A welcome note from Music editor Joe Brookes, detailing the excitement and variety that you can expect to find in the Music section!
Welcome to King’s, and to London, which stands as a centre for popular music. Everyone knows about the history, how London effectively spawned some of the most important artists of the last hundred years or so, but let’s drag our mosh-beaten bodies back to the present and focus on what’s most important: the way it is now.
Now, we’re talking about the bridge between America and Europe for artists trying to make that gigantic Atlantic leap, and the place where the industry is (Polydor has its offices in West London, for example), thus making it a vital stomping ground for anybody wanting their material to be heard. There are more live venues here than anywhere in Europe, in fact London is only second to New York when it comes to the number of music events happening each night.
Thus, we thought it only befitting to make visual the sprawling goldmine of little places you need to check out over the next year. We hope you enjoy the map featured in ‘The hottest places in town’, and of course we don’t suggest that you use it to find your way around, but rather as a graphic representation of the sheer number of places we think you’ll enjoy.
Oscar and I have asked a number of KCL students to tell us about their favourite venues, and whatever other advice they had to give. We’ve also asked people to think about where the best record stores are. Now I know that you will all get your music for free, snatched off the internet like the promotional goodies they churn out near Charing Cross station, but of course once Record Store Day comes around you will want to get in on the action, so keep these places in mind.
We’ve detailed everything from the eccentric to the erotic in the Music section, and when the not-so-exclusive nights at Ministry take their toll, we’ve also got a list of alternative club nights which you’ll find showcasing the best new sounds in underground dance music. Thrown in the mix are a couple of indie raves, something I missed out on as a fresher, but what I eternally yearned for.
On the map you’ll see that there is a large cluster of venues in the North and East areas of London, and these tend to be longest running venues. However, head south of the river and you’ll find an area which is ever growing, and with edgy and interesting venues and nights out, so keep your ears pressed close. At the same time, Camden and Islington have always historically had the largest number of venues, and this is the best bet for great live gigs and pubs playing nostalgic tunes.
On the other hand, East London has over the last ten years or so become the place to go for hip nights out, but unfortunately it has become overrun with those that only dance to look cool. As such, it’s worth returning to the North for some real London sweatiness. See you on the floor!