Who wouldn't know O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire, right?
Well, in case you would not:
O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire is a fairly large 'used-to-be-theatre-turned-gig-venue' in (surprise surprise) Shepherd's Bush. The sound is great, experience positive. Downstairs is usually standing area (unless deliberately filled with seats) and balconies on two levels reserved for seating.
Drinks are served in plastic cups for about £5 a pint and cloakroom £2 per item.
Somehow, despite frequenting the Shepherds Bush area quite, err, frequently, I never noticed this place until I saw my first gig here (first gig in London, even! Whoo hoo look at me - I'm so hip!). Saw Clean Bandit here on May 9, 2014. The venue is alright, nothing to write home about. It's kind of grody and dark - the kind of place in which you'd expect to come across cobwebs, dust, and illicit sexual encounters in various shadowy corners. Which excites me a little, I must admit.
If I come back here, however, you can bet your ass I'll be toting my own stash of liquor in a hip flask, as everything about the bar service SUCKED. Bartenders are slow and poorly trained, the wait time is at least 20 minutes, and the unmarked bottle of liquor from which I was served was marked "vodka" in scribbled black marker - and gave me a hangover that comes only from shitty alcohol.
In terms of sound quality, I wasn't impressed, but then again - I stood all the way at the back against the wall (I figured that was where I'd be most likely to stumble upon one of those aforementioned illicit encounters *wink wink*).
Not bad, but not good either. Meh...
Really beautiful and old theater with some really great bands coming through. I went to a show on a wednesday and it was perfect, not that many people were there and I learned the valuable lesson what "stalls" meant seats.
They're sticklers with tickets people, and the front area is seating so if you're standing, you are in the back by the bar. They don't take card below £10 so keep some cash on you.
I came here to see Jessie Ware live and she was brilliant! I doubly enjoyed the show because of the amazing space.
Though I would normally stand at a concert, I opted to sit in the balcony so that I could have a better view. Plus, I didn't expect to jump around at an R&B concert. I loved the old theatre decor and the plush seating. The laid back vibe made for a perfectly pleasant evening.
There is a bar in the concert hall (of course), but they do not serve food. Luckily, they allow you to bring your own (or at least they let me through with my crisps lol). But there are plenty of places to eat before a show, especially since it's down the street from Westfield Shepherd's Bush.
She Bu (shay boo) was the very first music venue I visited after moving to London (to see Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros).
At the time, I was bowled over -- the grand theatre feel of balconies, plush red velour seats and carpets and the intricately carved ceilings and archways. This was a far cry from the dumpy, box-shaped and black-interior bars I was used to seeing live shows at in AZ. Little did I know that many of the city's great theaters have been repurposed for hosting bands.
The character aspect is lovely, but that's not all there is to a great venue, am I right? There's sound quality and staff and drink prices and bathrooms and can-i-get-a-good-view? to consider. Thankfully, She Bu completely delivers on all fronts. Security is competent without the attitude, bar line moves as quick as can be expected, and I'm happy with my balcony seat where I can see the show without having to feel the sweaty back or eat the hair of the person in front of me.
It's the perfect size to feel like you're really experiencing a live performance of the band you love but not so small that you feel like you're inhaling sweat vapors and beer breath fumes all night.
Also, you have loads of options for eating, shopping and drinking before the show at the nearby Shepherd's Bush market/mall.
I had my first gig here on Friday, and was really shocked I had never been here before! The sound was great, and standing at the back on the little raised area made for great viewing for a tiny person like myself.
Entry was quick and easy which is a bonus as I find some gig venues really long it out and keep you waiting around!
The only disappointment was the amount of younger 'kids' being sick in the toilet before half 9, and that having not been cleaned up!
This place has never had the greatest acoustics. From the first time I ever visited the place to watch Coldplay and every single time since, I've always come away with the feeling that whoever was on the mixing desk was doing a bad job, but it can't be them every time, surely?
The place has a similar setup to the Brixton academy (my hands down favourite medium sized venue) and there's plenty of nearby pubs to get warmed up before the event you're seeing. It's just a shame that the acoustics don't lend themselves to a good performance.
After seeing two metal bands, followed by the documentary "Anvil," only then to be unexpectedly surprised by a super secret live Anvil performance, the Empire will always get big love from me. For it was in this venue that somehow I not only tolerated heavy metal (and the long crimped hair, heavy eyeliner and pointy guitars that accompany), but actually greatly enjoyed it. There was magic in this venue, I tell ya.
I mean, not only has Charlie Chaplin, Bob Dylan and Page & Plant graced the stage, but a Eurovision Song Contest preliminary heat was held here! And that's legit.
Go get classy with your bad self and enjoy the grandiose experience of Shepherds Bush Empire... or maybe go see a heavy metal band. Whatever.
My first venture into Shepherds Bush is one I will remember for quite a while. Courtesy of Chris O. and buddy Eamon, I had myself a ticket to see my hometown heroes, Social Distortion absolutely obliterate the rough off of the Shepherds Bush Empire.
Never have I seen so many people decked out in their best pompadour haircuts, vintage 50's style and mass collections of tattoos in one place at one time in London. This truly made me feel like I was back home and hanging out in Fullerton, California.
The venue itself is massive and really cool to look at. The sound quality was quite good, it was easy to get to the bar and they didn't charge an arm and a leg for a couple of beers.
I want to love the Empire because it's so close to home (which is hard to find when you live in SW London), but this place sucks. I can think of many other venues I'd rather go to for a rocking night out. The problem with SBE? THE FLOOR. Do not make flat floors at rock venues! Just don't! I'm pretty tall, well... taller than average. And I couldn't see a damn thing last night in the middle of a packed crowd on the main floor. I just had to assume a band was actually on stage based on the sound (which was also pretty bad).
The good news is that you have plenty of pre-gig libation choices around the Green. The bad news is that once you're in, you're in, and they like to close the doors before the headlining act even begins.
Next time I'll not bother with floor tickets and opt for the balcony instead. They seemed to be enjoying themselves up there and could actually SEE the stage.
I saw the weird and wonderful Beach House here in late 2011.
If you're anything like me, you choose what gigs you're going to by the bands rather than the venue but hey ho, it's always nice to know that the place isn't a dump.
Shepherd's Bush Empire is a great place full of character. After ignoring the man being arrested outside, and you can't really blame them for that, it's easy to get to, easy to get in and the staff were fine. The Cloakroom wasn't too outrageously expensive. There are plenty of bike racks out front.
Standing downstairs it feels pretty intimate, and easy enough to get near the front if that's your thing. But look back and up at the fire and you appreciate how big it is and that lends nice bit of epic grandeur to any set.
The missing star? Well that will be because I had little option but to buy a dull pint of generic lager in a plastic cup. And to do that I had to take out a small mortgage. Why oh why is a decent beer seemingly impossible when you're seeing gigs in London?
Despite having favourite venues, I'm sure I'm not alone in generally choosing which gigs to go to based on who rather than where. If it's in London and I want to see the band, I'll go. If it happens to be in Shepherd's Bush, then fine. It's close to where I live, which is a bonus, but there's nothing very special about it and I certainly prefer other venues, like Roundhouse or Brixton Academy.
The Empire feels quite tight and full even when it isn't. There are long queues for everything and the sound is good but not great. If you end up on the balcony you enjoy the view for two songs and then get fed up of having to look so far down and not being able to move at all.
I like Matt D's idea of getting there early in the summer and having a few pre-show drinks on the green - great shout.
I'll go again if I want to see the show but I actually prefer Bush Hall just around the corner.
I'm going to try and write this from memory as I might have been a little bit pissed last night. I came here for Fancy! club night and it was awesome. I can't beleive I haven't reviewed this already. I came here a while ago to see Jill Scott perform and it was fabulous. The Empire is old, really old and the theatre style seats make it so versitile.
