Music has always been a huge part of my life and, as reflected by the Sounds of The Future series, getting out there and hearing the latest noise is part of the thrill of that obsession. And yet, when I found myself arriving in London last September having grown up regularly attending the northern venues of the Brudenell Social Club and Belgrave Music Hall of Leeds, and Deaf Institute and Sound Control in Manchester, I was overwhelmed by the sheer size of London. It seemed there was new music everywhere, every pub and café had live acts and yet I was baffled at where to pick in pursuit of new sounds.
My luck changed with a chance encounter with The Old Blue Last, a Vice owned pub in Shoreditch that is the hub of celebrating music both old and new. For fourteen years this pub and venue has been promoting the best of the best in terms of new music and its legacy is found in the acts whose roots it formed including Hot Chip, Arctic Monkeys, Klaxons, Amy Winehouse and Wolf Alice. Music is integral to the very soul of this pub, and it clearly cares about it deeply. The upstairs is a venue that is cozily small and yet has a sound set up that can make even the quietest folk-esque duo demand the room’s attention. With every facility you could possibly need in close proximity the floor every night becomes a mecca to the potential next big thing. Downstairs on weekends indie tunes are played alongside some of the best of the rest including soul, funk and electro, to create an atmosphere celebrating the love of music and a good night out with friends.
As a student the offering of free bands almost every night at this venue is a godsend in itself and yet the consistency of quality found furthers my enthusiasm. For anyone who hasn’t found this gem go there the next time you want to feel excited about music again, for anyone who already has go back and have a pint for us. The Old Blue last is truly a home for any music lover in this huge city and a reminder of the unity that a good tune can bring.
Image sourced via Old Blue Last website