Wanted: Epic London Venue
January 10, 2008 2:31 PM   Subscribe

Epic gig venue required in London. For 25th party slash album launch in March. Capacity 150-300. Must have stage, bar, PA, preferably lights too.

I looked at the 100 Club, which is ideal but for the fact that they want £600 for the night, and are fairly booked up. This means I'd have to charge on the door, which I don't mind doing (since I can hand out copies of the album with every ticket), but is still a little steep. And I'd like options.

Of course, you're invited.
posted by armoured-ant to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The Borderline? It's a great venue; small, has bar, stage, and, IIRC, the capacity is 197 or thereabouts. It's 2 minutes walk from The Astoria (or 5 minutes from The Bricklayers if that's an easier landmark!), about 10/15 minutes walk from Charing Cross station so has great transport access.
posted by TheDonF at 2:41 PM on January 10, 2008

The Luminaire? One of the best venues I've ever been to - amazing sound. Being in Kilburn it's not exactly central though.
posted by oh pollo! at 2:45 PM on January 10, 2008

You could try The Luminaire, Kilburn. They've had release parties and the like there before - I'm sure - so give them a shout. It's my home from home :)
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 2:49 PM on January 10, 2008

Also not central, but really great: The Rivoli Ballroom in Brockley. Lots of good bands have played there eg White Stripes and the space is very flexible.
posted by cushie at 2:54 PM on January 10, 2008

Kilburn's, at most, 20 minutes from town. There are some great bars down the High Road for pre-meet ups; "The Kilburn" sits underneath the venue (I think it's owned by the same fella), but you've also got the Brondesbury, Black Lion, and Tavern around the same area. Just to add to oh pollo!'s comment about it being a great venue, the management are completely sound and, from my experience as a punter, extremely accommodating.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 3:02 PM on January 10, 2008

I've not been there, but a lot of bands play the bar at the academy, Islington.
posted by TheDonF at 3:11 PM on January 10, 2008

If £600 is a bit rich for you, I doubt any of the venues listed so far are going to be any more suited to your pocket - or even interested in your event.

Is this a private party? If so, that's out for the Luminaire, as they don't do them.

Many of the venues equipped as you require are busy 6 or 7 nights per week, and might be reluctant to agree to something like this for an unknown quantity - hence a fee upfront.

My main worry is that you're leaving it a little late - a lot of venues will already be fairly solidly booked through march.

One venue that's pretty approachable and I know has done things like this before is the Bull & Gate in Kentish Town (next door to The Forum). It's not as salubrious as the likes of the Luminaire, but they're a good bunch in there, and are certainly worth approaching. I would describe the venue as "epic" (not sure what that means), but the sound and light are great and the stage is nice and high so everybody can see you.
posted by coach_mcguirk at 3:27 PM on January 10, 2008

The academy is quite small, probably 150-200 people max. Plus the layout troubles me. It's more of a bar (in a shopping centre) with a stage at the back. A crowd at the bar chit-chatting can really drown out the sound of the band.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 3:28 PM on January 10, 2008

It's not central in any way, but if all else fails you could try Bush Hall in Shepherd's Bush. Capacity is around 300 I think. From their website it looks like it might be about £450.
posted by patricio at 4:09 PM on January 10, 2008

First off, you will be charged money for a venue, unless you can somehow guarantee them a minimum bar spend, or unless they're really desperate. You'll have better chances at venues which aren't so in demand, are a bit uncool, or are hard to get to.

Still, it would help if you could provide more details. What night of the week do you want this on? You'll have more options if you go for a Sun-Weds, as those days are usually more available at venues. Also, how flexible are you on date? March is cutting it a bit fine. Finally, where in London should this be - North, South, East, West?

Dust, which is in the basement of Industry in Shoreditch, but is rarely used as it's a little hard to find and, from the outside, a bit "city boy". The sound and stage, however, is pretty good.

Storm is in Leicester Square and thus sounds like a horrible idea but it has a fantastic stage and PA - you might be in luck on non-peak nights they have availability, all the more so if you're happy for them to run a club after your gig.

Plan B in Brixton is near the tube and has a great stage and PA.

Bullet Bar in Kentish Town is okay.

Arts Cafe at Toynbee Hall on Commercial Street, Shoreditch is okay, a bit tattered.

Barden's Boudoir in Dalston is grimy but fun

Hoxton Bar & Kitchen is really good, great stage, but probably tough to get into

Metro on Oxford Street is a terrific venue which does let outside promoters in from time to time.

Give us some more details and maybe some more names will crop up.
posted by skylar at 5:08 PM on January 10, 2008

If you don't mind going a bit further out of town, you've got places like Nambucca on Holloway Road - glorified pubs with a stage. But really, Skylar's covered the major bases.
posted by Magnakai at 4:55 AM on January 11, 2008

Response by poster: To clarify, I don't mind spending the money - I was quite prepared to pay for the 100 Club - until I found out they stop serving at 11pm. Which is a bit weak. Forgot to mention that in the OP!
posted by armoured-ant at 4:44 AM on January 12, 2008

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