Van Morrison to reopen renamed Dingwalls with two intimate reduced capacity gigs
- Credit: PA
The Irish music legend will play two shows at Vince Power’s Powerhaus at Camden Lock
There is finally some good news for Camden’s legendary music venues with the Jazz Cafe, Electric Ballroom benefitting from the Government’s culture recovery fund, and equally legendary music promoter Vince Power announcing the reopening of Dingwalls with two gigs by Van Morrison.
Renamed Powerhaus, the Camden Lock venue will hold two, intimate reduced capacity gigs on November 7 and 8 to mark the grand opening, with Mary Coughlan due to perform on November 21 and 22 .
Due to social distancing just 150 tickets are available for each show in the 500 capacity former timber yard, which opened in June 1973 as ‘Dingwalls Dance Hall.’
Power has renamed it after one of his original venues in Islington’s Liverpool Road which played host to top 90s artists from Radiohead to Primal Scream, Blur and Pulp. “Van has been a great friend of my venues for many years and has opened every venue I’ve ever had,” says Power. “No-one’s going to make any money out of this but it will get the venue off to a flying start.”
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Power, who runs venues in Kensington, Ladbroke Grove and lives above The Fiddler in Kilburn, is so committed to London’s grassroots live music scene that he bought Dingwalls in the middle of lockdown.
“Camden is a good area for music, it’s got a great history, a lot of venues and it’s a big tourist attraction,” he says. But he adds: “Nothing’s happening.”
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Despite opening Powerhaus’ bars in July and having plans for small gigs by up and coming bands, as well as big names like Van Morrison, Power agrees “It’s not sustainable, even if I charged £1,000 a ticket.
“It’s a frustrating time, it’s difficult to understand some of the Government rules about households mixing and there is no-one who can say ‘you will be OK this time next year’. So we are going week to week. If there’s a circuit breaker next week that will certainly blow my fuse because everything will stop.”
After opening The Mean Fiddler in Harlesden in 1982, the Irishman built an empire of music festivals, venues and bars championing the careers of big name acts.
Asked why not just retire, the 73-year-old says: “I don’t think I have done my bit yet and what else would I do? Be some old git who talks to people about what they used to do? I do enough of that already, and my kids take the piss out of me. When we drive around they point and say ‘oh did you used to own that?’
Tickets for Van Morrison at Powerhaus at www.seetickets.com/event/van-morrison/powerhaus/1664449