Saturday, February 7, 2009

R.I.P Marquee.

We're going to stray from hockey for a minute...

The Marquee Club, where do I start.

Before Christmas, owner Victor Syperek announced that he would close the Marquee Club because it was sucking him dry of money (he later filed for bankruptsy protection... )

It was a classic case of the boy who cried wolf.

Syperek had said the exact same thing a few years previous. The bar closed for a bit but started to re-open for concerts, and then retro night on Wednesdays came back, and. and. and.
So when he said it this time, we secretly didn't really believe him. Nor did we want to.

The Marquee is a staple in the lives of music-lovers in Halifax. Gaining almost iconic status after local artists began singing about it. Sloan wrote an entire love-hate balled to the place, "Marquee and the Moon". And the venue is referenced in various songs by local artists.

But when I say love-hate, I mean it. I think everyone who's ever been there has a love-hate relationship with the place. It's like this random little jewel on Gottingen Street, not the most savory charactars hang around that area. And it's a helluva walk from any other bar (and it's all uphill).

Inside, is indescribable. From the ceiling hang bikes, mannequin body parts, airplanes, old fashion light fixtures. The place literally looks like it was thrown together with stuff that was found by driving around on trash day. Delightfully mis-matched. Rumour has it, much of the stuff came from the old Met department store that closed down on Gottingen Street in the early 90s.

But then there's the fact that it's a band venue. Usually in a band venue the stage (and a view of it) is the most important thing. Not so at the Marquee. The Marquee taunts you. There are several beams holding the place up and the bar sits in the middle of the place so it cuts off access to the stage.

Did I mention it takes forever to get a damn drink in the place?

Okay... back to the love. Head down the stairs and it's ... another venue?

Yup, gotta love that.

Hell's Kitchen, a smaller venue with another bar (and separate cover usually.) That's where you can also chow down on pizza made on site.

Which brings me quickly back to the hate... i've wondered if in Hell they've ever cleaned the bathroom. You feel that at any minute CSI is going to bust in there and pull a body out of the wall. There's no other explanation for the smell.

Back upstairs....

I've seen some great bands at that little bar. The Trews before they were big, i remember going to see Wintersleep there for 5$ (costs 5-6 times that now), Joel Plaskett, Matt Mays, Finger Eleven, Bloc Party, Sam Roberts, and random little band from here and afar.

Most recently, last night In-Flight Safety had their CD release show. (the album "We are an Empire, My Dear" is great and you should pick it up!) It was a great show, but sad at the same time.

All is not lost, though. Two guys are planning (and determined) to have the venue re-opened, they'll probably fix its shortcomings... which means it'll never quite be the same. It'll never be the Marquee.

"Walked home across the bridge when the Marquee shut down...there's a reason that I love this town" - Joel Plaskett - Love This Town

1 comment:

the uncomfortable pew. said...
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