Former strip club reopens as live music venue

TRANSFORMATION ... owners Jodi and Michael Ford at The Sound, formerly the Brunswick, Laygate.
TRANSFORMATION ... owners Jodi and Michael Ford at The Sound, formerly the Brunswick, Laygate.

A WELL-KNOWN South Tyneside pub is being given a new lease of life as the borough’s latest live music venue.

The Brunswick, at Laygate in South Shields, was renowned as a strip club for more than a decade.

But its rather down-at-heel image will be transformed when it opens tomorrow night as The Sound.

The venture is the brainchild of husband-and-wife Jodi and Michael Ford, who have taken over the lease of the building – which last traded as the gentleman’s club Whispers about two years ago.

The couple previously ran The Office pub in Victoria Road, South Shields.

And in a few months the plan is to open the front end of the property as a coffee shop in a bid to take advantage of the increasingly thriving Frederick Street area.

The new venue will be open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.

It all kicks off tomorrow night 
with an appearance by Status Quo tribute band Ma Kelly’s Boys, followed by the country rock outfit The Dirty South on Saturday night and the near-legendary Bessie and the Zinc Buckets on Sunday.

Jodi, 27, said Laygate locals had been asking whether the strippers would be returning.

She said: “We have has a lot of people coming in and asking if the strippers are going to be back. Unfortunately, they’re not. We’re going for something brand new, fresh and exciting, but we are aware of the history.

“The poles are still in the front – but we have no plans to use them!

“It’s a brand new business for Frederick Street and with the new houses going up the back of here, I think they will be finished in February, it’s an area on the up.

“The stage has just been finished and the bar is completed, so we just need a few finishing touches and then stock the bar and we’re off.

“We have been at The Office pub since April but we noticed that there were a few things that the customers weren’t happy with.

“They asked if we could change this and that, but we couldn’t because it is brewery-run it is out of our hands.

“We were tied to the brewery for drinks but now we can buy and stock whatever we want.

“We’re really excited and we have the backing of regulars from The Office who say they will be following us here to check the new place out.”

Twitter @shieldsgazpaul