Lowry Pitches Another Marquee

Irish entrepreneur Nathan Lowry has opened a new version of The Marquee Club at 14 Upper Saint Martin’s Lane, the sixth time the name has been used for a London venue.

It’s also the second time he’s tried establishing the venue, having run a Marquee in Leicester Square through ’04 and ’05.

The September 6 opening night was a private party for invited guests, with the live music provided by Australian alternative rock band The Basics and local indie act Marner Brown.

The new Marquee has 100- and 200-capacity rooms but, however historic the venue’s name may be, the latter could find it hard to compete with similar-sized and now more established venues like Water Rats, Metro and MAMA Group’s The Barfly.

Lowry bought the famous Marquee brand from Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart and London club owner Mark Fuller, who tried to start up a Marquee in Islington almost five years ago.

The administrators from BDO Stoy Hayward were called in six months later when Stewart and Fuller decided they weren’t prepared to throw any more cash at it.

A year later BDO sold the venue, which is at the N1 Centre, to the McKenzie Group Ltd., now Academy Music Group, which turned it into the Carling Islington Academy.

Lowry bought the brand and opened Marquee 5 in Leicester Square in 2004, although it closed 18 months later because it couldn’t get a late-night license.

The first Marquee opened in an Oxford Street basement in 1958, but shifted to Wardour Street in ’64 – where it enjoyed its halcyon years – before relocating to Charing Cross Road in ’88.

During its eight years at the last address, it never came close to matching the cachet that the Wardour Street venue had achieved.