Why can't all London venues be this awesome? It's so much smaller than your Brixton Academy or your HMV Forum... which is a big win in my book.
The sound (handled by a technician inside a cage-like apparatus on the balcony area) is great in here. And I love the layout -- you never feel like you're cordoned off into one section if you're upstairs or down.
I have one minor gripe with Scala and that is... a smoking section inside? Really? Get with the times, dudes, smoking is soooo lame now. Kinda smells like a dirty stale smoke-infested pub on the balcony. But if you're there for a great gig, chances are you won't even notice it.
My tip to you: Try and snag a spot at the front of the railing in the upstairs area. The view is perfect, as is the sound. And (to use a phrase I think I've used in every venue review I've done in London) your face will be most certainly melted.
This place has a great vibe, but you need to know what you're getting yourself into. Went with a good mate of mine on a Saturday night to meet up with a girl he met online. Though we never ended up finding her, both of us had a blast.
Scala is first and foremost a rock & roll club / venue. Never have I been in a place with more concentration of tattoos on both guys and girls outside of a tattoo parlor. I think I saw more girls with sleeve tattoos inside than all of London combined outside of the venue. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
The place itself is a maze with lots of stairways and corridors and rooms with windows. I remember being at the standing area of the stage and seeing two rooms that I wanted to go to. I went for it, and after 4-5 flights of stairs, I was at another bar within the venue I had never seen before! It is a lot of fun running around getting lost in there, especially when you are a bit buzzed.
The drinks are cheap and strong, a JD and coke setting you back less than half of what it would cost at any other club. Music was a bit heavy for me but still enjoyable.
For me Scala is not going to be a reoccurring stomping ground, but when the stars align and I'm up for a night of rock & roll mischief, there is no substitute.
I lived in King's Cross for a while and never knew this venue existed. But I would come back here in a heartbeat.
This is a multi-level spot to see shows, and it's just what I want from an event. It's intimate, the sound is great, you can see the stage from multiple vantage points and it's a lot of fun.
Loved the stage area on the first floor - big, open, great for dancing or rocking out, but then a raised platform in the back for just watching it all go down. There's also a floor above with a railing looking down on the show for even more. It was happy to be in the crowd and then out of the crowd when I wanted. And the sound was amazing - perfect in the stage area, non-existent in the bar area so you could go and collect your thoughts if you needed to. Win.
Couple issues. To get in you have to Queue outside, which sucks in the cold, but worth it when you make it through the door. Then again, once you're inside, coat check is a nightmare. You have to queue down a hallway, then double back towards the closet. Even just getting into the queue in the first part was miserable.
But lucky enough there's a bar right next to it, so you go right from the frustrating to drinking.
I'd come back here to see a show again any time. No question.
Based on my experience this place is poorly organised.
Big event taking place at the Scala. You buy early bird tickets. You turn up an hour after doors open and wait an hour and a half in the coldest evening of the year to be let in. Even though you have tickets, you get man handled through the doors. You don't even get searched so you wonder what all the fuss was about. You see the queues for the cloakrooms and toilets so you carry your bag and coat around. The place packs up quickly and it's so busy and crammed you can't be bothered to go to the bar again after you've managed to get your first drink. It's soo busy, and you've been waiting so long for everything you leave never to return.
Get better/more bouncers, bar staff, toilet cleaners, cloakroom attendance, everything.
I love Scala for the same reason I love first dates: there's buzz when the doors first open, mystery around every corner, you're essentially in the dark and everything looks so damn sexy in low lighting... until you get frisked, which happens far too often in both cases.
There's expensive booze, strange overpowering smells, and what could first be conceived as an illusion of smoke and mirrors, quickly morphs into a cozy and intimate evening.
I must say, they are both fantastic for putting on a show!
Yay! What a great venue! Tonight was my first visit to Scala, and I would definitely go back. Hopefully more acts I love will play there!
Love the smaller feel. Scala is standing room only, but there are so many different levels at all sorts of angles that it's fairly easy to avoid the floor smushiness.
The sound was excellent! Super easy to access from Kings Cross Underground. Quick and efficient coat check for £2, and the bar staff were lovely.
