Corby’s Zombie Hut is alive and kicking

Ari Watkins, The Zombie Hut, Corby
Ari Watkins, The Zombie Hut, Corby

The finishing touches are being made to a new music venue which officially opens its doors in Corby this weekend.

Part of the rugby club in Rockingham Road has been transformed into The Zombie Hut – a 250 capacity venue which will aim to put Corby on the touring map, bring established alternative acts to the town as well as providing a stage for up and coming bands to play at.

The pair behind the venue are Ari Watkins and Roddy Stone.

Over the past month, they have been busy transforming a room which was previously hired out for functions into an alternative music venue with a stage and bars and classic gig posters on the walls.

Miss Watkins, 27, said: “The aim with The Zombie hut is to give Corby an established, permanent music venue.

“Roddy and myself have put a few gigs on across the town in the past but we wanted to take things further.

“We were looking around Corby for a venue that would be suitable and the rugby club ticked all the boxes with its quirkiness. It had great potential and the ideal foundation to transform into something special.”

“They have been great in supporting us in what we want to do here.”

Corby’s rising metal stars ACODA will officially open the venue on Saturday, April 20.

However, last month legendary post-punk band Killing Joke played a special warm up show there.

Miss Watkins said: “It was a fantastic night and we really enjoyed it. The atmosphere was incredible.

“It sold out in eight hours and the band said they couldn’t remember playing a gig like that since the 1980s and loved every minute.

“When we spoke to people who came they agreed it’s what Corby needs.

“There are lots of pubs and places bands can play in Corby but not an established venue equipped with a professional in-house PA, lighting and the right atmosphere for the alternative scene.”

As well as live music, the venue plans to hold club nights as well as showing classic films on a large screen on one of its walls.

Mr Stone, 41, said: “I have been involved in the music business for more than 20 years, fronting a successful band as well as working behind the scenes with big names. In that time I’ve built up a lot of contacts.

“I have put down my roots in Corby and I wanted to put my expertise into a venue in the town.

“ACODA are doing really well nationally and locally and we thought it would be right to have them for our official opening night.”

The pair admit the name is something which people will love or hate, but hope either way it will stick in their minds.

Mr Stone said: “We didn’t just want something generic. The building looks a bit like a hut and we’re quite near a cemetery – The Zombie Hut seemed like a good choice.”

After its official opening, The Zombie Hut will open from Tuesday to Sunday’s from 6pm.

The recently announced show by Echo & The Bunnymen frontman Ian McCulloch has also sold out.

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