No more music as the lights go out at Scarborough club Vivaz

It’s hosted Snow Patrol and some of the world’s biggest DJs, but the party is sadly over for nightclub Vivaz.

It closed in early January, with council red tape and a generation of pre-loading revellers blamed for the cult club’s demise.

Paul Murray rocks out in Vivaz. 150106n

Paul Murray rocks out in Vivaz. 150106n

Once viewed as a jewel in the Yorkshire Coast’s live music scene, it attracted everyone from punk legends The Damned to jungle superstar Goldie, while carving out a niche among clubbers.

Even just a few years ago, there were plans to expand, but now the shutters are down for good.

“As sad as it is, we just can’t make it pay any more,” said owner Paul Murray.

“It’s the way that it’s all changed over the last three or four years that is killing all the venues off.

“Students have to pay for everything these days, so student nights are suffering, and if you look at anybody under the age of 27 then they know no different to what it’s like now.

“They sit at home, drink cheap booze and come out 
until 12 – that’s what they think is the norm.”

With Boleyns’ ongoing legal wrangles showing no sign of ending any time soon, for the time being at least Vivaz’s closure has left Scarborough town centre without an operating nightclub.

It’s in stark comparison to the town’s perceived heyday of the 70s, which had upwards of seven nightclubs open for over half the week.

“Back then, you would get four days open and that would mean 12 hours of trading,” added 63-year-old Paul.

“But these days, with one good day of trading, you just can’t pay the overheads.

“Plus as we are in the town centre we have had to abide with what the council want, which is often two doormen.

“But on some nights we can just have 50 people inside, and when you factor in a DJ and the like, the extras are all just too high.

“And this isn’t just hurting us, it’s hurting everyone.”

But the people the venue’s closure is seemingly hurting the most are the venue’s loyal fans.

On Facebook, they have shared their memories of working there, playing there or going to the venue’s near-legendary Monday Club or Sessions nights.

And one of those who will miss it the most is former DJ Bex Homer, who said it was a “pleasure” to work there during its heyday.

“During the week we were full of students and at weekends it was the locals,” said Bex. “It became quite clear that people didn’t want to pay 
entry or pay much for drinks so unfortunately it declined – things have changed so much and it’s a shame but it was inevitable.

“I have fabulous memories of Monday Club with queues down to Laughtons, of Paul dancing on the bar to AC/DC and seeing Maximo Park play with their mums and dads in the audience, and watching an array of amazing local bands play to a packed dancefloor.

“The venue itself will mean so much to a lot of people, whether it be as Vivaz or the Underground or whatever you remember it as.

“It was a big part of my youth in Scarborough but it’s wasted now, sadly.”

l What are your memories of Vivaz? Email ian.johnson@jpress.co.uk