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The Blue Angel, AKA The Raz

Superlambananaskins: Here to Catch the City when it Falls

From: Date: 2008-03-20

When the decks were seized at the Blue Angel last month another thread of our cultural tapestry was unravelled. And, according to Liverpool City Council, they're in no hurry to get their mending kit out any time soon.
Killjoy councillor, Berni Turner, said: "All we are sking for is for the owner of the Blue Angel to be a good neighbour and show some consideration to those who live in the area. We approached the owner and asked him to lower the volume. The request was ignored." Apparently our city's environmental health team will always follow up complaints about noise - even in a city centre which thrives on its nightlife.
Follow this to its logical conclusion, and we're headd for an awfully quiet city.
The light sleeping complainants (where did they think they were moving to, exactly?) say that the noise is due to the club's patio doors being kept open. "If people want to smoke, they can go out the front," says Council spokesperson, Sarah Langworthy. They can. And get run over by a taxi. The Blue Angel's patio is as intrinsic to the club as its sweaty dancefloor. Start chipping away at the edges, and our booming night-time economy will head out of town. Somehow we can't imagine them being quite so shortsighted in Dublin's Temple Bar, or the Pigalle in Paris.
Instead of forking out to save crap banana-shaped sculptures why don't we invest in city centre apartments with proper soundproofing?



Troops mobilise to save The Raz

From: Liverpool Confidential Date: 2008-03-11

THERE'S a new website dedicated to saving it, an online petition too, and there are is at least one 5,000-strong Facebook group up in arms about it. So what can it be that has got everybody going online right now?
The Raz, actually – and, more importantly, the threat that it could close.
For why? Residents of newbuild apartments nearby, that's for why, up in arms about the “unacceptable level of noise” emanating from what is oft described by its fans as a dank, dingy toilet and otherwise known as The Blue Angel.
It's a palaver that's been going on for some time, since the properties were built about six years ago. There have been court hearings and, since last November, an abatement notice about the noise (appeal pending in May) which also means that smoking punters cannot now use the beer garden and have to puff in the street. Something that the police can't be happy about.
Things came to a head last month when he sound system was suddenly unplugged and removed by environmental officials from the city council. Fans are lamenting the moment as “The Day That Music Died”.
The Blue Angel isn't going quietly though, in any sense. It has bought a new sound system, but clubgoers fear it can only be a matter of time before that goes up the Swanee too and that this sort of game could quickly lead to the club's bankruptcy.
All sobering stuff for lovers of the cheapest booze in town, but now a movement to save it is gathering pace in a new way: online.
Kevin, a tekkie type, set up the savetheraz site and petition (link at end, we haven't finished yet) at the behest of students who have kept the Seel Street venue afloat for years.
Although opened by Allan Williams in the middle of the last century, and where The Beatles, of course, played, it is fondly seen by recent generations as a place where life partners have been met, boyfriends binned and brain cells lost. And all by people with footwear stuck fast to the carpets.
Kevin says: “We feel it's outrageous that the council should do this. I started the website the day after the DJ's equipment was seized and we have 600 signatures as of today.”
Raz Manager Mike Kearon, who has been at the club for 18 relatively trouble-free years, says: “Liverpool City Council allowed flats to be built just feet away from the venue and, since then, residents have been complaining about the noise. They should have been built with forced air ventilation and triple glazing and this should have been enforced.”
So where will it all end? Will the residents finally get a good night's kip? Is it a case of buyer beware when you decide to live in a flat in the heart of clubland? Should the council have allowed them in the first place? Or would you be be glad to see the back of the Raz once and for all? Leave your thoughts here at



The sound of silence as Blue Angel club's DJ kit is seized

From: Liverpool Daily Post Date: 2008-02-25

ONE of Liverpool’s most famous and historic nightclubs has been left in deafening silence after the city council seized its DJ equipment.
Thursday was “the day the music died” at the Blue Angel on Seel Street, after police and council officials reacted to residents’ complaints about noise from the venue.
Last night, the owner said he would be buying more equipment so the club could reopen this weekend.
The one-time Merseybeat hang-out, known to many as the Raz, has been at the centre of controversy for more than four years due to a dispute with people living in newly-built apartments in nearby Chinatown and the Ropeworks.
And on Thursday night police and environmental health officers confiscated all of the club’s stereo equipment, leaving it no option but to shut its doors.
The venue, which claims to have provided the stage for one of the Beatles’ early auditions, opened in 1961 and is now one of the most popular night-time venue for students in the city.
But last November it was served with an abatement notice relating to loud music coming from the club and noise from customers standing in the patio area outside.
The club is appealing against the order, but the council says it must abide with it until the hearing.
Manager Mike Kearon said: “We will be reopening but I will have to buy more equipment.
“Liverpool City Council allowed flats to be built four feet away from the venue and, since then, residents have been complaining about the noise.
“I have been here for 18 years and noise has never been an issue before.
“We have been through the court system, spent a huge amount of money and won the right to keep our outside area open but were then given this notice.
“We are appealing against it so I thought the council would have to wait to see the result of that before taking our equipment.
“They are going to bankrupt us, I cannot run a club without a sound system and cannot afford to keep buying new equipment.
“This is a vibrant city, in the middle of Capital of Culture year, it is noisy.
“People go outside in the patio area to smoke since the ban but now we are told they have to go out on the pavement which the police don’t like. What options do we have?
"These nearby properties should have been built with forced air ventilation and triple glazing and this should have been enforced."
The club is allowed to reopen, providing no noise can be heard outside and that people stay out of the patio area, but it cannot claim its old equipment back.
Liverpool council’s executive member for the environment Cllr Berni Turner, said: “Following numerous complaints from residents who were being kept awake until the early hours of the morning, in November 2007 the Blue Angel was served an abatement notice relating to noise from loud music in the club and from customers using the beer garden.
“The owner has appealed this notice and the case is set to be heard in May.
“However, despite the notice still being in place, no steps have been taken to reduce the noise level and music has continued to disturb nearby residents.
"As a result, on Thursday night we seized the DJ equipment."

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