UK music depends heavily on the success of small, grass roots venues such as the Railway Inn in Winchester. Now Oliver Gray has compiled a booklet that celebrates forty years of live music at this venerable institution.
Built in the 1800s as a watering hole for railroad workers, the inn (which has served as a livestock barn and – reputedly – a brothel in its time), is said to be haunted by a Victorian lady. She must like music, because the building contains two separate venues, used for music, poetry, comedy and drama.
The 1970s saw a flourishing folk club which was frequented by a young Robyn Hitchcock, and became a fully-fledged music venue in the early eighties post-punk era. Now it is a magnet for local musicians and also major artists who love its cosy atmosphere and perfect acoustics. The regular Roots night started the careers of Frank Turner, Alison Goldfrapp, Laura Marling and Kate Stables, while recent years have seen appearances from the likes of Kasabian, Ed Sheeran and The Feeling. Not bad for a 120 capacity room.
The booklet, called “Loco-Motion” is in full colour and is highly illustrated. It documents the ups and downs of the world of live music, with contributions from Frank Turner, Andy Burrows, James Walsh, Laura Veirs and many more. It’s available from www.sc4m.co.uk.