote:e9824a5d22]I nearly cracked my skull open on the low stage ceiling one time.[/quote:e9824a5d22]

    And a metal plated stage is always a fun idea for daisy chains
  16. avatar Smitch
    [quote:089fc0ef13]Yeah, pretty sure thats not Lavery's fault.[/quote:089fc0ef13]

    :O
  17. avatar whosbainejakey
    That is surely a massive own goal for Lav's, pun intended.

    For me, Lavs' main attractions are the regular live music, the football (not that 3d nonsense I'm talking about normal tvs in the front and back bar) and the great food, plus the most eclectic mix of punters of any city centre pub/venue. The 'come as you are' vibe is quite unlike anywhere else in town (Katy's maybe, but it's too damn small). Punks, rockers, stoners, alchos, fucking hipsters, housebroken steeks and the 'salt' of Sandy Row all mixing and getting liquored without much aggro is an impressive feat that's to be applauded.

    Axe the live music and a significant portion of the alternative crowd will simply drift away - and probably not away up the road to the Pavilion where it's already ballachingly hard for promoters to persuade punters to travel to gigs, even though it's a five minute cab ride away on one of the busiest main roads in Belfast.

    In short: Ach, balls!
  18. avatar Alex-Circadian
    That's the other thing. It's all very fine and well saying they're going to concentrate the live gigs to the Pavilion, but the simple fact is people won't bother their hole even travelling up that distance from the city centre (even though it's practically no distance at all). Lav's was in the perfect position, and although I really like the Pavilion and enjoy gigging there, it simply doesn't pull the same crowd because of its location; which is absurd when you think about it, but it's always been that way.

    Arse to everything.
  19. avatar goatboy
    Jakey, Alex...... I think you'll now find that the Pavilion is now called the Pavilion Boutique Bar.

    I heard a rumour that they decided to change the name as two poor souls trekked all the way up to Stormont to see the Hubris play.
  20. avatar Chi-Lite
    [quote:18cedcaeb2]The Bunker was purposely fitted out for live bands[/quote:18cedcaeb2]

    It wasn't, it was fitted out as a nightclub, which it was just after Heaven closed on the top floor hence the mad layout, big DJ booth and metal self-assembly stage.

    I believe the first Babylon by Bus single launch was one of the first live gigs to be played there, way back in 2000. I remember thinking at the time it was mad to be playing a nightclub, with all the neon lights and crazy decor. From what i remember it was a nightclub for quite a while, and then gradually started to put on the odd live gig, but it was never really designed for them.
  21. avatar JTM
    I'm guessing, this ties in with why Gregz has moved his night to the Spring & Air. Mac always did his best with the sound in there to be fair. A bit of a loss but nothing that can't be overcome.
  22. avatar ilovelamp
    Lavery's gig nights can't be worse than some of the club night attendences when I worked there not long ago. It was a great place to work, but on certain nights every week I knew I'd be serving 5 people max in the Bunker on a night's work. This was a regular occurance on these nights and the common factor was the fact that it was a club night. One of the nights, tuesday, the M Club dominated any crowd the bunker might have got as they had cheaper drink and similar music.
    However, instead of recognising that they were fighting a loosing battle the club nights remained in place. I'd have put money on there being more people there to see a live band on those tuesday nights than there were at any of the clubs. But the 'djs' were popular with management and so were safe in their positions.

    As has been said however, there has been a few ballbags who hadn't a clue how to run a gig in there. I don't mean Greg or Dave Frecknall, my experiences with both, particularly dave, have been nothing but positive and Dave has always been supportive of local music. It's when they open the club to outside promoters that it starts to go to shit. SONI have proven time and again that there's a crowd who will go to the bunker, they regularly had the place well filled up. All the Bunker needed was a half decent promoter who know what bands to pull, how to advertise and how to run a night successfully and it could have been excellent. Their friday and saturday clubs are good, but their midweek djs were awful, thats where live bands should have been given more of a chance.

    The finishing early for a club night isnt an overall bad idea, chances are you get a few early birds for the club night in for the bands and thats always a good thing. But the focus of management was always on club nights, not live music. The staff however, always seemed to enjoy seeing a live band play and in m,y experience of being both a member of staff and of a band it was always good.

    It's a pity theyre stopping live music as it really only needed a good strong promoter to come in and run a night or two and be given a chance over a few months to build up a regular crowd and reputation and the Bunker could have been reestablished as one of the best venues in Belfast
  23. avatar T Entertainment
    Hang on, let's try not to descend into the usual Fastfude negativity and see if we can try a constructive approach to this.

    Why not have a benefit gig for the Bunker once a fortnight, with the cream of local talent appearing and all the cash raised going to Lavery's so they can keep it as a live venue?

    With the MTV Europe Music Awards coming here later in the year it can only be a matter of keeping the Bunker solvent through local gigs for a relatively short period of time, because that event is going to provide a MASSIVE shot in the arm for the local scene. Inevitably there will be a huge rise in audience attendances at local gigs.

    Also worth considering would be getting MTV involved in promoting this? I mean with the spotlight on Belfast, it's something they're more likely to go for than ever...

    These are just ideas but surely it's better to light a candle?
  24. avatar Chi-Lite
    Can't we just get Bill Guiney to start running local gigs in the back bar again? No, wait...
  25. avatar RaveDisco
    Lavery's has long been the home of all things alternative in Belfast and established the Bunker as a live music venue on 30 September 2005. For the first time Lavery's was able to host small to medium sized gigs on a purpose built stage. In association with our friends and colleagues at AU Magazine the launch gig was Red Organ Serpent Sound and The Bunker has since played host to live performances from local favourites such as Fighting With Wire, LaFaro, The Dangerfields, Ed Zealous, Cashier No.9, Panama Kings, Two Door Cinema Club & mojoFURY, as well as long running promotions such as SONI, NI:NG, Dark Horse, Club Sandwich, Black Drop, The Nuclear Winter Fest, Big Laughs Comedy & Club AU to name but a few.

    In recent years the Lavery family has made substantial investments into the rest of the venue and has improved it's outside spaces and pool room areas. The Lavery family strives to be innovators and is committed to providing the best facilities and services available to it's ever expanding customer base. Even during this gloomy economic period Lavery's is still very keen to invest to keep improving it's offering to the people of Belfast.

    During a run of gigs at the end of 2010 which included Duke Special, Foy Vance, Fred Deakin (Lemon Jelly) and Bentley Rhythm Ace, the management team decided that the Bunker wasn't suitable for larger gigs. The Bunker is on the middle floor of the building and has a restricted ceiling height which cannot be adjusted. Taking into consideration customer feedback (customers felt that at gigs with attendance of more than one hundred people, the people at the back of the room often couldn't see the stage), Lavery's decided to move gigs exclusively to the Pavilion Boutique Bar (Ormeau Road) as it is much more suitable as a live room (The Boutique will also benefit from a sound system upgrade when the Bunker work starts). The Pavilion is already established as a great venue for live music and niche club nights.

