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Friday, 26 September 2008

Kings Place

To Kings Place last night for the opening party (concerts start in earnest next week with a 5 day festival). It is a truly amazing place. The entrance leads into a large atrium, the ground floor is devoted to box off and restaurants (overlooking the canal) and the upper floors are offices. The arts centre is housed in 2 lower floors, so that the 2 recital halls are underground. A long escalator leads you right down to the concert hall level. Hall 1 is an attractive, wood lined space with the walls designed to give a feeling of openness, you don't feel that you are 2 stories under ground.

During the opening party, there were Royal Academy of Music students playing all over so that in the main hall we heard music for 2 pianos. On this showing, it has fine acoustics and I look forward to hearing a full concert there. Though I am still curious about what it will be like for vocal music. The smaller hall is more of a studio and there was a jazz group playing there.

The only worry about the centre is whether they will be able to attract a new audience to make the journey up York Way. Whilst not being that far from the tube, York Way has in the past had rather a bad reputation. Now that regeneration has started, things are on the up; but the immediate area around the arts centre is still a little odd. Still, the programme for the next 3 months is attractive and the festival next week should go a long way towards attracting people.

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