Music fans mourn death of The Crypt

The Crypt
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IT has been called “the place where the fun never ran out” but after 30 years at the forefront of the Hastings music scene The Crypt has closed its doors.

IT has been called “the place where the fun never ran out” but after 30 years at the forefront of the Hastings music scene The Crypt has closed its doors.

The much-loved nightclub, pictured right, has played host to some of the biggest names in modern music including Coldplay, Muse, Ash and Snow Patrol, as well as acts with huge cult followings, like Chas’n’Dave and Bad Manners.

And the Havelock Road venue was also a leading light in the dance music scene, with globe-trotting mega-stars John Digweed and Danny Howells both taking their first tentative steps into the world of DJing underneath its stone walled arches.

However, Simon and Peter Wilkes – who ran the club for the last 20 years – confirmed earlier this week that the venue had been forced to close.

The brothers said the decision had been one of the toughest they had had to make but that The Crypt had run into similar problems as many others pubs – hit by people choosing to stay at home as alcohol prices skyrocketed.

An emotional Peter told the Observer: “We have had the best time over the last 20 years and this unique little part of Hastings has been second home to us and many others. We have great memories of the many parties that we have had there and some fantastic bands and DJs have performed.

“But to us, it has been the people who have made it so special and its to all those that have worked there and to those that have chose to socialise there that we send our deepest thanks and gratitude.”

Resident DJ Charly Cheeba, who manned the decks at The Crypt for 23 years, also spoke of his regret.

“The Crypt came into being during the heady days of the punk revolution,” he said.

“And from that day to this it has been a beacon of light in the darkness of mainstream mediocrity, a sanctuary and breeding ground for new and exciting musical talent and a haven for those people who cherished those things.

“Most of all though, The Crypt was just a great place to be.

“Yes, it smelled a bit. Yes, the paint was invariably peeling off the walls – and yes, on occasion, we had to do a bit of wading when the drains backed-up and overflowed.

“But none of that mattered, because a club isn’t just its four walls or its fixtures and fittings or even the people who run it – it is the people who go there and The Crypt had absolutely the best crowd you could ever wish for.”

As well as The Crypt, nearby Hunny Lu Lu’s and The Street bar have also closed.

Chain pub firm Yates’s – which has a bar on Robertson Street – is rumoured to be interested in taking over the now empty sites.

n Do you have memories of The Crypt? Email them to richard.morris@jpress.co.uk with any photographs for an in-depth look back in next week’s edition of the Observer.