CLF Art Cafe (Block A, Bussey Building)

Nightlife, Nightlife venues Peckham
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(12user reviews)
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CLF Art Cafe (Block A, Bussey Building)
Abdi

One of the many sources of Peckham pride, this incredible post-industrial building is simply one of London's best venues. Saved from demolition in 2007 by a dedicated team from community group Peckham Vision & The Chronic Love Foundation [CLF], the CLF Art Cafe (Block A, Bussey Building) is a multi-floored concrete block that has thrived as a warehouse-style club at night and a top arts venue during the day. Top promoters consistently bring in some of the best names on the cutting-edge, underground and alternative dance scenes, across pretty much any genre you care to name, but leaning primarily towards house, deep techno, garage and disco. The Bussey also hosts regular nights that offer more accessible sounds, including Zonk Disco and The South London Soul Train, making it one of the best venues in London for funk and soul club nights. All of which means that it's one hell of a draw the whole year round.

The building's theatre has links to the Royal Court and its admirable Theatre Local scheme, which helps the theatre dilute the effect of its rarefied Sloane Square address and reach out to more diverse audiences. But the multi-floored post-industrial space has become a dynamic arts centre in its own right, and now programmes everything from art installations and new plays to classics and opera.

Posted:

Venue name: CLF Art Cafe (Block A, Bussey Building)
Contact:
Address: 133 Rye Lane
London
SE15 4ST
Transport: Peckham Rye Overground
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  • House, disco and techno Friday April 28 2017 - Saturday April 29 2017
  • Funk and soul Saturday April 29 2017 - Sunday April 30 2017
  • Bass, garage and D&B Friday May 5 2017 - Saturday May 6 2017
  • Funk and soul Saturday May 6 2017 - Sunday May 7 2017
  • House, disco and techno Friday May 12 2017 - Sunday May 21 2017
  • House, disco and techno Friday May 12 2017 - Saturday May 13 2017
  • Funk and soul Friday May 12 2017 - Saturday May 13 2017
  • House, disco and techno Saturday May 20 2017 - Sunday May 21 2017
  • Funk and soul Sunday May 28 2017 - Monday May 29 2017

Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:7
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|12
2 people listening
Michael Peacock

CLF Bussey Is So Good It Should Be Illegal

The South London Soul Train Prince 1 Year Birthday Special 22nd April 2017 had been in my diary for months – This fab venue  just 15 minutes walk from my front door is one of my fave clubs in London - Mikey Jazzheadchronic is the key to all this - you have created a winning formula on about what five levels - of course the main event on clubbing nights is always in the main room but there is so much more to explore and my only frustration is that I often want to be in at least three rooms at once - Bussey is so good it should be illegal and to imagine if it was not for a MASSIVE community effort spearheaded by Mickey in 2015 one of the best clubs in London would have been no more - if luxury flats near the venue had been approved Bussey and so much more would have become a memory.

Despite breaking my right ankle in two places just two days before Christmas I managed to last for the duration until 5am.

Mickey has created something so special – often using live bands as part of events and the crowds love the combo. Brother Strut were a previous personal highlight.

At 58 no doubt I am usually what 20 years in advance of anyone - I just LOVE being with a young crowd, and wow does Bussey attract a young crowd - although my sexuality is quite obvious I have NEVER experienced ANY hostility.

A previous highlight was dancing to a Diana Ross Gay Anthem with a female couple who were very ‘Out’ and Proud – it was so heartwarming that nobody was bothered.

For me the benchmark for a great club is not ‘is it gay or str8?’ I am looking merely for a good all round vibe, and where security don’t get hung up about Dress Code!
 
I previously responded to a negative review when allegedly a ‘friend of a friend’ was turned away because he looked ‘too gay’ – the REALITY is completely the OPPOSITE – I often feel more welcome in ‘str8’ rather than ‘gay’ venues. Sorry I hate using the terms but it helps explain the context.

Previously I have been barred THREE times from a well known gay venue that celebrates Disco every week – on the last occasion wearing a tank top and speedos I was instructed by security to ‘cover up.’

Ironic that Disco was born by the gay underground movement in New York – hedonism was celebrated, and clothing often very optional – remember Studio 54!

The chemistry of the Bussey crowd is very special - everyone is just there to have a great time, without any attitude. Touch wood in the five years attending I have never seen a fight.

Also the staff and security team are brilliant.

Even though most events are at capacity there is always plenty of space with plenty of chill out areas and seats. This quirky venue has so much character and would fit like a glove in a city like Berlin.

I could go on so much more - but IF what I have shared encourages anyone who has never tried Bussey to GO FOR IT.

TIP 1: Get Early Bird tickets.
TIP 2: Arrive EARLY the Queues are legendary.

