The Old Blue Last

Music, Music venues Shoreditch
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Despite its location at the epicentre of the Shoreditch party scene and its association with hipster bible Vice (which bought the place in 2004), the Old Blue Last does a remarkable job of defying preconceptions. Absent are the bare lightbulbs and brick walls of those that have arrived in its wake, and, while London- and US-made craft beers are available, big-brand brews like Heineken and Grolsch get prime representation on the taps. Furniture is minimal, something you’ll be thankful of from 7pm onwards, when nearby digital drones flock in to decompress over pints. It’s this enduring popularity – and a reputation for first-class live music – that’s elevated the Old Blue Last above other East End scene spots.

By: David Clack


Venue name: The Old Blue Last
Address: 38 Great Eastern St
Opening hours: Monday-Wednesday noon-midnight; Thursday noon-1am; Friday-Sun noon-2am
Transport: Shoreditch High St Overground; Tube: Old St
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  • Rock and indie Saturday April 21 2018
  • Rap, hip hop and R&B Sunday April 22 2018 - Monday April 23 2018
  • Rock and indie Monday April 23 2018
  • Rock and indie Tuesday April 24 2018 - Wednesday April 25 2018
  • Rock and indie Saturday April 28 2018
  • Rock and indie Sunday April 29 2018
  • Rock and indie Tuesday May 1 2018
  • Pop Wednesday May 2 2018 - Thursday May 3 2018
  • Pop Monday May 7 2018 - Tuesday May 8 2018
  • Rock and indie Wednesday May 9 2018
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Average User Rating

3.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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A pretty basic pub in the Old Street area.  During the day, it's pretty quiet and an easy place to grab a drink while getting a seat.  In the evening it transforms into a busy pub with live music/DJs and can get very crowded.  Not that expensive for the area.


The Old Blue last is often spoken about in such high regard, as though it is an institution for Shoreditch, so I kind of expected it to be an impressive kind of drinking venue... I was therefore a bit surprised when I arrived to find a bit of a grotty pub with a lot of unused space, a darkness that engulfs the bar and the middle of the room, and a complete lack of energy about the place. Maybe my expectations were high, maybe it's just not my kind of pub, but I just couldn't work out the appeal. If i'd been here for a gig maybe it would have been more impressive but as a drinking hole I think there are plenty of places nicer than this in the area.


I got served by a guy behind the bar who seemed to have been so hipster he'd lost the ability to speak to non-hipsters but that aside I managed to get drinks and head downstairs to the decent gig venue. There was a great selection of bands playing and a really great sound system, especially for the headlining band. It gets really busy and the bouncers can be a bit rude about telling people to get out of the way but overall it's a good venue and anywhere that has decent live music gets a tick in my book.


I've had so many good nights at Old Blue Last. I love this place mostly for the amount of free gigs they put on, the djs downstairs, the memories I've gained here and not the drink prices! It's not really a place to start the night. If I'm not attending a gig here, I usually turn up after midnight as that's when the places really gets going. There's not much seating and it gets pretty busy so expect to stand and queue for drink at the bar if you are there late. If you do end up here quite early and there's not many people, bagsy the room downstairs to the left after the bar as it has a really sweet cosy seating area that can fit about 10 people.

Ever since it was bought by Vice (and possibly before), the Old Blue has always been full of wankers. These days, however, the art wankers have been displaced by City wankers. Friday night is suit central now, which means prices have gone up: a fiver for a pint is nothing to these guys, but anyone else will get a nasty surprise if they order anything but cheap lager. The vibe also tends towards crap, ironic dancing (and slight lechiness towards women). There are some saving graces, though. The DJs in the downstairs bar are often great, eschewing crap house music (the sound of Shoreditch '15) in favour of obscure new wave tunes. The upstairs venue is also a great place to see new bands, often for free. So all is not lost… yet.

moderatorStaff WriterTastemaker

Very nice venue for live music; a great night out and will definitely be going back.

Definitely a place worth checking out on the weekends. No long lines, no cover charge. Reasonable priced drinks. Good service, friendly people, and a rather lively, yet chill atmosphere. Best part is that they have live music upstairs. A nice change of scene if you wanna catch some cool bands perform. Now this isn't a big party type place, it's a it's more relaxed but still fun to hit up with some friends.