Built in the 1920s as a cinema at a cost of £250,000, Brixton Academy is London's most credible major rock venue. Although it's echoey when half-full, the 5,000-capacity space is popular because the raked standing area gives good sightlines. Pop acts such as Goldfrapp occasionally feature, but programming favours metal, indie and alt-rock. As one of the capital's largest non-stadium venues, Brixton Academy played its part in rock history – it hosted the Sex Pistols reunion gigs in September 2007, Leftfield broke the venue's decibel record in 1996 bringing showers of dust and plaster down around them, and The Smiths played their last ever gig here in December 1986.
Brixton Academy: 10 classic gigs
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Hailing from Oxford, this experimental electronic pop outfit made a splash with their debut album 'Zaba' – full of lush, hazy pop curveballs layered with psychedelic synth-work and gentle electronic beats. They've got a follow-up coming up soon so you'll...Pop Until Thursday March 16 2017Read more
Usually found entertaining legions of loyal fans in fields up and down the country, this evening the folk-punk festival favourites will be playing indoors for a change, dipping into their deep, political and fiddle-heavy discography.Rock and indie Until Saturday December 3 2016Read more
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals
American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Harper, whose musical stylings incorporate blues, folk, reggae, rock and soul, reunites with percussionist Leon Mobley, bassist Juan Nelson, drummer Oliver Charles, keyboardist Jason Yates and guitarist...Folk, country and blues Wednesday October 26 2016Read more
The biggest names in bass come together for one night. With Sigma, Sub Focus, Pendulum, Camo & Krooked, Dimension and 1991.House, disco and techno Friday October 28 2016Read more
The extraordinary Polly Jean Harvey returns to the stage following her stonking new album ‘The Hope Six Demolition Project’, leading her seasoned nine-piece band through songs new and old. Her enthralling style has evolved through grungey neo-blues, upbeat...Sunday October 30 2016 - Monday October 31 2016Read more
Retro-but-refreshing young singer-songwriter Bugg burst from his hometown of Nottingham to the top of the charts in 2012. His brand of indie country-folk mixes a Dylan-esque rasp with Miles Kane's brand of mordant Mod-rock, plus a dollop of Americana...Rock and indie Tuesday November 1 2016Read more
The Mercury-nominated post-dubstep producer from Deptford returns to live action in possession of new material: ‘The Colour in Anything’, another album of moody, glitchily layered loops, jazzy piano chords and soulful, treated vocals, this time with Frank...Pop Tuesday November 1 2016 - Saturday November 5 2016Read more
Jimmy Carr: The Best Of, Gold, Ultimate, Greatest Hits Tour
Unlike most ’70s rock bands, not many comedians can play a 'greatest hits' tour. But sharp, edgy one-liner merchant Jimmy Carr has such a back-catalogue of gags he's packaging his funniest joke together for these 'best of' dates. The TV regular is one...Stand-up Tuesday November 1 2016 - Saturday November 11 2017Read more
Still as thrillingly doomy and apocalyptic as ever, the Joke return to the fray with original members Youth, Jaz Coleman, Geordie Walker and Paul Ferguson. Incorporating a few more technological innovations, but basically the same band that made ‘Wardance’...Friday November 4 2016Read more
Thirty-five-year-old Russian MOR rocker, who leans towards the slightly heavier side of the genre and sings in her native language, performs in London.Rock and indie Sunday November 6 2016Read more
Average User Rating
4.3 / 5
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Best gig place in London - I love the graded standing so you are guaranteed a great view, the atmosphere outside the venue and the friendly staff inside!
I've seen a lot of acts here now, and always manage to get standing tickets for downstairs, but for the most recent show I wasn't so lucky - if I wanted to see Grimes performing live, I was going to have to do so from the circle. I really, really wasn't sure about that - I saw FKA Twigs at Hackney Empire from the nosebleeds and spent most of the event jealous of the people on the ground. Luckily, it was still a really cool experience at Brixton Academy.
They really poshed this place up last night for the NME Awards. Always a strange venue its never going to feel anything other than a gig in an old but grand cinema. As property prices in the area rocket , one also has to ask how long new residents will tolerate live music audiences. Leaving all that aside, it was an interesting place to have dinner in the company of a few Rock and Roll giants. Yoko Ono and Coldplay were in the house. However, the band that absolutely owned the night was Bring Me The Horizon. They smashed it on stage and smashed up Coldplay's table too - proving that rules and tables are there to be broken. Great night in a strange venue - but one I hope survives gentrification.
i moved here from aus mid 98 and my first gig was the beastie boys here. 16 years later it's still my favourite venue. every band should play here (and invite me) imo.
Ive seen many bands here over the years! A friend of mine also hired the foyer/front for her club house parties in the early 90s! Always find/see people i know here too. Probably the best largest venue before it gets less intimate! I first came here when it was the stockwell odeon for Trex in 70s..good views due to floor slopes down toward stage/front.
Nice atmosphere, good size venue and incredible views from the sloped floor, never missed a second! looks cool from outside, where I had a nice chat with a homeless guy and then gave him some spare change to help him out with his various addictions.
If you're in London you can check out Brixton 02 Academy, which recently hosted Weezer. Check out an exclusive drumming video from that gig here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mB5lLcwZK1E