Save The Vic

The Vic Inn, Derby
The Vic Inn. Soon to be yet another office block?

I’ve not blogged about the threatened razing of The Vic Inn because I’d heard too many mutually contradictory rumours.

Now, I’ve received this link. So you can find out exactly what’s going on yourself, straight from the horse’s mouth.

If you head over to the gig section of my photo gallery, you’ll see how often The Vic has been the centre of my night out since I moved back to Derby in ’02. And there are many, many bands I’ve seen there that I didn’t get pics of, wonderful artists like Red Animal War, Throwdown and Half Man Half Biscuit. Where else in Derby would put bands like these on? Where else in Derby would even have a clue who they are?

Derby used to be a major point on the map for live music. If you take a look at the essential Can’t Be Still site, you’ll see that twenty years ago, you’d find seminal acts such as New Order, The Redskins and Cabaret Voltaire playing on your doorstep, at The Blue Note. Yep, The Blue Note!

What’s even more amazing is that The Assembly Rooms actually served the people of Derby back then. Instead of Jim ‘racist cunt’ Davidson and The Bootleg bastard Beatles every two weeks, they actually put big pop acts on. Go on, have a look at the list, and you’ll see then Top 10 chart acts playing, The Human League, The Cure, Soft Cell, The Smiths. We had them all, playing in our city centre.

Not any more.

Today’s pop kids have to shuttle out to Notts or Leicester or Brum because our city council can’t be arsed to actually entertain the people funding them. So, they got rid of the big draw bands… but at least The Vic was keeping the indie / punk / alternative side going and putting on internationally acclaimed artists.

But no – to add insult to chronic inury, they’re planning to bulldoze the one venue in Derby that’s supporting new music and replace it with a bloody office block!

What the fuck is going on?

Is our council determined to hobble Derby as a musical city? They killed-off The Big City Bash, they’ve sapped the life out of The Assembly Rooms and instead of offering funding to The Vic, acknowledging how important it is in putting Derby on the map, they want to kill it too?

Take a look round Derby. Take a stumbling, laboured walk around the never-ending building site it has become. Today in town, it stank of shite everywhere. I don’t think it was the drains, I think it was the council I was smelling.

They want to replace The Vic with an office block? How many fucking anonymous concrete office blocks does Derby need? The whole city is becoming one vast Legoland carbuncle of clumsy edifices and eye-puncturing architectural juxtapositions. And as soon as they build something, it’s ripped up again two months later, like the top of Iron Gate now. What happened to the planning element of “city planning,” you twats?

The Vic can be saved. You can save it, if you really want to. If enough people signed Micky’s petitions, wrote and complained to the council, it would be saved. After all, politicians only care about their own arses in the end so if they thought they might actually lose votes for killing The Vic, they’d instantly rally round it. Wave some votes in their faces and they’ll soon come running. On the other hand, if they think no-one feels strongly…

Hey Micky, how about compiling a list of councillors, noting if they’re supporting The Vic or not? Maybe also a Rogue’s Gallery of the ones a bit too keen on the JCBs? Then we’ll know exactly who not to vote for and who to pester, eh?

Derby is our city, not theirs. These people are our servants, not our lords and masters. We pay their wages, we keep them warm in their comfy offices. Perhaps they need to be reminded that they are public servants, not barons.

Do something, anything, even if it’s just emailing a couple of mates and telling them what’s going on. If you do nothing… well, don’t be surprised when there’s no gigs to go and see and the whole of Derby is one silent warren of clumpy concrete office blocks.


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