Not only do smaller venues boast unique locations off the beaten track, they also have more affordable entrance fees, intimate stage shows and a better sound quality than large music venues. Masked by their day-time appearance, hidden away down city back streets and tucked up in attics, hidden gig venues offer the perfect chance to sample the alternative music scene away from the mainstream crowds. Reputable online ticket retailers such as Gigantic offer a range of alternative gigs and intimate venues to cater for a range of musical preferences.
Here are some of the country’s best kept secrets of live music venues:
The Lexington, Islington
Ostensibly, the Lexington is a cosy pub venue with an unashamedly American theme that runs throughout. Downstairs, you’ll find a laid-back lounge bar equipped with with American brewed beers, plush upholstered sofas, a retro jukebox and buffalo skulls hanging on the walls. However, head up the spiral staircase into the attic and you’ll find a secret gig venue, armed with a bar and stage. Bands play here most nights, with an occasional album launch. From rock to singer songwriters to DJ sets, the venue plays host to both fresh new acts and old time favourites, drawing in the younger, hipster crowd.
Malt Cross, Nottingham
Once a Victorian music hall, this interesting venue is tucked away down a back street and is unheard of by most of the city-dwellers. Serving as as a cafe in the daytime and a bar/ gig venue at night, inside this unique building is a central stage that can be viewed from both floors, no matter where you are in the building. Acoustic, folk and blues bands are the standard acts grace the stage a couple of times a week, ideal if you’re looking for a relaxed night spent enjoying new, interesting music.
The Windmill, Brixton
Taking its name from the 1816 built windmill just across the road, this unconventional venue is hidden away down a back street just off Brixton Hill. With it’s rough and ready charm, candlelit atmosphere, and small capacity, this this eccentric venue offer a great alternative to the more well-known music venues, such as Brixton Academy. Regular gig-goers and locals attend the venue for it’s cheap entry, array of underground acts, cheep beer and informal atmosphere. The venue remains popular with the indie crowd and has gained growing recognition for offering music-lovers the chance to catch a glimpse of unusual bands on their way up to the top of the music hierarchy.
Night and Day Cafe, Manchester
Squashed between a vinyl exchange shop and magazine store, this quaint, understated venue is often missed by Manchester gig-goers. Inside you’ll find an atmospheric, vibrant and intimate gig venue, where it’s not uncommon to find the bands mingling with the crowds. Catering for a variety of music genres, but specialising in guitar bands, this alternative venue showcases some of manchester’s best up-and-coming bands on their rise to the top. The Night and Day cafe is one of the city’s most well-kept music treasures with an impressive track record, where legends such a Alex Turner and Johnny Marr have graced the stage back in the day.