This news has been bubbling under for a while, but today it was confirmed that Eric’s – the iconic music venue which played host to basically every seminal punk and post-punk band – is finally set to re-open.

After a break of 31 years, the club’s finally going to throw open its doors for a new generation – not just as some sort of punk time capsule, but as a fully functioning music venue. Owner/director John Lynch has assembled a team to start work on the venue, located on Mathew St, in time for a planned relaunch in 2012. Inside, they’re set to recreate most of the original venue.

Our recent piece on Don’t Drop The Dumbells compared its ethos to the original Eric’s, so we’re interested to see if the relaunched version will recapture its creative, thrilling spirit again.

What do you reckon to the news? Good for the city’s live scene? A cynical nostalgic cash-in? Let us know below…

13 Responses to “Legendary punk venue Eric’s set to re-open”

  1. Great news… if…. they get a young kid in to sort the music and don’t become the cavern. once we’ve had the stranglers and mick jones gigs, then let’s move forward and help it turn back into something vital.

  2. I’m guessing they’re going for a CBGBs/Cavern-style tourism push with this – tee shirts, souvenirs, the lot. It’ll be interesting having a proper venue on that side of town again.

  3. Billy Boswell

    Thank you Erics for the Spondylosis of the neck (from all the Pogoing back then in ’79!!). I’ll be back mind, don’t you worry.

    Billy Boswell.

  4. Geoff

    Interesting but something to consider: is Matthew street the same place as it was thirty years ago?

    95% of gig-goers you talk to avoid it like the plague and save for the occasional Mellowtone in View2 gallery there doesn’t seem to be much worth bothering with if you’re not a tourist, scally or on a stag do.

    Surely the crowd that Eric’s would hope to attract (beyond tourists and original members) is being catered for at the other end of town with Leaf, zanzi, bumper, Wolstenholme, Kazimier etc?

  5. I think it’s completely unfair to write it off already, as some have done. They’re clearly not going to be jostling with the Kazimier to host the latest whatevertrendyband but ultimately it’s a positive thing to have another live music venue on a side of town that’s filled with crap clubs. There’ll probably be the inevitable t-shirts/keyrings/souvenirs like the Cavern, but if it brings a bunch of old punks to the city to spend some cash around town who cares?

  6. For the reasons already set out above, it’s geography means it’s not onto an obvious winner. But, that’s not to say it can’t bring a new (and as Al says) and vital venue to that part of town.

    And what with the demise of Korova, there is a hip and happening sized hole to fill in Liverpool at the moment.

    I think it’s only fair that we wait and see…

  7. Hey Geoff, there’s more than just Mellowtone at the View Two Gallery. Liverpool Acoustic Live takes place on the 4th Friday of each month, and Liverpool Acoustic eXtra is on the 2nd Friday of each month. There’s also the Lost Voices event too every last Thursday.

  8. If you want to recapture the essence of eric’s, re-opening it is the worst possible idea. The city has plenty of modern day eric’s-esque happenings today and venues of equal cultural value, people don’t talk of them with such reverence because they’re still here. I’m sure people will talk about Wolstenholme Sq’s art scene in 30 years in a similar way. Leaving the club as an important, wonderful memory and reference point is much more valuable than making a quick buck selling overpriced carlsberg to aging rockers with the Clash t-shirts tucked into their Next Directory slacks.

    If you want to make an impact, rip it up and start again, it’d be much more in the spirit of Eric’s to actually try something different, surely?

    And some reasoning based in fact:
    Monochrome opened a few years back to fill the gap on that side of town and failed.

    The area has its own clientele and bars and audience, it doesn’t need to cater to a different audience which already gets catered for 5 minutes down the road.

    Finally, the whole nature of touring bands has changed completely in the past ten years, Eric’s will not be able to compete for one with booking agencies such as SJM and the academy to get name bands and the prices they’d have to charge to see bands of the genre-range that Eric’s was famous for would make the new venture un-Eric’s-like (if that makes sense).

    If it turns into a venue that cultivates young, new talent and genuinely inspiring acts from all over the world I will get on my knees and apologise profusely for any doubt I may have had.

    If it ends up as another pay to play Cavern-esque nostalgia heap I hope it burns down because that’s what kills the young bands in this city.


  9. The Crucial Flea

    Ellis. I like your comments about Eric’s. For me, they can’t re-heat a corpse. It was great. It’s gone.

    I’ve got a problem though with something else that you said. You said, ‘people will talk about Wolstenholme Sq’s art scene in 30 years’. Eric’s local bands regularly made the Top 20. The Mighty Wah went to No1. They changed the musical climate and they’re still influential. What has anyone at Wolstenholme achieved on a national scale? No comparison.

    There’s too many bedsit legends in Liverpool. Great art/ music should transcend the disused warehouses and improve the simple minds of the wider population.

  10. Ellis

    Entirely valid point, flea. I only wish there was a genuine possibility of bands with integrity hitting those kinds of chart positions these days. I really do think the likes of Stealing Sheep, Outfit and Dan Croll who all have played the Wolstenholme Sq places make music worthy of real success so we’ll wait and see, with any luck there’ll be a spark and Liverpool’s current independent scene will get the respect it deserves.

  11. The Crucial Flea

    Jayne Casey for Prime Minister anyone?

    Her enraged shouting match with the other (Eric’s debate) panel members on Dave Monks’ show made my year! She screamed, shouted and swore while Dave was trying in vain to call order! Fantastic! It just shows how bland, rapacious and corporate our society has become that people are ok with this venture.

    Even people on the music scene for God’s sake! Anyone supporting this vile profit-chasing commercial crime should be ashamed of themselves. You have no souls.

  12. Heart of the Congos

    Hear hear! And Bernie Connors for Home Secretary.

    Anyone up for starting a rival club called Roger’s, in honour of the visionary Roger Eagle? That, or we all take our green Eric’s membership cards down to the new venue and demand free entrance on the opening night. You can bet that heavy duty dub will be low down on the DJ’s playlist.

    Chant down Babylon! Run Aggressor Run! Stand Firm, Never Be Eaten By No Worm! Put on an Iron Shirt and Chase the Devil out of Mathew Street!

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