    We are very aware of how close the Bunker is to people's hearts and please know it is close to ours also. Laverys will continue to give artists the opportunity to perform within the venue with improvements in the Back Bar for live bands and improved features at our regular singer songwriter night, (every Wednesday from 10pm), acoustic performance slots in the new room which will replace the Bunker and even on the roof terrace come the summer months!

    The Bunker's replacement is not about changing our customers - it is about changing the look and functionality of the space. It is proposed that the new room will be open to the public on Friday 22 April and we welcome all of you to come and check out what we have done.

    See [url=http://www.laverysbelfast.com]www.laverysbelfast.com[/url] for updates coming soon.

    ***

    In response to a few of the above posts, I'd just like to clear a few things up.

    Alex-Circadian - at no stage have gigs been seen to be a burden by anyone on the management team. Something that bands sometimes forget is that the Bunker is sandwiched between two other bars that also need to be taken into consideration. Sound travels between floors. If the gig is so loud that it interferes with the running of the rest of the building, a bar manager will request the sound is turned down. If you find this to be unreasonable thats unfortunate but you have to take into consideration that a gig is not the only thing happening in Lavery's that night. The DJs at the clubs get asked to turn things down too sometimes. In regards to the timings of the Your Demise gig, the promoter in charge of the event would have been well aware of the fact that a club would be starting and what their time restrictions were before the gig was booked.

    spirit of division - in regards to your first post I can assure you that it's never been that calculated, we just do what we do.


    On top of the official statement above, in my experience we have simply not been approached as much as we used to by bands or promoters looking to put on gigs, for whatever reason. Also anyone who has frequented Laverys over the past 5 or so years will know how fond we are of refurbishments and mixing things up. It simply feels that this is the time to make a change. We would very much hope that the alternative crowd won't drift away with the departure of the Bunker as the great mix of people of all kinds is one of the things that makes the place so special. Do the posters on this board really only come to Lavery's just because of live music?

    In regards to the Pavilion, in some of the above posts it is mentioned how hard it is to get punters up there for gigs. Could any of you expand on why you think that is? Is it really just the location?

    Dave F
  26. avatar Chi-Lite
    Aye, but that whole post is completely debunked by the Babylon By Bus cd launch in the Bunker 2000. ;)
  27. avatar RaveDisco
    I don't think it was called the Bunker back then tbf :)
  28. avatar Deadlights
    it is a shame to see the bunker go, but in all honesty id go to laverys at least once, maybe twice a month just for the club nights, pool, few pints, whatever. It wont be putting me off going, but the real shame is a loss of a quality live venue so central that, as already said, if the promoter works hard, or the band (we always did) you can get a good crowd in. I did always wonder at the poorly attended gigs in there (seen some shockers!) if things would keep going (or at least for free) in terms of room hire on week nights. For a band of our 'stature'-lol ,its a bit of a hit as you only really have Annies, Pavilion, Ma Nelsons, ermmm, struggling here, that are easily accessible to either rent, or get offered gigs in, in Belfast.

    Would a room hire fee (like Annies) have helped any here? To put off lazy promoters, and more importantly to laverys - put some money in the til rather than just relying on punters at the bar, which didn't always happen. Just always wondered... seemed to good to be true at times that you only had to pay Mac (who could work that desk and PA like no-one, and i mean no-one) and you had a medium sized venue, city centre, perfect....

    In regards to the Pavilion, personally we've found as a band it definitely is harder getting people up there. More-so when its week nights and you've competition from other gigs in the city centre, and punters you're trying to get to see you have to go out of their way a little to go there, or go on from there after. Thats only my opinion like. Good wee venue tho, ive just never seen it that bunged. Still, mustn't grumble, looks like we'll have to make more of an effort to get gigs in there instead now.

    Mark
    Last edited on , 1 times in total.
  29. avatar Chi-Lite
    Maybe it was still called Heaven right nuff...
  30. avatar Steven Dedalus
    [quote:12142beffc="RaveDisco"]In regards to the Pavilion, in some of the above posts it is mentioned how hard it is to get punters up there for gigs. Could any of you expand on why you think that is? Is it really just the location?[/quote:12142beffc]

    No.

    As well as the fact that it's not really in an ideal location to get to people up to, it's an atmosphere vacuum that struggles to generate even the tiniest bit of excitement during a gig. There's just something about that room that no matter what kind of performance or genre is on stage, it just comes across as bleak and provincial.

    Easily my least favourite venue in town.

    The comedy nights in particular totally suffer. There is NO atmosphere in that room, with an audience spread out over this long corridor, which the tired old PA struggles to account for. If someone finds something funny, a tiny ripple of amusement flutters through the room, before dissipating into the void.

    It doesn't help that many of the performers are absolutely diabolical (and that goes for the bands too).

    Lest this all sound totally negative (and I'm talking "worst case scenarios" here), the downstairs bar is great, though.
  31. avatar Bileofwood
    [quote:fd65480ac9]Jakey, Alex...... I think you'll now find that the Pavilion is now called the Pavilion Boutique Bar.

    I heard a rumour that they decided to change the name as two poor souls trekked all the way up to Stormont to see the Hubris play.[/quote:fd65480ac9]

    That was half of the audience at that
  32. avatar whosbainejakey
    [quote:bd0a216591]Do the posters on this board really only come to Lavery's just because of live music?[/quote:bd0a216591]

    Not "only", but "mainly." Back when gigs were happening regularly at The Bunker (as you say, they have tailed off recently For Whatever Reason) they would definitely have accounted for well over 50% of my visits.

    These days I'm really only there whenever the Villa are playing or for the odd swal in the back bar/alley.
  33. avatar lastoftheindependents
    We played at the Pavillion on Monday there with Stillpoint and Can't Stop Stereo (their first gig and our second) and the atmosphere was good. There was a good crowd in considering there wasn't much promo done (compared with our first gig last week with Stillpoint and Circadian where more money was put into posters and leaflets etc and only got a slightly bigger crowd). The atmosphere was good, although it seems a lot less imtimate than other venues. Even though the raised bit at the back was closed off to keep people to the front, theres still a good 10ft between stage and audience and I dont think that helps. Add that to the fact that at 99% of gigs in Belfast the audience remains seated the whole time. I think only minimal tables and chairs should be laid out at gigs, kind of like the Black Box has done, to encourage people to stand closer to the band and get more involved in the night. Any gigs I've been to in Stiff Kitten, Black Box, Mandela (although these are admittedly bigger than the pavilion, but I'm referring only to gigs involving local bands) the simple fact that the audience is standing almost within touching distance of the band generates a better atmosphere. Fuck sake even times I played the Front Page with 20 people crammed into that tiny space in front of the stage there was a great atmosphere.
    Not being one to want to challenge the Rt. Hon. Rainey, I dont think its just that the entertainment or the PA that sucks up potential for atmosphere. It's as much about how inclined the audience are to sit away from the band or stand closer (even sit closer like Auntie Annies) and about the audience themselves...who's gonna be the first to get up and dance so to speak.

    I think the Pavilion has the potential to be a class venue with some minor adjustments. Location is a big factor, but if the bands are right and the promos right it's as likely to get a crowd as some other venues.
  34. avatar churchwarden
    [quote:7bf329ba48]Lest this all sound totally negative (and I'm talking "worst case scenarios" here), the downstairs bar is great, though.

