Judging by past reviews of Cabaret Voltaire, it's something of an Edinburgh institution. But it had shut down, right? Nope. Cab Vol just relaunched last night (May 2012) and is looking quite sexy I must say.
I hadn't actually seen it before the relaunch, but was told that whilst it was still cool in it's underground cave-y-ness, it could get a little humid (exactly because of the underground cave-y-ness) and was a bit fousty.
With that so-fresh new-paint smell still lingering, whatever they did has served it very well. A nice bar upstairs, with big booths up the back, and apparently cocktails in teapots with dry ice to follow soon (I KNOW), then the sprawling club downstairs with two different dance floors and two different bars, it's got a lot going for it.
The crowd on the night of relaunch were young. I mean, I'm youngish (I think...I hope still maybe?) and I felt a bit old here. But that was relaunch night. I'm sure as it settles and the club nights become a bit more routine it'll mix it up. Given the area (Cowgate) and it's tipsy-tripping distance from some other great bars, it's the best club in the nearby area I'd wager.
It's underground, so it's dark. And it's still cave-y (well I meant it's in the Edinburgh vaults / caves) but the rooms are all big enough it's not a squeeze, there's cool wee touches like cinema seats in one bar, and neon piping round some others. I'm looking forward to heading back when it settles a bit - but so far, so good.
I went here on a Friday night so safe to say it was quite busy! I didn't really resent the £5 to get in as this is pretty standard for this area and time.
However i was quite shocked and resentful for the prices of drinks! £2.90 for a shot of sambuca?! As a student this was pushing my budget a bit so this was the only drink i bought all night.
Maybe it was this lack of alcohol in me that therefore made me not rate Cab Vol very highly.. It was extremely dark which some people may find atmospheric but I was not a fan of! I know it is in the old Edinburgh vaults/caves but the place was verging on claustrophobic! Again for some people this may add to the charm of the place but made me feel quite uncomfortable.
Maybe during the week the prices are better but nothing can shift the dark, gloomy, close atmosphere for me!
I can imagine that with a few drinks in you Cab Vol would be reasonably enjoyable, but I would definitely not rush to go back, with plenty of clubs that are cheaper and have a nicer atmosphere nearby.
I came here by myself on a Wednesday evening. I was planning on going across the street to see a movie at The Odeon, but there was really nothing playing that captured my fancy... My host was going on a date with her boyfriend and the friend I'd made while in Edinburgh left town earlier in the day, so I had absolutely nothing to do after dinner -- why not explore, take a chance, try something new.
What an awesome nightclub -- It's in caves -- stone-vaulted ceilings! Music was really great, there were a couple of dance-floors, the sound system was really good, and there were really affordable drink specials (I always ask)... I arrived early and saw some live acts, but I was so transfixed and transported by my surroundings that I stayed very late into the evening and stumbled home a sweaty smiling glorious drunken mess... A fantastic experience all-around -- Cabaret Voltaire will be in my dreams.
Maybe it's just because I'm old, but I swear this place was better when it was called the Honeycomb. I lived in Edinburgh '96-'98 and was a regular back then.
Had the same experience as Gavin M. in having to pay twice to get into both rooms -- except we only paid for one and sneaked into the other later on.
The night I was there, Jon Pleased Wimmin -- who I was very excited about; I'm old, remember -- was playing upstairs. He was disappointing; looked like he couldn't be arsed as he kept wandering off somewhere.
We sneaked downstairs and it was like the old days again -- even spotted a few of the old faces.
I won't hurry back, but for nostalgia's sake, I will be back.
Viewed by some as perhaps the home of Edinburgh's quite limited underground club scene, I was promised great things from Cabaret Voltaire, but left somewhat underwhelmed.
The bitter taste started off at the door, where we were informed that to get into both rooms, we had to pay twice, £13 bucks in total. You could have knocked me down with a feather.
The room we opted for wasn't particularly busy, and the mixture of mannerless French rugby fans, plus another fairly large section of the crowd who seemed to have stumbled in by accident, hardly gave it a Hacienda beating vibe. The thud thud music could have done with a few moderately catchy hooks as well, but in fairness, such aural blandness is more or less part and parcel of every "serious" night club.
If gurning your way through the night is your thing, then it's not the worst place in the world, but fifty miles down the road there are options five times the size of this, raves in abandoned warehouses, and cultural attitudes more suited to such endeavours. Jump in a cab.
I've been here on a number of occasions to see bands and I really like it. I've also heard that the club nights are very good.
It's a bit like a cave, would make a good Goth club!
