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Paper Dress Vintage empty during lockdown
Photograph: Alex AmorósPaper Dress Vintage

Gaze upon London’s sleeping music venues

One photographer’s captivating images of London’s iconic and empty music spaces

By Joe Mackertich

Alex Amorós is a photographer you might already be familiar with from his 2019 street-photography book ‘Londoners’ and a later series that documented Stoke Newington during the first lockdown. 

Well, he’s back. Amorós’s latest project focuses (literally) on the capital’s ailing live music venues. Expect a cavalcade of iconic, and currently empty, spaces like Hackney Empire, Oval Space, The Old Blue Last, the Roundhouse, the Shacklewell Arms, the Electric Ballroom and the Windmill Brixton, all captured in melancholic monochrome.

Roundhouse London empty during lockdown
Photograph: Alex Amorós

‘40 Music Venues’, completed entirely during the second lockdown, is part of Save Our Venues, an initiative set up by the Music Venue Trust charity last year. A photobook (which can be preordered here) and exhibition (when that’s allowed again) will follow, with the aim of raising money for the spaces hit hardest by the pandemic.

‘Live Music has shaped so much of my life, from working in the venues to playing myself,’ says Amorós. ‘I wanted to give something back and show support in whatever way I can.’

O2 Forum empty during lockdown
Photograph: Alex Amorós
Hope and anchor
Photograph: Alex Amorós
shacklewell arms london
Photograph: Alex Amorós
The Windmill Brixton
Photograph: Alex Amorós
the finsbury during lockdown
Photograph: Alex Amorós
Photograph: Alex Amorós
the good mixer
Photograph: Alex Amorós
hackney empire
Photograph: Alex Amorós
old blue last
Photograph: Alex Amorós

See the whole set here.

All the weird things we miss about going to gigs in London.

Excellent merch you can buy to support London’s music venues.


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