La Belle Angele: 'Don’t expect free-entry nights with cheap booze offers, that’s exactly what we’re not about’
Manager Martin Coull talks us through Edinburgh's revived iconic club and gig venue
Anyone who made a habit of going clubbing in Edinburgh twelve years ago knows where they were in December 2002 on the night of the Cowgate fire. It was a Saturday, and many of them might have been heading to the old building which burned all night, the block connecting South Bridge and the Cowgate which contained one of the city’s most beloved clubs, La Belle Angele. More than a decade on the site has finally been rebuilt as a hotel and retail units, and this month La Belle will open where it always was, in a courtyard just off Hastie’s Close.
Although the first date scheduled is a Skream-headlined Nightvision event on Sat 27 Sep, the owners haven’t ruled out the possibility of doing something before that. ‘It’s similar to the old space although it’s been 90% rebuilt,’ says manager Martin Coull, who ran the building between 1992 and 1998 for owner Hafid Mahboubi. ‘It’s a bit squarer than before and we’ve reversed the layout, there’s a raised area with a bar near the entrance and the stage is at the opposite end. The bar also continues down to the dancefloor.’ As well as being a club venue the 600-capacity building will also play host to live gigs from promoters such as Regular, DF and Synergy once more, says Coull, harking back to previous appearances by Jeff Buckley, Radiohead and Rufus Wainwright.
‘With so many great mid-sized Edinburgh venues such as the Venue and the old Bongo Club disappearing over the last few years,’ says Coull, ‘we’re delighted to be bringing one of them back. Promoters tell us there’s a demand for a venue of our size with the quality of production we’ll provide, and while we’re not as big as the Picture House we can hopefully fill some of the void left by its demise. Just don’t expect free-entry nights with cheap booze offers, that’s exactly what we’re not about.’
Skream, Jasper James and Theo Kottis play Nightvision at La Belle Angele, Edinburgh, Sat 27 Sep.
La Belle Angele's opening date has been delayed and it will no longer be hosting the Nightvision event on Sat 27 Sep. The new official launch weekend is 24-25 October, when it will host a Nightvision Double Weekender. See Facebook for details.