Cab Vol is great if you're into less mainstream music than you'll hear in a 'normal' club. And if you don't mind sweat dripping off the low ceilings onto you at least once a minute, or drinking out of plastic cups.
I have to honest, it's not my thing. I've been dragged along on a handful of occasions by friends, and each time I go i'm determined that this will be the time I have a great night there and leave at 3am completely converted. It's been four years, and it hasn't happened yet.
That has a lot to do with the people that go though, as opposed to the club itself. On tuesdays this place pulls in a lot of "rahs" from Edinburgh Uni, thinking that wearing weird coloured skinny jeans suddenly makes them alternative. It doesn't, and their huge back-combed blonde hair dos look even more ridiculous than normal.
I'm quite partial to the underground, cave like feel of Cabaret Voltaire. I like a nice dark, moody atmosphere, where you can lurk around in the shadows sipping a drink and pretending to be mysterious. Being a massive sneaky people watcher, this scenario appeals to me. Alternatively, you might just want to be normal and go there and have some fun and good times.
The gig space of Cabaret Voltaire is kind of like being in someone's basement, and isn't particularly big, but it has given any gigs I've seen quite a cool, intimate feel. I recently saw a few really decent bands here and smugly stood right at the front, just because I could, so it's a good place to catch any bands that you want to see close up. Apart from gigs, Cab Vol hosts a range of regular club nights and has showcased some fairly big name DJs in its time, so it comes well recommended if you're looking for something a bit alternative and not your run of the mill chart music assault.
I am not a huge fan of Cabaret Voltaire- or Cab Vol as we locals call it.
Its a very popular club with the trendy, indie, scene crew in Edinburgh. But its just not my type of place. I can appreciate why others may enjoy it, but not me. Firstly its very cramped inside and there is not a lot of seating. Yes I like to have a seat, so shoot me. I'm generally not intoxicated enough to be throwing myself around the dance floor like everybody else. The drinks are fairly cheap which is a plus side, but it does mean that attendees are usually pretty drunk so there is that kind of atmosphere in the club. The music is commonly indie/electro/drum and base which I personally don't enjoy. But if that is what you like, then you will probably like Cab Vol.
I have been to see a few bands play here and it does make for an intimate gig which can be quite good. However the night club side of it is just not for me.
Cabaret Voltaire is easily my favourite club in Edinburgh. It offers different club nights each day of the week with resident DJs and special guests, in the past these have included big names like Annie Mac, Steve Aoki, Krafty Kuts, Justice and Plump DJs. The music is mostly electronic (d'n'b / house / electro / techno), however there are sometimes gigs on earlier in the evening before the club nights start and these tend to feature up and coming indie bands, I saw Florence and The Machine & Little Boots here before they hit the big time.
The club is situated in some vaults underneath South Bridge, and when you're inside it really does feel like you're in the bowels of the city. Admittedly the place does get pretty crowded and sweaty, but that's an intrinsic feature of its underground charm. This is not the place to go if you just want to pose and observe the world from a seat, dancing is obligatory!
There is no dress code and you could feel equally comfortable here in a pretty dress or your scummiest jeans. Drinks are relatively cheap, prices do vary depending on what night of the week you're there though.
If you're into music or the club scene, Cab Vol is definitely somewhere you should visit.
This is an underground club with a great mainstream music sound system and some of the most fun nights out in Edinburgh. At the beginning every month they have a 60s night which is grand, but Tuesdays and Thursdays they have electro and drum and bass with no entrance fee!
As a music venue, I can say I have been very pleased, I came here a couple of weeks ago to see the ever so lovely Angus and Julia Stone, and I was impressed with the effort put into the show. It was only in one room, and packed, but somehow the underground atmosphere just brought so much to the show. The bar tenders were lovely and even the door men are not as aggressive (as seen in other well-established clubs).
Why do people always get cramped in the back at gigs? There was plenty of space at the front where the stage was, and luckily the stage was higher up so everyone could see. The sound was superb as well, and even when Julia Stone was confused with her amp, the sound man was superb and efficient.
The only think I can really hold against this place as far as gigs are concerned is that after the concert the lights are crudely turned on and cleaning starts immediately whilst we are all still there, in order to be ready for the next event.
I love Caberet Voltaire.
In fact, I only have one complaint - so lets start with that. Cheap coke. Simple and not very much of a problem, especially when it has a double something or other in it. The trouble is when your are just gasping for it by itself and it tastes a bit 'bleugh'.
