Working hard to get Rockhouse in Derby ready for Christmas
MANAGERS of the city's reincarnated Rockhouse venue are working hard to have it ready before Christmas.
Leon Kerry and DJ Mike Phillips have taken on the venue in Babington Lane, which was one of the staples of Derby's music scene before it closed three years ago.
Initially, the pair had hoped the venue would be open on December 1 but this has now had to be put back.
Mr Kerry, 20, said: "There was a bit of work which needed to be done: lighting up the fire exits and installing new emergency systems and CCTV cameras. That is still in the process of being done.
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"But the place itself was in good condition and needed little in the way of new equipment or upgrading."
The Rockhouse played host to dozens of groups and fans from 1984 to 1996 but then it closed, reopening a couple of times as nightclub venues Future Club and First Floor. It was last open as the Rockhouse from 2008 to 2009.
Mr Phillips and Mr Kerry intend to turn it once again into the city's leading live music venue.
But the pair's initial plan was simply to use the building for storage.
Mr Kerry said: "Mike was looking for somewhere to store his DJ equipment and we asked about the Rockhouse.
"But the landlord, Alliance Electrical, said there was not much point renting out a small space. So they asked us if we wanted to run it as a nightclub."
Mr Kerry, of Derby, then saved up his jobseeker's allowance to apply for a bar licence and they began work to make the building safe.
He is now working with local promoters to attract acts to play at the club.
Mr Kerry said: "We want to have live music of all kinds, just band after band, DJs, drum and bass.
"We want to put on the best drum and bass night in the city and be a place for new bands to come through."
The last time the venue closed in November, 2009, the recession was blamed for the downturn in trade. The final gig was the Brand New Heavies and the final event was the Heresy And Heelz burlesque cabaret show.
When the venue opens, a "reunion" night is planned, with a mixture of old acts and new, including Take Her To The Arena, The Riverview, Virtues, We Are Tyrants, Silent Screams and a club night straight afterwards, featuring DJ Matt Fark.