Best. Venue. Ever!
Well, I may be getting a little carried away but it's definitely my favourite place for gigs in London so far. If you want to be downstairs in the thick of it and you're not into getting squashed at the front, the floor is sloping so you can be at the back when the crowd thins out and have an excellent view and superb sound.
The place is character, probably a little rundown for some, but I love the slight crumblyness, dark corridors and coloured lights. Also, the queue for the coat check is the most efficiently operated to I believe I've ever witnessed, you won't be waiting long! And, it's just down the road from my house...
Great venue! (probably my second favourite for concerts out of those I've been to the past year)
02 Brixton hosts a lot of really good electronic artists, so I find myself here fairly often. And as far as venues go, it's pretty solid.
- Easy to get to (5 min walk from Brixton tube, and Brixton village for a pre-gig meal is always nice)
- Doesn't seem to have a specific time restriction re ending (while many shows end at 3, I was here for four tet a few weeks ago and that went till 6)
- Looks amazing (the interior decor is an actual old school theatre. You don't really notice it much since you're looking at the stage but every so often when you pause and gaze around it's pretty awesome)
- Standing area is sloped (while the stage itself is elevated, beyond that, the standing area is on an incline as well. So you can usually manage a decent view
- Decent sized toilets (the ones inside the concert area itself get hectic but if you go out and up to level two there's never much of a queue)
- Pretty good sound system
- Security checks could be faster (e.g. when I came for Hardwell, I think we queued for at least 45 mins)
- They don't allow chewing gum or glowsticks (which is just annoying really)
- bars can get crazy (should have more but there isn't really space)
- Coat check queues can be bad
- Smoking area can be weird (they seem to only open it at a specific time. E.g. 0000/0100; it varies - and there can be a bit of a queue to get out)
- Really shitty VIP area/bar. Won free tickets once. Thought it might be cool. It wasn't. (No queue for the bar though)
Overall, I'm definitely pleased that so many people play here. I have gripes to be sure, but it's still pretty good.
Awesome venue. Great mix of bands and DJs, in a rustic old theatre. Such a convenient location; right in the heart of Brixton, a two minute walk from the tube. Great place to go to a gig.
Great location for Music fans!
I came here to see Basement Jaxx and it was just amazing!!
The only thing that has to take one star off is the fact that upstairs you are not allowed to stand up and dance! Well the first 3 rows aren't... They realized though that for this kind of music basically everyone wants and has to dance so they let us do it anyways!!
Also they should probably have some more people working behind the bar since I missed a lot of songs whilst waiting for my beer.
I recently descended on Brixton Academy 02 for the first time to see Disclosure!
The ques into the venue were fast moving, the security were pleasant with the body and bag check's, I don't know how good their checks our when you can still smell the whiff of cannabis in the theater. The lady told me to watch my bag, so that was kind of her, I mean it is Brixton after all.
The venue has a cloakroom, which i decided not to use, because the ques was too long, so if you do want to use I suggest get in there early plus leave straight after the main act has finished because everyone is thinking the same as you concerning getting their jacket.
The main arena/stage I thought was great,(five stars) i could see my Disclose clearly without feeling i had to move to the front row, plus its not bad maneuver you're self to the front if you want to. The sound was excellent i could hear every bassline.
Be careful not to trip up on all the plastic beer cups plus spills that on the floor that could be easy when your getting your grove on.
I really like the quirky poster near the stage no crowd surfing ha ha!!
After the main act, was done it just turned into a rave, which i thought was great because its a great space for it, with the DJ doin his thang up on the stage.
The toilets were none to be desired plus i asked myself where is the African lady who normally sells or gives perfumes tissues chewing gum etc. The toilets are well kept when they are their.
Brixton Academy seriously need a revamp, i mean the cafe was so outdated and reminded me of something you get on a market stall, with people selling out of a hot dog van with brightly colored stickers on it saying "Tea for 50p".
The frontage before you get into concert space was atrocious so unclean with the drink spillage and cups ewwww!!
I'm sure ill come here again due to an act i want to see...but please 02 you make money don't you? From all the money you get from me over the years phone bill wise and the rest of your customers i don't see what the problem, i feel Brixton Academy is the ugly sister out all your venues.