    [/quote:7bf329ba48]

    The choice of music downstairs can be insanely loud middle of the road - like being trapped in a taxi in a traffic jam mid afternoon with Radio 1 playing. Any chance of just a juke box (though that may be a bit "pay to play" to mention on fastfude).

    I do like the "middle floor" (does anyone really call it 'boutique' - even the staff, managers. owners? ) but I would agree with the atmosphere problem - it can be a bit like a musical coridoor. I would dump all the square tables and high chairs and put in circular tables with lower backed chairs - more convivial. if you think of any venue; if it has square tables it is really a restaurant and people do not mingle
  35. avatar fastfude
    On the question of the Pavilion's location, it might help to know where people are coming [i:d7a8aad8b5]from[/i:d7a8aad8b5].

    A city-centre venue has an advantage in that it's one bus or a cheapish taxi away from everywhere. A venue away from centre means that coming from the other side of the town now requires two buses or a dear taxi to get there. It becomes a bit of an obstacle to gig-going, especially if there are competing central gigs.

    So where's everyone coming from? Post yer postcode area.

    BT8 here.
  36. avatar lastoftheindependents
    We had people from North Belfast, Glengormley, Ballyclare, Carrickfergus, Ballygowan, student lands and further at the pavillion on Monday. I don't think it's an issue of where people are coming from. If I want to see a band and they're playing in Belfast I'll go and see them. If it's a friends band or whatever I'll make an extra effort. Similarly, with the gig there on monday 100% of the audience were friends/family of the bands, and so venue was irrelevent, or at most a minor inconvienience, but they still came.
    Where your argument does become relevent is when randoms happen upon some live music and decide to go in. In which case you're right, playing in the Pavilion does pose a major disadvantage as only a limited number of people might hear live music and decide to come inside compared to a bar in town.
    That said... how often does that actually happen? I don't know many people who go out on the offchance of finding a live band and just going into whatever bar has one on. Going to a gig is more often than not a much more conscious and deliberate decision. It's very rare that you get people at a gig who don't know the band/haven't seen them before/just happened to be passing.
    Granted its relevent if say your two favourite bands were playing on the same night and one was in Auntie Annies and one was Pavillion, you have a decision which might be influenced by location, but that rarely happens.
    I really don't think the venues location is that important unless there's a significant amount of people milling about looking for live music, or there's another gig in town which is gonna directly affect the attendance of a pavillion gig.
  37. avatar JTM
    I'm in BT4 and I regularly pay about £15 in taxis to go and see gigs in the city centre. I think the issue with the Pavilion isn't just about its location, but about advertising of the gigs, and the quality of the bands playing the gigs itself (with no disrespect to anyone who has played there!) - it seems to be more about new bands who need some promotion, which will be tough to make people come to. Somewhere like Annie's lends itself more to upcoming bands due to its location, while the Pav could fill a niche by putting more established bands on once in a while, or, dare I say it, some kind of Goth or Industrial night once a month?

    I think I've been to the Pavilion 4 times - once as a promoter for a charity gig, once when there were some bands from the South up who I wanted to see and I was one of 6 people there, once for Bop Yestrum which was awesome, and once by accident when I thought Bop Yestrum was on.

    The Pav needs established and / or niche acts to draw the crowds IMO.
  38. avatar whosbainejakey
    At this juncture, I feel I must post the following:

    <iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/msNAl5CMS80" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  39. avatar Clements
    I'll miss Lavery's. The only reason I ever darkened the door was to go to a gig. I've only played it once, and being 6'4 headroom was an issue on stage. But I've got a new (and far superior band) and was looking forward to playing places like the bunker. I really liked the Attic as a stage, but I guess there's a bit of a creeping doom about live performance venues right now.

    So, with the bunker going... where would people recommend? I know there's QUBSU, The Empire, The Pavilion, The Limelight Complex, The Black Box, Stiff Kitten... The Front Page.... but is that about it? It's all the places in Belfast I can think of, off the top of my head, band venues that is.

    Oh, and BT9
  40. avatar Recycled Alien
    I've only ever been in Lavery's for live music.
  41. avatar DuncanDisorderly
    For me The Pavilion is two busses away - I live in West Belfast (BT11) - not everyone lives on Ormeau / Lisburn Road.

    Furthermore, the atmosphere there is not the best for gigs as Steven has stated.

    The fact of the matter is this: if people were cramming the place for gigs then The Bunker would still be hosting them. Clearly this is not the case.

    Obviously a 'rebranding' is happening as The Bunker is pretty much dead except for Saturday nights - in this I am including gigs and club nights.
  42. avatar Steven Dedalus
    [quote:5938bfe612="lastoftheindependants"]Not being one to want to challenge the Rt. Hon. Rainey, I dont think its just that the entertainment or the PA that sucks up potential for atmosphere. It's as much about how inclined the audience are to sit away from the band or stand closer (even sit closer like Auntie Annies) and about the audience themselves...who's gonna be the first to get up and dance so to speak.[/quote:5938bfe612]

    That's sort of what I'd been trying to say, but got a bit lost in the moment.

    Once again, using the comedy thing as an example, I've seen good comedians go down with very little response in the Pavilion, cos the place seemed so massive, and spaced out. Applause or laughter would break out sporadically, but it didn't really have anywhere to go.

    Conversely, I was in Mason's in Derry/Londonderry a few weeks ago, and it was small and cramped. If someone laughed, we all laughed. It was infectious because of the proximity we were all placed in.

    It's the same with gigs. From being in the audience, it's strange to be sitting pretty far away, and to be able to see this huge gulf between band and audience.

    From the stage, on the other hand, I ended up performing to a group of people who were sitting so far away that I couldn't see them. I was sort of guessing what their responses were like, and then doing the opposite. This wasn't a bad gig, by the way.

    It wasn't a great one, either, to be fair.

    My postcode is BT2, and even though the Pavilion isn't *that* far away, it's still far enough out of the way that I have to [i:5938bfe612]specifically[/i:5938bfe612] go there, unlike other venues which I can nip into, and leave or go elsewhere if the mood takes me.
  43. avatar Bileofwood
    I live BT6. 15 mins dander from the Pavilion.
  44. avatar Desus
    I've been to one gig in the Pavilion.

    Gaju's last ever.
  45. avatar Hardtoimagine
    Location isn't the problem with the Pavillion, when I was living in the Holylands it was only a 5 minute walk and I always avoided it unless there was a band I really wanted to see. The soundsystem is a lot better than it used to be but the atmosphere is almost comically bad. I think its the space between the seats and the stage that makes it so hard for performers to interact with the audience, I've seen some really good bands there but never a good gig.
  46. avatar Strong Reaction
    The Pavilion just isn't really big enough for some things, both room size and very importantly stage size. It can be a real squeeze at times getting gear and people fitted up there. Saying that The Bunker had a terrible layout - there could have been 30 people at a gig and if they all stood by the bar the place looked empty. Saying that, it's always a loss when another live music venue closes it's doors.
  47. avatar TheElectricMoccasins
    The thing with the Pavilion is, it's just not somewhere I (and many other people particularly in my age group of 18-25) would be inclined to go unless it was specifically for a gig.

