Singers concerned about the number of live music venues closing received a small dose of good news this week, with PizzaExpress announcing plans to expand its live music offering.
A report in the Guardian has confirmed that the chain, which already presents about 2,000 shows at selected venues each year, will convert an additional 50 outlets into live music venues.
Live music has been a cornerstone at some PizzaExpress venues for years. The legendary PizzaExpress Jazz Club in Soho and The Pheasantry in Chelsea have hosted some of the biggest names in the music business including singers Diana Krall and Norah Jones.
More recently the Holborn branch began hosting live events seven nights a week, with iSing favourites LaSharVu and Randolph Matthews selling out gigs there.
PizzaExpress managing director Zoe Bowley says the chain will use live music to help differentiate itself from its competitors.
Many singers have expressed concern about the rapid decline in the number of music venues: it’s estimated that in the past ten years 40% of music venues in London have closed. The trend has been echoed around the UK.
Sir Paul McCartney, Chrissie Hynde and Craig David are just a few of the big names who have spoken out againat the closure of grassroots music venues, which historically have given emerging artists a chance to hone their performance skills.
The Music Venue Trust was created in January 2014 to protect the UK live music network by securing the long-term future of iconic grassroots venues.