Please show Brixton Academy the love she so desperately needs.
Ey up Yelp! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year etc etc. Hope you've been doing well over the past few months and have not let me down at all.
On the 20th of December this year, me and a very good friend of mine from University fulfilled a seven year ambition to see the Pogues live in Brixton. One of the first few things we bonded over, one of the first few things we talked about, and we finally managed to do what we had said we would nearly a decade ago (Christ, that makes me feel old).
Objectively, aside from the sentimental aspect, it was a belter and one of the better gigs I've been to. Part of its appeal was the venue, similar in size and shape to the Manchester Apollo and offering the same renovated classical architecture as its Northern cousin. Both venues are famed for their unique, sloping dance floors and often the juxtaposition between the acts on stage and the decor. Pissed, singing along to Sally McLenane and looking up into a domed, renaissance style fresco was, I must admit, one of the more surreal moments of my life.
Halfway between an opera house and a lecture theatre, it really is a venue stuck in time. It provides the gig goer with something different, something a bit more than the ever present, something aside from the same tired venue housed inside a sorry looking brutalist nightmare. Bland, boring and predictable, these are the venues that we have to have less of; we have to remove the banal and have more Brixton Academies, more Manchester Apollos, more venues that have character, life and history.
Yes, the carpets are a hideous green, torn and shabby; yes, the lighting is poor and the sound could be miles better and there is an odd, mouldy smell to the place, but it has character, it has history, it has a sense of itself; it is a photo in time, and in its mixture of old and new, of then and now, a wonderful, almost ironic, sense of modernity.
Unfortunately for me most of the artists I want to see seem to end up performing here but it's really not my favourite place to go at all. I can never be bothered to drink in there because queues for the bars are ridiculous, about ten deep at all times. Queues for the various grotty toilets are out the door and around the corner, cloakrooms queues have at least 50 people at any one time.
No matter where you stand (front or back) you constantly have people pushing past you and your shoes stick to the floor when they're not kicking cups out of the way. The only good points about this place are that tickets are generally reasonably priced (around £20-30) and you have a good view of the stage wherever you stand. Hammersmith Apollo is a slightly smaller venue but worlds apart in terms of organisation and cleanliness. Shame more acts I like don't perform there!
Great music venue with very reasonable prices that vary between 20 to 30 pounds. Wherever you stand you will have a good of the stage which is may be one of the most important things when me talk about concerts. If you are a music fan and want to see bands like The flaming lips, John Newman or Azealia Banks you can do it this March. Have fun and enjoy the music :)
I've been coming to this venue for 10 years and have to say it's the king when it comes down to live gig venues. I've seen all sorts of bands here Kasabian, The White Stripes, Wolfmother, Faithless, Rancid, Gomez, Ocean Colour Scene, Queens Of The Stone Age, The Mars Volta, Primal Scream, Death In Vegas, Feeder and the most recent Hot Chip and I have to say what ever genre of music the sound is always perfect. Another quality of this venue is that you can see the stage wherever you stand due to it's slooping floor, so whatever height you are, you can pretty much see (unless your stuck benhind me as I'm 6ft 3). Toilets are minging, but you find that with most gig venues. Bars are scattered all over, so it's not to difficult to grab a drink.
So if a band you like is playing here, go check them out, you won't be disappointed with this venue.
What a bizarre night.
I saw Hot Chip play one of two nights here and my tickets were for the general admission balcony area (tickets can be for downstairs or upstars - one is cheaper than the other) where I was warned that standing was "absolutely forbidden" and under "no circumstances" was I to attempt standing. OK, fine. I get it.
How do you propose telling a thousand rabid, balcony-bound Hot Chip fans who want to get loose and dance their faces off to sit still?? The moment the music really kicked in, people started standing up and dancing. I thought, there is no way security is going to do anything about - but I was so, so wrong. Moments later they were tapping people on the shoulder, asking each person one by one to sit down. There were verbal disagreements but no pushing or physical force (in Canada anyone disagreeing with security would have been promptly tossed out of the venue - seriously). As soon as security turned its back the offenders would stand up and resume dancing. Then security would return. And repeat.
This went on ALL NIGHT. I couldn't believe it - someone told me that the reason you're not allowed to stand on the balcony level is that the building isn't 'structurally sound'. Very reassuring.
If Goldilocks had been interested in live bands rather than sleeping and porridge she would most certainly have said that Brixton Academy was 'just right.' With a capacity at just under 5000, it's big enough to feel impressive but not so big you feel detached from the onstage action. In 2005 I witnessed one of the greatest gigs of my life when I came to see Faithless perform at this famous venue. On another occasion I was witness to a disastrous performance by Babyshambles (I didn't go through choice). Both gigs will be remembered, albeit for different reasons.
The venue itself is located only a short walk from Brixton tube station and is surrounded by a host of bars and restaurants where you can fill up before heading to the Academy. Inside you will find a massive inner arena overlooked by a smaller seating tier, dotted along either wall are several bars selling reasonably priced Carling's.
Over the years Brixton has hosted a wealth of talent including The Sex Pistols, Massive Attack, The Clash, Prodigy, Nine Inch Nails and Bob Dylan.
Possibly the best music venue in the whole world
Saw Zero7, with Sia. and also Primal Scream, on a very boozy night :)
I'm a massive fan of this place for live music! There is a large space for standing on the ground floor which slopes towards the stage, meaning, no matter how short you are, you are guaranteed to see the stage!
There is also space up stairs for watching too, which goes right around the venue.
Both upstairs and downstairs are generally the same price but I think downstairs is better. .
Great sound system and the place is a good size (not too big).Beautiful old building, old pillars & red velvet decor.
They show lots of alternative music here. THey also hold the NME music nights which are great fun, different bands playing in different rooms all night!
If you like your live music, you'll love this venue!
If you're looking to see live music in London then this is one of the best places to see it. I've seen The Stray Cats here as well as The Mars Volta and both times the acoustics were superb and the gig fantastic.
The great this about this venue is not only is it HUGE but it has a personality. There is never a too long queue at the bar and there is even a place for you to grab some food if you're hungry. Granted it's only cheap snacks but they fill a hole and keep you going if you feel you have more beer than blood in your body.
I have had both sitting seats, which I found a bit frustrating as you really want to dance to the music but I got a great view and also standing at the bottom. Standing is by far the best if you can get them. This is what live music is all about, an exciting venue that is as passionate about the music as it's fans - this shows and make this place on of the top music venues of my choice in London.
Am I one of a dying breed who doesn't crave huge lighting rigs, enormous stages, organised multi-beer dispensers, identikit staff, non-sticky carpets, acoustically designed ceilings, crowds of 20,000, massive merchandise stalls or a soulless, corporate venue?
In that case get down to the Academy quick before it's new corporate sponsor (O2) ruins everything I love about the place! It's a bit of a dirty dive but let's be honest - that's what rock'n'roll is all about!
Let's Rawk! Rawk! Rawk! Rawk! Rawk!........ and get those lighters in the air....
Oh Brixton! You've got the best of the Academies but so far away! I love the setup, you can get a good view no matter where you stand and there's those anti-shove-bars in the middle for those that don't want to get bum-rushed to the stage and trampled. I have to say it's probably one of the better venues of its size and has some amazing acts coming through.
There's some great pubs and bars closeby for some pre-gigging...but hopefully you'll leave the venue with *just* enough wherewithal to find your way home on the night buses or catch the last tubes.
Overall, it has great sound, great vibe and not terribly expensive ticket prices. Win!
Brixton Academy is one of the better venues in London, because of the INCLINE. It doesn't matter if you're standing in the waaaaaaay back of the main floor... you'll still be able to see the stage! That is key.
But I could seriously do without the sticky floors. It seriously inhibits my dance moves when I can barely pick my feet up off the floor without a bit of residue each time. YUCK.
And I love how close it is to the Brixton tube station! After a great gig, the last thing you want to do is spend ages maneuvering your way through city streets trying to find your way back home, and lose your post-gig buzz.
P.S. The Specials show was PHENOMENAL last night.
Had a little visit to the Academy on a Friday night. By way of unique-ness I say it's a step above Shepard's Bush with its double staircase to a mezzanine level with a bar, and more steps to the balcony level. And not as large as Hammersmith Apollo (which is a good thing as it feels a tad more intimate). Let's break this down in easy to ingest review bites:
Bathrooms: Most stalls were in working order and sinks had hot water and soap. Even right after the show I waited no longer than five minutes.
Security: Friendly while doing their job; purse/bag checks went quickly and smoothly; they were polite about kicking sneaky sneakers out of the reserved seats upstairs.
Sound: Pretty good, considering the size. Mystery Jets rocks while also delivering some fantastic harmonic vocals, and I didn't feel cheated by one overpowering the other. My nit-picky complaint is that the vocals were a smidge too loud and had a faint high-pitch ring to them. Could have been worse.
Seating: Open on ground floor if you want to feel energized and the sweat of the guy inevitably pressed up against you. And even though it sloped, at 5' 4" I couldn't see enough to my liking from the very back. I liked that the balcony was where the older folks could sit down after a long work week and enjoy their favorite band without having their beer knocked around by an overzealous 16 year old.
The balcony is broken in half long ways by a big aisle, and those sitting closest to the edge had to stay seated, while those wanting the best of both worlds could stand/dance/rock behind the aisle. A great compromise if you want to get dance-y without having to deal with being pushed around downstairs.
Bar: There were about four or five going, and the ground floor one was busiest (about 10 minutes to get a drink). Go upstairs and the wait is far shorter. I think it cost about £3.75 for a Guiness, £15 for two double vodka drinks.
Getting there: About five minute walk from Brixton Tube. We had a pre-drink/meal at Trinity Arms (see my review)
So you have an idea of start times, the time on the ticket was 7pm, the opening act went on at exactly 8pm, and the headliner went on at about 9:15pm. Arriving at around 7:15pm, I was able to get a spot very close to the stage, but the entire downstairs had filled up by the time the opener went on.
Coat check was £2, and there was a very long queue at the end, so pop up before the end of the show if you want to get out of there early.
The Carling Brixton Academy has good transport links as it is a 5 minute walk from Brixton tube station (leave another 5 minutes for queues). When you get inside, the entrance hall is quite grand with two sweeping staircases either side of you leading to a bar (drinks prices are typical gig prices i.e. quite expensive and queues to the bars are usually very long), toilet and seating area.
The downstairs area has a pricey merchandise shop (it's better to wait until after the gig when merchandise sellers set up stalls outside the venue) and a bar. The concert arena is one of the largest indoor venues in London (fitting nearly 4000) Every one from Kylie Mynouge to The Killers have played at this venue its an amazing atmosphere.
The Carling Academy Brixton tends to have slightly more interesting acts booked in than its Carling Academy cousins, but it really is a bit of a nuisance to get to if you're not based in South London. I've taken many an epic bus ride from the bowels of the south end, wasted on overpriced Carling, at the end of good night. Not the most pleasant.
As far as the venue, it's really fantastic, and its past is storied, giving the sticky floors and sweaty masses that much more of a glow. The sound could be better, but I don't suppose many people notice many nuances when packed like sardines into the stalls. That's just not what this place is all about, and I can't say I care too much, either.
The Brixton Academy is probably the best venue, of its size, in London. Its main advantage is its sloping floor, which enures a decent view, wherever you are (why don't they do that in all venues?).
It also puts on some pretty top names. All the above are the reasons this venue's managed to stay at the top, where others have come and gone.
I'm not complaining in the slightest that this little gem is a mere walk from my abode. It's bloody brilliant here and seems to attract the right bands and acts to suit me.
The sloped floor downstairs, the surprisingly engaging seating upstairs, the large lobby, the heritage from decadent days gone by, the easy transport access, pre-gig drinking options in Brixton and Clapham, the reasonably priced tickets.
Good lord, get some more bar staff! You've got more bars than I have t-shirts! A couple more of the friendly staff on each bar and cloakroom would see those queues dissipate so much quicker. My main gripe about this place.
Well bloomin' 'eck it's in Brixton ain't it. Try not to get shot, mugged or involved in low level drugs crime on your way home yeah?
Oh Brixton how i love you, let me count the ways;
1; The sticky floor ensures I have traction in the event of a stray mosh.
