Large, functional venue with an impressive past roster of names, from Smashing Pumpkins to Snoop Dogg. For sell-out shows, expect long queues and poor views.
Effectively the next rung up on the touring ladder from the smaller O2 ABC across town the O2 Academy is often the last stop for bands on the road to arenas. Quite literally in one well-storied instance, when The Killers sold-out a show here in 2006 in a record three-minutes, they booked another at the much larger SECC for the following night.
The Academy opened in 2002 after a £3 million refit, and, like the ABC, is situated in an old art deco cinema. While it retains a few grand period features, this is, for the most part, a sternly functional space, situated in a slightly bleak out-of-town location. In music venue terms, the Academy more or less represents the tipping point where aesthetics and intimacy start to, by necessity, give out to sheer scale.
You won’t find small artists in this 2,550-capacity room which holds 600 on the balcony alone. Morrissey, Snoop Dogg, Smashing Pumpkins, Robert Plant, The Pogues, Lily Allen and Jake Bugg are just a few among the many big names who have performed here.
Sold-out shows at the Academy are generally loud, packed, sweaty affairs, with the roar of the crowd echoing around the walls from every angle.
You may lament how far away the stage can feel, the cramped conditions, the long queues for the loos and the bars (the upstairs bar beneath the balcony can be marginally quieter than others sometimes). But that has much less to do with the venue itself than the level of mass appeal your favourite band has attained.
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121 Eglinton Street
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The band plays Ziggy-era Bowie music and comprises Tony Visconti on bass, Woody Woodmansey on drums, Glenn Gregory on vocals, James Stevenson from The Alarm, Gene Loves Jezebel, Gen X, The Cult and Chelsea on guitar and Berenice Scott and Jessica Morgan...Rock and indie Monday March 27 2017
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