It has only been a couple of months since the news emerged that one of Southampton’s most beloved venues, The Talking Heads, was closing its doors for an undetermined length of time. However, the venue is under new management and looks to have an exciting future ahead of it. It’s not the likes of Rob da Bank that has stepped in to rescue this musical institution, but school friends Guy Benfield, 52, and Martin White, 54.
Benfield, a frequent patron of the venue and an experienced business developer, is currently studying at Southampton University, in his final year of an Archaeology degree. White is said to have a wealth of experience in the entertainment industry, having worked in tour support services, and is currently employed at Southampton Solent University as an associate lecturer in Live Event Production. Add to that his five year stint as the lighting and sound technician at the venue, and you can make no mistake that this duo knows what needs to be done to bring the venue back to its former glory.
It was stressed in a recent press release that the landlords were never intending to redevelop the site and, as Martin explained to me over a pint at the nearby Drummond Arms, were very sad to see the venue closing. “Community is the key word”, he stressed. As we sat talking, there were suggestions that the car park and garden would be transformed, record fairs would be held, and there might even be toilet roll in the loos! Ultimately, Martin states that their goal is to make the venue “somewhere you want to go whether there is something on or not”.
Martin and Guy hope to have the venue reopening toward the end of March. For more information, keep checking The Talking Heads Facebook group.