A night that Americana UK is only too happy to support is a celebration of the life of Barry Marshall-Everitt at the Borderline in London – an event that’s particularly timely given the announcement concerning this historic venue at the end of August this year. Back in May, owners of the Borderline, DHP Family, explained that its closure was down to ever-increasing rents, rising business rates and the ongoing redevelopment of the Soho area.
Barry sadly died on Easter Sunday in 2017 following a lengthy battle with cancer, but he’s fondly remembered, not least for the fact that he was instrumental in bringing Americana acts to the Borderline when he took over as its booker there in 1999. This was at a time when it was a dying venue and he was given six months to make it work. Barry worked tirelessly throughout this challenging period by cancelling all the existing gigs and pulling in every Americana based act he could find. Within the space of a year Barry had turned the situation around and over the following six years managed to create a hub in central London for Americana and other independent music acts. His contribution received formal recognition in 2001 when Time Out magazine rated it as ‘Venue of the Year’ and voted Barry ‘Promoter of the Year’.
The celebration of Barry’s life and contribution to music will be held at the Borderline on 26th of July and will feature music from Danny And The Champions Of The World, The Alan Tyler Show, The Snakes (their first show in five years), and Bex Marshall, Barry’s wife, who’s also compering the evening.
CEO of Americana Music Association UK, Stevie Freeman, who’s supporting the night said: “The UK Americana scene owes a lot to Barry Everitt as a pioneer in bringing great bands to the Borderline throughout the 1990s and often giving UK Americana artists their first gig – he was a champion of new music and helped many music fans discover artists they still love today. Through Barry the Borderline became known as the Americana (Alt Country) venue to play at, it only felt right to host a night in his honour now we know this iconic venue is closing”.
All proceeds from the evening will go Teenage Cancer Trust, a charity that Barry always supported. It’s best to leave the final word to Barry who said at the time he was no longer physically capable of working as a tour manager: “I will miss the road, it has been a friend of mine for 30 years and I have made lifelong friends out there, experiences of unique events, battles with victories and defeats but most of all made wonderful music happen to audiences worldwide as best as can be achieved with what we had to offer. Nothing more satisfying than arriving in an empty venue and filling it with sound, staging the show and entertaining the audience with the greatest thing known to man….the live music experience.” Tickets can be obtained from this link.