I have been to the Astoria quite a few times now and so far i have managed to see Less Than Jake, Vanilla Pod, Frenzal Rhomb, Goldfinger, Idlewild, Mad Caddies, Lightyear and King Prawn there. Each and every gig was amazing, each gig being better than the one before it! This is not only due to the extremely talented bands, but a lot of the credit has to go to the actual venue itself. Although rather small compared to venues such as Wembley stadium, it actually out-does these larger places in viewing and atmosphere! Upstairs from the main standing area there is a bar and seating area which looks over the stage so if youre tired from standing up, you can still enjoy the great music and an amazingly good view of the band. It is a very safe venue as well with many friendly security guards who are there to ensure that people in the mosh pits are safe. They are there and ready to help people out and another bonus is that crowd-surfing is allowed! The mosh pits there have never been very violent at all - the worst i have come back with was a bruised eye and that as my own fault anyway!! They have another bar at the bakc of the standing area as well as upstairs so drinks are plentiful - even if they are overpriced at £2 for a bottle of water!! Another disadvantage is how dark it is in there, sometimes it is very difficult to find your friends or to even see where you are going!!! Overall, the Astoria has to be my favourite venue so far!! Not only are the bands amazing, but so is the sound quality and the view you get from where-ever you happen to be! Because of the Astorias small size, the general atmosphere is great!! Everyone has a good time and it is definitely worthwhile going to see at least one band at this fantastic bar!!! I fully recommend this venue to any avid punk and ska fan as this is the best place to see bands of this genre of music!!!
Ahh, The Astoria will always have a special place in my heart as the venue where I've seen so many fantastic bands! It's greatest assett in my opinion is its size. It's small enough to be intimate, but big enough to get the sense of a large crowd. It has a capacity of 2000. When you first step inside, the place may appear a little run down. In fact, a lick of paint certainly wouldn't go amiss, but ah well, it's the music I go for! And the Astoria caters for that well. The huge sound system pumps out an incredible noise and usually, depending on teh sound man, that noise is of the highest quality. Security at this venue is amongst the best I have come accross and it is owned by the Mean Fiddler group who own many of London's top venues. Ahh, my second home.