NOTE: This post probably contains quite a few errors and an inaccurate timeline – there is very little info online about old Christchurch venues, so I welcome all corrections and additions!
Also known as: Old Star Tavern, Star Tavern, Lion Tavern
Location: 343 Lincoln Road, Addington
Current Status: Demolished
Active as a live music venue: 1980’s
People of Note: Tony Peake (Zanzibar, 1983-4), Chris (Anzak?) (Burning House Promotions at Old Star Tavern, 1986? – 1987?)
The Old Star Tavern (aka The Star Tavern, Lion Tavern) was a large old Pub on Lincoln Road, not far from Hagley Park that sprung to life with live entertainment during the mid 1980’s.
Circa 1983-4, local Punk and Dance impresario (and general taste-maker) Tony Peake was responsible for booking bands at the large, popular Gladstone venue, alongside Al Parke. Meanwhile up in Auckland Peter Urlich (Th’ Dudes) was establishing the original Zanzibar dance-club in Auckland – and was planning a similar spot in Christchurch with the help of local proprietor John McCarthy, who owned the Old Star Tavern.
Peake was brought in to establish a new nightclub within the pub, taking the same name as the Auckland venue and putting on regular nights, DJing a mix of Post-Punk, Dance, Dub, Hip-Hop – whatever he saw fit.
We spent a lot of time making sure it had a great stereo… through his connections through University Bookshop he was importing records to play. He’d bring all sorts of records in. We used to have special nights, we used to go down to this factory and get skins, giant bits of polystyrene and we’d paint big pictures, like pop art and put up big lights. For the 60’s night we did a giant Emma Peel pop art for the girls’ toilets. We did one called the Waterfront Night, which Tony particularly enjoyed. We hired all the scaffolding in town and a dance group danced up there. We made friends with these transvestite performers and they would do acts in between the shows.
-Christian Carruthers, from The Christchurch Press Obituary of Tony Peake.
Peake would eventually bounce back and forth from Sydney, before starting up The Edge nightclub on Hereford Street.
Later on, one-time Solatudes bassist Chris (Anzak?) began putting on shows as Burning House Promotions at various spots around town, including the University Student Association, as well as gigs like those featured in the poster below promoting The Max Block and The Terminals. The money raised by these shows was in aid of Audio Access, an 8-track studio that had started up on Bedford Row and captured music for the likes of All Fall Down, Tall Dwarfs and The Terminals themselves.
- 1983: Tony Peake ran the venue as Zanzibar
- 1986?: Burning House Promotions start booking shows at Old Star Tavern.