100 Club Bust-Up

The struggle to keep London’s 100 Club open may be taking its toll on those who run the venue.

The venue’s revival has prompted a row between owner Jeff Horton and Jim Driver, the promoter who books the bands, according to the Evening Standard.

Many artists have backed a campaign to save the iconic Oxford Street venue, which has been hosting bands since 1942, but its overheads are so much higher than its revenues that it’s now on the edge of an abyss.

The London paper is reporting that Horton has dumped Driver as part of a cost-cutting measure.

Forced into a very tight corner by rent increases, rising VAT and alcohol duty, Horton is said to have acknowledged that Driver has promoted “some cracking nights” but said he has to do “what’s best for the club from now on.”

“Horton is kicking us out of the 100 Club after five successful years,” Driver told the Standard. “It’s particularly disappointing because I paid for the last lot of the 100 Club’s flyers— Jeff said he couldn’t afford to — and I’ve noticed that a picture of Chuck Berry playing there (one of my gigs in 2008) has graced most of the interviews in the press about the Save The 100.”

The venue is believed to have lost £100,000 a year for each of the past three years.