    In all the times I've been to the Pavilion, around 8 of those have been due to gigs I've played at, and around 2 have been for gigs that mates' bands have played at. Initially I didn't like the Pavilion even for gigging, I felt it had quite an ominous atmosphere and if the crowds were sparse at gigs, it really did feel quite depressing. However if you do manage to get a crowd into the place it can be good. The past few gigs I've played and attended in the Pavilion had decent enough crowds and it does totally transform the place when that's the case; the best example being the SONI Dead Zebra EP Launch night where my band was one of the supports, which was one of the most packed and best local gigs I've ever been to). The selection of beers is great in the Pavilion too, but despite all that I still feel it isn't somewhere that's ever really going to draw a significant young, "alternative" crowd to which the gig nights are largely (but not exclusively) aimed at and cater for.

    The regulars in the Pavilion are largely either middle-aged or quite old, and don't seem to be the type of people that would be interested in the gigs. In Lav's however, as aforementioned, the range of customer is vast and it is somewhere that would be frequented by many younger, "alternative" people that perhaps would be more interested in attending gigs. Lavery's is one of my (and many others my age) favourite places to go for a drink and even for a night out, and I think one of the most important factors of a successful gig is for people to look upon it as a "night out". That's why I think gigs in Stiff Kitten and the Speakeasy are always so well attended because they're places that are frequented by young people regardless of what is on or who's playing, so you'll find people will wander into the gig even if they've never heard of you. There needs to be more venues like that, I believe. I think if a few new regular gig nights were organised - perhaps with a club night/dj afterwards - by promoters who actually had a notion, then you'd get a lot of punters in the Bunker and it would rejuvenate it as a live venue. I just think over the past year or so nothing significant like this has happened (I may be wrong, if so I apologise) and as a result it's been somewhat neglected as a venue for live music. I really don't think closing the Bunker to gigs in favour of concentrating them to the Pavilion is the right thing to do though. There really are bugger all places to play anymore.

    Are there any other places apart from Pavilion, Auntie Annies and Ma Nelsons that do free room hire?
  48. avatar Zombi Music Promotions
    Here's an idea for all those whining about what a loss it will be to the local 'scene'... Do something about it and stop gurning on a forum where the decision makers don't visit???
  49. avatar Smitch
    I'm from Bangor, so to be honest every venue in Belfast is out of the way for me, but Lav's and (most) of the other venues I frequent are close to a train station, so that's not an issue. Annies, Lav's and Speakeasy aren't far away at all. Pavilion is a fair bit more awkward for me to get to. Then again, The Black Box is one of my favourite venues despite being away from a train station. Maybe it's the good PA, great atmosphere and usually great bands in there. It's real nice for acoustic/folk stuff.

    I think I've played maybe twice in the Pavilion, and I've never really enjoyed it. The in house PA is pretty woeful, so sometimes is hard to even listen to a good band. It's somewhere I definitely wouldn't go if it wasn't for a gig.
  50. avatar forevertwisted
    Lavs was great, always thought it was a cool spot for gigs. Intimate, maybe not the best layout. But from both playing and being there as a spectator it was great.

    The gig having to be over by 10.30 was a big clincher for me, im sure im not alone in this. I have been there were droves of people left after the gig to leave a handful of 5 or 6 people for the nightclub and having stayed on myself a few times there was rarely a crowd at the nightclub.
    The result of this being that even when playing myself, mates would have their carryout in the house, come down for the end of the gig from 10 onwards then go to another venue or club after to dance the night away. Many even would skip lavs due to the fact they didnt want to pay a fiver for half an hour, or have to pay in to two venues in the one night. Being near a student area this would surely be a big factor.

    I also don't see the pavillion as a thriving venue, too far out of the way for city folk and students alike, although would be happily proven wrong
  51. avatar Steven Dedalus
    [quote:afdcec352b="Zombi Music Promotions"]Here's an idea for all those whining about what a loss it will be to the local 'scene'... Do something about it and stop gurning on a forum where the decision makers don't visit???[/quote:afdcec352b]

    Have you read any of this at all?

    Dave from Lavery's has been addressing the various concerns and points raised.
  52. avatar RaveDisco
    It's not only myself reading, Lavery's senior management team have all been checking in on this thread - we really do appreciate the feedback. It's been very interesting to hear some of the points people have been raising about the Pavilion and I'd like to encourage further discussion on this topic if possible. There are a few main points that seem to be coming to the fore -

    People seem to be put off by the distance from the city centre.

    It's perfectly understandable that people aren't always going to want to walk or get a taxi. But the general consensus also seems to be that if there's a great gig on people will travel.

    The atmosphere or lack thereof.

    I'd be interested in hearing more about this as I would have thought this was as dependent on the gig and the punters as it is on the venue. For example, Steven's thoughts on the comedy night. This sounds like the classic medium-to-low turnout / big room conundrum. We've all been there. I wouldn't say this is a problem exclusive seen at the Big House. Speaking from personal experience I can remember playing gigs in Auntie Annies / Limelight / Speakeasy to name but a few, all with the familiar 'performer over here / audience way over there' situation. At times like those the onus is on the band to draw people up to the front of the stage. In terms of a comedy night, perhaps the audience could be encouraged to sit closer to the stage or maybe the room could be set up with more seats being made available throughout the night as more people arrive? Just thinking out loud on this one, as it were. Surely the answer can't be to just use a smaller venue ala Mason's. As SONI have proved time and time again, the Boutique bar can have a cracking atmosphere when the bands and crowd are up for it.

    The Sound system isn't up to scratch.

    I hear this about the Pavilion from time to time but then again I heard that about the Bunker when the wrong person was behind the sound desk. We have preferred soundmen that we recommend when we book gigs - the reason for this is that they are familiar with the setup and have experience of the room. In regards to the hardware in the room, with the renovation taking place at the Bunker, the Boutique Bar will soon be getting a sound system upgrade.
  53. avatar tinpot anto
    The Pavilion used to be problematic, but I thought the stage rebuild a year or 2 back, to remove the steps really helped. The passion killer in the Pavilion is really having the toilets/smoking area right at the side of the stage, so there is always a through-route so when playing your attention is constantly distracted by people going for a wee/fag throughout your set.

    Can't really see what you could do about that though
  54. avatar Chi-Lite
    I think dave's completely right, i don't think there's anything inherent in the Pavillion that gives it a bad atmosphere. Bad atmospheres generally come from there not being enough people at the gig. I tightlypacked sweaty gig is gonna be a good atmosphere and a three-quarters-empty room is gonna be a bit lacking.

    I've personally never experienced any problems with sound either, but then anytime I've played there the boul Mac's done the sound, and you really can't go wrong.

    In fact, it could be just me, but I'd say the Pavillion middle floor has always been a FAR better gig venue than the bunker, so i'm surprised they haven't tried to consolidate that before.

