TOP MUSIC CLUBS FIRM GOES BUST; Venues carry on trading.
THE company behind four of Belfast's top music venues has gone bust.
But Auntie Annie's, Katy Daly's, The Limelight and Spring & Airbrake will still continue to trade while administrators decide how to move forward.
John Hansen of KPMG was appointed administrator of pub chains CDC Leisure Ltd and Tarwood Limited on Tuesday, three years after the directors of the companies bought the venues for a reported pounds 13million.
The administrator said: "The venues will continue to trade as normal while all potential future options are assessed".
Rumours over the future of CDC Leisure began in January when a winding-up petition was filed against it, but the matter never went to court.
And gig-goers will be hoping the venues, which are considered to be among the country's premier music spots, survive and continue to host concerts by both established and up-and-coming bands.
Manchester indie icons Oasis played one of their earliest concerts at the Limelight, while Jeff Buckley, Ash, Snow Patrol, Shane MacGowan and Scissor Sisters have all performed there over the years.
Daily Mirror music columnist Brendan McKeown said he hoped the nightspots would not be forced to close.
He added: "Katy Daly's and the Limelight and, more recently Auntie Annie's and Spring & Airbrake, have become part of the fabric of Northern Ireland's music scene.
"They are far too important, and popular, to be allowed to disappear.
"And from what I've heard, it's business as usual for punters.
"The venues have hosted some of the best alternative gigs I can remember - perhaps the most famous being Oasis who went to No1 the night they played the Limelight in 1994.
"Hopefully that fine tradition of bringing top music to Belfast will continue."