FEATURE: Celebrating the 606 Club at 40 Years Old (Anniversary Festival 18-30 October)

Steve Rubie

The 606 Club first opened its doors – at 606 Kings Road – in October 1976, and has a fortieth anniversary festival with 40 bands over 13 days later this month. As one of London’s seven-nights-a-week-venues, it is a cornerstone of the London scene. 

The Anniversary Festival opens with the Impossible Gentlemen on October 18th, and finishes with Claire Martin, Hamish Stuart and Samara on October 30th. Other artists in the festival include Gwyneth Herbert, Soweto Kinch, Liane Carroll, Gareth Lockrane, Julian Joseph, Anita Wardell…  Club founder and bandleader of Samara Steve Rubie writes:

As Ronnie Scott used to love to say “How do you end up with a million pounds running a Jazz Club….start with two”. Back in 1976 I was oblivious to that economic certitude and just thought it would be great to create a venue where UK musicians (including myself!) could hang out, get to play and hear and learn from each other.

Forty years on, although older and hopefully a little wiser, I still feel that’s not such a bad idea. Continually operating a policy of hope over experience the 606 Club still opens 7 days a week (and Sunday lunches) promoting great players in an atmosphere as conducive to performing as we can possibly make it. In the intervening 40 years many things have changed but much has stayed the same.

Mainstream media has little interest in this most creative of musics and running a venue that has “Jazz” anywhere in the title is still as risky now as it was then. But, somehow, with much help and support from musicians and supporters alike we’ve managed to weather the storms.

So to all those who have helped keep not only the 606 Club but all the great UK venues running over the years, I dedicate this Festival of 40 bands in 13 days, the biggest Club-based Festival in the World. Thank you.

FULL LISTINGS / BOOKINGS. Festival sponsor is Budweiser Budvar.

Categories: miscellaneous

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