I went to a gig at Scala last night for the first time and was pleasantly surprised. The place appeared to have at least a hundred rooms and stairways, making me feel like I was entering the deepest pits of hell. This was a good thing, though, as I was there to see Italian horror movie soundtrack legends, Goblin. So the endless descent down red-walled stairways seemed appropriate.
Despite a full house, wait at the bar was minimal. Sound was really good. Lina happy. One downside was the ridiculous queue system. 90 minutes after doors opened there was still an enormous queue outside--they could definitely streamline the process.
Last night was my first night at the Scala, I'd heard so much about it growing up in the UK. I went to see a youtube rapper.
The sound system is pretty awesome and there's a sound/ lighting team pitched right in the middle of the hall in a massive cage!
Not sure what its like on a normal club night but I think id like to check it out sometime for sure.
euff.. was I drunk here!!!
I can't even remember the number of times I have been here, almost always to see fantastic live music. The last time it was Calvin Harris, yes sad I know, but it was before he was signed and he was actually quite cool!
The great thing about this place is the space, even though it's smaller, there is always room to dance, never a too long queue at the bar and reasonable priced drinks. All in all a killer music venue. and club.
While I was living near King's Cross, Scala used to be one of my chosen venues for a night out, especially the Saturday Indie club night Chalk. The best thing about Scala is that it is set up for both DJs and live acts. It often hosts nights where you get a bit of both which is always fun. There is a big room downstairs with a main stage, and smaller room upstairs that is perfect for dancing your feet off and smaller live acts.
The live schedule at Scala is very mixed, making it appeal to all types of crowds. One night they will host a hip hop act, the next an indie band, followed by a pop act. Scala is a great music venue, and you will be able to have fun there, whatever music you are after.
Really fun venue! I went to Scala for Ladyhawke's first London gig and it was sold out, but you could still move, still go get drinks, dance around and get up close to the stage if you wanted, not like some of those claustrophobic clubs that pack everyone in like sardines..
I wish Scala was still the home of popstarz, because it was meant to be an alternative-to-soho club night, and now it's moved to the Den and it's kind of expensive.. Sadness aside, Scala does a diverse lineup so there's always something cool going on. The only thing I found tricky was the maze to get to the toilets, unless maybe there's another one that isn't up two flights of stairs and around a few corners... those are the last directions you want to hear when you really gotta go!
Whenever I have been to the Scala, I have had the best time. It could be because of the gigs that I have seen, but it also could be because this place seems designed for hi jinks and naughtiness.
I like that this place can be hired out to bands who aren't necessarily headliners. I have been here a couple of times to watch friends of mine who put a night together called White Mischief. They pack the floors with different bands, and stick burlesque performers into the nooks and corners of the building. Where ever you turned there was a performance.
The only complaint that I have was that it gets ridiculously hot in the summer time. I'm not sure if there is air conditioning, but it certainly not on when I was there. Still, it meant everyone was stripping down, which always makes a crowd more friendly! It is also conveniently close to the station, and late night buses, so you are not stranded when you come here for a night.
Scala is a really good gig venue, though it is terrifically expensive! I also met Carl Barat there once- I didn't realise it was him until he walked away, but still... pretty cool. There used to be a night on called Chalk which was actually quite bad, first few nights started off O.K... I think it was the crowd.
The upstairs venue is really intimate, it has it's own bar and little seating booths. It's probably my favourite part. The downstairs stage is quite big, but not too big so makes a good dancefloor. There are also loads of little areas and corridors and stairways, so the drunker you get in there the more confusion is caused. It is great for a club night venue, depending on the people there- I think that is what used to annoy me about Chalk!
The Scala is distinguished as a music venue only by its size, which is just right if an artist you want to see is playing there. This converted theatre is used as dance club, too, though I've not been here on those nights.
The main music hall only holds a few hundred, most on the floor but there are some raised railed spots around the top which mean the view is better than many places with only a single level. There is an upstairs, but it's enclosed and possibly reserved for VIPs (I've never been up). Toilets are way upstairs. The layout can be a little confusing, to be honest.
The air conditioning is often on full blast here, and it can be chilly if you're standing in the wrong spot.
