'Venues are the soul of London,' says Stoke Newington photographer

The Moth Club in Hackney

The Moth Club in Hackney. - Credit: Alex Amoros

A Stoke Newington photographer spent the second lockdown taking photographs of London music venues to raise awareness of an ongoing campaign to save them. 

Alex Amoros' 40 Music Venues project showcases closed venues in London, many of which are located in Hackney, Islington and Camden.

He hopes his photographs help visualise the plight of much-loved and visited haunts and bolster a campaign by charity Music Venues Trust (MVT) to Save Our Venues. 

The photographer told the Gazette: "I think if we lose some of these venues, we are going to lose a part of London. We need to fight to keep them alive ."

Premises such as The Waiting Room in Stoke Newington,  Islington's Egg, and Spiritual Bar in Camden all face the imminent threat of permanent closure.

Islington's The Lexington was also at risk but raised £76,709 it needed to survive and pay staff in November. 

The Lexington venue in Islington

The Lexington in Islington has been saved from the threat of closure thanks to a successful crowdfunder campaign and MVT's Save Our Venues campaign highlighting its plight. - Credit: Alex Amoros

Alex said the venues he captured are "the soul of London" and have had a great impact on him personally, having worked in many of them, taking photos and playing gigs with his band called The Liquorice Experiment

He wanted to show the reality of venues during the pandemic and hopes his photos remind people of the places and their history.


The Finsbury on Green Lanes

The Finsbury on Green Lanes. - Credit: Alex Amoros

"All of us, we have memories in all of them - it’s important to think 'they are there,’" Alex added. 

Meanwhile, MVT, which represents hundreds of UK grassroots music venues, announced a new phase of its successful Save Our Venue campaign in December.

It highlights venues at risk with a Traffic Light system. 

A modern and older looking ladder lay against a bookshelf in a pub.

Inside The Victoria, a pub in Dalston. - Credit: Alex Amoros

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Those considered safe are green, at risk of closure without additional support amber and in imminent danger of permanent closure red. 

Mark Davyd, chief executive of MVT,  said what the campaign has achieved so far is "truly remarkable".

He added: "If people want these local venues to still be there when this is over, there is a very clear call to action - choose a venue, get donating, get writing, get calling, get organised. Save them all. Reopen every venue safely."

Alex has created a photobook to raise awareness for MVT's Save Our Music campaign. Pre-order it at www.alexamoros.com/shop/40-music-venues

A Camden club is hidden behind closed grates.

The Underworld club in Camden. - Credit: Alex Amoros

The Lock Tavern's sign in Camden.

The Lock Tavern in Camden. - Credit: Alex Amoros

A guitar pictured at The Spiritual Bar in Islington

A guitar at The Spiritual Bar in Islington, a red venue in London threatened with imminent permanent closure. - Credit: Alex Amoros

Camden Town's The Dublin Castle

Camden Town's The Dublin Castle. - Credit: Alex Amoros

The Good Mixer in Camden Town

The Good Mixer in Camden Town. - Credit: Alex Amoros

Paper Dress Vintage in Hackney.

Paper Dress Vintage in Hackney. - Credit: Alex Amoros

Oslo in Hackney.

Oslo in Hackney. - Credit: Alex Amoros

Hope & Anchor in Islington.

Hope & Anchor in Islington. - Credit: Alex Amoros

Helgi's in Mare Street, Hackney.

Helgi's in Mare Street, Hackney. - Credit: Alex Amoros

Hackney Empire.

Hackney Empire. - Credit: Alex Amoros

Fiddler's Elbow in Camden sign says: "#Save Our Venues"

Fiddler's Elbow in Camden - the sign reads: "#Save Our Venues". - Credit: Alex Amoros

EartH in Hackney

EartH in Hackney. - Credit: Alex Amoros

Fiddler's Elbow in Camden.

Fiddler's Elbow in Camden. - Credit: Alex Amoros

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