The Taddington pub hosting gigs by big name bands

Drive past the Waterloo in Taddington and you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a traditional English pub.

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 9:16 am

But step inside and you soon realise you’re in a venue that is somewhat unique.

While part of the premises maintain the look of a traditional pub, a major part of the Waterloo has now been transformed to provide a fantastic, high standard live music area with state of the art facilities.

Transforming the pub has been a real labour of love for owners Mark Pace, known as Corky, and wife Tina.

The new live music venue at the Waterloo Taddington

The pair took on the Waterloo back in 2013 when it was still owned by the Robinsons brewery firm.

Having previously been at the Wheatsheaf in Dove Holes, and with Tina being in the pub industry all her life, they jumped at the chance to take over the pub from Robinsons in 2017.

Since then work has been ongoing to create a rock and live music venue at the Waterloo, with Corky drawing on his many connections in the music business to attract some big names.

"We started with the music in 2019, and had a really busy year with it,” he said. “We had The Dogs D’Amour, Matty James Cassidy, Gorilla Riot and Pulled Apart by Horses among the bands who played here.

Corky Pace, owner of the Waterloo pub

"We had plans to go throughout the summer of 2019 with the music and then possibly take the winter off before restarting again the following March. But then covid hit and we haven’t been open or sold a pint since last March.”

With a full calendar of gigs planned for 2020, all of which had to be postponed as the coronavirus crisis continued, Corky instead turned his attention to working on the facilities at the venue.

There’s no doubt the Waterloo is a music pub – records cover the ceiling and memorabilia from bands adorns the walls. And step into the gig area and you’ll find a purpose built stage area, with the front of an old lorry being used to house the mixing desk. But in order to attract the crowds, and the big names, venues have to constantly improve and a brand new state of the art PA system is also soon to be installed.

A pizza oven has also been fitted at the Waterloo to provide some much needed sustenance for hungry gig goers.

The Waterloo

All of the previous gigs were completely packed out – an impressive feat given that none of them were advertised.

But what does this year entail for the Waterloo?

“When we’re able to put gigs on again, we’ll probably be doing about one a month,” Corky said.

The pandemic means no firm plans have yet been announced for future gigs, but all details will be on the Waterloo’s Facebook page, which can be found at https://www.facebook.com/The-Waterloo-Hotel-Taddington-185064631669800.

The new live music venue at the Waterloo Taddington

And Corky is also keen to help support and promote local bands, and those just starting out.

The stage area is also available for rehearsals. Anyone interested in booking the space or finding out more should call Corky on 07502 608 179.