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Shepherd’s Bush Empire has closed for emergency maintenance

James Manning

It’s all well and good living in a city full of gorgeous historic venues, but what happens when some of that history starts getting a bit shaky? That was the question facing 2,000-odd ticketholders for a Courteeners gig on Friday night, when the 112-year-old O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire was declared shut for emergency repairs shortly before doors opened. Apparently a structural fault in the roof turned out to be serious enough that the gig had to be cancelled. Some fans were not happy bunnies, though you’d think they’d be pleased not to have been brained by falling masonry.

Despite appearing during their soundcheck, the structural problems almost certainly aren’t The Courteeners’ fault – though they did recently (in a statement about the departure of their bass player) tell their fans to ‘get down the front and help us make these buildings shake’. Suspicious.

Anyway, it’s become clear today that the Empire will be closed for a while – ‘a matter of weeks’, according to the Academy Music Group. Various gigs have been postponed or moved, including One Ok Rock, Clutch, Family, Kodaline and Hawkwind, and the status of two other shows – Kim Wilde’s Christmas Party and Fields Of The Nephilim – is still up in the air. It looks like the venue is hoping to reopen in time for their big indie New Year’s Eve party featuring The Twang, though if you’re still listening to The Twang in 2015 then you should probably get your own dome checked for structural faults.

Looking for some live music in a venue that isn’t closed for repairs? Check out this week’s best London gigs.

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