Leeds Forum

Interview Chris, Empire Bar & Club, Leeds

We catch up with one of the directors of the new Leeds venue and bar

Interview: Chris, Empire Bar & Club, Leeds

Empire is a rather epic name for a bar – how did the name come about?

We had an online competition and had lots of good ideas. We liked Empire because it harks back to the Empire music halls of the early 20th century that all major cities used to have.

What kind of punters do you attract?

Live music lovers! Whether that’s indie, alternative, metal, northern soul or acoustic fans, it depends on the night. In the ground floor bar we attract people who know there’s more to life than crap beer. We’re getting a good after work following especially on Friday nights where crowd keeps going to 2.30am.

Can you tell us about the club nights currently running at Empire?

We have an eclectic mix of club nights. Every first Saturday we have Jesus Hairdo where three of Leeds’ finest indie soul DJs blast out a classic blend of rock‘n’roll, new indie, Britpop, soul, madchester, ska and blues ‘til the early hours!

That Driving Beat turns the music venue into a vibrant basement club for’those who love to dance and have a passion for the sounds of 60s R&B, rare Motown, 70s northern soul, funk, Latin and more.

Stop DROP! will give you a monthly dose of ska, reggae and soul from a live band with superb DJ action before and after.

Watch out for a few more live band and DJ nights kicking off next year.

How do you aim to attract revellers from other areas of the city on their night out?

By spending a lot of time picking a formidable array of drinks. A look at our bottle fridges will reveal a beer selection like nowhere else in Leeds. Also people like that the bar has a buzz about it without having the pushing and shoving of other venues. And we aim to stand out from the crowd by putting on entertainment that is a bit different!

Tell us about the live music venue at Empire.

It’s a 250 capacity underground venue with its own well stocked bar. It has a fixed stage, an exceptional sound system and top notch mixing desk. Everything was thought about before it was put in. It’s a purpose built setup, not like a spare room at a pub.

What does Empire offer that other indie/rock nightspots don’t?

It’s got the soul of a spit and sawdust venue but with the finish of an upmarket cocktail bar and the sound system of a renowned music venue.

Do you take inspiration from any other venues in Leeds?

Yes, Trio in Headingley for customer service, Milo for relaxed atmosphere and Brudenell Social Club for musical soul.

What’s the future for Empire?

We are already getting excited by the gigs we have booked in for next year! And we are looking forward to seeing our unique club nights continuing from strength to strength.

Empire, Bridge End, LS1 4DJ, 0113 242 0868, midweek 4pm-12am, weekends 2pm-late, free entry, www.empireleeds.co.uk


Posted on Wednesday 14th December 2011


24-32 Bridge End, Leeds, LS1 4DJ

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