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100 Club (London)

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100 Oxford Street / U-Bahn Totenham Court Road

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      21.10.2009 21:20

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      it's our duty to go.

      At number 100 Oxford Street there's a rather sedate little entrance to the club, it's almost as if they're hiding a secret here .
      Walk down the stairs a short way to ticket booth, and maybe linger a little whilst squeezing the cash out of your pocket and listen to the sounds coming up from below and decide if that's the sort of stuff you want to spend the rest of the night listening to before dragging the cash out of your opocket.
      It pays to look up on the internet what's on before you go. It's pretty much always been and still is anything that touches on the jazzy, bluesy, r&b side of things , but often features some hot newer stuff.
      The logo of the 100 club looks like it was designed on the back of fag packet in the 1950's and inside it must be pretty much as things were in the 1950's. The entrance doors offer no promise of glamour or excitement and once inside it's a pretty mundane place . It stretches off to the right (and the bar) and stretches well to the left and the stage lies dead ahead of you. So the lay out is wide and shallow with the stage placed centrally in the narrow part with expanses off to the left and right of the stage.
      On a busy night it can be hard to get a good view of the stage because their are numerous and annoying pillars in the way, but this, I suppose, adds to the charm and you feel as if a duffle-coated beatnik could appear from behind a post at any moment.
      Getting a drink can be a pain when it's busy and expect a sort of 1950's urgency behind the bar.
      There are quite a few seats and tables surrounding the stage but |I've only ever managed to grab one on a quiet week night.
      Weekends are obviously busy (depending who's on) but the crowd is a relatively sedate lot.
      As for the music, well the acoustics could be better - but remember we're in the fifties down here, and the band and how much you decide to enjoy the whole 100 club package ultimately depends on your own generosity of spirit - just as it should be.
      The occasional picture of a great on the wall and the knowledge that some truly great top-tier artists (muddy Waters, Rolling Stones) have been up on that stage all adds to the atmosphere.
      And everyone always lives in hope the the club will put on one of its famous nights where a big name act appears clandestinely under another name (Rolling Stones). But this happens about once a decade.
      Well worth a regular visit. It's almost a duty.

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