    For Lavery's in general, I'd be in favour of making the bunker the "proper" full-whack nightclub, and perhaps quitening down some of the other bars. sometimes the back bar, or latterly, the pool room, might as well be a nightclub, the music's that loud. I think the whole venue would benefit from quitening down the back bar and the pool room and permanently shifting louder stuff to the bunker. Sometimes you want a quiet game of pool or a quiet pint in the back bar.

    Plus, lest we forget, it's not like there'll be no live music at all, as I'm assuming that the open mic nights are still running of a wednesday.

    But yes, I don't see this as a bad thing, and, as Lavery's management are looking feedback, I'd like a bit of separation in the bar. Consolidate one venue as the loud club night, keep acoustic nights and jukebox in a reasonably quieter back bar and keep the pool room for pool. that's what i reckon
  55. avatar Deestroyer
    Heartily agree with Anto's post. Plus, the seating in the venue faces the bar, and renders the stage a secondary feature. Most people are sat facing each other on the left hand side (looking toward the stage), while the tables in the centre are usually empty or obscured from viewing the stage if there are a few people standing at the front. It's difficult to find anywhere with a good, non-neck-breaking view, except for where the sound guy sits.
    I'm not suggesting putting in pews, but ripping out those seats on the left and replacing the lot with circular tables would improve the venue immeasurably and instantaneously, I reckon.
  56. avatar Elms
    [i:1bb7c90878]The Pavilion used to be problematic, but I thought the stage rebuild a year or 2 back, to remove the steps really helped. The passion killer in the Pavilion is really having the toilets/smoking area right at the side of the stage, so there is always a through-route so when playing your attention is constantly distracted by people going for a wee/fag throughout your set.

    Can't really see what you could do about that though[/i:1bb7c90878]

    Not sure if it would be possible, but if the stage was swapped to the other end of the room, where the raised seating area is that might help? Not sure how wide that section is though as its been a while since I've been in the middle bar so it might make the stage a bit tight size wize but it'd certainly remove the issue withe the stage being right beside the toilets.
  57. avatar Chi-Lite
    See, i don't mind any of that. i really don't think it's reasonable to say that a venue has no atmosphere because the chairs are all facing the wrong way.

    And as for the toilet/smoking thing, again, i think it depends how many people are there. If the place is good and packed you're not really gonna notice people nipping for a pish. Plus if there's a good crowd the wee corridor at the side of the stage is full of people trying to get closer to the stage, take photos or whatever.

    If the gig is empty you're gonna notice people going for a smoke, but you're gonna be distracted by them going to the bar or, even worse, just walking out.

    I think it's a dead on venue- the only real problem is with the location, which isn't that much of a problem - it's walking distance from the town, to be fair. and there's fuck all you can do about that anyway
  58. avatar churchwarden
    [quote:84a99643c8]and replacing the lot with circular tables [/quote:84a99643c8]

    Circular tables [size=200]ARE[/size] the future.

    I would agree with removing the fixed seating on the left and replacing with circular tables and chairs. Perhaps change the decor to make it appear less "formal". No particular problem with the fake church design - I assume that is what is being hinted at - but it does create an instant atmosphere of formality. Upstairs and the ground floor are more disheveled, which instantly creates a more relaxed convivial atmosphere ( this is why the menagerie , lavery's , duke of york etc. are much more laid back compared to the more recent "style bars" ( this may also because of my sruffy appearance that these bars appeal)).


    Sound at the pavilion normally isn't a problem when Mac is doing it. Whenever I am heading to a gig there I hope he is behnind the desk - never let him leave.
  59. avatar Deestroyer
    [quote:bc3dad44cc]I think it's a dead on venue- the only real problem is with the location, which isn't that much of a problem - it's walking distance from the town, to be fair. and there's fuck all you can do about that anyway[/quote:bc3dad44cc]

    See but, there obviously is a fundamental problem with the venue because most people don't think it's very good as a venue. I think the way the chairs face is a bit of a problem (they're not conducive to attention being directed toward the stage and make it feel isolated or remote) as well as the smoking/toilet issue which is an atmosphere killer. I've played to almost every level of crowd, from packed to empty, and been in the crowd from packed to empty also. The venue got problems, although I do like it but largely for sentimental reasons.

    Yeah, it doesn't need overhauled or anything, the church thing is fine, just some ingenuity and attention could make a big difference. For example, what about a short stud wall separating the 'dancefloor' and the toilet entrance. That might help and would draw focus to the stage. Putting the stage at the rear would just mean the entrance would then be the distraction.
  60. avatar RaveDisco
    Good points guys, keep 'em coming.

    In regards to the seating thing, the tables and chairs in the Boutique aren't nailed down. Promoters / bands are more than welcome to set up the space in the way they see fit. Letting us know what works for you is really important.

    It can be a fine line, getting it right. Move the seating too close to the stage means no room for a crowd to get up and dance, moving the seating far from the stage means people might be tempted to sit down but on the other side of the room. If any of you try something different and it works, post it here and let everyone know!

    Regarding the toilet activity, yeah moving things to the other side of the room would mean a lot more distraction from the door. Maybe putting a curtain up alongside the stage would help? How far would something like that need to go towards the bar to make a difference? Is it really that much of a problem? I know that in the Bunker, half the time bands don't bother pulling the curtain at the back of the stage across to hide the folks popping in and out of the loo's and it never really made much of a difference. As people have said above, if your attention is focused on the band, people nipping to the lav shouldn't make that much of a difference. It never bothered me that much when gigging somewhere like Auntie Annies - and often you would find people were walking right across the front of the stage.

    The circular tables idea is a good one but I'm not sure that will change in the very near future as the tables suit the times that the Boutique Bar is used as a restaurant. As I mentioned though - if the tables don't suit the gig, move 'em. Or at least move the chairs so that they are facing the stage.
  61. avatar Strong Reaction
    Maybe block off the raised seating area in The Pavilion if it's a quiet gig?
  62. avatar churchwarden
    Please no! The raised seats just behind where the soundman sits are the best seats in the room

    Though I know various events do block them off for the first few hours until there are enough people to create a reasonable crowd in front of the band
  63. avatar RaveDisco
    That's definitely a possibility, in fact it happens already at some gigs and clubs. If someone lets us know in advance, it can be arranged.
  64. avatar Deadlights
    id agree, most bands id chat to who play there aren't overly fond of it, and to be honest neither am I. I would have picked most other venues over it if we were putting on a gig. I think a re-decor job, even a lick of paint, something not so dark. Or maybe its the lighting, but it does 'feel' a little gloomy or something...just cant put my finger on it, but it can feel a little miserable especially when its quiet. Id second issues raised about the seating also.

    As far as sound goes, Mac can definitely coax good sound out of the PA. A lot of other soundguys (no offence) seem to struggle at times. The crowd mix can be spot on, it really can, though i must say ive never overly enjoyed the onstage sound compared to the bunker. However i realise its a fairly cramped stage, so its mostly amps blasting away and just vocals back through the monitors. Could the stage be extended by even a foot or so into the main floor for a bit more room?

