BOSSES at a former nightclub are hoping to turn it into a thriving music venue.
For the past two years board members at Venue, formerly Ku Club, have been running the building in High Street West as a community venture with a cafe, comedy club, charity nights and more.
Now, they’re branching into music in a bid to attract people to an oft-forgotten corner of the city centre.
Folk rock act Martin Stephenson and the Daintees and comedy singer Adam Kay from Amateur Transplants are among the first acts to try out the venue’s stage as it bids to attract a variety of musicians through its doors.
David Richardson, who is on the board that runs Venue, said: “There are places in the city that have live music but it’s limited. We want to try to bring a variety of music to the city at a reasonable price.
“There’s not a lot on this side of the town any more and the problem is we don’t get a lot of passing trade. People think we’re just a cafe or they don’t realise we’re here at all. We just need to get the message out.”
Venue runs as a not-for-profit community hub which David says can work to the audience’s advantage as ticket prices will be kept low.
He added: “The music idea came about because I’m interested in folk, country and rockabilly and often have go through to Newcastle to see those kind of acts.
“We want to attract similar artists to that of The Cluny in Newcastle.”
Folk singer Sarah McQuaid has also been booked to perform and from Sunday, July 22, Venue will be hosting live music afternoons from 3pm-4pm when up-and-coming acts can book to appear on the stage and showcase their sound for free.
David said: “Although we now have a community cafe for families on the first floor, the top floor is still similar to when it was Ku Club, just with a new dance floor and carpets.
l Any local bands wanting to take advantage of free live music afternoons, or for more information on other acts, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also search “Venue Sunderland” on Facebook.
•Every Wednesday: student nights with live music
•July 20: the beginning of a monthly country music night
•July 22: start of live music afternoons from 3pm-4pm
•September 1: Adam Kay
•September 28: Martin Stephenson and the Daintees
•November 24: Sarah McQuaid