New music venue has something for all

IPSWICH'S first dedicated live music venue has opened with a night of entertainment catering for all tastes.

IPSWICH'S first dedicated live music venue has opened with a night of entertainment catering for all tastes.

Friday night saw the successful opening of QJam Live. Bosses behind the �40,000 refurbishment hope the venue in Duke Street will strike a chord with students at nearby UCS.

The setting is in the ideal place to capitalise on the town's growing demand for a mid-sized club. In future it should attract 'bigger-named' bands who have previously by-passed the town.

The venue, which formerly housed the Premier Pool Club, is looking great with a live music room and a quieter (slightly) lounge, the Hendrix Bar.

The evening was kicked off with an electric set by pop rockers My Happy Chainsaw. There is a lot of buzz about the band at the moment and they cracked through their set which mainly comprised of tracks from their new CD.

Headlining the night were Coolplay, a Coldplay tribute act from Kent. They started their set with a couple of album tracks before moving onto hits such as In My Place and Daylight.

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It was however, a cover of She's So Lovely by Scouting For Girls that really got the crowd going.

The evening was finished off by local DJ Mark Silverwood who was spinning some complementary tunes and ensuring the dance floor stayed busy until the end of the night.

The venue is not yet open every day but looks like it will become an important social attraction in Ipswich. The reopening of the venue, which closed as a pool club two-and-a-half years ago, will come as a shot in the arm to the Ipswich pub trade which, like licensed venues elsewhere in the country, has struggled in recent years.

Richard Robinson, who is overseeing the project, has a lease for three years but hopes to remain at the venue until 2014, when the building is due to be demolished and replaced with a new bar, restaurant and accommodation block.

The current capacity is limited to 250 people but there is potential to double that figure should Qjam drum up sufficient custom.

See their website for details of future gigs www.myspace.com/q_jam

Is Ipswich lacking in live music venues? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk