With news that Boris is going to knock down Earls Court, I was wondering what venues you'd like to knock down?
i'm dead clever.
great Cardiff venue and if something isn't done quickly its gonna fall down..
Cardiff Council should focus on better transport between the Bay and the city centre before anything else.
the Japanese band, what an awesome concept.
Anyway, for sound issues alone The Forum.
Imagine Boris playing so loud that they shook the place to the ground...
is my favourite venue.
but for all the disappointing gigs that should have been good, but weren't due to piss poor sound, shit sightlines and crowd bottlenecks, I agree.
mainly absolutely shocking sound
the sound of Antlers and Sharon Van Etten and My Morning Jacket and Cat Power and Blood Red Shoes, and quite a lot of other shows at Shepherd's Bush Empire has been superb. I remember seeing Tv on the Radio there and it being a bit 'errrr'. The Stills & The Shins show was a little lacking I seem to remember too, but I probably expect too much from those two bands.
with quiter shows. will oldham, lanegan & campbell, tallest man on earth. very. very chatty crowds, very, very quiet PA and poor sightlines if you're anywhere other than the very front or very back. i try to avoid it. sightlines at koko have to be the absolute worst though.
Once saw Kevin Drew stop during Lover's Spit to berate the audience for being louder than the band. And they were.
Although saw Antony and the Johnsons in 2005 and the sound was perfect.
Just buy level one tickets next time.
Terrible sound, a tendency to overfill the place and to be honest, very few bands on that I would pay to see anywhere anyway.
but i'm under the age of 30 so i'm not allowed
admittedly I have only seen loud bands there (Mono, Boris, ...Trail Of Dead, Wolves In The Throne Room) but it's always been fine. Boris sounded better there than at the Garage
if we can also get rid of the academy that'd be great too thanks, and basically anywhere else that takes bands away from the barras
or LG arena I think its called now
The rest can all stay.
Which is long and thin, the exact wrong shape for a venue. The bar also only ever has about 3 people on it despite being big enough to land a plane on and the stage is in a corner next to the toilets. The sound from downstairs also bleeds upstairs.
Been to that for a solo acoustic gig and it was pretty crap for anyone not at the front.
Fu Manchu, Alec Empire both sucked there and both bands are amazing.
Koko's (but it is a beaufiful building)
Bar staff who can't serve quietly.
The people the venue attracts (very noisy and disrespectful in the main to the performing artists)
Awful choice of beer.
Is that enough to go on?
Never liked the Macbeth
I haven't been since about 2008 though
Maybe the beer part, cant remember to be honest.
The sound can be really decent, obvs depending on who's doing it
with promoters past and present locked inside.
You should come to our next one and see if we don't change your mind about promoters!
July 17th - Erica Nockalls
Water Rats is a good venue. Sound is great, location is good, think the in-house promoters and the others they're bringing in are gradually ridding the taint of Monto.
That said, here's still a suggestion that bands should sell discounted tickets to a set amount of people when playing on a Symptomatic bill, and they seem to be cramming in bands (6 on this Friday). That doesn't strike me as particularly good practice.
it's full of pricks normally and they've definitely increased the capacity. they hope to get away with it by putting a live feed of the stage above the bar.
but sound wise for a venue of that size you can't beat it, albeit that's because they can afford to have a fucking incredible set up after years of royally shafting wee bands but that's another thread altogether
I used to hate it when I was underage because they kept serving me at the bar and then two minutes later someone would turn up and remove my drink from me for having no ID. Then I'd go back to the bar and the cycle would continue.
Ten years later I've grown to quite like the place. I just wish it wasn't feeding Live Nation more money.
Don't get the hate for the Scala at all.
A couple have been a bit odd for atmosphere (Arctic Monkeys and Kings of Leon, but I think that was more the sorts of people at it) but from Incubus back in the 90s to to My Chemical Romance and Paramore more recently, I think it works well for rock shows. What sort of acts have you seen there?