I can compare it to Koko in its style but it's better than Koko for 2 reasons, its small and therefore more intimate, and also, being way out here you don't get the idiots who hang around in Camden's bars at night cramping your style. In actually fact, it's an almost perfect venue. The limited toilets make it a little frustrating when your full of wine and busting for the loo.
So having the opportunity to wonder around here dressed as a prawn with snow white, several pirates, a male nun and a cowboy was awesome. There are balcony bits you can stand in and look down at the dancing crowds, small bars filled with silent disco, a huge dance floor. It's just fab!
The Empire is a lot like the Forum for me in that it's a great place to be if you're on the ground but if you're in the balcony you start to run into some troubles. Ours was that we ended up on the third tier which I have to say, had really good sound for being that high up, but a few of the spots suffered from obstructed views... and there's a steep vertical in there so you are reallllly high up, I hope you don't get vertigo!
The floor can be a lot of fun though (and excessively sticky!!), just don't try to get lost in the maze of stairwells while trying to find the coat checks or toilets. I can't say it's in my favorite of locations as it takes two buses for me to get home afterwards, but sometimes you just gotta make the trip.
This place is thaaaa shizzlesss !!!! I love this venue. I had been once here before for Social Distortion and yesterday for Pearl Jam who were aweeeeeeeesooommmmeee !!.
Anyway this is a lovely venue with great sound system. The staff are kewl and this place has a character about it self.
Please check out as many concerts u can out here. This reminds of The Filmore in San Francisco.
Living only a couple of minutes walk away from the Hammersmith Apollo, I sometimes find it tricky to haul myself to any other venue. But just two visits later and the Shepherd's Bush Empire has soon become one of my favourite venues.
The first time I saw Jose Gonzalez play to a half full seated venue. The Empire is so beautifully intimate his delicate voice filled it and made him feel like he was playing above a tiny pub. The second time, last night at the Tallest Man on Earth, the chairs were stripped out and it was full to the brim.
Being pretty short and stood behind, quite literally, the tallest man on earth, I sometimes found it difficult to see the teeny man strutting his stuff on stage. But once again it was the ideal place to see an acoustic solo performer.
If you're in search of a nearby boozer, please walk straight past the Walkabout and pace an extra 30 steps to the Defectors Weld. You won't regret it.
I have seen some great shows at the Shepherd's Bush Empire which has become one of the biggest arenas on the London gig circuit.
The main floor can get pretty crowded during sold out shows and therefore you need to be prepared to be pushed and jostled a little during a live show. Then again you could argue that that is part of a gig experience. If you are short then it is well worth trying to get there a bit early as if you are in the middle of the floor you might have a job of seeing comfortably. Failing that you can head to the back where there is a small raised platform which is also where the bar can be found. Being at the back will not mean that you are far away from the action, Shepherd's Bush Empire is quite small compared to other venues so even if you are at the back you can still feel close to the action.
One problem I find with the SBE is that the audiences tend to talk a lot during the shows which to me is a real annoyance. It may only have been the shows that I have been to in which this has happened (although other people I have spoken to have had similar experiences). You can kind of understand a bit of music related chatter as going to a gig can be quite exciting but too many times I have found myself involuntarily listening to people discuss how their meetings went that afternoon or what they're buying their wife for their birthday DURING the performance. Luckily SBE is an all standing venue so if you have room you always have the option of moving away from such people.
Parking outside the venue is impossible but there is a car park next to the nearby shopping mall which charges or in surrounding streets which are parking permit until 7.30pm (I think, double check). For pre gig food and drinks there are plenty of pubs and restaurants surrounding the area so you can keep an eye on the queue if you were wanting to head in first.
Shepherds Bush is pretty good. Not as good as the Roman Empire, which was far bigger and spread across Europe. But holding a concert in the Roman Empire was a logistical nightmare.
I've never tried the Empire with the assortment of drugs I've been offered between the tube station and the venue so I can't tell you whether they'd make the musical performances better or worse. I have seen some good music here; although I'm troubled to remember much of it. I think I saw Ben Folds play there with Divine Comedy. I had a ticket to see Norah Jones once but didn't go, I'm struggling to remember what else I've seen there even though I must've been there about eight times.
