Dave Etheridge-Barnes, Getty Images Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman may have been…
- Posted on Feb 19th 2010 11:30AM by Julian Marszalek
Capacity: Upstairs -- 159 seated, 270 standing. Downstairs -- 130 standing.
Come to see: The Firestation prides itself in providing a pretty diverse programme of entertainment. This ranges from established names like Lloyd Cole, founding Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green and the Durutti Column through to medium sized acts such as King Creosote and the Mercury Prize–nominated avant-jazz ensemble Polar Bear. It also offers exposure to up-and-coming bands such as Kaputt, the November Five and the Secret Rivals at the shrewdly-curated Ignition! nights in the intimate environs of the basement venue.
The venue also hosts comedy shows, arts exhibitions, films and theatre productions. With such a wealth of art and entertainment, only a churl would fail to be amused.
The atmosphere: Sam Hunt, the venue's programme manager describes the venue as being "a contemporary take on a traditional arts centre which also features a gallery of cutting edge art." He's not wrong and the venue now has a reputation for attracting serious music fans.
You saw them here first: Given that the Firestation Arts Centre is only a year-and-a-half old, the venue has yet to boast a name that has risen from its infancy to fame. That said, the monthly Ignition! nights offer the residents of Windsor the chance to see tomorrow's stars today and their enthusiastic promotion of these acts and events not only guarantees a good turn-out and fantastic atmosphere, they put other so-called promoters to shame.
Claim to fame: The former Windsor Arts Centre (the Firestation currently occupies the site) was besieged by Led Zeppelin fans in the early 80s when a rumour spread through the surrounding area that Jimmy Page was to join British blues legend Alexis Korner onstage. Though Page failed to materialise, the old blues master delivered a virtuoso set
You should also know: The Firestation Arts Centre -- as hinted at by its name -- is built on the site of an old fire station within walking distance of the Queen's sometime-residence, Windsor Castle. However, the main auditorium is built on the site of Windsor's former court house while the downstairs venue -- home of the Ignition! gigs -- was previously used as the court houses cells.
Booking now: Polar Bear, King Creosote and the God Save the Queen punk festival that will include a headline set from spiky veterans 999 and a discussion hosted by punk chronicler, film maker and BBC 6 Music DJ Don Letts.