Josh Mcloughlin

Bussey attracts big queues at weekends, so buy in advance and/or get down early. Massive space with nooks and crannys for chilling out/having a word with yourself. Go for South London Soul Train and wait till about 4am when a few dudes form a circle and start having a sort of dance off.

VieveW
Tastemaker

An interesting gem of a building, hidden behind the hustle and bustle of Rye Lane. I've lived near Peckham my whole life but I'd never seen or shown interest in this building until it became the latest trendy spot in SE15!

There tends to be a lot going on in the Bussey Building so you will always have something to choose from...

I adore the rooftop bar that opens in the spring summer months and is definitely the place to be on a balmy London evening.

The views are everythaannnggg!

Plus if you're smart, you'll pick up a ticket to the Rooftop Cinema with Time Out to kick back and relax for the night!

The only thing that does disappoint me about the place is that there is no real representation of Peckham here. Peckham is well known for being multicultural, vibrant but that isn't reflected in the Bussey Building. It has become another hip and trendy location for the hipsters of London. This I would say is a real shame.

Other than that, a great location and great venue with a lot to offer!

Saint

Really like this venue. Went there last Friday for one of the Memory Box parties where Darren Emerson was dj'ing. The club has got a good layout and the drinks are reasonably priced. The vibe is friendly and the soundsystem is good. 

Kirsty E
Tastemaker

After initially feeling a bit apprehensive as to what was going to greet us at the top of the stairs to this building, I have to say we were pleasantly surprised. We went to the Rooftop Cinema here to see Lost Boys. Fab location and views, great bar and delicious burgers! Make sure you get some popcorn and pick up your free blanket before the movie starts as it does get chilly. We went on a day of sunshine and drizzle but the rain didn't dampen our spirits. It all added to the eerie feel of the movie and ponchos were even given out to keep us dry! Brilliant night. Will definitely be returning next year!

Rose K

 This club is not a good representation of the' real peckham'.it seems as if the more hipsters the more gentrification begins,peckham is a close knit community everyone knows everyone from the people working at peckhamplex to the store holders and it also has quite a diverse group of people there African Turkish Pakistani the list goes on and on and as you can see from this picture it is only Caucasians there whereas the market place is quite full with people of all different colors

Manningalive
Tastemaker

I have had 2 trips to the Bussey Building and I'm a fully-fledged Peckham convert, and that's coming from a North Londoner. It delivers on soul in the bucket load, not least with the aptly named Soul Train night which runs twice a month. If you're anything like me and are constantly on the look out for a place to have a 'good dance' then look no further. Rooftop Film Club is also running over the summer and worth checking out if only to witness Ewan McGregor's infamous Scottish rant on the big screen under the stars.

Pauline Williams

The Bussey Building is a great asset to Peckham. It's a staple for culture, entrainment and just god dam good vibes. It has everything you can spend an extensive amount of time in there! I've been living in the area for 7 years and I've seen Peckham go through amazing changes. And there are definitely more amazing changes to come. I was in Peckham last night hanging out with my friends and the buzz is just electrifying! Everyone looked so him and trendy... I thought I was in Soho for a second. I ❤ Peckham...Always have... no place like it in London!

Basil Pesto

average to good. To be sure there are hundreds of worse places to go but swerve the hyperbole below that rates it as the best venue in London. Sound system is loud but the door is frequently overpriced. The bussey is often either rammed or empty.

Chelsey C
0 of 1 found helpful
Tastemaker

I wonder what Derek Trotter would think of how Peckham has evolved from his days in Nelson Mandela House. However, despite the apparent gentrification in this South East London town, Peckham is still true to its roots with many of the local businesses still running. The Bussey Building, once a tea factory and 120 years old, is hidden behind a narrow walkway on Rye Lane. It is run by the CLF (Chronic Love Foundation) Cafe who are an organisation specialising in the creative arts. Once inside this tall building with the never ending staircase, you are guaranteed to have an amazing time, whether you are attending a yoga class, a theatre production or South London Soul Train - the Capital's "best" club night dedicated to Motown, Funk and Soul. At £6 for an advance ticket, this is a tiny price in comparison to similar events in East London. With 3 floors and a basement (run by the guys at Rye Wax), there is often music for whatever mood you are in. Bussey attracts people of all ages but with no pretences; attitudes are left at the door and it's easy place to make friends. Drinks are reasonable, around £3-4 for a spirit and mixer, with beer slightly cheaper. If you're after craft beers, head down to Rye Wax who serve brands such as Beavertown. You'll often find me in the basement dancing to the local DJs that are on rotation. It's dark, it's dingy and it's sweaty but the sound is amazing and the ultimate place to get lost in. If Motown and Soul aren't your thing, there are also nights that include House and Techno, Salsa, Jazz and Afrobeat. In my opinion it's one of few dynamic establishments that actually gives something back.