Scala can be hit and miss. Seen some incredible shows there (Saul Williams a few years back was immense. And Austra. And Metric at that Chalk clubnight) but also a few of my favourite bands have seemed a little lacklustre (remember seeing The Shins support Modest Mouse and it just not clicking at all...)
tbh it's only RATM I've seen there, and that was about 15 years ago. It just felt to me like the wrong room to have a gig in. I think your post is the first positive thing I've heard about it as a gig venue.
shit venue, shit sound.
into the shallow semi-circle in front of the barrier, the sound is immense (Refused, Fugazi and DFA1979 were all stunning there). If you stand further back, yeah, it's pretty shit. Which sucks for most of the crowd at a sold out gig.
was near the back as well.
But Hundred Reasons/Hell Is For Heroes back in November was shocking - absolutely awful whereever I was standing. Put me off ever going there again.
front dancefloor or nothing for The Forum.
it was so sad. feiticiera was so limp, felt really bad for em.
I ended my long time boycott to see At the Drive-in last year..... Still regretting it now.
With licensing laws, rents, the government etc music venues have a hard enough time staying open as it is, the ones left need to be protected not knocked down because you once saw a shitty band there with a shitty soundman...long live the UK music scene
"tm Helen Love"
Live music licensing laws have been hugely relaxed to the point where you don't need one at all if the gig is between the hours of 8.00 - 23.00, and has an audience of less than 200 people (which is most gigs). And this change was made by, err, the Government!
Too much tennis lately idk
Aren't many venues i dislike other than XOYO.
I used to go there two or three times a week to photograph. It's rare that a band suits the place. Best band I've seen there is most likely ISIS.
Both of which were really loud though, maybe that makes it harder to get wrong.
but nowhere near as loud as they should have been
i came out only mildly pummeled
Easily the best I've heard them. Might be due to them being pretty dreadful on every other occasion.
it sounded alright, sounded infinitely better at ATP a few years back
Been there several times and have never really had any complaints at all... as for Ally Pally, just urgh.
In Belfast. And the SECC in Glasgow.
but wait until after I've seen the National play the Odyssey okay.
Ruining gigs for me since, ooh, ages.
Six By Seven were good at the Electric Ballroom a few years back. Playing with Ikara Colt I think? (unless my memory fails me.)
Other than that, without exception, EVERY. SINGLE. GIG. I have seen in that awful corner of Camden has been hateful, depressing and disappointing. Even the ones by bands who generally, live, don't know how to fuck it up. Trail of Dead. So lifeless I told myself the gig just hadn't happened yet, and went to see them in Nottingham the next night instead (which was ace). The National. Playing in a small (for them) room - should be manna from heaven but it was so disappointing I left 2/3 of the way through. I recently missed Goat/Teeth of the Sea and Built to Spill because I just couldn't bring myself to pay to see them there. The sound is flat, the atmosphere curiously nil, unless you're right down the front you always feel like you're a million miles from the stage (weird considering it's not THAT big a room), and every time I set foot in the room I immediately want to leave. It makes me feel depressed and exhausted. If that's the London date on a band's tour, I'm either going to Brighton (if I can get there) or I'm missing them. I don't want a "better than nothing" experience and shitty memories when I watch one of my favourite bands, I want it to sound and feel good enough to remind me why they're my favourite. Otherwise it's just fucking expensive and disappointing.
If the place fell into the ground, even if they built a bloody Urban Outfitters on its grave, I'd cheer wildly. Death to that fucking room.
And the O2 because they plainly don't give a shit about bands or customers. The bar prices, even if you're not drinking alcohol, are bleakly hilarious. Not keen on stadium gigs anyway but atmosphere-wise, they're the worst.
Not sure why people dislike the Macbeth or the Scala though! The Scala usually has pretty good sound (Jesu, Spank Rock and Trail of Dead, somewhat disparate in sound, all sounded phenomenal there), and for quite a big room it always feels kind of intimate. Feels like a student union which I'm fine with. The Macbeth is small and grubby and brilliant, great sound, affordable bar, easy to get to and I like all that separate space upstairs too.
