Cliftonville venue Bar Nothing inspired by The Waste Land

Kevin Morpurgo and Aldene Johnson at the helm of Bar Nothing

By Jodie Nesling

With its dark brooding alcoves and stunning views, a new music venue and cafe has found its perfect place by the sea.

Inspired by TS Eliot’s seminal poem The Waste Land, Bar Nothing is a new venture by music promoter Kevin Morpurgo and writer Aldene Johnson. The couple moved to Margate with their children two years ago after feeling stifled in London and seeing fresh opportunities within the town.

Kevin said: “I got here and saw nothing but potential. We started to hang out with friends here and came back to check it out. London was becoming a hassle and we’d just had our second kid. We kept having to do the ‘shuffle’ after getting priced out of areas.”

Kevin saw a blank canvas to realise his dream of putting on the musicians he likes and collaborating with other creatives in the area.

He said: “I really wanted to start a project of my own. I had already worked with Sammy Clarke (co-owner of music venue Elsewhere) and put on a mini music festival called It Came From The Sea. I also put some gigs on at the Tom Thumb.”

The edgy vibe of Cliftonville suits Kevin, who grew up in the USA. He said: “I am a guy who is used to seeing the dodgy deals on street corners. Margate still has enough urban decay to appeal to us. It reminded me of North Philadelphia as a kid.

“In my 20s I had a big warehouse and the area had the same energy before gentri­fication. I had been looking into things, and this place is just perfect. I can put on gigs in the evening – we want to be open all the time, including Mondays.

“It will be kind of modelled on Cafe Oto in Dalston: cafe, music and good vibes. We will be having events and evening gigs curated by myself.”

Kevin has been championing the DIY music scene since the 90s and works with Black Impulse in the capital through his promotion company Connect_Nothing.

Bar Nothing is on Cliff Terrace, Margate, and is open Mon-Sat 7pm-Late. Find it on facebook here

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