The Half Moon, Putney
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The Half Moon, 2014
|Location||93 Lower Richmond Rd, Putney, London SW15 1EU|
The Half Moon is a public house and music venue at 93 Lower Richmond Rd, Putney, London SW15 1EU, offering both lunchtime and evening performances. After being threatened with closure in 2009, the campaign to save it attracted many high profile supporters keen to save it closing like The Marquee, Eel Pie Island Hotel and Crawdaddy. In December 2009, it was announced that it was to remain a live music venue.
It is one of London's longest running, and most respected live music venues. Since the early 1960s, some of the biggest names in poular music have performed there, 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 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 Dog 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 there 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 a week-long residency, and both Tim Rose and Roy Harper did the same. On 24 July 2007, Welsh-language folk guitarist 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 a private event held in May 2000. As well as performing as the band, individual members have appeared here in various side-projects, and have also used the venue for rehearsal space.
Artists who have appeared
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Artists who have performed or recorded at the venue since the mid-1960s include the Rolling Stones, The Who, U2, 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, Fairport Convention, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Roy Harper, Van Morrison, Dr. Feelgood, Elvis Costello, Meic Stevens, Finley Quaye, I Am Kloot, Bo Diddley, John Otway, Amy McDonald, Catfish Keith, as well as k.d. lang's first UK appearance, and Kate Bush's first public performance.
Discography - live recordings
- 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)
- Live at the Half Moon" - Catfish Keith (2009) (Fish Tail Records)
-  - Official site
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