Anyway, my one complaint over, I can get on with how good this place is. Firstly, Cab-Vol is underground - in the vaults of Edinburgh meaning the sound system in here rocks. Its amazing. Secondly the music they play varies night to night, so one time you might be listening to drum 'n' bass, and the next night somethng far more indie. Pretty cool, and although some nights may not be everybodies cup of tea, I love all of it. There are also some live music evenings, which are usually followed by an after party - which I thoroughly recommend. Thirdly, the layout of the club - it doesnt sound like something great, but one room can have the atmosphere of a quiet pub lounge while next door (albeit through 3 foot of heavy stone wall) there is a rave going on with the volume turned up to 11.
Drinks are cheap (so the nasty coke isnt too bad...) and generally Cab-Vol is consistantly one of the best nights out in the city.
This is such a f'ing cool club.
When you go here (because you will, trust me) make sure you're looking particularly cool. Get rid o that waist-coat and cardigan and don some ripped jeans and a nice tee. They have some amazing nights here, particularly Music Boutique, and rank in some brilliant DJs.
The club itself is really cool, it;s underground so has the whole stone-work arches going on, high ceilings and a lavish upstairs. It's one of my favourite places to go to in Edinburgh - if I was cool enough I would be here all the time.
Cab Vol (cringe at the abbreviation) is popular amongst students and locals alike as a place to find alternative music within the confines of an interesting environment. By the latter I refer to the burrow like low ceiling, hidden hallways and moody lighting. By the former I refer to the surprisingly good drum & bass events, and alternative house sets.
Drinks and entry fee are pretty standard in terms of price and in general it's a reliable and fun club to spend the night. Expect excruciatingly long queues at the weekend.
Cab Vol (as it is known to locals) is a mixed bag. Sometimes it is pretty rubbish, but I have also had some of my best nights out here. The club is pretty cool to look at, being underground and open brick walls giving it a cave like feel. Built under the arches of South Bridge, it breaks itself down naturally into two rooms, which both have a kinda cool grubby chic to them. Although often packed, the club is the sort of place where it matters less than those on George Street.
This is mainly down to the music; claiming to be a more alternate club than we are used to in Edinburgh, Cab Vol plays drum n base, dubstep, electro and other similar genres of music. Due to the monging / moshing nature of this music it doesn't matter if you're squashed up against someone as you really don't need to flash your coolest dance moves. Also most people in their are either wasted of just a bit off their heads so it does have a slightly out of control but fun atmosphere.
The prices for drinks are ok and the bar stocks most of what you'd expect from a small club. Tuesday is the most popular night, and this is also it's downfall. Most of the time it is great, with free entry and good drum n base meaning it's popular with the cool kids. However word of mouth has also meant that any Rah wearing bright coloured skinny Topshop jeans, high tops and who knows one Pendulum song so thinks they're proper dnb kids turn up which kinda puts a bit of a downer on what otherwise is a good night.
It's a little shameful that I still haven't been to this Edinburgh club on a night out, but I finally made it there to see a comedy show. The most bizarre show I have ever seen, but this review is about Cab Vol (as it's popularly known) so I'll stick to that.
It's extremely central, being just a few minutes walk from the Royal Mile. I was surprised by the sheer size of the place; normally this may create an almost impersonal atmosphere, but Cab Vol is quite cosy and cave like, spread across two levels and wonderfully lacking in day light of any kind. As I said, I haven't been when the whole place is vibrating with music, and packed with people, so I've got more Cab Vol experiencing to do! However, it's worth heading there on a Tuesday night, when entry is free and music is dubstep, house, and techno. It's definitely going to be the first night I head there anyway.
Cabaret Voltaire is a VERY popular venue both for its varied (& often free) gig offerings and it's eclectic club calander.
I find Cab much better for a club night than a busy live gig, as the room layout (venue is located in the City's South Bridge Vaults) does not lend itself particularly well to a stage setting, as a low hang obscures much of the stage from the middle to the back of the room.
Great soundsystem though!
No neds allowed!
A superb nightclub! Cavernous, sweaty, great acoustics, packed with beautiful people and the best range of beers, bottles and spirits I've seen in a club for a long time.
I was there for Tokyo Blu, a cracking club night featuring some rather superb DJs and a brilliant band. Check it, as the young would say.
If lurking in caves is your bag, then you should feel right at home in Cabaret Voltaire.
This nightclub is quite striking as it is situated deep under the Edinburgh Old Town in a series of underground caves.
The locations certainly enhances the experience as the club nights aren't that exciting at the moment. The last two times I've been the music has been a bit too "dancey" for my liking. However, Edinburgh has long needed better nightclubs and I welcome "Cab Vol" if only to spice up Auld Reekie's nightlife. If there more places like this then Edinburgh would have far more of an "edgy" scene and would be a little less "stuck up" (for want of a better phrase!)
