Radiohead drummer Philip Selway is among a growing crowd of Oxford musicians to lend their support to the city’s beleaguered venue, The Cellar.

Philip, who is also a respected composer and solo artist, told The Oxford Times this week that the venue was vital for fostering talent and giving up and coming bands a place to play.

The venue, in Frewin Court, off Cornmarket, was previously known as The Dolly, and has been staging live music for five decades, playing host to breakthrough local bands like Foals, Stornoway and The Young Knives.

However, it could close next year, when retailer Lush, which is due to move into the new Westgate centre, vacates its shop above the club. Owners St Michael’s and All Saints’ Charities want to convert the basement to give potential tenants a larger shop.

Since news of the proposal were broken by our sister paper the Oxford Mail, fans of the subterranean club have thrown themselves into supporting it.

An online petition to save it has topped 13,600.

Philip said: “I heard about The Cellar and it is a great shame when any music venue closes down, especially when it is has been so instrumental to so many bands’ careers.

“It was after our time in terms of music venues, but for Foals and bands like that it was very important. These venues are the lifeblood of the music scene.”

And he backed the campaign to save it, saying: “It’s obviously striking a chord with a lot of people. It is great to have a good variety of venues like The Cellar, O2 Academy and the Bully [The Bullingdon], which offer something to bands at all levels – and it’s good to preserve that.”

Philip, from Abingdon, now lives in rural west Oxfordshire.

An accomplished composer, his credits include the soundtrack to a new film, Let Me Go, starring Juliet Stevenson and produced by Oxford’s Lizzie Pickering.

The soundtrack was recorded at Nick Moorbath’s Evolution studio in Osney Mead.

* Philip talks about the project and life in Radiohead in next week’s Oxford Times.