It was the Marquee club in London - was, as I mean the old venue in Wardour Street. Despite the small capacity (400 IIRC) they had pretty big bands play there (sometimes incognito) as well as up and coming, and it was a lovely intimate place.
The largest I liked have bern places like Rainbow theatre and Hammersmith Odeon (also London), capacities maybe ~3k. I dislike much larger venues, and detest huge places like football stadia. (Festivals don’t count in that.)
The original Tipitina’s in New Orleans. Perfect size; remarkable acoustics for such a predominantly wooden shack design and the only venue I’ve ever been where the bar staff bring the drinks into the (standing) audience.
My wife and I really enjoy Birmingham Symphony Hall. Amazing acoustics and used for all kinds of musical styles. A very civilised evening out with a meal first in one of the many places locally. ( before CV, of course,)
I would count both the electric and academy in Brixton as my local venues too. Agree with you on the union chapel, another favourite is Bush Hall in Shepherd’s Bush. They have some good artists, great acoustics and a small friendly venue.
As someone of a certain age, my idea of a perfect music venue is very different from what it would have been in my teens or my 20s.
Nowadays, I think my favourite concert venue is probably the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow. Not too large a venue, so still reasonably intimate and absolutely fantastic acoustics. Quite a few of the bands I’ve seen there recently have commented on just how good the acoustics are.
In my time in London (until 2008), I had two favourite venues. The Half Moon Putney as mentioned above, so many great gigs there, Jerry Donahue, Richard Thompson band, I’d forgotten about Morrisey Mullen until they were mentioned here. And the Wigmore Hall, what amazing acoustics, and how many superb concerts I saw there, the Lindsays playing Beethoven OP. 135 was one high point among many.
I suppose having been to over 30 Fairport reunions there, I should admit to a great love for the Cropredy Festival field, I’ve heard some amazing music, had great times with friends, drunk some fantastic Burgundies and Clarets, and met my late wife.
Back in the day Jenkinsons on Brighton seafront was great - saw the Bunnymen, Spizz and various others there. Nowadays the Wedgewood Rooms in Southsea is good, and my son has even played there. For classical music I love the Turner Sims in Southampton, which has the most fantastic sound and a very reasonably priced bar. I’ve seen Tord Gustavsen and Trygve Seim there, as well as Angela Hewitt and Alina Ibragimova. Pizza Express on Dean Street is great of course, and the Village Vanguard in New York, though I’ve only been there once. I’d love to go back - the history of the place is second to none.
More locally, WemsFest use the lovely old Chidham Village Hall. It seats about 100 and has the most wonderful sound and atmosphere. I’ve seen loads of great musicians there. When we were able to go out! All this talk of venues makes me keener than ever to see some live music. Listening at home is great, but being able to look the musicians in the eye is something else.