The drinks aren't too expensive and the staff are quite trendy and friendly.
This is definitely the place to be seen at and will probably get better with age! However, don't get here before at least 11 as it will be DEAD!
Cabaret Voltaire - Cab Vol - is a popular and rather cool nightclub in the city. Renowned for drum and bass, electro and house music, it attracts a good bunch of DJ's and a crowd passionate for dancing and having a wild time.
I first went here during the Edinburgh festival one summer and it cost me £10 to get in and something similar for two drinks. Yet, somehow, I felt able to justify it all to people as it's the kind of place where you have a really good time. The music is sweet and the people are cool. A pretty desirable combination in a city nightclub. Check it out.
Quenching the music thirst of the Edinburgh hip kids, Cabaret Voltaire brings you gigs and club nights from straight across the spectrum. Definitely one of Scotland's premier music venues and with its cave-like interior together with the fun and funky bar crew and swish new middle bar with sunken tables you sit on the crest of good times in the making.
Tuesdays and Wednesday are the most popular club nights with students pouring in for cheap bevies (starting at £1.50), even cheaper thrills and the chance to show off their new electric blue ankle boots.
Great house music but can get too hot since the dancefloor is downstairs. Loud and in-your-face its filled with high-spirited revelry. Drug-friendly to a degree, it's not one for those of you looking for chart-toppers.
Expensive, but it stays open until 5am during the festival
It's half past one on Wednesday morning, and the queue outside Cabaret Voltaire stretches around the corner of Blair Street.
Because Split, one of Edinburgh's best and most popular drum 'n' bass nights is on.
Once inside, I am accosted by a group of sweaty, topless males, who are telling me excitedly about something. I can feel the sub wriggling up through the soles of my feet.
Soon, I am one of those sweaty, topless males.
When I wake up the next morning I will wonder where my shirt is.
This club is still fantastic.
Cab Vol for short. I was always under the impression that this was filled with Uni students, however there does seem to be a following of late 20s going as well. Personally drink prices aren't anything special, nor is the music but like many places in Edinburgh, the venue itself makes for the great experience.
Based on 2 floors, upstairs although featuring a dance floor usually becomes host to larger parties relaxing in the big booths underneath the stone arched ceilings. Downstairs boasts 2 bars and a few different rooms to get on with dancing. Personally the music is sub-par, featuring alot of techno. Drinks are what they are, for being advertised as a student venue I can't say their prices match this standard.
Great on thursday nights when there is no cover. Open till '3am usually starts to get busy around midnight.
The best club in Edinburgh in my opinion. There is an upper bar and lounge area that leads to a seated area filled with bench seating for groups At 11pm the downstairs potion of the club opens up and although its 7 pounds to get stamped if you show up at around 10:30 you can get in without a line and get down to the lower level quickest. the lower part of the club is broken up into 4 sections. 2 dance floors conjoined by a bar/ lounge area and a chill room on the far side. there are also 2 more bars downstairs , because at around 2 am ( club runs till around 3) it is so crowded that you cannot hardly moved through the fog.The Cabaret Voltaire also has a coat check downstairs, its 1.5 pounds but you want to check any jackets as it gets extremely hot once it gets filled. A great place for groups on the weekend, check the web sight for dj line ups and special events.
Cab Volt has showcased perhaps some of the best drum n bass I've ever seen. There was even a live act that played there once and was just amazing to watch. Some of the finest MCing as well. There's generally electro tech happening in the other room.
The new sick day is Wednesday as Tuesday nights are definitely choice - but it can get mega crowded from midnight onwards. Just one thing, watch that you're being charged the right price for drinks as I've noticed some big 'discrepancies' between the two bars. Also, can have a pretty hefty door charge on the weekends (£10 sometimes).
Not much cabaret, and certainly not the sort of place you'd see Voltaire in, but the cabvol's got a pretty good CV regardless.
From Roots Manuva through Jackson and his Computer Band to all sorts of delectable beats, there've been some fairly stomping nights held here over the past few years.
Personally i just love the massive stone-vaulted ceilings throughout, and the fact that there's a great stage for live acts. what more do you want? decent drinks at decent prices? Done.
So there I was with no ticket or even a poor soul to drag along with me but I was determined to see the resplendent Walter Schreifels & Band. A cheeky face value ticket from the support act, you say? That'll do nicely thanks. (Aside; I abhor the middleman that comes with booking online so from now on I'm going through the actual acts themselves. Stick it to the Man, man!)