2; The sloping theatre setting, all the better to see your bountiful acts.
3; The lights and sound, so perfectly balanced, so precise.
I've seen several bands here and have loved it every single time, I've got a drum stick from Black Stone Cherry, split down the middle from the excessive rock that ensued!
Brixton is the perfect size which means tickets are well priced. It's a good proper old school rock and rool venue and long may it continue!
Caught Ferry Corsten, Dash Berlin, Richard Durand amd Sied Ven Riel here on NYE 2012.
The venue is just a few minutes walk from the Brixton tube station. ATMs and liquor stores conveniently line the way.
I have concerns with the way the venue was managed, especially in regards to rubbish removal and general cleanliness of public areas. Floors were slippery all night, with rubbish strewn about everywhere. The smoking area is also quite small for a concert hall this size.
The sound system on the main floor was decent, and the lighting was intelligent enough to keep up with the base line. Though I find it unforgivable that the triple LED panels (screens) behind the DJ were set up incorrectly, shattering what could have been a contiguous graphic display into three disconnected images.
In all an above-average rave experience at the O2 Academy.
Gooooood music venue for sure! the staff here are so good at getting thousands of people into the venue quickly and with minimal disruptions. the sloping floors mean that no matter where you stand you will always get a good view of the stage. sound wise, i've never been to a gig here where it has been off, but i have been to gigs here where the crowd are very off...lacking in energy and enthusiasm.
the toilets are pretty manky - they are definitely not in the best shape, however, there are plenty of them. there are enough bars to ensure you never really have to wait for a drink..although to be honest, most of the gigs i tend to go to also seem to attract quite a few...children, so getting to the bar is never really an issue!
when you are here to see a band who are on form, and have an audience watching who are also on form, it's a pretty special experience.
I've been here for a couple shows; Professor Green/Chiddy Bang and Foster The People/We Barbarians. Gotta say this venue is the biggest I've seen around here, but size has its advantages (aka GREAT acts come through here, not sexual innuendo).
I prefer the seating above because the crowds below can become animalistic. The stalls (standing ground floor) IS slanted which is very cool, allows you to far easier see the artist. However I've seen a couple fights break out and it gets SO body on body down there.
However in the upper level (called Circle Unreserved for some reason) the seating is ample and even in a sold out show, not every seat is taken. Both shows I've been to were sold out, the second of which (Pro Green) had lines wrapping ALL THE WAY around the area. But I still sat in the third row on the upper level! Crazy.
The acoustics in here are great; as good as they can be for a place so large. The place really is epic inside. There is this balcony surrounding the entire place that looks like a small Italian village sitting above the arena. Complete with faux-foliage and facade-like features as if this place used to be a coliseum. Half-expecting a man named Maximo to emerge from one of the structures and yell "MAMMA MIA PIZZA PASTA."
Security year is very strict about the no-sitting in the first three seated rows rule. A guy 5 feet from me got into a fight with the guards and got booted because he wouldn't listen to them about sitting down. DRAMA.
Overall this is a sick venue, one of the best and brightest in London. They handle their stuff like pros.
O2 customers get bonus stuff on the line! Like pretzels, hand warmers, and stuff like that!! So bring your O2 phone people.
Another great show (The Specials), another sticky bunch of people and even stickier floor... yum.
Not enough either way to change the rating.. I'm still a fan!
I am missing out one star for Brixton Academy because they could have more bars and toilets inside the venue, but apart from that it's pretty damn perfect.
My other gripe with Brixton Academy is that the security are so damn miserable. They must realise that we are there because we are all seeing our favourite artists/bands, so we are all very excited to be there; but then we have to go through security and it sometimes feel like a job interview - and if we don't pass, we don't get in!
Back to the bars - there need to be more! Also, call me a purist, but I wish that there were not bars in the actual stage bit - sometimes I have stood at the back and not been able to hear the gig properly because people are standing around and... chatting! Could they not do this at a pub?
The venue is by far the best in the standing section. I saw Goldfrapp here, The Strokes,and Massive Attack, and the acoustics were phenomenal. I don't mind the ringing in my ears for days after when the music is this good.
