One of London's most popular live music venues is to be destroyed.

The Astoria Theatre looks set to finally close after months of campaigning to save it.

Some 35,000 people reportedly signed a petition in an attempt to prevent it demolition.

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone announced today that the venue "can't be saved" due to plans for a new underground rail network.

He added that the Astoria will be replaced with a new "larger" live music venue as part of the nearby Tottenham Court Road development.

A number of notable bands supported the campaign to save the venue including Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand, The Cribs and Maximo Park.

The venue has hosted a variety of performers including Nirvana, Girls Aloud and U2.

Meanwhile, Hard-Fi opted to play their latest gig in an unusual venue – their local pub.

The Brit and Mercury nominated band returned to their roots to play a set at the Hobgoblin pub in Staines, reports the Sun.

Some 180 fans saw the group play as opening support for two local bands.

They performed versions of their hits CASH MACHINE and HARD TO BEAT before showcasing some covers of their favourite songs including QUEEN's ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST and The Clash's SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO.

12/03/2008 16:26:09