What's your favourite concert venue?

I’m going on a bit of a mission later this month to visit a tonne of venues I’ve never visited before, as well as a few of my favourites that are partaking in http://www.independentvenueweek.com/

Currently planning to goto the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge to see Richard Hawley & Juanita Stein, then Girl Band at the John Peel Centre. Will try to get the Deaf Institute or Brudenell too, and hoping to get up to Scotland, into Wales and perhaps somewhere in the West Country too.Have never been to the Hull Adelphi so going to try to get to a gig there. These names came up a lot on my Facebook today Redirecting...

Had some interesting suggestions on Twitter too https://twitter.com/seaninsound/status/816227543586107393

So, which venues do you love? Any why?
And which places do you recommend I try to attend either during IVW or at some point? Far flung and weird suggestions welcomed.

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Various favourites due to the venue sizes:
Small pub sized venue - The Shacklewell Arms
Mid-sided venue - The Dome, Tufnell Park
Large venue - Shepherds Bush Empire (but only level 1. I dislike downstairs hugely)

Long gone but my favourite ever venue was The Luminaire. Loved that placed. Probably went to two gigs a week there alone back in the day.

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The Shacklewell deserves a mention as the only venue where someone has apparently penned “Cunt” on the backdrop to the stage…
Off the official list, my favourite smaller venues are probably The Slaughtered Lamb (saw King Creosote there a few years ago, and he called this very tall man out of the crowd up to play - it was Jon Hopkins and we got some Diamond Mine) and The Sebright Arms (good layout and a quality bar upstairs).
Also, the Moth Club in Hackney is great. The decor’s a weird combination of servicemen’s club and gold/glitter, but it works somehow.
There aren’t a huge number of gigs on there, but Cecil Sharp House has great acoustics.
Koko should be disqualified for its absolutely scandalous bar prices, but that’s another thread.

The Thekla in Bristol is worth a visit, mainly as it is on a boat. Good range of bands, nice snug size.

The Welsh Club (aka Clwb Ifor Bach) in Cardiff is my favourite out that way and has been since I was about 15. I still miss TJs in Newport.

did we not do this recently?!

The answer was collectively the Barrowlands! :wink:

But for me it’s definitely the barrowlands, great size, low ceiling, great sound, sprung dancefloor, don’t have to wait long to get served even at sold out gigs.
The atmosphere is always electric, everyone is always up fucking bang up for it!

In London:

  1. MOTH Club
  2. DIY Space For London
  3. Tufnell Park Dome
  4. The Lexington
  5. Shacklewell Arms

Outside London:


As I mentioned on the Facebook, my favourite venue is Ramsgate Music Hall. It’s just run with so much love. The sound is great, it’s intimate and I just love it. Good beer too, courtesy of Gadds.

From a London perspective, it’s The Lexington for me. Really like it there too. Bigger venues? I dunno. Used to be Brixton, and I still have some amazing times there, but I don’t think that’s because of the venue. Although my name and Carter USM quote is above the toilet doors at the back, so I have a bond with it. Really don’t like Shepherd’s Bush Empire or Koko. Kentish Town is OK.

Have always wanted to go to a gig there. How many people does it fit?

Not sure on numbers*, but it is quite sizable - it is a big boat and you are right down in the bowels of the place. Cloud Nothings are playing in March, Pulled Apart By Horses and the Pigeon Detectives to name three DIS top faves.

*website says 400.

See here for a few suggestions - Best UK live venues - #71 by Konichiwa_Bitches

I’m always fond of Norwich Arts Centre, haven’t been there in a while mind you.

Got to be The Brudenell Social Club, I’m lucky enough to live just ten minutes drive away so have seen hundreds of gigs there over the last 15 years or so (Shellac last year were superb). The sound is great, the shape of the place really works well as a live venue, the staff are brilliant and they have a good selection of beers, they’ve also recently started doing some delicious looking pies which I am yet to sample!


All of this, one of my favourite things about Leeds. Only problem for me is its location, Hyde Park can be dodgy (last time I went, I walked past some poor foreign student being harassed at a cashpoint by some scumbag who forced him to withdraw a load of cash).

I’d echo the good words said about the Brudenell. Not only a great venue, but it gets a fantastic array of bands that might not even play in that area of England without the Brudenell.

In reply to Sean - I used to live directly opposite the Adelphi. It’s not that special to be honest, certainly a decent little venue, but no different to most pub basements. Still have some good memories of it though.

they mess around with their stage times mind
during term time they are pretty early, can finish before 10, as they have club nights there

was recently refurbed & expanded with the mixing desk moved, service at the bar is pretty slow
but yeah, been to some great shows there
(the lousiana is still my favourite Bristol venue)

Barras is the standard Glasgow answer. I’m very fond of Stereo too.

Quite like the Usher Hall in Edinburgh.

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