The Half Moon (music venue)
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The Half Moon is a public house and well-known music venue in Putney, London, offering both lunchtime and evening performances. After being threatened with closure in 2009, the campaign to save the Halfmoon attracted many high profile supporters keen to save it from going the same way as venues like The Marquee, Eel Pie Island Hotel and Crawdaddy. In December 2009 it was announced that it was to be saved and remain in business as a live music venue.
The Halfmoon Putney is one of London's longest running, and most respected live music venues. Since the early 1960s, some of the biggest names in the music world have performed here, including The Rolling Stones, The Who and U2.
It all began with the folk and blues sessions started by Gerry Lockran, Royd Rivers and Cliff Aungier in 1963. 'Folksville', as the sessions were called, featured new British and European artists alongside established American blues-men. These included pioneering blues duo Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Champion Jack Dupree and Arthur Crudup. British acts included Ralph McTell, John Martyn, Bert Jansch and Roy Harper, all now folk legends.
This exciting birth of a new kind of music venue, at a time of musical revolution in London led to many memorable nights in the venue. John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Alexis Korner, The Yardbirds - anyone who was anyone in the emerging blues scene made an appearance here and at other South London venues such as The Eel Pie club and The Crawdaddy.
As blues and folk thrived, bringing the likes of Fairport Convention and Van Morrison, so other genres began to appear. From the psychedelia of The Bonzo Dogg Doo Dah Band and Bob Kerr's Whoopee Band; to sixties mod groups The Pretty Things and Nashville Teens; to early pub-rock acts like Dr. Feelgood; the Halfmoon was the centre of not only the emerging music scenes but continued to host the big names.
It was never just a "passing through" venue. Residencies at the Halfmoon have included Elvis Costello and Steve Marriott of Small Faces fame. U2 played here four times during their first UK visit, which included their first ever sell-out gig. John Martyn returned decades after his first Halfmoon gigs to perform a week long residency, and both Tim Rose and Roy Harper did the same. On 24 July 2007, Welsh-language folk guitar legend Meic Stevens performed his first London gig in over 30 years at the Halfmoon. Other memorable gigs at the Halfmoon include k.d. lang's first UK appearance, Kate Bush's first ever public performance and a surprise appearance by Nick Cave.
The Halfmoon has always been synonymous with a certain local band The Rolling Stones, whose most recent visit was at a private event held at the Halfmoon in May, 2000. As well as performing as the band, individual members of the Stones have appeared here in various side-projects, and have also used the venue for rehearsal space.
Artists who have appeared at the Halfmoon
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A small selection of artists that have performed or recorded at the venue since the mid-60s include the Rolling Stones, The Who, U2, The Revelators, The Small Faces, Kasabian, Ralph McTell, John Martyn, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Alexis Korner, The Yardbirds, Morrissey–Mullen - who had a residency there of several years' standing, Rocket 88, The De Luxe Blues Band, Fairport Convention, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Roy Harper, Van Morrison, Dr. Feelgood, Elvis Costello, Meic Stevens, Finley Quaye, I Am Kloot, The Cutaway, Bo Diddley, John Otway, Amy McDonald, The Zarrs, as well as k.d. lang's first UK appearance, and Kate Bush's first public performance. It has also hosted comedy from the likes of Billy Connolly, Harry Hill, Rufus Hound, Shappi Khorsandi, Norman Lovett, Bob Mills, Milton Jones and Al Murray.
Discography - live recordings at The Half Moon
- Live At Half Moon Putney - The De Luxe Blues Band (1981)
- An Evening with Meic Stevens: Recorded Live in London - Meic Stevens (2007) (Sunbeam Records, SBRCD5033)