Dragonforce stand up for doomed venues

Dragonforce are to play at a doomed Essex club to highlight the plight of closure-threatened music venues in the UK.

They’ll perform at The Square in Harlow on August 22, which is set to shut down after a series of concerts entitled Back To Square One, featuring successful acts who played there before they made the big time.

Guitarist Herman Li says: ”DragonForce cut its teeth by playing an array of pubs and small clubs up and down the country, which are vital for bands to gain live experience.

“We’re seeing venues disappear and it’s becoming quite alarming. The Peel in Kingston, The Empress in Bradford, The Mean Fiddler in London – we played all of these in the distant past but they’ve all gone.”

The band first played The Square 14 years ago. Li continues: “It’s really very sad. But more to the point, it will affect the development of new talent in the UK.”

Other venues to have recently either closed or have faced the threat include Guildford’s Boileroom, The Fleece in Bristol, The Cockpit in Leeds and Mello Mello in Liverpool, among others.

Tickets for the Essex show are available now. Dragonforce head out on their Maximum Overload Summer tour on June 21, before a string of dates in the US. They were joined onstage by Babymetal at Download last weekend. They release live DVD In The Line Of Fire on July 10.

Tour dates

Jun 21: Graspop Metal Meeting, Belgium

Jun 26: Rock Am Hartsfeldsee, Germany

Jun 27: Basinfire Festival, Czech Republic

Jul 11: Seven Festival, Poland

Jul 17: Rock And Bol Metal Fest, Italy

Aug 07: Rockfels Festival, Germany

Aug 08: Sylak Open Air, France

Aug 22: Harlow The Square, UK

Aug 29: Bangkok Hollywood Awards, Thailand

Sep 05: Hiroshima Club Quattro, Japan

Sep 07: Osaka Big Cat, Japan

Sep 08: Nagoya Diamond Hall, Japan

Sep 10: Tokyo Blitz, Japan

Sep 11: Tokyo Blitz, Japan

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.