Music bar The Good Ship in Kilburn where Adele started out 'killed off by late licence review'

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A live music venue that helped to launch the careers of Adele, Kate Nash and The xx is set to close.

The Good Ship, in Kilburn High Road, will shut for good next month after its owner said curbs on late-night events had made the venue “unviable”.

As well as regular band nights at weekends the venue also hosts comedy nights where acts such as Sara Pascoe and Tony Law have performed.

Owner John McCooke, who has run The Good Ship for 12 years, confirmed that it will close on October 29.

“It’s a mighty shame, particularly when west London is becoming a bit of a cultural desert with other closures,” he said. “If this was a venue closing in east London, it’s bad news, but there’s hundreds of places and a thriving nightlife. That isn’t the case in west London.”

“Mighty shame”: The Good Ship, in Kilburn, which will close next month

Last year, police and Brent council reviewed the pub’s late-night licence after concerns about events finishing at 3am and security arrangements. Mr McCooke was able to keep his licence with an earlier finishing time of 2am but it affected trade on Friday and Saturday nights.

It will be the third music venue to close in Kilburn since 2011, following the loss of The Luminaire and then Power’s Bar.

Mr McCooke said: “We are the only late-night music venue in Brent. When the council looked at our licence I thought this will kill the business.

“But the measures they put in place with the early closures meant it was a slow death.”

Mr McCooke said he now wanted The Good Ship to “go out with a huge bang”. 

He added: “Kilburn has an amazing history, with The Beatles, The Smiths, Rolling Stones and The Who playing here. Kilburn has always punched above its weight but in less than six years three venues have been closed, which is shocking.

“We want to go out with a huge bang and have everyone come down as often as possible while we are open.”

For information on the remaining nights, visit

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