“All roads lead back to The Faversham if you trace the (music) scene in Leeds”
— Tim Sheridan, DJ.
— Tim Sheridan, DJ.
From Danny Tenaglia’s first ever UK gig to the Clash busking in its carpark back in 1985, The Fav has played an instrumental role in architecting the city’s music scene. The venue is infamous for hosting some of Leeds’ most memorable parties and live music events and continues to do so today.
Established in 1947, the venue originally started life as hotel named (incorrectly) a after Miss Havisham, the jilted bride in Charles Dickens’ novel, ‘Great Expectations’. When Gloria and Roger Quilliam bought the pub more than fifty years ago they had just seen the, then, new film of the novel starring John Mills. By the time they realised the error it was too late, the signs had gone up.
During the late 60’s and 70’s, the hotel bar became a regular hangout for Leeds United players during the team’s glory years, as well as the actress and English blonde bombshell Diana Dors.
In the late 70s, The Faversham began to take shape into the venue it is today and was converted from a hotel into pub– a massive pub with a dance-floor and killer sound-system.
Perhaps influenced by its close proximity to the universities, The Fav has continuously promoted new, cutting edge music. Firstly, defining itself as the epicentre of the nation’s goth scene in the late 70s and early 80s as a regular haunt for gothic dark lords Sister of Mercy and their following. It later became one of the pioneering institutions in the north’s burgeoning dance scene, booking house legends such as Carl Cox way back in 1989 and Sasha to name just a few.
However, The Fav has always been about more than just the music and also facilitated art exhibitions; at times leaning towards the ‘avant guard’, the club promoted liberalism, expressionism and inclusion.
The Faversham changed ownership in 2003 and in reflection of the music times shifted focus towards the emerging indie and alternative scenes. It became one of the city’s favourite live music venues due to its intimate atmosphere and cutting edge bookings that include early performances from the Arctic Monkeys, The Streets, Lily Allen and The Gossip.
In the early 2000’s, the first of the infamous Garden Parties took place. These events are still going strong today with recent headliners including John Talabot, Midland, Art Department, DJ Sneak and Ame.
More recently, The Faversham has embraced its position as a multi-purpose venue with a clearly defined bar, kitchen and separate music venue. Instilling those core values today, as they always have done the emphasis is on creativity and quality from the kitchen through to the events programme.
The menu is locally sourced, integral brewery ties allow The Fav to stock an unrivalled selection of craft beers and ales. Furthermore, the evolution of the venue has allowed The Fav to stay at the forefront of cutting edge music and current trends, with emphasis firmly remaining – as it has always done – on quality, creativity and experience.