Some sad news to kick off the weekend: Le Bateau has officially closed.
Amidst a season of venue and bar closures – most notably The Masque, and Static Gallery’s noise abatement notice which means it’s neutered for the foreseeable future – it’s incredibly sad to see the end of one of Liverpool’s longest-running indie spots.
If you’ve ever had a passing interest in a) decent music, b) getting drunk and c) having an amazing time (or all of the above), you’ll have no doubt strayed into Le Bateau at some point. It might have been 10 years ago, or it might have been last week, but Le Beateau’s playlist of shit-hot indie and rock ‘n’ roll, retro classics and fist-pumping favourites has given us some of the best nights of our lives. It’s a total cliche, but completely true. Le Bateau was a total riot: a place where you could dance to Talking Heads, The Supremes and The Strokes like it was the last thing you’d ever do, where it seemed like a great idea to make a move on that person you fancied after 5 double vodkas, and try and spot Victor – the renowned character of Le Bateau, known for his impressive dedication to dance. In short, it was always utterly joyful.
It’s main Indiecation and Liquidation nights have been student favourites for years, calibrating generation after generation of music fan passing through its doors and navigating its treacherous staircase. Great bars have come and gone in the meantime, like the sorely-missed Korova, but Le Bateau’s been the lynchpin in the city’s music scene for a decade. Sort of like your favourite uncle with the most fun record collection you can imagine.
In some ways it feels like we should be jubilant and proud of Le Bateau’s tenure, rather than feeling completely down about it, because not many venues stay relevant and brilliant for so long. It had a seriously great run, and we know it’ll be sorely missed. But those (er, occasionally very hazy) memories will live on.
We believe Liquidation’s set to find a new home, but Le Bateau itself is setting off to the great ocean in the sky. God bless everyone who sailed in her.