The online home for all things Brockley (SE4), Deptford, Ladywell, Lewisham and New Cross
BC review to follow, please post your comments and reviews here.
Nick, which one of us gets to conduct the review for this one!?Cheese and meat market (not the farmers' kind). Which is fine, if you like that sort of thing. Not as rough as people think it is. A mainly Kent crowd.I'll be impressed if any of our readers are Venue regulars! Come out the closet, it's okay...
Well it can always morph in to a place to reminisce and moan about the death of one of London's leading indie venues.
But doesn't it look nicer now the black paint has gone...
Some years ago you could see acts such as PJ Harvey and The High Llamas (I'm struggling to remember others I've seen there, but you get the picture...), now it's solely tribute acts. Sad. But profitable, apparently.
Every so often, various people run nights in the basement of the Venue which is actually a good venue for little-ish bands, club nights etc. Think The 100 Club but in New Cross.Sadly, very few people seem to make it to these nights, possibly because they are very little.Maybe the time is now for a little revival of the Venue as as an indie place?They did, when I went, have a really weird rule that you weren't allowed chewing gum. The bouncer made me hand over my chuddy from my pocket and waited for me to spit out the stuff in my mouth.Can't see why people in Brockley wouldn't want to have a drink, a dance and a tribute band though...
Last year when I had a bunch of Northern builders doing some renovation work for me, they were keen to sample the delights of the capital. They had a yen to meet women with an upfront and direct attitude towards an evenings entertainment who, like them, had scant regard for the concerns of proprietry. Rambuctuous, sanguine doxies who knew how to party with chaps who up for a bit of risqué joshing of a Saturday evening. I was at a loss. Brockley with its prissy yummy mummies and property obsessed guardian reading lentil eaters was a social desert to them. So they asked a lorry driver, like them a rough hewn son of toil. 'The Venue', was his verdict. And off they went and had rollicking time with some of the sauciest women in South London. Somehow, I do not think they hit the student bar downstairs. The had heard about Essex, but the wild women of Kent seemed to do just as well. Has it changed, been made over ?
Nope, that sounds about right!
I've been to the next door place but the near-constant presence of ambulances outside a club tends to put me off.It does do a splendid job of keeping the fast-food restaurants of New Cross in business!
Went there last year to see The Smiths tribute. The ground floor bar was full of middle-aged, what looked like, East European men ogling at drunken 18 year old women doing pole dancing imitations. I must be getting old but I was quite concerned for the girls' safety. The Smiths tribute was really good fun and after was a disco which had a friendly, nonthreatening atmosphere (unlike downstairs). We were the only women in jeans - the rest were in Primark 70's swirly tops, leggings and high heels. It was like a time warp but was an experience I'd not had for many years!Moira
I must say I have never been, but it's reputation precedes it. Even as far as Dartford where I've spent most of the last 23 years prior to living in Brockley :)
The Venue does look much better now all the black paint's come off, and any place that bans the horror that is chewing gum gets my vote (Singapore has the right idea on this one).Apparently both Blur and Suede played some of their first gigs here when they were Goldsmiths students. It's a shame it's descended into tribute band hell. When the Carling Group bought it a few years back there was talk of turning it into a Brixton Academy style venue for proper bands, but nothing seems to have happened with that.
My granny used to go there when it was a tea dancing place in the 20's/30's, and I spent most of my misspent youth here. It was ten minutes walk from my parents house, and then all my sixth form friends used to come and stay at mine afterwards (what tolerant parents i have). I saw suede, blur, PJ Harvey, ocean colour scene, Billy Bragg - carter the unstoppable sex machine (who doesn't remember them) Oasis,teenage fanclub, new fast automatic daffodils and almost every indie band that existed between 1989 and 1992. We used to queue up outside because the first 50 got in free, and then drink pernod and black(!) illegally and stay out dancing til 2am. I would save up all the weird band names to amuse my mum with the next morning. It was brilliant.Unfortunately the highly talented gig promoter then left, and the management decided it would cost less/make more money as a tribute band haven.I have been back once a few years ago - and saw someone I used to babysit for, and knew i could never go back...
Any fit birds there up for it?
Sorry, strict door policy. No one in tweeds or a cravatte allowed in.
monkeyboy to go provide an in depth review then?
Went a few times about 13 years ago when i was living in Greenwich. Sticky carpets, warm beer, hot, sweaty.Quiet liked it actually. Now I'm old and prefer sitting down to a good book and a mug of Horlicks.
Fabhat - Pernod and black! Proustian words! There I was thinking that it was just a mid-eighties, East Midlands weapon-of-choice.
Oh yes Graeme, pernod and black was the sophisticated alternative to snakebite and black. Sometimes we crank southern comfort and lemonade, but only when someone else was paying. Have you ever tasted pernod and black since? I haven't - but I can't imagine how we managed to nurse a sticky drink like that for a long as we did.
fabhat, you don't fancy writing up a history piece for the Telegraph HIll Society? With the contrast of what you can say of your granny's memories and your own misspent youth it could be quite good. We do an "Occasional" series - that already features the Laurie Grove baths. Get in touch via the Telegraph Hill website if you think it might be a go-er.
that's a nice idea - I'll have a look on the other place website.. - I grew up in telegraph hill, so I am local really...
Fabhat - Not touched a drop of it in 20 years. It used to make me aggressive, and the local offie in my student days often had a Pernod BOGOF. which, needless to say, helped in the demise of my studies.
I must have been there about the same time as Fabhat. I clearly remember, one evening, getting kicked in the arse by Gonch out of Grange Hill. He was objectin the to fact that I had 'accidentally' tipped a half empty plastic pint of cider into the moshpit from the first floor balcony. The DJ in the top floor room used to cane Shamen records. I grew up in Lewisham, livd in Brockley 2005 - 2007 but have now moved to Cornwall.
fabhat - didn't mean to post anonymously (but you identified me correctly - your mother mentioned it at the History Talk on Friday!). Get in touch and we can send you the "publisher" template.
Hey everyone, Fabhat - Do you happen to have any footage, photographs or memorabilia of your time partying at The Venue during the Britpop era (late 1980s and early 1990) - sounds like you saw some pretty amazing bands/gigs?! Would be really awesome to see it if you do, especially the early Blur stuff!Thanks!
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