I've seen artists like Garbage, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Thomas Dolby, and Joan Osborne here.
A stone's throw from Kings Cross, this is great, great venue to see a band doing the circuit. You would think the main chamber would be a bit bigger given the scale of the Scala, but as the other trusted reviewers have pointed out, it's just about the perfect size to create a unified atmosphere.
The rabbit warren can be a little confusing, but is also very helpful for slipping yourself/friends into the VIP areas.
Prospective bands get a wicked, if a little intimate, dressing room with good riders.
I caught Dreadzone here last night and they were as cracking as ever.
The Scala is a difficult venue to navigate. The main room is great for bands, however there is no bar in there, meaning if there's a gig and you're saving a space it's impossible to get a drink. If it's a club night it's irritating because you will lose your friends.
It's a good place to host a multi room event though with 4 avaliable rooms. Bar prices aren't that cheap though, it kind of depends on what deals the promoter has negotiated.
Location wise it's right next to Kings Cross Thameslink so very handy.
N.B. Regular Friday night gay club Popstarz has now moved to Sin - qype.co.uk/place/74250-s…
I've been to see quite a few bands play at The Scala (Be Your Own Pet and the Crimea to name a couple) and attended the odd club night there in my uni days - it's a pretty nice place.
It's one of those venues that seems really massive when it's rammed full of people but actually isn't all that big, though with separate club rooms and bars leading off a winding stone staircase that seems to go on forever it'd be pretty easy to get drunk and lose all your mates - I suppose that's as good a way as any to meet new people!
As for getting shot there, Kings Cross has changed a lot even in the ten years I've been in London. I remember leaving in the early hours of a Sunday in 2001 and finding the streets barren, dark and a little bit frightening. This Saturday morning I happily rolled out of the place at 4am to find lights on everywhere, people in the streets and plentiful cabs.
As it's a club venue, whether or not you have a good time at Scala will depend hugely on who's night you attend, but I've found that there have been plenty of events worth attending at this venue over the years, including Torture Garden, White Mischief, the now defunct Popstars and many more!
Based in once-seedy Kings Cross, it's in a fabulously old building with some interesting quirks. Great if you enjoy the sort of club that allows you to wander from room to room in search of something a bit different each time.
The Scala, a former cinema, now a music venue/nightclub in Kings Cross is my favourite venue for seeing bands at. I've managed to see some of my favourite indie bands of recent years here; Manitoba/Caribou, Four Tet, Band of Horses, Built to Spill, Nada Surf, Modest Mouse, The Shins, Architecture in Helsinki etc., so I guess the venue has positive associations for me.
It's a nicely laid out venue, aesthetically pleasing on the inside and looks quite pretty at night from the outside. There are multiple levels in the main gig floor/area and it goes up (iirc) 3 floors which means you usually can get a good view of the stage.
A nice bit is the enclosed bar area above the main gig area (which is sometimes used as a VIP area), as it's air conditioned, which is pretty useful if you're seeing a gig in the middle of Summer and perhaps don't really fancy being up front moshing with the crowd. The view from this bar was decent, but it's been made a bit worse by the new roof of the sound desk which intrudes a bit into your line of vision, but I suppose that's a small price to pay for seeing a gig seated in air conditioning. The sound in this room is not the best I must admit, so I generally only come here for a drink before the main act starts.
- multiple tiering and floors (so usually a good view of stage can be gained somewhere despite sold-out gigs)
- enclosed bar area
- multiple bars and toilets
- mostly cheap-ish
- lots of great bands frequent the venue for some reason
- good size for intimate gigs
- good sound/acoustics
- can get rammed (but so does any venue)
- bit confusing for non-regulars maybe
- not the greatest view & sound from the enclosed/VIP bar
- not in the greatest area, but there are some nice bars around
Scala is located near the heart of Kings Cross so there is a lot to do in the area, which is benefiting from all the regeneration work that is happening here.
The venue itself is medium to small in size and hosts a variety of events. I went to a Tequila promotion here once and found the layout of the place somewhat confusing at the time, although it was a Tequila promotion which may have had something to do with my confusion. Generally a good place for a night out if something good is on.