Recently, I was the luckiest girl in the world and was given VIP passes to see Velvet Revolver play here. One of the best bits was getting to see the back bit of the Academy; it is like a labyrinth of stairways, corridors and rooms. The other best bit was getting to meet Slash, but that's another story....
Brixton Academy. Live music. It's one of the places you'll end up at if you're into live music in London.
The funny thing about this place? They've got it sussed.
£1 coat check, and they are keen to let you put multiple coats on a hanger. They're generally nice, as though they need to win your business. Sure, the beer's iffy and overpriced, but that's what you get at a live music venue.
This one's got sound, talent, and a generally spacious, decent experience.
I came for the Papa Roach concert. I was impressed with how big the venue is. We got there a little late after pre-partying at a pub nearby. But we had no problem getting a good spot in the middle of the floor. The floor is sloped downward which was good if you are in the back because you can see. However it sucks if you are pissed and trying to head bang. Although to be fair, it's pretty hard to head bang while pissed and not fall over :-). The sound was excellent and I didn't have any issues with the sticky floor as other people have complained about.
The only thing that sucks is getting out. There was a stampede for the doors and unfortunately all of the exits are quite narrow. There was a lot of pushing and shoving to get out with little security around to ensure a riot didn't occur. Other than that I would come back to see another show.
Rocked the shit out of this place with Finch.
Brixton is the perfect live gig venue to see bigger bands as it is not TOO big, but will hold a substantial crowd. It is also pretty legendary, I remember going to my first gig there and being very excited simply by its name.
The venue itself is very wide and the main standing part is sloped, making sure that punters at the back still have a good view of the stage. There is also balcony seating above, but I prefer to stand at gigs, I find seating frustrating as you cannot quite get into the swing of things. I saw the Mars Volta play here- they played for three hours and my legs were killing, but luckily I could lean on the crowd barriers- a good rest spot as well as a safety precaution for slighty more violence indusing bands.
I also saw Babyshambles play there in there hey day, in fact I think it was there first gig togther and it was an extremely riotous and aggresive crown- security stopped the gig three times and even turned the house lights up! This shows however, that they are very efficient and trouble does not go unoticed.
When the Mighty Boosh did a gig there they converted the academy into more of a theatre space with seating downstairs as well, this worked very well too, so go and see comedy acts there too. The Prodigy have just announced a big gig there, so if you can get tickets it should be an awesome night.
Drinks prices are pretty steep, I always sneak stuff in through the bag search or just have a couple of drinks in one of the many pubs in the area beforehand.
#542 This is the music venue that all other music venues should strive to be. Short story, I had the BEST time here for their Bass Culture concert on March 2nd. Long story, this place really knows how to bring it. Despite the fact that the line into the concert practically wrapped around the block, the professionals at this O2 Academy had no problems getting all of us safely inside with minimal disruptions. Sure, there was the occasional underage kid and sketchy guy sniffed out by the police dog, but they were so professionally escorted out that I had no concerns of a riot breaking out or mayhem raining down upon us. The security back in the states at concert venues should learn a lesson or two from these guys and back off the in-your-face intimidation tactics. Respect can go a long way whether you're the thief or the victim.
As for the inside, the main dance floor is HUGE. Yet, the stage seems so intimate from every corner. I suppose it was the set up that night or the fact that the DJ's were so far out on the stage that it seemed like everything was much closer. But, you shouldn't have any problems with seeing the show regardless of where you stand. Though, make sure you wear some hardy shoes that you don't mind tossing out because my feet were drenched by the end of the night. The bars, thankfully, are set far away from the stage and there weren't any of those massive lives you get back in Hollywood. People worked their way through and everyone left happy, with drinks in their hands within 15 minutes. We also made sure to pick out the friendliest bartender and tip him regularly so he would handle our orders much more efficiently. Of course we know it's not the norm, but it's nice to be nice.
