‘Friars gigs boosted our trade – so give us more!’

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Aylesbury town centre pubs have praised the triumphant return of Friars gigs to Aylesbury for boosting their trade.

The Kings Head’s George Jenkinson said the pub had been packed following shows by The Specials and Genesis legend Steve Hackett at the Waterside Theatre.

He said: “The two shows we have had so far, created a fantastic feel in town where people are were slearly celebrating, something they have not been able to do for years.”

Mr Jenkinson said the Market Square pub is usually busiest when there are matinee performances at the theatre but believed the Friars gigs had brought a new buzz to the town.

“It’s galvanised people and rekindled interest. There’s been quite a lot of despondency from people who can’t see the benefits of what’s coming to Aylesbury, like the theatre, and new housing.

“But Friars is the first time for locals in ages there’s been this buzz through Aylesbury. These are major bands.”

The manager said he would consider increasing staffing levels and extending opening hours if there were regular gigs planned.

He added: “I hope it will continue. The Waterside is the only venue in Aylesbury that can offer entertainment like this.”

Green Man barman Martin Grech agreed. He said there was a noticeable difference between a usual theatre night and The Specials gig.

He said: “There’s been a huge difference and we would certainly add our backing for future gigs.”

Mr Grech said the pub also wants to explore its links to Friars Club as it was on the doorstep of the old Borough Assembly Hall venue.

Conservative councillor Mark Winn said he hoped Friars would act as a catalyst for bringing more gigs and a new generation of bands to Aylesbury.