What a lovely if odd venue the Scala is. Those staircases as you go in are confusing and then you think you're on the right level but end up in a different room.
It's all good though - the balconies offer a great view of the stage and it is small and intimate enough that you are always going to be able to enjoy the band. Never been to a club night here so I can't comment on that but Laura Marling was lovely and I think I actually witnessed Mr Hudson disappearing up his own arse.
Scala is a great gig venue! easy to get lost in but somehow end up back in the main gig room!
the drinks are pricey but you dont need a drink to have a good time there!
you can see the stage from almost anywhere and dont need to q for too long usually to get in!
its a 2 minute walk from kingcross which is great for when you get tired feet after a great night!
This is a great venue, and the best of its size, far better than the Koko in my opinion. They host a range of music nights that usually err on the Rock and Indie side of things (or maybe thats just me). It has great sound, it's well programmed and creates a real buzz when the bands get it right.
My only minor complaint would be that upon entry the security guards can be over dramatic. I had to put my items into a bowl and be thoroughly padded down. It felt momentarily like an airport!
This is a great live music venue. A spacious floor in front of the stage, raised areas towards the back if you don't want to get as involved, and a great sound for a venue of this size. I've been to numerous gigs here (Deerhoof, Les Savy Fav, Digitalism, The Walkmen) and it's my favourite mid-sized venue in London.
There are other floors which open when this place turns into a club and it can be quite easy to get lost amongst them all, but then that's part of the charm of the place.
There's even a weird glass area where you can watch the bands from behind the main standing area where all the sound comes from the PA as you wouldn't be able to hear it otherwise. Good for a few minutes for the novelty but far better to get up the front!
This is very centrally located which means it's ideal for getting the train to.
I like this venue mainly because it's small. It makes the gig very intimate which is nice. I also like how it is layed out over the three floors, it means more people get to have a good view of the band without feeling pressured to stand right at the front in a massive crowd.
The gigs I have seen at Scala have all been quite civilised. None of this mosh pit rubbish that you get at other venues.
I love that the stage is at quite a low level and has no real security distance between the audience, it definitely makes it feel as if you're closer to the band!
Scala as a music venue is fab. it provides everyone in the audience with a intimacy with the performer that you don't find in bigger venues. i have been to a couple of gigs there and have enjoyed both thoroughly.
The toilets are easily accessible and easy to find. You never have to cue too long at the bar and the prices are average compared to other venues.
As it is such a small venues acts play here before they make it big so it seems to be packed full of their most hardcore fans. When i saw Robyn as Scala it was great to be around people who knew the whole album rather than just the one song she had released.
over-all a top venue. Keep your eye out for your favourate up and coming bands playing at Scala
Scala is close to Kings Cross station, an area which has seen quite a lot of improvements and rehabilitation in the last few years. It used to be a cinema but was shut down for showing illegal prints of underground classics like A Clockwork Orange.
As a music venue it is pretty good, being medium sized and normally showcasing bands which will go on to much bigger venues. Downstairs can get a bit packed, and I recommend headed upstairs to the balcony, where you can get a good view and a rail to lean on. The booking office is open during the day, so you can buy tickets in person and avoid nasty fees etc.
One of my most visited venues for gigs!
Great acoustics and two balconies in the main space that it is great to watch the shows from.
I have been to Scala numerous times, so figured that it's about time to write a review. When you look at Scala from the outside it looks little promising, but once you're inside it's like a candy store ready to be explored. The venue has multiple levels and rooms and the sound system is pretty good. I especially like that the floor has different levels and and upstairs, so you have very good chances of being able to see well. The only things I don't like is the bar (always a long wait) and the toilets (line is always too long). Oh and for all you smokers out there, Scala has a little dedicated smoking area.
Scala succeeds almost effortlessly. It has all one would want of a small venue in what is ultimately a mid-size space. Its location is awkward, and yet somewhat prescient. There's not much to look at at this juncture, but everyone who lives and/or parties in London north of the river passes by it rather regularly. They'd never know they were passing it, though, unless they'd been. Signage is minimal (if at all extant); and if you're headed there for the first time you'd best know where you're going and not expect to let the street tell you where to go. There are the trappings of large space - big, overpriced bars with epic queues, messy bathrooms - but for the most part seeing a show here is a relatively intimate experience.