The restrooms, unfortunately, aren't in the best shape. Doors don't lock and toilet paper isn't replenished as quickly as it should. The ground floor women's restroom is definitely one to steer clear from because of its tiny size. It was obscene how many girls were trying to make their way inside. I usually opted for the first floor restroom as there were many more stalls and the staff seemed to stay on top of most of the materials there. I also appreciated the superfluous amount of seating that's offered throughout the entire place and it was great to rest the legs whenever needed. Plus, you have the entire balcony to chill out and (possibly) take a nap. Altogether, all of the factors say you should attend a concert here at least once in your lifetime, as long as that's your scene.
Excellent venue for live performances. I recently went here to see Jill Scott and she was amazing. A long list of top acts have performed here and I await to see another fantastic artist.
This venue is also used for club nights which I have yet to experience. The capacity is excellent, the sound system is powerful and live instruments sound beautifully clear.
The toilets are situated near the far front right of the stage and also in the lobby area.
There are three bars with all the top brands, a double Jack Daniels & coke will set you back under £10.
There is also one cash machine near the entrance which is super as they only accept cash at the bars.
The only downside is the ridiculous queue that forms outside the venue. However, those of you who are on an O2 phone contract are lucky enough to queue jump.
All in all, a fantastic local venue in the buzzing area of Brixton!
My review will be a little biased, since the 'Card just played here two nights in a row, but we had an amazing time. Unbelievable place to play a show, the Brixton is just massive and sounds bitchin. Staff were all nice and friendly.
I'd love to come see a show here sometime. Brixton is the stuff of legends.
As I am a concert freak I have been to plenty of venues and the o2 Brixton is really nice. The medium sized (bigger than Islington or Shepherd's Bush though) and old like most of the o2 Academy's.
The sounds was great and you can see from all levels and angles! The venue is easily accessible via buses or the northern line and the shows are never over later than 11pm, so plenty of time to catch the last tube!
The venue is not small, even though I would say its medium, cuz to me the o2 Stadium is big, but nonetheless the cue can get pretty damn long. If you have an o2 phone though, you can get into the priority line and skip the cue :)
The only thing why I am giving 4 and not 5 stars are the prices for beer. Since it is a concert venue I am accepting a higher price, so £4 would be ok, but £4.05 is simply annoying!! why the hell would you charge that! A) I don't have coins and B) I don't wanna get that many coins back! So, just charge me maybe £4, but £4.05 is just retarded!
I realize that many people would want to lynch me for not giving Brixton Academy five stars because, as Ben Bridwell from Band of Horses said at the gig there recently, it's basically hallowed ground for anyone who has listened to any popular music in the last forty years.
It is certainly full of character, and even sitting right at the back upstairs you get a decent view of the stage - just be sure that you're seeing a band that will fill the space. I could barely hear the support act the other day, while Band of Horses could probably have been heard from the Hammersmith Apollo.
My main reservations are that the drinks are expensive and there's usually a queue at the bars. Also, people there are keen, so I turned up pretty early and could hardly make it into standing. Plus, the main pit has this slightly crazy raked floor which makes for weird surges in the crowd. Maybe this is just a question of taste, but for some reason I just prefer being squished in a crowd at the Shepherd's Bush Empire than the Brixton Academy.
Waited years to see one of my favourite bands, four songs in I had been pick-pocketed and I wasn't the only one. Seriously, five people had phones and cameras stolen inside about 15 minutes. Now, the staff weren't bad but I was the first down there to report it and they kept me waiting around for half an hour before I could report it to them and they said I then had to go to the police station. My night was ruined and I trudged off to Brixton police station. Next week, I read that there has been a spate of pickpocketing in the venue going back months and yet, from the way they handled it, you wouldn't have known that this happens even once a month, let alone five times in 15 minutes.
I've wanted to see other bands at the Academy but now I feel like I can't trust the place.
I love this venue, I just went there this week to se Goldfrapp, who by the way is quite amazing live, and it was such a joy, for the first time I did not have to stand on the tip of my toes to see the stage! Every time I go to a concert all I see are the napes of the people in front of me, or the not so exciting screens. At the Brixton Academy I even moved around the place, to see if I could see the stage from a different angle, and it was the same from every angle, a good view, this is democracy for the short ones like me. One other aspect I like is the size of the place; it's small but not too small. Another plus is the sound system, definitely prime grade A stuff. To wrap the whole package they always have good acts here. I'm ready for my next gig... what will it be.
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