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London Astoria to closeThe London Astoria is set to follow in the footsteps of the Hammersmith Palais and become just a happy memory after the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said today that the famous venue "can't be saved".

Despite 35,000 people signing a petition in attempt to prevent its demolition, Livingstone revealed today that the Astoria will close due to a new building and transport development in the area. Speaking about attemps to save the venue, Livingstone said: "There are some instances where that just physically isn't possible. The construction of (new underground railway line) Crossrail means that the Astoria can't be saved." He also added that the Astoria will be replaced with a new venue designed as part of the nearby Tottenham Court Road development, adding: "We're basically putting in a vast train station but the developers that have actually drawn up the scheme for the area are replacing it (the Astoria) with a larger live music venue."

Livingston also revealed he is now plotting a 'live music strategy' in order to protect landmark venues in the city after other venues such as the Hammersmith Palais have been forced to close. A case of too little too late perhaps, with there currently being a worrying trend of lookalike and soundalike chain venues charging through the nose for branded beer.

Goodbye London Astoria. Scruffy, sometimes shambolic and the scene of so many famous gigs - we'll miss you.

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