Pockets on cue for new start as music venue
OWNERS of a snooker club in Cheltenham are hoping they can make their big break by relaunching as a music venue.
Adam Quigley, who owns Pockets Snooker Club, in St George's Place, has turned half of the premises into a place to host live bands.
It comes after the club has struggled for numbers – with fierce competition from the £2 million snooker academy in Gloucester.
So from now on, Pockets will host live music gigs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings – under the banner of Sound Music Venue – while remaining as a snooker venue the rest of the time.
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Adam said he hoped the move would help the club to survive in the long term.
"All snooker clubs are struggling at the moment and we are no different," he said.
"Willie Thorne had one of the biggest clubs in the country and that closed down recently so no one is immune from it. "You've got to look at doing different things and I am really excited about this. We have taken four of the tables away to clear some space and have built a stage area at one end of the club where bands can set up.
"There is a really good PA system and we have transformed the look of the place. It looks fantastic and now we're just looking forward to getting people through the door."
Adam has spent £10,000 on giving the interior a new look to get the setting ready for live music, including new flooring and lighting to give it an airier finish.
He said the decision to make the change was partly inspired by new licensing laws which allow premises to host live music without the need for a separate music license – so long as the attendance does not exceed 200 people.
Adam added: "We'll be welcoming some of the best local bands as well as up-and-coming groups from across the country.
"And on Sunday nights we will be holding open mic evenings where anyone can come along and bring their guitar.
"I'm very excited about this and think it has got lots of potential."
The venue will mark its relaunch tonight with a concert by Vince Freeman, from BBC programme The Voice.
For more information, go to www. soundmusicvenue.co.uk or call 01242 515494.