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(Official) The Dev Under Threat

I was keeping away from adding to the rumour mill earlier today (apart from replies on some of the goth lists) but The Dev has just updated their website within the last few minutes:

(Taken from http://www.devcamden.co.uk/)

The past year has seen the demise of both the legendary Full Tilt at the Electric Ballroom in Camden and Gossips in Soho - and the Devonshire Arms looks set to be the next casualty of the apathy on the alternative scene. We have been informed that unless numbers increase significantly over the next three months the Dev will be revamped as a trendy bar.
We have tried to create a much needed haven for the gothic / alternative community but interest appears to have waned. Unless people start using the Dev again, the company that owns it WILL close it down in its current incarnation and leave us minus yet another venue.
If there is anything that would encourage more of you to come here more often please let us know. Any sensible suggestions will be gratefully received and acted upon. The range of music played is to be widened to include more old-school and current indie and punk and all of the Djs are more than happy to play your requests - so if you’re not hearing what you want to hear, ASK! If we don’t have it we’ll get it for next time.
Unlike many venues offering Djs and late opening, entry is free (excluding band nights) and with the two hours of drinks specials every Thursday to Sunday, a night out at the Dev is reasonably inexpensive.
The bottom line is… if you don’t use the Dev, we’re going to lose it and give yet another of our venues back to the masses.
DEVONSHIRE ARMS R.I.P? Let’s hope not.

*Any suggestions can be made at the Dev or online at www.devcamden.co.uk


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 17th, 2005 09:23 pm (UTC)
If anything goes wrong, it's always apathy. Not poor beer, the inability to have conversations in the pub, rude bouncers or anything else that may be the fault of the venue.

(Haven't set foot inside the place for 5-6 years now. It's not apathy keeping me out.)
Mar. 17th, 2005 09:44 pm (UTC)
To be honest part of the problem is apathy. It's not the whole problem though (or even the greater part of it). In London the Goth scene has always largely complained that there are no gigs, no clubs, no places to go - and then when events are held most of them stay at home.

It's only when you get the Chart bands playing (Sisters of Mercy, The Mission, Cure, Nephilim, etc) that you suddenly get a turn out. I remember in the early 90's the Marquee used to put on goth bands every other Sunday and you'd see the same 50 faces there at each event (if you were lucky). Then people complained that no bands were playing anymore!

Look at the last night at The Electric Ballroom for Full Tilt last year. It was sold out with people queing for ages and being turned away. Whereas a few weeks earlier the attendence was 'alright' but nothing to write home about.

Apathy has got something to do with the closures we're seeing.

In the case of The Dev - yes, lots of things could be improved but London has got a lot of alternative drinking holes and with the demise of Full Tilt on Friday nights that must have taken away a lot of their custom. Plus pubs during the week are rarely busy - unless they're showing an important football match.

I go to the Dev a few times each month and it would be shame to see it vanish and for people to fragment across a variety of other venues. I haven't seen some of the people I spoke to at The Ballroom since the last Full Tilt a year ago this week! Because I only ever saw them at the club and now have no idea where they go. It'd be a shame to loose familiar faces again because of the death of The Dev.

Ultimately, I'm not sure if much can really be done. If money is tight already they're not going to be able to invest to make the place better (although fixing the dishwasher and the fans in the toilet I'd have thought would have been a legal requirement!). The threat of it's closure might be enough to motivate a few people to stop by a bit more often but that's only going to be a short term fix and you'll see the same problem arising again in six-twelve months time. The Dev isn't a very big pub so there isn;t a lot of room to try things out. I guess one thing to do is possibly try 'themed' nights during the week (Singles night, Old Skool Goth/Punk night, etc) to try and coax people in.
Mar. 17th, 2005 09:59 pm (UTC)
I know there is apathy, but to say "because of X apathy" (X= voter, customer, whatever) is a cop-out. Apathy for Gossips seems a bizarre reason. It's always been so packed that it becomes a giant armpit on a summers evening.

I agree, since the Death of Full Tilt I've had little reason to go anywhere near Camden. The Market's been a farce for years. It takes half an hour do to a smash-and-grab on a saturday morning. And Pre-Egg the Head of Steam is convienant and good.

The council's had it in for Camden for years now, it's been a battle of attrition, we've had a major loss and the rest of the place is going to fall soon. Camden will fall the second there's a weekly replacement for Full Tilt.
Mar. 18th, 2005 08:28 am (UTC)
I hardly ever go there. The reason - poor beer. I like beer and don't drink in pubs where I can't get a decent pint. If they had some good real ale there, I'd probably be there several times a month, not once every couple of years.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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