If, like me, you spend your social life at concerts more than anything else, you begin to see what venues are decent to hang out at and what venues aren’t (but you still go because your favourite band is playing there). After 8 years of going to concerts, I’m basically an expert on what are the top venues(not really), so here are my top 10 music venues. Before I start though, I’d like to say that Astoria was my favourite venue, but it’s closed down now so there’s point putting that on the list.
1) Powerlunches arts cafe
Sometimes smaller, intimate venues are better, than the massive venues. This venue in Dalston is my favourite not because of how small it is, but because the bands that get involved are usually friends. so hanging out, jamming out to music in a small basement area with friends, is one of the best things. The last time I was here, it was my friends rock band , and everyone was rowdy and crazy. The best part of this venue, is the way it looks like, it’s so dingy, and the walls are cracked, with only one light to focus on the band.
2) The Forum
The Forum in Camden, has hosted some great bands such as Children of Bodom, Amon Amarth, DevilDriver, it is a venue for a lot of bigger metal bands. One of the things I like about this venue is are the lighting and sound crew who make an evening worthwhile.
Roundhouse isn’t just a music venue, it’s also a place where you can work in studios through music, through poetry, take part in competitions and be a part of the Roundhouse. The structure and architecture of the Roundhouse building is why it is one of my favourite music venues. The fact that it is rounded, and inside you have plenty of space to move around.
4) O2 Islington Academy
I used to spend most of my teenage life going to most of my gigs at this venue, that it’s almost like a second home. All good memories have happened here, through new friendships and dropping glow sticks by mistake from the balcony. It’s one of the smallest out of the AMG venues, and it’s great for the sound and just hanging upstairs as you don’t need to have a balcony ticket.
I’ve only been to Underworld as a photographer and not as a fan , and although lighting and sound has been a constant issue , and the way it has been built, it is still fun because every gig i’ve been here as been crazy and the audience not giving a shit. This venue is best for upcoming metal bands. Sometimes there are no barriers so you can just stand there staring up at the band.
6) The Electric Ballroom
One of the great things about this venue is mainly because the venue is so high, you can see it from anywhere in the venue. It’ s right next to Camden Station, and some great acts have played. Recently being Texas is the reason last gig.
7) Hammersmith Apollo
Having never been on the standing floor and only sat for gigs here, it’s been great because the way the venue upstairs is layout, I can still see the band below unlike a lot of venues where you have to keep finding a place to sit to see.
8) Wembley Arena
When you know a band has made it, they come to Wembley Arena, musically and lighting is great here, and athough it’s massive, and everything is overpriced, it is a good way to experience what music is like in a massive venue.
9) The Monarch
The Monarch, is actually a pub. Pub gigs are great but it just depends on the venue, this is a venue that has bands play inside the pub and not in a separate room like most pub venues do. It gives a great atmosphere, and it allows more exposure to the people who just go there for a drink.
Another venue with no barriers, that is best at a metal show because there’s no security and watching people just go on stage to stage dive is the best.