Unity Hall to relive its past and create its future - bands line up to put venue back on the circuit

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Big-name bands from the past and present will play at the revitalised and renamed Unity Works after it reopens in September.

The multi-purpose music and arts venue, formerly known as Unity Hall, will be welcoming back The Damned and The Beat, both bands having played there back in the early 1980s.

They will be headlining as part of a day-long Year Zero festival on Saturday, October 11, which will celebrate Unity’s punk-era legacy.

And then, on Saturday, November 29, Northern Soul returns to Unity Hall. The promoter from Unity’s 1976-77 Northern Soul days, Malc Burton, will be organising the event featuring many of the same DJs who played there almost 40 years ago.

On Saturday, December 13, pioneers of the ‘new wave of British heavy metal’, Vardis will be also performing their first home gig in almost four decades The band, who toured with Ozzy Osbourne, split in the mid 80s but reformed earlier this year and recent comeback shows have had fans travelling from Mexico and the Far East to see them play.

The Wedding Present, Gruff Rhys and The Cribs are just some of the names on the bill for the Long Division Festival, which runs from September 12 until 14. Also this week it was announced that The Cribs are putting on a matinee show on Saturday September 13 for the under 18s as part of a drive to encourage young musicians.

The building work for Unity Works is on track for completion by early September.

Once it is ready, Unity Works will have three performance spaces, the 700 capacity major hall, the minor hall with a 150 capacity and the glass-fronted cafe for more informal performances.

Head programmer at Unity Works, Dean Freeman, said; “Unity Hall was the previous name of the venue which we now call Unity Works.

“Unity Hall hosted everything from tea dances to legendary punk gigs.

“Whilst we want to reflect the history of the place, our focus is on new talent.

“We want to encourage contemporary, diverse performers and acts, as well as making the most of the venue as a place for our thriving artistic community to use.

“I became a shareholder in the project right at the very start and it’s an honour to see the place come to life.”

Unity, however, still needs to raise £19,000 by the end of the month via new shareholders.

For more details on how to buy shares in the venue, go to www.unityworks.co.uk/shares