    The toilet door thing is an issue when its busy, ive seen it myself and its a pain in the arse watching bands near the front, off to that side, as you're constantly moving to let a stream of people in/out for a pish and to get to the smoking area.
  65. avatar Dirty Stevie Grizz
    Love the Bunker, and while I'll miss it as a decent live venue, I'll be interested to see the refurbishment.

    The one feature I will not miss, however, are those awful, insanely uncomfortable red stools..

    I hope theres a skip waiting for them, and they won't be saved for the new room? - the bunker really suffers from a lack of comfortable seating (in my aged opinion, anyway)

    GET THE PRIORITIES RIGHT! :D
  66. avatar RaveDisco
    You can rest assured, the seating will improve. There will be stools, but not those ones... and without wanting to give too much away... booths.
  67. avatar Recycled Alien
    The Pavilion is great with a good crowd. I can remember Curfew a few years ago, where the action started in full daylight in the afternoon, and there was still a fantastic buzz about it. Was the end of that night the last ever gig by Gaju? Absolutely bonkers.

    Any time I've been there and the atmosphere has been poor, it was the band's fault!

    Oh, and any time the sound was bad, it was the soundman's fault! Me included.
  68. avatar flightstrip
    having done sound in the pav loadsa times(both for my own band and other promotors) i reckon the pa is fine if used right.theres decent bass bins and the wee jbl tops are fine as are the monitors.if the sound sucks its partly down to the soundguy and partly down to musicians yankin up their amps then wondering why they cant hear the vocals in the monitors!
    i wish someone would buy new bulbs and filters for the in house lights though!!
    im looking to put on some events soon and i will defo use the pav.
  69. avatar Smitch
    I think the system in there is pretty woeful flightstrip. I find the bassbins don't have enough balls, though the JBLs are OK as tops. The monitors are woeful though. No decent top end in them (from memory) so they make everything sound kind of nasally.

    I find seating can be a weird thing in shows, though I like the way it's done at the Black box for any show I've been there. The seats are far enough forward that it doesn't look like people are sitting miles away from away, yet there's enough room for people right at the front. Saying that though, people tend to sit down on the floor at the front, but that's mostly because anything I've been to in there is folky/acoustic. For Rock stuff, I doubt people would want to sit down.
  70. avatar flightstrip
    as i said,'if used right'!
    though tbh ive usually lugged my own PA up those damn stairs rather than piss around with their speakers etc.
    aye,the seating needs to be sorted,defo round table territory.same with other bars.it sucks sitting so far away from bands though is good if they smell and cant play for shit!;)
  71. avatar whipchorus
    [i:a52ee5e8bb]Saying that though, people tend to sit down on the floor at the front[/i:a52ee5e8bb]


    I hate these people.
  72. avatar thesneakybandit
    circular tables and cabaret style seating like they do in the black box would be a step towards creating a better atmosphere.

    we (deadonmusic) ran a few gig in the pavilion and the staff were always more than helpful with aiding promotion and getting the venue setup just right, helping with dj setups, projector screens and everything.

    the issue with the poor attendances is down to poor promotion by promoters and bands. the other issues are relevant but not as big a deal.

    one idea that could maybe help people out with the location is if gigs were earlier in the evening. it's a very 'london' thing to do but if gigs were moved earlier people would be able to avail of public transport or even head to the new bunker club nights after a show in the pavilion. how about something as simple as a quid off ticket prices for anyone with a valid translink ticket for the night. belfast is not a big city at all and if people in other towns and cities across the uk are able to find ways to attend venues then really with the right bands and the right ptomotion there's no reason why the pavilion shouldn't be more full, more often.

    BT7 - 30 seconds walk away...
  73. avatar Chi-Lite
    This has been interesting, if only because of all the feng shui advocates.

    I can honestly say I've never sat at a gig and thought "the atmosphere here would be so much better if the tables were a different shape and the chairs were facing the other way." It has honestly never ever ever crossed my mind. Is it just me? Can you not just turn your head round? Those weer ound tables can't even hold many pints, and you can't fit many people round them. Having now thought it, I'd go so far as to say I'd prefer a big square table to a wee round one. But, like i say, it's never crossed my mind, so my preference isn't that important.

    Mad though, the things you never think of. I'd have thought people would be more concerned with soft lighting, that kind of thing. Wee round tables? you live and learn hey
  74. avatar tinpot anto
    Just to say the toilet/smoking issue is more to do with performing than a punter.

    And it's clear enough that ANY venue has a great atmosphere when it's full, it's kind of a given, we're talking about improving the atmosphere at the 1/4 to 1/2 capacity level, which is what most gigs happen at.

    It's very difficult to know what creates "atmosphere" it's a nebulous concept at best, some music works better with different atmospheres too, ie ponderous chin-stroking at a Lobotomies gig is not desireable, whereas pogoing and shouting abuse at Rachel Austin again would not be a "good atmosphere"
  75. avatar thesacredhearts
    Seriously, the pav is 15 mins walk from most places in botanic. Also there is a large number of people living around there that would attend gigs, the ormeau has quite a young population.

    I love the place, its rough enough around the edges, still centrally located and serves a great pint of guinness. I'd imagine the pull of the pavilion would be increased if like other venues it had more touring acts come through its doors. As it stands, local bands arent going to get the great unwashed up to the venue, week in week out, so there is an onus on external promoters and laverys own entertainments team to bring exciting acts to the venue (if you build it etc ). The pav has a similarity to a venue in bristol called the Louisiana, which although out in a residential area, a 15 min walk from the city centre still gets people out on mass to gigs.

    Ive enjoyed going to and playing at nights in the pav, the soundsystem is fine and probably of the same standard as AA's, KD's, the black box etc, not great, but in the right hands it can sound fine. its not necessairly a reflection on a soundman that they don't know an older system/funny shaped room.

    The earlier shows thing makes sense though, and im sure it would keep residents happier.

    That Gaju gig was immense craic. A slightly rough round the edges ASIWYFA played too if memory serves.
  76. avatar flightstrip
    Indeed.I thought i had discovered a good method by aiming par cans etc so the band were blinded and couldnt see how few people were at the gig but unfortunately they still played shite and didnt see the projectile comin their way!
    i think when money is tight people dont want to spend money on a taxi and are too lazy to walk.u only need to see the rosetta as an example.this is a fuckin shame cos its got a great stage and the staff are dead on too.
    maybe with lavs knockin it on the head peeps will start to explore these other venues?Rosetta,Ma Nelsons(newly painted 'Penis Purple'!) et al
  77. avatar Smitch
    Madison's across from Empire is a class venue if you have your own PA. Really nice.
  78. avatar flightstrip
    Im hiring a PA out tonight and tomorrow in Morrisons (DJs 2nite/bands 2moro)so itll be a chance to see how it would fare for live bands.Unbelieveably i have never darkened its door before.Parking to unload gear looks like a pain already.
  79. avatar Deestroyer
    [quote:5edc367cc0]Just to say the toilet/smoking issue is more to do with performing than a punter. [/quote:5edc367cc0]

    I'd agree with that. Especially when you're jumping around and really into it, the amps are blaring, and just as you come to the crescendo three dudes file out past you for a smoke. It's a bit of a dampener. It's hardly a show wrecker, but it just makes your inner monologue tut.