I much prefer the Brixton Academy - I think it gets a better atmosphere and better sound. Shepherds Bush just isn't quite the same. That said, I finde it hard to justify my reasons-- but you know what it's like, everyone has favourite venues and there's usually very little justification as to why.
The Shepherds Bush Empire is a very decent place to see a show. There is not too much to complain about. The view is good from basically anywhere, and as most of the shows are general admission, which means you don't have to get there really early to be able to see.
Unlike some of the other music venues in London, the lines at the bar don't seem to be too long, even at a sold out show.
I went to see Bon Iver at the Empire a few months ago, and there was a sign telling the crowd to be quite during the show. Due to the nature of the venue, it can be a bit loud sometimes. The sign seemed to work though and everyone was quite respectful of the artist.
The location on the green is perfect, especially for gigs in summer. The best thing to do on a hot night is to have a few pre-show drinks on the green. It is far better that going to O'Neills or the Walkabout on either side of the venue.
Awesome old theatre. Seating was cramped in our section but not too bad. It helped that we were right at the top next to the bar, booze makes everything better. Standing room only in the front stage area and side vip seating too.
The sound was great and the band I saw that night had the huge screen playing various animation to match the songs. Not sure if thats always available but it was a cool addition to the musical experience. No laser light show needed.
One of the (possibly only) ladies toilet upstairs only had two stalls??? sheesh that was annoying.
As far as bigger live music venues go, this one is tops.
Although I prefer smaller, more intimate gigs, this venue is not too big that you feel like you are miles away watching a tiny spot on the stage. The main standing area can fit lots of people in, but it is pretty easy to make your way right up to the front of the stage if you fancy a bit of squashy, sweaty, music love. I always find it hard to stand back and not get stuck in...
Downstairs behind the standing area in front of the stage is a raised part, where the bar is, and you can also stand up here to watch, which can be quite a good vantage point if you want to get a a good look without getting mooshed by the crowd.
Upstairs there are seats on the balcony and also standing space behind the seats. I have been in the standing space upstairs, and you actually get a really good view, and also space to dance around and not get crushed by all the people downstairs, clambering to take a tiny, fuzzy video on their camera phones...
The sound quality is good, the lighting is also good, and I think there is generally a great atmosphere about this venue. The crowd definitely varies, obviously, depending on the band you are going to see. I saw Imelda May here last week - she was brilliant, and the venue was perfect for her show.
The bar prices are standard London live music venue prices. Mine's normally a cider from here, in case you were wondering.
I always love coming to see gigs at The Shepherds Bush Empire.
I've seen so many great shows here from Aereogramme to Mew to Band of Horses. I've never actually watched a gig standing in the main part of the venue, we've always gone for the seating option (I'm getting old now and I like to sit and watch gigs!).
The venue itself is absolutely beautiful. A real "adult" venue - not grotty or dingy or dank. The sound is always perfect and the crowd, always well behaved. You sometimes become tired of the usual "rock" venues and their lack of atmosphere, this place has plenty of good vibes.
The ticket prices can be a little expensive but if you are desperate enough to see your favourite band play London and it happens to be here, grab your tickets now and head down to the SBE, it's a great venue.
Shepherds Bush Empire is rather beautiful on the inside, in fact very beautiful. It was designed by the Victorian architect Frank Matcham originally as a theatre, and it's great that the venue still holds all its original, grandiose features.
When you're standing in the main part in front of the stage be sure to look up, and be prepared to be wowed by the magnificent interior. It's a nice juxtaposition to be able to watch all sorts of gigs here, and basque in an interior so far removed from what you've come to see.
The Empire is a very reputable place as they have played host to a large range of gigs as well as music awards.
Both my visits here have been highly memorable. The first was to watch Ziggy Marley, the second time was Faithless which turned out to be one of the best concerts I have ever been to. And it makes such a huge difference when the venue is so enticing.
I came to see the Pretty Reckless perform and I had never been to this venue, but was pleasantly surprised!
