Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Jan 29th 2010 5:00AM by Julian Marszalek
Capacity: 1200 seated, 1837 standing
Come to see: Due to the venue's modest size, it sometimes get bypassed by bigger touring bands. More fools them, as in recent years the Cambridge Corn Exchange has played host to the likes of the Feeling, the Automatic, the Kooks and the Horrors. More established acts such as the Damned, the Stranglers and Supergrass make a point of playing here and the newly-honoured Status Quo are bringing their no-nonsense, heads-down boogie to the venue too.
Should you feel that there's too much rock 'n' roll is your life (yeah, right!), the Corn Exchange also holds classical concerts, comedy shows as well as full productions by the Chinese State Circus. In short, there's something for everyone here.
The atmosphere: Despite its booming and somewhat murky environs -- this was used as a corn exchange, after all (the clue is in the name) -- the punters of Cambridge are more likely to the make the most of evening's entertainment than the "go on, entertain me" attitude of a London crowd standing with their arms folded at the Electric Ballroom.
You saw them here first: The Corn Exchange's credentials are unimpeachable. Over the years, the likes of -- deep breath -- the Beatles, Oasis, the Smiths, David Bowie, Iron Maiden, Queen, Take That and of course, local heroes, Pink Floyd have all played here. This is the venue that was also on the receiving end of one My Bloody Valentine's first forays into the "holocaust", an experience so punishingly loud that N.M.E. was moved to describe it as "... more like torture than entertainment." Phew!
Claim to fame: This was where erstwhile Pink Floyd founder and all-round space cadet Syd Barrett made his final public appearance with his new band, Stars, when they supported the politically-charged rock 'n' roll machine that was the MC5 on Feb. 24 1972.
You should also know: The Cambridge Corn Exchange was opened in 1875 and was built from a quarter of a million of locally made bricks. The opening concert was held on Nov. 9 of that year and featured a performance by the Coldstream Guards and a local choral society. Unfortunately, the concert turned into a rampaging riot when a mistake was made during the National Anthem and in the ensuing chaos, an angry mob attacked the Mayor's house. Similarly, almost 100 years later in 1974, a crowd of 1000 rioted after the Drifters failed to turn up. So, quite a demanding audience, then.
Booking now: Vampire Weekend, Lostprophets, Noisettes, the NME Awards Tour, Paloma Faith, Tinchy Stryder, Ocean Colour Scene, Editors and Peter Andre will be hitting the venue soon.