    [quote:5edc367cc0]I can honestly say I've never sat at a gig and thought "the atmosphere here would be so much better if the tables were a different shape and the chairs were facing the other way." [/quote:5edc367cc0]

    That makes perfect sense, but it's the little things that can make a big difference to an 'atmosphere', I think. I suppose it's about feel, isn't it. You want to feel like you're at a show as opposed to a show is coincidentally happening while you're in a pub. For me, that's the sort of feel the Pavilion has, and it's little things that give it that feel - most notably the fact that the chairs don't face the stage. That's why I think a few strategic changes like that could make a big difference.
    Last edited on , 1 times in total.
  80. avatar Smitch
    [quote:fa7ac6da73]I can honestly say I've never sat at a gig and thought "the atmosphere here would be so much better if the tables were a different shape and the chairs were facing the other way."[/quote:fa7ac6da73]

    Having played at the Pavilion though, it is something you'd notice as a performer. It kinda seems that people aren't paying attention, because they're facing the bar, and not you.
  81. avatar churchwarden
    [quote:ad9e4ce547]i think when money is tight people dont want to spend money on a taxi and are too lazy to walk.u only need to see the rosetta as an example.this is a fuckin shame cos its got a great stage and the staff are dead on too.
    [/quote:ad9e4ce547]

    The Rosetta is a great venue - but where do they advertise? They do not appear to have a website, and on facebook they have six friends. Virtually every other venue lets you sign up somewhere to get sent information about what's on. I presume they are old school and use posters and fliers , though I cannot recall seeing any in a long while...
  82. avatar Chi-Lite
    [quote:1767063c44]Having played at the Pavilion though, it is something you'd notice as a performer. It kinda seems that people aren't paying attention, because they're facing the bar, and not you.[/quote:1767063c44]

    I've played in the Pavilion probably 30 times over the years. People usually turn their heads round, sometimes they even turn their chairs round.
  83. avatar tinpot anto
    aye, the other way ;-P
  84. avatar Chi-Lite
    True. Still, I don't think you can blame a venue for the direction people are looking like can ye
  85. avatar Deestroyer
    [quote:efcfa1df1a]True. Still, I don't think you can blame a venue for the direction people are looking like can ye[/quote:efcfa1df1a] Aye, but it helps if the chairs are facing the right flippin way, doesn't it!
  86. avatar DuncanDisorderly
    [quote:a5f729f62d]Seriously, the pav is 15 mins walk from most places in botanic. Also there is a large number of people living around there that would attend gigs, the ormeau has quite a young population.[/quote:a5f729f62d]

    Yeah, but consider that its a bus journey plus a 15 minute walk for me to even get there. Not everyone lives in a City Centre area. My friends will meet in Annie's / Lavery's etc but The Pavilion is essentially a LOCAL bar.
  87. avatar thesacredhearts
    They should probably think about moving the premise closer to your house then.
  88. avatar tinpot anto
    YES!
  89. avatar DuncanDisorderly
    [quote:423fc2f158]They should probably think about moving the premise closer to your house then.[/quote:423fc2f158]

    My comment was constructive and you respond with hyperbole. We are discussing why less people attend gigs there - the biggest factor is the location. The Pavilion would be doing better business if its location was the Dublin Road or similar - fact. Gigs need to be located where the average punter can drift in.

    It essentially boils down to this - it takes a great gig for people to venture to The Pavilion while they may go to an average one in Annie's / Lavery's due to location.
  90. avatar Steven Dedalus
    [quote:618b33b188="CHi Lite"]I can honestly say I've never sat at a gig and thought "the atmosphere here would be so much better if the tables were a different shape and the chairs were facing the other way." It has honestly never ever ever crossed my mind. Is it just me? Can you not just turn your head round? [/quote:618b33b188]

    It's already been adressed, but to re-state my point, the lay-out, size, and shape of the Pavilion makes it feel like the band on stage are completely incidental to what's actually happening in the bar.

    Hence the lack of atmosphere.


    I'm sure it's grand if it's packed and everyone is up for the cup, but every time I've been there, the band has felt like a total inconvenience.

    [quote:618b33b188="Rave Disco"]In terms of a comedy night, perhaps the audience could be encouraged to sit closer to the stage or maybe the room could be set up with more seats being made available throughout the night as more people arrive?[/quote:618b33b188]

    I know we're engaged in a bit of a chicken/egg debate here, but the reason I brought up Masons was that you had no choice BUT to be crammed in with a load of people, and if one person laughed, the chances are we all would.

    In the Pavilion, if someone laughs, it tends to stay with them, and doesn't spread anywhere else. A restructuring of the seating are to deliberately make it a little more cramped, might be a step in the right direction.

    I don't know. It might still be crap either way.

    Sorry if I sound so down on the place. I've had more than a few great nights downstairs, but I can't really recall one good night upstairs.

    Except for my gig, of course, which qualifies as "AWESOME".
  91. avatar thesacredhearts
    [quote:b3e2d6e501]someone wrote:
    They should probably think about moving the premise closer to your house then.
    My comment was constructive and you respond with hyperbole. We are discussing why less people attend gigs there - the biggest factor is the location. The Pavilion would be doing better business if its location was the Dublin Road or similar - fact. Gigs need to be located where the average punter can drift in.

    It essentially boils down to this - it takes a great gig for people to venture to The Pavilion while they may go to an average one in Annie's / Lavery's due to location.[/quote:b3e2d6e501]


    How is it constructive? It is where it it. If it wasnt where it is, it wouldnt be the same bar. The only fact is that its inconvenient for you to get to. It is convienient for others to get to. Btw i live in holywood, so none of these bars are convenient for me.

    I would differ, the biggest factor isnt the location, its the draw of the acts that are playing, as realistically, its location is problematic for some and not for others. From experience, ive compared it with a similar bar (even in size), in a similar city location, in a similarly sized city(bristol), which does do well. I lived a good distance away from this place in bristol but still went. And the public transport was no better there.

    Its about the motivation to ignore its location.
  92. avatar whosbainejakey
    I'll say this about the seating: if it's a half decent band, you wouldn't be sitting down anyway.

    I mind seeing Gama Bomb in the Pavilion not so long ago and they had the place rammed. There was even the smallest and best-natured circle pit I've ever had the pleasure to stand well back from.

    Bands: Try harder.
  93. avatar Deestroyer
    [quote:50e3025f76]I'll say this about the seating: if it's a half decent band, you wouldn't be sitting down anyway.

    I mind seeing Gama Bomb in the Pavilion not so long ago and they had the place rammed. There was even the smallest and best-natured circle pit I've ever had the pleasure to stand well back from.