The venue is not big, but not small either, I would say a good medium size and really old like most o2 venues I have been to. The atmosphere is great and you can see the stage from everywhere, even if you're on level 3. The sound was great as well and the staff really friendly (the bathrooms where pretty clean as well).
The only thing I didn't like was the price of the beer, which I thought was a bit steep, but right next to the venue is an O'Neill's pub and near the tube station is a Wetherspoon, so two great places to meet up and drink before the show to avoid the expensive drinks!
Overall I really liked this venue and I will definitely go back to see more shows!
I like concerts and gigs and London is a great great town for this. Have been a couple of times to Sheperd's Bush Empire and always really liked my venue and the atmosphere.
Of course as mentionned before, you don't pick a concert for its concert hall but for the band performing there but if you wonder what you will get, here is some tip !
Sheperd's Bush is located some 200 meters from the tube station and is really easy to access. At first it was a theatre and you can still admire the decoration from its previous use.
Theatre means good view on the stage wherever you're located in the hall but also it has a really good sound quality. The place is not too big so you're never too far from the band playing and the decoration really gives a vibe to the place.
Depending on the price of your ticket you'll be either seated on the first floor seat as usually not marked so first there first sit or stand in the hall. There is an intermediate floor behind the electronic monitory where you can also stand above the crowd.
There is cloackroom and bars where you get the usual pint of beer or soft drinks. No much choice of food just some crips and really classic beer. You always pay expensive price for this but this how it works everywhere the same !
The main post office in W12.
As with all large post offices across this fair country, it is kept in a very shabby condition.
However, you can get nearly everything you would need to get done at the post office here. You can post anything and get all the supplies necessary for such an act (lots and lots of envelopes, brown paper, sticky tape, stamps etc). You can pay your bills. You can pick up important forms - like driving license application, E1 11 (I'm always surprised at how few people know the joys of the E1 11 form), passport forms.You can do your banking here if you wish. You can exchange money for 0% commission. All of these marvellous activities.
At lunch times you can also wait for a long time in the queue. There are a lot of counters though, so the queue moves relatively quickly. At other times it's quiet and you can get on with your business rather efficiently.
Additional extras in this post office include a shelf of Mills & Boons-esque novels for about 2 quid each and some very strange videos and DVDs that you will never have heard of before.
The number of lunchtimes I have spent queuing in this place to post my ebay wares, it's untrue! Like all Post Offices, it's super slow and inefficient, not helped by the fact that they've shut down all the other ones nearby, so every man and his dog has to come here.
They should have two queues really: one for people who just want to post stuff, which will only take about two seconds, and others who have bizarre queries about passports or benefits and end up taking three hours and slowing everybody else down. When will we get some real competition for the post office? That's what I want to know.
Main post office in Shepherds Bush, located at Shepherds Bush Green.
Extremely busy at all times, long queue reaches main doors almost always and usually not enough desks open. Sells stationery, lottery tickets and has a Bureau de Change.
This place reminds me of Camden Palace, sorry... Koko's, so much it is uncanny. As I love Koko's, it stands to reason I loved Shepherds Bush Empire. This is a big, classic feeling theatre'esqe club that can pack them in by the thousand. It is grand, sexy with enough bars dotted around on the different levels, you are never that far from a place to grab a drink. There are indeed so many little walkways and levels, it is easy to get lost. Nevertheless if you pick a good night to go on with a fun group of friends, you will have a great time for sure.
I had the opportunity to try this venue for the first time last Saturday to see bearded French singer Sebastien Tellier. I have to say that it was not the best stage performance I have seen and this was not just because the singer did not do himself justice. The accoustics were not amazing and the security guards were very rude. They refused to allow us in with an empty bottle of water so we had to throw the precious little bottle away. Later on, I was looking for a friend I was planning to meet at the venue, going up and down the stairs and another security guard told me off for standing on the stairs. And believe me, he did not do it politely. As it took me a while to find my friend and I went around the venue a few times, up and down scanning the crowd to see whether I could figure out where he was, the security guard looked at me with piercing, angry eyes as if I was some terrorist suspect. Feeling under surveillance, I decided to give up my search for my friend.
