The announcement that The Marquee Club was closing was rather quickly followed up with a chaser of good news---The Paragon Theatre opening in its space for April 1. This still means the closure of Hell's Kitchen. And that means the loss of a venue for a lot of local and touring bands, primarily those who like to play it loud. This Friday, February 6, Hell's Kitchen's final show has Cuban Assassins, Gone Drinkin', Hellacaust and Iron Giant saying goodbye to a favourite haunt.
"This is a big loss for live music in Halifax," says Brent Geikie (bass/vocals in Cuban Assassins). "As great as a venue that upstairs at the Marquee was, they didn't book a lot of local, live rock bands. Hell was always a really great spot to play and always supported the local scene. I'm sure that other venues will open up because they always do, but we're sorry to see another great bar shut down."
Some bands---like Black Moor with their upcoming show at Hooters---are forging new ground and playing alternate venues. But it's a lot easier for acoustic and pop musicians to move from venue to venue. "Another consistent, permanent venue is what is needed," says Geikie. "We play with a lot of touring bands that book shows months in advance and Hell was always a very sought-after venue for them to play." But no one plans to cry in their beer on Friday. "We are very happy to be closing it out in style with a heavy-ass rock show and we couldn't think of a better sendoff than with this lineup," says Geikie. "Iron Giant are good friends of ours and one of the best live acts in the Maritimes. We can't wait to play one last time with them in Hell. Hellacaust are one of the absolute best metal bands around and this will be our first time playing with them and we've heard nothing but great things about Gone Drinkin'. Hopefully we'll be able to sell the bar dry." ---Stephanie Johns