Close to Waverley Station and nought but a short walk over North Bridge. It's got a nice cosy cave-like feel to it, ideal for gigs. Now I've not been on a 'night out' here and to be honest I'm not exactly bothered by that. Dark nooks & crannies are my favourite spots but no need to take a sudden deep interest in your shoes; your fellow patrons are friendly and it's not hard to strike up a pleasant conversation here.
There's one thing I really dislike about Cabaret Voltaire though and I think it puts a dampener on things; come 10pm, no matter, the place gets cleared out for a club night at 11pm. It's like your parents coming home annoyingly early and chucking your pals out. As well as you. And the entertainment. Uncool in my opinion.
A-OK-and a half.
Cabaret Voltaire is yet another gem buried in the Cowgate. I know quite a lot of people don't like it, however, so I will get its criticisms over with.
1) The bouncers: I've personally never been turned away but plenty of people have been told they're not getting in because they're 'too drunk' after having had a mere sip of shandy or the equivalent. This is a genuine grievance but one which of course benefits the club in the long term.
2) The drinks: They're overpriced. I once paid £3.70 for a bottle of Magners which, in a place marketing itself to students mid-week, is just a rip-off. The entry fee can also be extortionate if there is a top DJ playing. Again, however, this is ultimately to the club and the clubber's benefit as it reduces all the usual problems which excessive drunkenness causes on nights out.
Putting these minor issues aside, Cab Vol (abbreviated name) is a great club. The layout consists of two subterranean and interconnected rooms with a bar in each. When a good DJ is playing the place is generally heaving and this, coupled with the reverie of the bass, creates a phenomenal atmosphere. Further, the VIP room is as lush as you'll find in any George Street club if not better. Although pricey at times, Cabaret Voltaire goes way beyond the average clubbing experience and offers exciting new music in a very special environment. I only wish my friends would let me go there more often!
Mmm clubbing. Isn't it fun to get sweaty? Don't you just love dancing to great music? Aren't cheap drinks a bonus? If you answered yes, yes, and duh to those three questions then Cab Vol is calling you. There's a different style of music on every night, from drum and bass on a Tuesday to electro on a Friday, with some indie, r&b and techno on other nights, and during the week it's free to get in. The space is intimate and gets crowded, a real remedy to larger, more sterile clubs in Edinburgh. Love it.
I can still remember the first moment I walked into Cabaret Voltaire. I've still not got over it - I just had to dance! Having had my experience confined to horrible cheese music, R&B clubs (yuck!) or rock clubs, the latter of which are definitely more for moshing, this moment was a coming of age. Edinburgh's most reliably good club - especially on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. There are often drinks promos, and two different music style rooms on busy nights. Cabaret Voltaire is also one of Edinburgh's most popular live music venues - this usually happens earlier in the evening, then the club starts later on. Top tips: - don't carry anything silly in your bag, they WILL search it, and thoroughly. - Go after midnight, there's just no point earlier.
Went here to see my friend's band play. We got in on the guest list (always good) and the drinks weren't too steep. Yes it was a good night surreal being in caves though!
Nice place saw a cracking wee band there. cosy place I loved it.
Awesome place - great music, great atmosphere. Probably not a wonderful idea to sit with your head right next to the loudspeaker for 15 minutes, but hey! Touch warm, tho
I've yet to visit this venue for a club night however for my first visit as a gig venue, it came up trumps. It provided a nice, intimate but lively atmosphere (the gig was Angus and Julia Stone, and they were brilliant). There were no long queues and the bar and the drinks were reasonably priced. What more could you ask for?
A wonderful and unique club. It is underground in a large stone cellar looking type place. It can get very busy and the bars can get insanely busy and you can be waiting a while to be served. They do some great themed nights here such as Spanish night, but also nights where unknown acts play and also different DJs.
This place has a great atmosphere and you can't help but dance when you go here. You have to pay cover some nights so it pays to get here early to have the whole night there.
'Cab Vol' as most people call it is an awesome place to go for a break from pop and rock that you get in most edinburgh clubs. Tuesday and Wednesday are good nights to go, and one piece of advice is to go quite late - it's pretty quiet until later on. The place has a distinct underground feel, and plays hectic drum&bass so loud that it rattles your bones, which is great fun if you're game! Several rooms, strict security and a good range of bottled beer (e.g. tiger beers) to get you ready to rip up the dancefloor.
catch it on a good night and the atmosphere is great.
Cabaret Voltaire is my favourite club in Edinburgh. The interior is smart, set in the famous vaults of the South Bridge, the atmosphere is wicked and there is never any trouble there whch is a big plus point. There are various gigs and club nights held and the music policy is diverse so theres something for everyone. My person favourite is the Sugarbeat Club held every last friday of the month with guest djs superb
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