La Belle Angele: 'Don’t expect free-entry nights with cheap booze offers, that’s exactly what we’re not about’

La Belle Angele: 'Don’t expect free-entry nights with cheap booze offers, that’s exactly what we’re not about’

Skream / Photo: Shaun Bloodworth

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.


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La Belle Angèle

11 Hastie's Close, Edinburgh, EH1 1HJ

La Belle Angèle is one of Edinburgh's best-loved live music and club venues. Renowned for pulling in big names, such as Oasis and Radiohead over the years, in 2002, a fire started by a faulty fuse box burnt the venue to the ground. However, 12 years…


1. Rock n roll hobo7 Feb 2015, 12:40pm Report

Before this 'manager' starts bragging about how expensive his club is he needs to get his act together. It is possibly the worst run club I have ever been to. Ive been to many a terrible club in my days. Massive queues for everything. I arrived fairly early so there was like 3 people in front of me at the cloak room but it still took 20 minutes to get served. The hall was taken up the entire night by hundreds of people waiting for their jackets, god knows how long they queued for. My thoughts are with them. I'm not even going to detail my bar experience other than it felt like that bit in IInception when the deeper they go the longer it feels. Hats off to the bar staff, they were killing it but there was nowhere near enough of them. I think there was 8 bar staff in a venue that holds 600 people.

on the plus side, the sound system is epic, the decor is cool and the lights are awesome. It has potential to be a great club but at this stage it's just another money making machine that doesn't care about its clients. It will turn a profit but then so does Why Not, at least they have enough staff on the bar. all the ingredients are there just not the processes. Step your game up.

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