A new documentary celebrating the iconic, and much-missed, London rock bar The Crobar will premiere on YouTube on January 27.
Directed by film-makers Lucy Brown and Andrew Wildey, Music When The Lights Go Out, is a bittersweet love letter to the popular central London watering hole, which announced that it was closing its doors in September, with owner Richard Thomas blaming the UK’s “idiot government”, “greedy insurance companies” and “greedy, short-sighted landlords” for the fact that it was being forced out of business. Since then, fund-raising efforts to re-open the bar in another central London location have passed the £40,000 mark, a testament to just how popular and loved the bar was. Which is a fact that struck the film-makers when assembling material for Music When The Lights Go Out.
“We had a huge response of photos, videos and stories from people who miss The Crobar,” says Lucy Brown. “Reading the messages from people remembering better times really struck us with what was being lost to the pandemic. I think everyone knows and loves a place like The Crobar.”
Richard Thomas, proprietor of The Crobar, says “I’ve been here for 20 years and am so overwhelmed by the support. When Lucy approached me to do a documentary about the bar and Soho, I was overcome with emotion as it just demonstrated to me again exactly how important it is to reopen in this area so that people can see their friends and rock families again - and get home safely.”
“Soho is the epicentre for many to travel to their respective homes, safely, which is another reason why The Crobar needs to remain here.”
“I have to admit, I did a little dance when we hit £40,000, as it gave me hope and more determination to save Soho and reopen The Crobar,” Thomas adds. “I know we meant a lot to our customers, but I didn’t realise just how much! People want a proper Rock ‘n’ Roll bar to remain in Soho. Otherwise, where else will they go?”
“There is so much history here and it does feel to many that all roads in London lead to this area. Rock and Roll will never die, but if we don’t fight to keep its integrity and quirkiness, then we will just fall victim to faceless gentrification eradicating everything Soho has stood for: tolerance and individuality, love, and Rock ‘n’ Roll for all.”
Music When The Lights Go Out will premiere at 8pm (UK time) on January 27 on YouTube.
For more information on the fight to re-open The Crobar, and to donate, visit the bar’s fund-raising page.