What's happened to ULU? Not been to a gig there in ages (another good room) - has something happened to their licence? I heard noises about University of London selling it off... is that true?
High stage, really easy to see from everywhere.
and reasonable bar prices. No frills but a really decent venue. Come back ULU! Really... what's happened to it? Anyone?
what will happen to the ULU Harry Potter Society?
I haven't seen a bad gig there in a good few years. Just make sure that you don't turn up so late that you can't get into the best spot, which is to the left in front of the sound desk.
And for a big arena, the O2 is just about perfect.
The last thing I saw there was 80s Matchbox, on Halloween last year. They're usually a lot of fun live... and as far as I could see they still seemed to be putting the effort in but it felt like watching them on TV. That's been my experience for almost every single gig I've seen there. Standing in the audience at the Electric Ballroom feels a bit like joining the crowd at Victoria Station during morning rush hour, waiting for them to open the tube entrance again. Bleak.
but ever since, I dunno, Spoon maybe, the sound there has been cracking. Holy Fuck, Mudhoney, Melvins, Trail Of Dead, Desaparecidos, Ash and more were all great.
...I don't actively want to see the O2 knocked down, I just prefer not to go there. I really wouldn't be upset at all if the Ballroom went though - it's the only venue in London I'd actively like to see close, because I think it's so, so bad and I hate that it's become the default venue for bands of a certain size. But this, I accept, is a consequence of the loss of other rooms - a few years back, these bands would have played the Astoria or Mean Fiddler.
electric ballroom is fine nowadays - they changed the layout.
been three times in the last year and had a great time each time. shit bar but w/e. so excited to be going there tomorrow for pissed jeans
(when did it change?) When I was there in October the stage was still at the end of the room, they still had the long bar at the back of the room and the circular one to the right hand side) - has that all changed?
it's genuinely a very decent venue now and i can't imagine how anyone could dislike it
it was october 17th that i first went there after a few year's absence
and yeah, it's laid out like that but i remember going a few years ago and the layout just seeming ridiculously awkward
So what have they moved?
It's weird. The layout as it is, isn't massively awkward, it's not like there's a fat stupid pillar in front of the stage (ha, anyone remember the Verge?). It just... feels awful in there. And sounds flat. There just always feels like there's a massive (and not just spatial) disconnection between the stage and the crowd, more than any non-stadium venue I can think of. I really loathe it.
Have been to a few gigs there over the years, and you do get the feeling of the big disconnect looking down from the balcony. If you're on the floor downstairs, things can get a bit tight. Never had a problem with the sound in there though.
Have gone there on club nights and found it a bit lacking in general. But for gigs, not a terrible venue.
will look later
The Verge is currently in the process of being (unlawfully) demolished.
Never seen a bad gig.
Les Savy Fav
Atari Teenage Riot
Terribly laid out. Takes fucking forever to get served at either bar and because of where they're placed it becomes horribly congested and nearly impossible to move past the stairs for busier gigs. Also, the sound is horrid.
Koko can go in the bin too. Shite sound and bar staff.
Shepherd's Bush Empire is awful is you're standing, Levels 1 and 2 are fine though.
until I saw that Swans/Ben Frost thing a few months ago. We managed to get onto the front of the balcony and the sound was surprisingly great.
I wouldn't attempt it if I didn't think I could get into such a position again.
to feel that way about Koko but The Bug there the other week was fantastic - the bass was so loud it felt like the entire building was vibrating.
Ugly building, awful sound, souless, virtually impossible to get a drink, over zealous security, not enough toilets, dirty, expensive, poorly laid out.
It's not that I can't handle a bigger venue, they can be done well but this one is the absolute pits.
London just doesn't have a good venue any more. That or you are all a bunch of whiney bastards.
except don't knock it down just make it illegal to host live music there.
It's a stunning spot but yeah, the sound isn't so great. I've only been there for I'll Be Your Mirror though, I've never seen a standalone gig there.
If you have really, really good sound engineers it can be good - I thought that Slayer in the main room and the likes of Afghan Whigs in the smaller room were decent at ATP IBYM, but so much planning and thought needs to go into the sound set up to get it right.
