PJ McGinty and Sons owner says Pump and Grind closure is not ‘death knell’ for Ipswich

PJ McGinty and Sons pub champions live music in Ipswich

PJ McGinty and Sons pub champions live music in Ipswich

The pub owner of PJ McGinty and Sons has said the Pump and Grind closure should not be seen as the “death knell” for young musicians in Ipswich.

Rodney Herron hit out at claims that there are not enough venues and spaces for up-and-coming musicians to practice and gig in the town.

The Pump and Grind closure last December triggered 1,000 people to sign a petition launched by Suffolk Young Labour Party calling for new, modern venues to fill the void.

But Mr Herron, owner of PJ McGinty and Sons, wrote on his pub’s Facebook page: “I keep reading people complaining about lack of venues and space for music gigs and encouraging up and coming musicians.

“Well I have got two free rooms above the pub that have been used from the 60s for music and local bands.”

He added: “We welcome any genre of music and will supply free space in which to develop and nurture local talent. Saying there are no venues in town is wrong.

“If you choose to take up our offer, you will be made feel welcome, but there is an alternative to develop the local music scene.”

Speaking to this newspaper, he added: “There is a lot of doom and gloom, but that is wrong.

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“I don’t know why it (Pump and Grind) closed but it is not the death knell of venues for people to go and do their thing. I have got space here. People can practice for free. The upstairs rooms are outside the licence. Let them (youngster aged under 18) and others practice and develop.”

Pump & Grind was an independent pub in Great Colman Street run by Tom Kerridge that attracted a younger audience as it hosted underground musicians and innovative events. It was forced to shut in December due to a dispute over the lease agreement.

Mr Kerridge has now found a potential space to launch a fresh venue and he is in talks with the landlord of the building.

The new business will be like Pump & Grind, Mr Kerridge said, but more focused on putting on events and gigs.