    Bands: Try harder.
    [/quote:50e3025f76]
    Ugh... Yeah, that's constructive, 'You don't like The Pavilion cuz yer band is SHIT!'. I've played to full standing houses in the Pavilion, had some cracking gigs and torn the place a new one more than a few times, but I've also played in it while half empty and almost completely empty, came on early during support slots to not that many and all of that. You play a venue pretty often and you'll see every type of crowd. It's rare the place is packed out.
    Is that because of the venue or the bands? Well, it's pretty irrelevant if your talking about making a few changes to improve it, now isn't it? What's your logic? 'If every gig in The Pavilion was brilliant then every gig in The Pavilion would be brilliant? Yeah, cheers for that.
  94. avatar DuncanDisorderly
    [quote:4d62d0623f]Its about the motivation to ignore its location.[/quote:4d62d0623f]

    Firstly, your comment made no sense as I never suggested they move the bar closer to my house. It was sarcastic and presumptious.

    Sadly most people don't have the motivation to travel out of town - no matter if its only a 15 minute walk from other locations. I have ran gigs myself and even £30-£40 extra from hosting in a City Centre location could be the difference between the bands losing out as opposed to making their carryout money.
  95. avatar goatboy
    From about 2003 - 2006 there was a great run of gigs in the Pavilion by touring bands. There are posters up all round the Pavilion for these great shows.

    As a venue, I really, really like it. Whenever I put on Field Music there last March, I had no real issues at all. The tables and chairs were moved out of the way and I thought that Vic Audio-Ill made Field Music sound great.

    The one issue that would maybe restrict promoters from putting on touring bands is that there is no suitable back stage area which is often requested by many touring bands.
  96. avatar whosbainejakey
    [quote:58e316fcce]Ugh... Yeah, that's constructive, 'You don't like The Pavilion cuz yer band is SHIT!'[/quote:58e316fcce]

    No, I was saying a good band makes me want to stand up and watch them. Gama Bomb have great stage presence, a canon of good songs and are tightly rehearsed. What's the problem?
  97. avatar thesacredhearts
    [quote:312d4fd8d1]Firstly, your comment made no sense as I never suggested they move the bar closer to my house. It was sarcastic and presumptious.

    Sadly most people don't have the motivation to travel out of town - no matter if its only a 15 minute walk from other locations. I have ran gigs myself and even £30-£40 extra from hosting in a City Centre location could be the difference between the bands losing out as opposed to making their carryout money.[/quote:312d4fd8d1]

    im not saying you did, im highlighting that its nonsensical to discuss the location. its not going to change is it? the question is how do you motivate people to go further out the road? either you want to go there or not.

    theres plenty of people who are in its "catchment area" who arent attending gigs at it either, so what will make them go eh?

    maybe people really are that lazy.
  98. avatar Deestroyer
    [quote:3fcfcc9dd9]No, I was saying a good band makes me want to stand up and watch them.[/quote:3fcfcc9dd9] Yeah, you're saying that a band/gig can be good enough to overcome the problems with a venue. Fair enough. There are a lot of circumstances where that can occasionally happen, but it doesn't mean the venue's layout doesn't play a part. A better venue means a better experience generally, which means more punters, which means better gigs, which translates to yet more punters. That's been the point from the start like.
  99. avatar DuncanDisorderly
    [quote:8e1190dab1]im not saying you did, im highlighting that its nonsensical to discuss the location. its not going to change is it? the question is how do you motivate people to go further out the road? either you want to go there or not.[/quote:8e1190dab1]

    Of course it can't be moved, but the fact stands that location is the main reason people don't want to put gigs on / attend them. They will have to do something special to pull a crowd.

    Maybe this will change with a refurbishment, but if I was in a band looking to book a gig I'd take Annie's first in a heartbeat.

    I always preferred gigs in Lavery's when they did them upstairs in the blocked off end of the pool room to The Bunker anyway.
  100. avatar Steven Dedalus
    [quote:91c3aab254="DuncanDisorderly"]Of course it can't be moved, but the fact stands that location is the main reason people don't want to put gigs on / attend them. They will have to do something special to pull a crowd.

    Maybe this will change with a refurbishment, but if I was in a band looking to book a gig I'd take Annie's first in a heartbeat.[/quote:91c3aab254]

    What he said.

    Once again, sticking my nose in where it's probably not wanted, obviously DuncanDisorderly is not suggesting the venue be moved somewhere more suitable (although that would be cool).

    The issue here is that the Pavilion is now being touted as the "replacement" for Lavery's, and one of the major problems is that I - and people like me* - could rarely be arsed going out of our way to go to it. This is to do with the location, and as I have attempted to outline the fact that I think it's a craic-hole.

    The notion of "replacing" a popular city centre venue with one that is far away enough to put people off going to it doesn't really work for me.



    *cool dudes, I'd expect.
    Last edited on , 1 times in total.
  101. avatar CallMeKatya
    I hate to state the obvious, but the Odyssey is a lot farther out of the way than the Pavilion is and people still play silly money to go there. Depends if they want to see the band.

    I've sang in the Pavilion. The sound is certainly not the worst I've experienced and everyone looked at the stage. I've watched bands [and comedians] and looked at the stage. Surely if someone pays in to see something they'll... look at the stage? If they don't, no matter. They've still paid in.

    As someone who lives near The Pavilion who has friends who live absolutely nowhere near it the reason they always cite for not going is laziness. More people play pool in Lavery's purely because it's nearer for them. More people might go to gigs in The Pavilion if Lavery's don't have gigs. Let's just wait and see, shall we?
  102. avatar Deestroyer
    Ah, of course, that's the solution, lets do absolutely nothing. If only Northern Ireland could somehow make that its default position on everything, we'd certainly get somewhere. Oh, wait...

    Sorry, I'm just being argumentative now. Replace the floor with a trampoline and put the toilets behind the bar. See if I care.
  103. avatar rebenectomy
    My first post!
    [quote:bb284cab8d]one idea that could maybe help people out with the location is if gigs were earlier in the evening. it's a very 'london' thing to do but if gigs were moved earlier people would be able to avail of public transport or even head to the new bunker club nights after a show in the pavilion. how about something as simple as a quid off ticket prices for anyone with a valid translink ticket for the night.[/quote:bb284cab8d]

    That's not a bad idea, certainly something that promotes a stronger link between the two venues. I always thought the Pavilion made an ideal location for a morning/day after feed, something like a hang over meal deal should be on offer in the Pavilion on a Sat/Sun for those who still have their Lavery's arm band/ticket. Plus the extra 15 minute walk will do them good, sweat the booze right out of them.
  104. avatar Strong Reaction
    People in this city are just lazy and expect things to set on their doorstep/laps. This goes for bands as well as punters. Make an effort to go/play places and you may get a nice surprise from time to time.
  105. avatar whipchorus
    People are lazy...and people want an event. Event-junkyitis is endemic on both sides of the border.

    If there were nothing but bars and clubs between Laverys and the Pavilion people wouldn't think anything of the walk. Perception, like the Rosetta, is that it's miles away.
  106. avatar iain
    [quote:fa893b8d7e]The passion killer in the Pavilion is really having the toilets/smoking area right at the side of the stage, so there is always a through-route so when playing your attention is constantly distracted by people going for a wee/fag throughout your set.[/quote:fa893b8d7e]

    Don't forget lavery's also had the drunk staggering out of the toilets through the curtain onto the stage, knocking the amps over comedy going on. Good times...