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'It's devastating' -Closure of another pub hits Norwich bands

PUBLISHED: 12:52 30 August 2019 | UPDATED: 08:49 31 August 2019

The band used to host a Christmas party every year at Micawbers. Picture: Simeon Care

The band used to host a Christmas party every year at Micawbers. Picture: Simeon Care

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Bands in Norwich say the closure of another pub will hit the city's music scene.

The future of Micawbers Tavern on Pottergate is unclear. Picture: Ruth LawesThe future of Micawbers Tavern on Pottergate is unclear. Picture: Ruth Lawes

Micawbers, on Pottergate, hosted regular live music nights, but closed its doors on Thursday after its lease expired - leaving one less venue for Norfolk musicians.

It had been a pub since the 18th century, but in recent years had gained a reputation for supporting bands and up and coming musicians.

Many have described their disappointment at the closure.

Roop Murphy first played at the pub 20 years ago as a teenager, when he performed folk sessions on a Sunday.

Micawbers Tavern was an important venue for Norwich bands. Picture: Ruth LawesMicawbers Tavern was an important venue for Norwich bands. Picture: Ruth Lawes

He said: "It's such a lovely little corner of Norwich. More recently I've done the odd semi-acoustic gig with band Murphy's Lore there when the new manager took over and revitalised the live music at the pub."

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He also said there was a wealth of talent in Norfolk, which often has no venue to develop future careers.

Mr Murphy added: "Norwich should be nurturing music as much as possible. The UK has one of the largest music industries in the world and is also very good economically when supported by local government when it comes to allowing easier licensing for venues."

The A13 Allstars band performed at Micawbers for years. Picture: Simeon CareThe A13 Allstars band performed at Micawbers for years. Picture: Simeon Care

For Simeon Care, a primary school teacher, Micawbers was one of only venues where he could play Americana meets blues music.

The 33-year-old said: "It was a great place and it's hard to find places to play. It was always full of people and so friendly, warm and inviting. It's devastating for the Norwich music scene."

His former band mate, Les Greenace, who still drums in The A13 Allstars, remembered a Christmas party they used to host at the pub.

The 65-year-old said: "Our band would put on a fancy dress Christmas party. We used to regard it as our own social club. We had some really good times and a lot of fun. When we stopped performing there we really missed it. "

Mr Greenacre also said pubs have started to turn their attention to food, rather than curating music nights.

He added: "Lots of places don't even have music anymore. They just focus on food and other things. It's a shame. There's still a music scene but it's not as vibrant or well-spread and Micawbers was very much a part of that."

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