I'd say Brixton Windmill and Koko these days.
The Windmill's ace - a welcome relief from the heavily branded academies where they overcharge for everything. Long live the Windmill!
Not every south London resident always wants to schlep to the reaches of north London when they want to see a gig. We quite like having the odd venue down here. Keeps us out of trouble, eh.
if it keeps terrible north Londoners across the river where they can't intrude on our fun ;)
We've put on some good gigs there over the years. Shame.
It will shut down eventually, but it's not immediate thankfully.
Big shame when it does go though - especially for noise (Sonic Youth) gigs.
But I was impressed, the last few times I was there, by how much the sound and layout has improved. Closing those diddy, overcrowded little bars at the back of the room, and replacing them with one massive bar far away from the stage on the left hand side, was smart, and the sound for the last few shows I saw was really really good.
I'm still not mad keen on the whole "yay let's have a gig in a concrete box" aesthetic but I don't mind XOYO now.
It's good for club nights now, which is what they're going for, less so for bands, but it's a lot better than it was.
The shallow depth and the locations of those pod bars and the ladies loo made gigs in there awful.
such a weird venue! So much grey. Didn't mind it actually, sound was pretty good, quite loud, but clear. Beer was silly money though -LONDON PRICES I KNOW.
What is that about? Every three sips I was back at the bar.
Then I realised you just meant regular pop cans. Not as Nathan Barley.
That would be amazing. 'fun size' beer cans.
Support from Litter Shitter
Nicky Wire called it right all those years ago in hindsight, build a fucking by pass through the shit hole.
Awful sound, regardless of engineer
Full of cnuts.
Wait, sorry, I mean "GENERIC LONDON VENUE CAN GO HANG"
The sound is a weird one though, there seems to be a dead spot on the left hand side which is where i usually end up because there's more space but it's quite quiet. But then if you go to the middle it's fine. Saw Refused and DFA79 there, neither of whom you can consider quiet bands, and was a bit underwhelmed until I moved
All the rest can die a slow and painful death.
Despite all the brouhaha when it was announced as closing it was wholly overlooked that it was a piss poor venue.
One of the best venues in London now is the Lexington, seems to have filled a Luminaire sized hole. Although I went to Saturday's FOTL gig and the woeful service at the bar was a major downer. If a venue is sold out common sense surely means you need more than one inefficient member of staff to serve you the over-priced beer.
From a less London-centric view-point I'd happily seem a slow painful death for the Faversham in Leeds. Very gratifying that most half decent touring bands to Leeds now go via the Brudenell.
but due to it being knocked down already, i didn't bother.
Although since the management was 'outed' as hateful homophobic wankers there's been nothing of note happening there anyway, so hardly worth bulldozing it.
Regardless of owner/management it's a hole of venue anyway.
And for the record, The Freebutt has been shit ever since they refurbed it and put the stage in a shitty as shit position. I liked it when it was a shambolic little pub/venue - Mclusky in there in 2001/2 with jarcrew support was probably one of the best shows I've been to.
Because the room upstairs is really good for gigs. The time I saw Thee Oh Sees there was outstanding. Mind you Thee Oh Sees were pretty good downstairs as well, they'd probably be great anywhere.
any owned by O2
Are you familiar with the concept of sponsorship?
But as it's taken the last two gigs I was going to go to there (Modest Mouse got cancelled) away from Arnolfini and Trinity Centre respectively I'd prefer it if it, y'know, wasn't there.
Whoever thought a corridor was a good shape for a venue...
On the other hand, if they ever touch The Deaf Institute I won't be impressed.
Such godawful sound
Shit shape so you can't see and the sound is shit unless you're right at the front. Overpriced too, and the bar staff are occasionally real pricks. For some reason One Inch badge seem to put a lot of ace people on there as well, so if it got knocked down they'd have to move those gigs to venues that don't suck (Green Door Store, Prince Albert for small bands/Concorde or even Coalition for bigger ones).