The sound of silence as Blue Angel club's DJ kit is seized
Feb 23 2008 by Liza Williams, Liverpool Daily Post
ONE of Liverpool’s most famous and historic nightclubs has been left in deafening silence after the city council seized its DJ equipment.
Thursday was “the day the music died” at the Blue Angel on Seel Street, after police and council officials reacted to residents’ complaints about noise from the venue.
Last night, the owner said he would be buying more equipment so the club could reopen this weekend.
The one-time Merseybeat hang-out, known to many as the Raz, has been at the centre of controversy for more than four years due to a dispute with people living in newly-built apartments in nearby Chinatown and the Ropeworks.
And on Thursday night police and environmental health officers confiscated all of the club’s stereo equipment, leaving it no option but to shut its doors.
The venue, which claims to have provided the stage for one of the Beatles’ early auditions, opened in 1961 and is now one of the most popular night-time venue for students in the city.
But last November it was served with an abatement notice relating to loud music coming from the club and noise from customers standing in the patio area outside.
The club is appealing against the order, but the council says it must abide with it until the hearing.
Manager Mike Kearon said: “We will be reopening but I will have to buy more equipment.
“Liverpool City Council allowed flats to be built four feet away from the venue and, since then, residents have been complaining about the noise.
“I have been here for 18 years and noise has never been an issue before.
“We have been through the court system, spent a huge amount of money and won the right to keep our outside area open but were then given this notice.
“We are appealing against it so I thought the council would have to wait to see the result of that before taking our equipment.
“They are going to bankrupt us, I cannot run a club without a sound system and cannot afford to keep buying new equipment.
“This is a vibrant city, in the middle of Capital of Culture year, it is noisy.
“People go outside in the patio area to smoke since the ban but now we are told they have to go out on the pavement which the police don’t like. What options do we have?
“These nearby properties should have been built with forced air ventilation and triple glazing and this should have been enforced.”
The club is allowed to reopen, providing no noise can be heard outside and that people stay out of the patio area, but it cannot claim its old equipment back.
Liverpool council’s executive member for the environment Cllr Berni Turner, said: “Following numerous complaints from residents who were being kept awake until the early hours of the morning, in November 2007 the Blue Angel was served an abatement notice relating to noise from loud music in the club and from customers using the beer garden.
“The owner has appealed this notice and the case is set to be heard in May.
“However, despite the notice still being in place, no steps have been taken to reduce the noise level and music has continued to disturb nearby residents.
“As a result, on Thursday night we seized the DJ equipment.”