What’s your favourite music venue?

Second vote for the Cambridge folk festival.

Would also add that gigs at the Royal Exchange in Manchester have a certain something added. I recall floating home in 1995 having seen Richard and Danny Thompson there.

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Probably Manchester Apollo. I saw a wonderful Nerina Pallot gig in a Gorilla which is lovely and intimate and I’ll confess to getting a bit of a buzz when I walk I to the M.E.N for the big bands but the Apollo has magic to it for me

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Pemps. Back in the 80s the premier Jazz Funk nightclub in the northwest. Very exclusive, you couldn’t get if you weren’t a member – but it wasn’t actually possible to become a member. :pleading_face:

Always had a great vibe and always had a lockin. :innocent:

The magical setting of the Gorge at George in Washington state. Journey and support of Peter Frampton with the backdrop of a sunset over the Colombia River!

Rock City Nottingham a small intimate venue that’s had some great bands play there in the past, my personal favourites include Motörhead, Big Country & INXS

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In years gone by I’d probably have chosen some noisy rock venue or a sweaty club I’d played in, but these days I rather enjoy St George’s on Brandon Hill in Bristol. But last year I was lucky enough to visit the Village Vanguard in NYC. It can be quite claustrophobic, as it’s downstairs and rather compact, but it’s such an iconic venue and the sound is superb as evidenced by the many brilliant live albums which have been recorded there. I think because of its history and the sound that would be my favourite.

Here in the UK, I’ve always been very fond of The Roundhouse, Union Chapel, Albert Hall, the three SouthBank venues, the Wigmore Hall, The Troubadour, the Hammersmith Odeon/Apollo, Ronnie Scott’s, the Vortex, Cafe OTO and Church of Sound. I’ve also got happy memories of the old Pizza on the Park, the Astoria, Aylesbury Friars, the Acklam Hall in W11, Eric’s in Liverpool and the Rainbow in Finsbury Park.

Outside of the UK, I have real soft spots for Den Atelier in Luxembourg, L’Ancienne Belgique in Brussels and La Cigalle in Paris.

Definitely NOT the 02 though. I have no idea why it’s such a popular venue…


Brixton academy is awesome, you don’t so much have to ensure your standing behind a shorty.
The way the soundsystem ricochets is mesmerising and adds to that live feel.
Cambridge junction is second to none for the ultimate pub band feel.
Cambridge corn exchange has to be one of the worst live venues ever. Poor acoustics with poor soundsystem /mixing desk/sound guys.


Ah, PiL at the Brix…
great night!

OK, how about Southampton Guildhall in the early 70’s?

Was the sound good? Who knows - I tended to be down the front anyway… OTOH I was halfway back for Hawkwind in the Space Ritual days, and I would swear that the “twiddly bits” from Del & DikMik were swirling above my head (“no drug references here”, H. Cornwall).

Or Manchester Free Trade Hall for Deep Purple ('72 or '73) - I could only get a seat “in the Gods”…and it was still the loudest concert ever.


Pompey Guildhall where I saw Black Sabbath twice…who cares what it sounded like, my ears rang for three days!


Was “lucky” enough to go to the Free Trade Hall many times before closure. What an awful venue. Genuinely awful sound without fail. Someone also mentioned Manchester Apollo above. I’ve many many memories of the latter too - old and recent - I’ve seen some great gigs there but great gigs can transcend terrible venues. Great venues are something else completely in my view.

On the basis I will cast extra votes for the Roundhouse and also the Village Vanguard. I still come back here though. Scary place to be at 5am post gig but one of those places it’s impossible to have a bad night at.

Did you ever get to the place out Stretford way - can’t remember its name. Saw Led Zep, Genesis and others. Would have been '72 - '75, during Uni term time, and er, of course, between lectures!

Kennedy Center, Washington DC

The Mojo and Leadmill in Sheffield.

The worst venue is the Barbican in York. There’s a blank wall at the back of the hall and it just throws the sound back at you .

I wasn’t around then but my Stretford contact tells me there was an old bowling alley called the Village and then Hard Rock. Ring any bells?

The Hard Rock closed in the mid 1970’s and was later demolished ot make room for a B&Q, there was (maybe still is) part of a brick tower from the old building left standing after the B&Q was built. Alas I never managed to get there as back then I lived too far away and on the wrong side of town so required three separate bus rides to get there and by the time had passed my driving test and bought a car it was almost too late.
If you want to reminisce then Setlist.fm has a list of Hardrock gigs and some setlists including the Led Zeppelin ones.


That sounds like the place. It was a really weird venue. very wide room - a converted bowling alley makes sense, stage was very high. I would have seen LZ on either 7th or 8th December 1972 - I sat in the middle of the second row.

I see from the list that Yes played there on the 17th. As they were my favourite band at that time, I should have gone, but have no recollection of it - it’s possible that term finished between the two and that I’d returned down south.

I also thought Id seen Genesis there ( support act being a Peruvian folk band playing Andean pipes)…

Sheffield City Hall in the late '70s and ‘80s, when there were no seats for 15’ in front of the stage. Health and Safety would have had a field day back then.
For a Yorkshire lad the occasional gig at Hammersmith Odeon was always a great day out

Village Vanguard New York
Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho
Ronnie Scotts Soho
Turner Sims Southampton
Flagey Brussels

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Yes I remember that in Sheffield. When the Stones were on a girl ran screaming from the back to the front, fainted and ended up in a heap under the front of the stage. Only to be carried out by security