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Bridport music venue misses out on top venue gong
It was one of three finalists in a Rock the House competition at the Houses of Parliament after being nominated by Deep Purple lead singer Ian Gillan.
Electric Palace director Gabby Rabbitts said they were absolutely delighted to have done so well.
She said: “The MP Mike Weatherley who has been really promoting the event, came up to me afterwards and said we’d only just missed out on first place literally by a ‘gnat’s whisker’.
“There were 192 applicants so we were really pleased to come second and as a venue in Leeds came first and one in Liverpool came third, I think we are totally punching above our weight.”
Mrs Rabbitts went to the reception and award ceremony held at the House of Commons on May 31 with acting manager Jess Grimshaw.
Mrs Rabbitts said it was a marvellous event on the terrace at the House and they were mixing with musicians from Thin Lizzy, prog rocker Rick Wakeman and music industry moguls.
She said: “It was quite exciting.
“It was a really lovely glamorous rock event. MPs mixing with the musicians was a sight to see.
“And to see the House of Commons and Big Ben lit up from this exclusive setting was wonderful.
“We were amazed at how many people already knew the Electric Palace, that was a really nice surprise.
“Obviously the industry talks and the industry was definitely talking about the Electric Palace.”
There was lots of networking going on with talks with agents to book good bands in the future, she added.
She said that Mr Weatherley had given a speech about the importance of live music venues.
She said: “He is really pro-entertainment venues and talked about how much business they generate for the town.
“He gave a long talk about the associated spin offs that come from the industry and how so many venues are closing all the time and about making sure they continue, especially in rural areas.
“Obviously cities and towns have lots but to keep entertainment coming to rural areas is just really important.”
The aim of the Rock the House competition is to raise the political profile of the importance of intellectual property rights, and live music, among parliamentarians.
The Palace became a full-time live venue in 2008 and has hosted some of the top names in British comedy, ‘live’ opera performances, big bands and names from The Kills, with party girl Kate Moss in attendance, to Gruff Rhys and American hip hop musician and DJ Grandmaster Flash and was home to PJ Harvey and her band for a month long pre-tour rehearsal.
Other big names to have appeared at the South Street venue included The Blockheads, Elkie Brooks, Courtney Pine, New Model Army, The Levellers and Hawkwind.
Comedians who have held gigs at the Electric Palace include Russell Howard, Lee Mack, Ed Byrne, Sean Hughes, Arthur Smith, Phill Jupitus and Chris Addison.