Despite the awful King's Cross location Scala is a great venue for live gigs. It is small enough, to make the experience feel more intimate. The decoration is quite rough and worn out, like a true rock venue should be.
However I don't find their program most innovative there is so that is why I don't end up going that often. It used to be better? Also I have been dissapointed with the club laim evenings when ever I have been there, so at the moment I just stick with the gigs, when ever there is one!
Great party club, happy, loud and ravey! Does great LGBT nights.
I have been here once for the night club, it was my first experience in London, and i thought i was the cool one. dressed in a hot pink shirt with awesome leggings, and little did i know it was a rock club and you can dress cool with jeans and a t shirt and maybe even add a red tie, why not. If you like rock music, then hey jump up and down and your good to go. If you like rap, hip hop, then your in the wrong place. It gets pretty crowded in here, you start to sweat and you feel like you want to get out. There are several levels, but I believe the second floor is the best, biggest place to dance on the dance floor. Plus if you stay late, then you can listen to a live band play. Rock music, of course.
Not bad club to hear large phat tunes that were on display at the awesome DMC UK DJ finals.
I have some happy memories of this venue and it remains one of my favourites. The stage is really spacious,the sound good and its a good sized venue for live gigs with a 550 capacity. its also a good one for dancing and DJ events with a larger capacity for these types of nights.
The Scala is a multi-roomed venue in London's Kings Cross area. On a good night, every room in the place will be filled with DJs and bands until the early hours, and if that happens it's an amazing place to have a club. Although it's a little like a maze when you're drunk, the Scala is a great venue to be in if you're up for non-stop-all-night-partying although not so good if you just want a sit down. Drinks are fairly expensive but are, if i recall, 2 for 1 before 10, which makes it slightly less painful.
The Scala is the hidden gem of all London music venues. With a capacity of under 1,000, it creates an intimate vibe and has hosted many up and coming stars as well as secret shows for stadium filling acts across all genres of music. Also, unlike most London venues, it has a very plush interior, is well designed with a dance floor, elevated stage and raised platforms around the dance floor. No matter where you are in the venue you get a great view of the stage and the sound never fails to dissapoint. Essentially, if an act you know of or would like to see live is booked at the Scala, it would definately be worth your while to check them out.
It is a nice enough venue that maintains it intimate feel. The wheelchair access is not so great as you can guess from such an old building but the management and staff made it easy as possible for me and my partner to come down and see my favourite band of all time - Wire. They just got five burly blokes to carry us up the stairs and, before we knew it we were set up at the side of the stage with a great view of the band. So much so that I was standing next to Colin Newmans missus who blagged me a signed setlist! What a great night out! Thanks to all the staff at the Scala for making it a great night out!
This really small concert hall is normally for small local bands but as i think some one has already said you can get some big bands playing special gigs here from time to time and they are normally really cheap and you get the most amaxing view. I saw the ark thier once and it was one of the best gigs iv erver been to.
I've been to the Scala many times for gigs, my favourites being Interpol, Battles, and Les Savy Fav (a truly crazy but very entertaining show).
The venue itself is fairly small, with steps leading down to the main stage, and an enclosed upstairs bar area (not that I've ever got to go in that bit, as its usually reserved for VIP's at the gigs I've been to).
The stepped arrangement is excellent as it means wherever you are you get a good view of the stage, and there is a small seated area along the back, great for those of you who like me have dodgy knees.
The toilets are a bit scarily lit but well maintained, and the bar is usually well stocked and offers bottles of coca cola, which I think is much nicer than the usual over priced watery pint that you get in other venues, even if they are expensive. The bar area also has some comfortable seating and a small merchandise area, good for relaxing during bands, or for time out from the hot and often crammed arena whilst the bands are playing.
Easily accessible from Kings Cross station, its a nice venue and one that I'm happy to keep going to for a nice night out.
This user has arrived from Qype, a European company acquired by Yelp in 2012. We have integrated the two sites to bring you one great local experience.