Wednesday, July 01, 2009

SO36 Benefit

A landmark of Berlin, SO36 has been called Berlin's CBGBs. The Roxy in London is another comparison, as all three played host to an explosion of counter-culture in the 1970s. But, unlike the latter two, which have disappeared, SO36 is still running, putting on gigs, club nights, and, eh, flea markets and serving as a real community resource, supporting the queer and feminist scenes, among others.

This excerpt from Berlin Super 80 gives a flavour of its heyday.

Having just celebrated its 30th anniversary, SO36 now faces closure because of noise complaints. I wondered if this was another example of the creeping gentrification engulfing the scruffier parts of the city. In response to my query, Henning, who works there, emailed me to say gentrification is a concern but this seems to be an isolated case of one neighbour complaining.

It would be a terrible shame were the SO36 to succumb. Mona Mur, who is playing on a benefit bill tomorrow, recalls many a big night: "I saw some really crucial concerts there, like DAF in 1981 when Gabi Delgado transformed the place into a madhouse. These are indeed memories... As a young punk/wave musician from "westGermany" West-Berlin was the fulfilment of desire. And the SO36 (named after the old postal code of Kreuzberg SüdOst = South East) was the Temple. It is still a cool place although it has seen its Golden Days, I guess."

Berlin Supports SO36 is on 2 July at the Modulorhaus.

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