The Spin Jazz Club announces its move to the old fire station

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The Spin Jazz Club, Oxford’s premier contemporary jazz club, has moved to a new location at Old Fire Station, a performing arts center on George Street. The club was previously located at the Wheatsheaf pub on the High Street.

The club has been closed since the first nationwide lockdown in March 2020 and faces uncertainty around its reopening as part of plans to convert Wheatsheaf’s first floor into student apartments.

The planning request to convert the Wheatsheaf’s first floor concert hall was withdrawn on April 9, 2021. “Save the Sheaf,” a Facebook group, was created to raise awareness of the potential closure and has attracted nearly 3,000 members. . The group urged people to show their support and oppose the demand by submitting objections.

Oxford Civic Society also submitted a letter to Oxford City Council opposing the planning request. The letter said: “The candidate should be encouraged to withdraw their candidacy and continue the musical function in one way or another, or to partner with the music community and others to seek an alternative site. Somehow encouraging Wheatsheaf’s previous activities to continue would be firmly in the spirit of national and local planning systems. It would also be consistent with the city’s COVID recovery efforts and its ambition to make the city center more attractive to visitors. ”

Oxford City Council received over 1,500 objections to the request. An email from the board’s development directorate said: “The application was withdrawn due to concerns from agents as we were likely to recommend denial of the application due to loss of community facilities, poor quality the proposed accommodation, the deterioration of local heritage an asset and inadequate consideration of waste storage.

Following the planned conversion of the pub’s first floor, the famous guitarist and founder of The Spin set out to find a new location for the club. The Spin has previously been named the UK’s best jazz venue by the All-Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards, the industry’s standard awards group.

Oxley created The Spin with drummer Mark Doffman and bassist Raph Mizraki in 1999 and now runs the club alongside Stuart Miller. The club officially relaunched last night, May 13, at the Oxford Fire Station with a streaming concert, the day which marks 22 years since the club’s first live concert in 1999. The online event has was recorded and filmed in the new location and featured the Oxley – Meier group of five virtuoso musicians performing in the black box theater of the OFS.

Speaking to Oxford Courier, Pete Oxley said, “Whenever the rules allow us to open up to the public, we want the audience to walk into a room, full of magical expectations. The lighting in the room is second to none; candlelit tables await you with table service. The bar will be stocked with an interesting selection of drinks designed by The Spin, and on stage, the seductively lit instruments portend a great night ahead!

He added, “It was a total joy for the band to perform there, and it was superbly captured during recording and filming. Although the film is available for a limited time after Thursday, we would like to encourage anyone interested in supporting this new collaboration by ‘being there’ – albeit in the comfort of your own home – at 8:30 p.m. on May 13, in the hope that we will feel a collective spirit of positivity for the future of The Spin!

Jeremy Spafford, manager of the old fire station, said Cherwell: “We are delighted to start a new partnership with The Spin. Supporting local music is so important, especially now that it is threatened by theater closures across the country. Our first gig with The Spin [was] in line, [on] Thursday, and we look forward to welcoming the audience in person soon. ”

Image Credit: Martin Junius / CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0


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