Now officially known as the Eventim Apollo after a spell as the HMV Apollo, Hammersmith Apollo is another live music emporium that began life as an art deco cinema. The 1930s building had a big refit in 2002 and another in 2013, but still features the original 1932 Compton pipe organ. It now doubles as a 3,600-capacity all-seater theatre and a 5,000-capacity standing-room-only gig space, hosting everyone from Kenny Rogers to Slipknot.
Highlights from the Apollo's glittering history include 38 Beatles gigs from 1964-1965, David Bowie's last gig as Ziggy Stardust in 1973 and several concerts by Queen in 1979. It's also starred in various music DVDs from the likes of Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue and Kings Of Leon. Aside from music Hammersmith Apollo has a top-notch array of comedy, dance and kids shows from the biggest names in the biz, from 'Riverdance' to Russell Brand to SpongeBob Square Pants.
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It's certainly an iconic venue, and I think that's where most of the charm of visiting the Hammersmith Apollo ends. With a lot of this style of theatre, the seats don't provide the best view and you will find yourself constantly crooning to see in between the bobbing heads of the people in rows ahead. The bar and immediate surrounding area leave much to be desired but then again that's not what you come here for really. The quality of the performers that this venue draws is second to none and the atmosphere is just great. Unfortunately, unless someone really great was performing, I'd probably just rather watch it on the TV...