The venue itself is beautiful and spacious with several bars, perhaps one too many, as it was difficult to focus on the performance whilst crowds of people were going past me to get their drinks. Not the best way to enjoy a show. I went up to the bar to ask whether they had any snacks and all they had were overpriced Pringles which we did buy but the lack of choice was a bit of a disappointment.
In short, I would say it is a beautiful venue, well-suited in many ways for gigs but for some reason it lacked atmosphere and warmth. I wouldn't rule out going back there but I won't actively look out for it.
I nice venue. Plenty of space for a decent-sized crowd yet small enough so that everyone can feel close to the stage. Beers cost around £4.50. I saw the Avett Brothers here, so I'm sure that I score this place higher simply based on that fact.
Post Office, it does what it says on the tin. This branch is a particularly ugly one, located just on Shepherd's Bush Green. Most of the smaller Post Offices as well as the main sorting office in my neighbourhood have been closed this one was listed as the closest one for me to reniew my driver's licence.
The only reason I am writing this review is because I am so impressed with the service I received from the staff this morning. I first queued briefly for regular counter service but was then sent straight to the special counter with a big photo booth attached to it. It has been ages since I enjoyed running an errant as much as I did this one. The attendant who talked me through the process was just as friendly as the first one. I still hate having my passport picture taken, but this was a lot less stressful than it could be!
Many people have been complaining about DVLR prioritising the Post Office for processing their licences; I actually liked this experience of good old-fashioned service, and don't mind paying for it. Actually, the £4.50 charge (on top of the £20 fee) is less than having your passport pictures taken elsewhere.
As I don't actually live in Shepherds Bush, I will probably not have reason to visit this branch again until my photocard needs reviewing again in 10 years time I hope it will still be here then!
This Post Office is a very useful asset to Shepherd's Bush but it does look a little sad and shabby inside with the queue shuffling slowly round the barriers. However there is a good range of services including road tax and foreign exchange. It's also possible to get some philatelic items such as first day covers and presentation packs. If you want to avoid the queue just to buy stamps these are available in books of 6 from the greetings card counter. As you go in through the main entrance on the right there's a rack with many useful forms including ones for passport applications.
I recently moved to Shepherds Bush so I am fairly new to the area when I first saw the post office I was really pleased to have a big post office practically on my door step as I am always posting stuff to people and I buy loads of stamps too due to the work I do, However I am really disappointed with the service they give it's always a long que that much people are standing out side the doors not just that when you do get to the counter each and every one of the staff are the most unhelpful people ever.
I asked to buy stamps and the lady and the others I have bought stamps from just can not be bothered at all they hurry you up huff and puff and yet they are supposed to be working there all day, i get moaned at when I am buying stamps for being to slow the next time I went back I remembered this so tried to hurry up what I wanted, I then got told she only had one pair of hands and to slow down at this point I wasn't pleased with her attitude for the 10th time of not saying anything so I reminded her the last time she told me I was to slow so I hurried up because you told me to the last time she tried to laugh it off and looked really embarrassed, I told her I thought her manners were rude, cold and really unhelpful she tried to explained her self so I then reminded her again of ALL the time she had been so rude to me including the first time I ever went to this post office she was rude and unpleasant didn't even smile.
In fact NONE of the ladies do in there.
There is a FAR better post office about 10 minutes from that one 52 Shepherds Bush Road, It's much cheaper it has FAR more envelopes packets, sellotape It has EVERYTHING the BIG post office doesn't and it's less than half the price so to read the comments about it having everything you can buy IS NOT TRUE it doesn't and I have never been able to get an envelope I needed let alone a packet or even sellotape for EVERYTHING YOU can think of when it comes to posting your items you need to use 52 Shepherds bush road.
They really need to get more staff sometimes they have only 3 staff or 4 and one of those are doing nothing stood at the door asking people if they need this or that when actual fact they need to post there items without waiting 30 minutes MORE! but can't if they only have 3 members of staff and about 15 people in the que.
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