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Foremans Punk Bar

March 2013

THE original bass player with punk legends the Sex Pistols is to play a sell-out show in the city this weekend – in front of just 45 people.
Glen Matlock, who co-wrote many of the band’s hits, including Anarchy in the UK and Pretty Vacant, will be appearing at Foremans Bar in the shadow of the Cornerhouse.
Sunday’s gig will only be the second at Nottingham’s smallest live music venue.
“There is no stage, no backstage and no dressing room,” says manager Jason Whittle.
“There’s a cellar and a ladies toilet downstairs but that’s it.
“But I’ve been upfront with Glen Matlock and all the other musicians I’m booking in. They’re up for it and I think they’re going to enjoy it.”
A games machine is removed from the corner of the one-room bar to provide an area for the musicians.
“It’s that DIY ethic from the punk era that we’re trying to create,” says Jason, 46.
“Some of these people have played to 20,000 people in the past and here there are just a few dozen, but hopefully they’ll enjoy it.”
Jason, who grew up in Nottingham, took over managing the Forman Street bar 15 years ago this week.
“A friend of mine owned it for years and I used to work for him occasionally. When he decided he’d had enough I took over.”
He rebranded it as a punk bar, playing the sort of music that he enjoyed.
“We have quite a good reputation and a lot of bands who come to play at Rock City drop in here.
“I go to a few punk festivals and I see our T-shirts, which is very satisfying.”
It was in October, when the Government passed the Live Music Act 2012, that he decided to give it a go.
Under the act, any bar or pub with a capacity of under 200 is allowed to host live music without a licence.
The first gig at Foremans was last month and featured Arturo Bassick of 999 and The Lurkers.
“I was quite nervous as to whether it would work but it was great,” says Jason.
“And the sound was brilliant.”
A PA is already set up in the bar as its where Jason’s own punk band rehearses.
“Huw Davies is our sound technician and all-round roadie for these gigs and he’s doing a great job.”
Henry Cluney, from Stiff Little Fingers, is booked in for April, with Vice Squad and TV Smith lined up for later in the year.
But it’s not just punk bands. Tom Hingley, singer with nineties indie band Inspiral Carpets during their peak in the Madchester era, will play a solo set in June.
He sang on their major hits She Comes In The Fall, Saturn 5 and This Is How It Feels.
Coincidentally, Inspiral Carpets will be playing the Rescue Rooms on March 24 with their original frontman Stephen Holt back in the line-up to replace Hingley.
Says Jason: “To have Glen Matlock for our second show is quite a coup. He’s a highly respected musician throughout the world. If he enjoys it and spreads the word, who knows who we might get to play.”

For upcoming gigs go to or follow @Foremans_Bar on Twitter.

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