The Torriano is based in the residential patch of NW5’s Kentish Town on Torriano Avenue, a 15 min walk from the buzzing Camden High Street. The bar owned by landlady Suzi Martin is a great live-music venue where you can chill out with a glass of cold beer or their scrumptious cocktails on their comfy couches and listen to the sound of good music live in their music lounge downstairs. In the past the likes of Pete Doherty, UK Soul Legend Omar, Coco Summner and Happy Monday’s Bez have all played gigs there as well as comedy fav’s Al Murray and Noel Fielding have performed their comedy bests. The bar best known as a favourite meeting place for song writers, poets, writers, comedians and assorted creatives and draws people from all over thanks to its great community.
Today Saturday 7th May will see the venue host their pre-Album launch for their ‘Raise The Bar’ record which sees the bar raising awareness for their album which features some of the industry greats. Raise The Bar is a unique collaboration of songs featuring material from Pete Doherty as well as previously unreleased tracks from Happy Monday’s guitarist and soloist KAV, Flamenco legend Jackson Scott and band Manos de Dios and Ivor Novello award winner Peter Wolf.
The event today is free entry and will have people from all over coming in their masses to join in on this great occasion. The pre-launch event is being held a week before the official launch of the album where all land lovers will swap their grounded feet to spend an evening cruising the canals of Regents Canal before arriving in good ol’ Camden town. Unfortunately this event isn’t selling tickets instead a competition is in place where two lucky winners can set sail and be part of the evening. Check out the website for more details here.
The bar set up a band a couple of years ago to change the role of musicians in the UK. The band called The Torrianos are based at the live-music venue in North London, have released catchy melody-driven singles in the past such as ‘Hold Back The Night’ in order to save their much-loved bar from developers. The owners Suzi and Dean are campaigning for people all over to help support and raise money for The Torriano so they can buy The Torriano bar once and for all. In the past a host of celebrities have joined in on this campaign to raise awareness and stop the developers and planning officers in their paths. Celebrities have included local newsreader Jon Snow to MP Frank Dobson and singer-songwriter Pete Doherty.
There are so many pubs and bars closing every week thanks to crippling taxes, smoking bans and excessive licensing restrictions on live music venues, The Torrianos are fighting for their right to express their creativity and power of their love for music in a place they call their home. Over the past 3 years Camden Council has rejected applications from the bar and their local MP Frank Dobson. The developers have served the bar with notice to terminate their lease and court proceedings are due to take place this October 2011. Suzi Martin says: “Back in the day, people used to go to Church. But for us this venue is our place of congregation. Pubs are essential parts of the community where people can meet and for great things to happen.”
I’ve been coming to this bar for a couple of years now after my best friend and fellow ‘Save The Torriano’ supporter told me the great sense of community mixed in with music vibe and cool conversations is a great bar to go to. Everyone knows everyone, if not by name but that familiar face who go from strangers in the street to you new pal you greet and become friends through social networks and friends you’ll meet up for drinks with. The Torriano is like a big family. I’m not a local, I don’t live in the North London area but I do consider it my local even if it does take me an overground train and 20 minutes on a sweaty tube to get there. I’m very fond of The Torriano and don’t know many other bars out there with the same sense of community. Everyone there is a new friend, part of this growing family. The Torriano is your local where they differ majorly from the rest. It has character. It’s a pub that every area, every county, every country should have. The bar mixes all types of personalities from bankers to rockers, artists to students to yummy mummy’s and carpenters making the atmosphere a chilled out one. The friendly community-feeling sees people of all ages mix together and swap stories old and new, drinking their drinks with ready smiles and sharing jokes, laughs and experiences.
So come down this weekend and support a great bar threatened by money-hungry corporations who want to demolish what is a community favoured by all. Help Raise The Bar and pledge support against the threat to The Torriano and buy support this great event and album.