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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4.3 / 5
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- 4 star:18
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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