Northampton’s Labour club to reopen as ‘The Lab’ after first rebrand in 30 years

Committee members Jonty McEwan and Kirsty Wilkins outside Northampton Labour Club, which is soon to reopen as The Lab.
Committee members Jonty McEwan and Kirsty Wilkins outside Northampton Labour Club, which is soon to reopen as The Lab.
  • Former Northampton Labour Club to open on Saturday as The Lab
  • Charles Street venue could open on more nights of the week
  • Committee hopes The Lab will be an arts hub for the community

A ‘new lease of life’ is to be given to a live music venue in the Mounts area of Northampton after its first major makeover in 30 years.

Northampton Labour Club in Charles Street, which many know as the Legendary Labour Club, had been struggling with finances in recent years.

We are hoping it will be a lovechild between a community centre, a pub and a live music venue.

Kirsty Wilkins, committee member.

But since a new committee took over the running of the alternative arts venue in November, its fortunes have picked up.

This week the club, which opened in 1984 and operates on a membership scheme, is closed while a new floor, bar area, sign and a host of local artwork is installed.

The venue is due to reopen on Saturday under a new name – ‘The Lab’ – with a night of live music headlined by Pontypridd folk-rock band Climbing Trees.

Committee member Kirsty Wilkins, 25, of Kettering Road, said: “The venue was getting a bit stale and grotty, but we are giving it a new lease of life.

“It will still be a music venue, but we are hoping to do a lot more spoken word events.

“We also want to get the community in here to put more events on. We are hoping it will be a lovechild between a community centre, a pub and a live music venue.”

The former Labour party social club is currently open three nights a week for events such as its jam night and open mic evenings, though the two-floored venue does open on other days for special events.

Miss Wilkins said as the finances improve, the committee will consider opening more often.

“There has been a call to open it in regular hours,” she said. “So people can come and have a drink and enjoy the place throughout the week.”

The newly rebranded Labour club, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in November, will retain its £3 a year membership scheme.

Tickets for the re-opening night on Saturday, March 21, are £5. Rockers Climbing Trees will be supported by Dodobones, Jess Anslow, Sian MaGill and guest DJs.

Miss Wilkins, who is a musician herself and has been going to club since she was 16, said: “It’s a really nice atmosphere in here and the community support is really picking up.”