“ Queen Street, Exeter. „
The Cavern Club is a small (capacity must be approximately 300 people) venue in Exeter which is the centre of Exeters's underground music scene.
The Cavern is open most nights of the week and different events are held each night ranging from Metal to House music so its a good idea to check the listings before you go, as a rule Thursday nights are Punk, Friday nights are Dance and Saturday nights are Indie.
The Door staff, Bar Staff and Punters are fairly friendly and you are unlikely to find trouble at the venue.
I have been fortunate enough to see some great bands at the Cavern such as The Libertines, The Good the Bad and the Queen and The Bluetones. The Cavern is also open to receiving demos from local bands and will make every effort to provide them with Gigs.
The Cavern is essentially a cellar so is dingy and badly lit which is not to everyone's taste but I think this adds to the atmosphere. Drinks are well priced and house spirits are particularly cheap, however the taste of the Beer can sometimes be not quite right. Many people complain about the Cavern Toilets but these have improved over the years and are not as bad as they were.
In my opinion the Cavern is Exeter's best venue and caters for fans of many music tastes however it is not for people looking for pop music or luxury surroundings. I have lived in Exeter for many years and I am glad that Exeter has such a unique venue.
The Cavern in Exeter is a popular student (unofficial) night out on Saturday for the croud who don't just go dancing to club music. Moreover, it usually gets quite a large local audience. It was home to the first few Radiohead , and Muse performances and has a slight air of being the kind of place you find an undiscovered artist. Coldplay used to play there often in the ninties. Although, it gets quite a lot of famousish acts too!
The Cavern is what it's name claims, a dingy cellar made of old red Devonian stone beneath an old shop house. The drinks are fairly inexpensive (house doubles for £2, beer before nine £1). On the downside, there is no real selection of food, just bog standard mccoy type crisps and crackling. This wouldn't be so bad, but there are no food serving venues nearby (aside from Pitcher and Piano).
The bar staff are pleasant, they generally look a little punk rock. There are never enough places to sit on the busy nights, but this is usual in Exeter. The entire place has a slight youth club feel (I haven't yet decided whether this is good or bad). Nevertheless it does feel like a very authentic venue.
Perhaps the worst point about the venue, is the terrible terrible toilets, which is what gives the place the dingy smell. They never look clean! But if it's the slight hippy lack of cleasiness they are going for... I always get stamped and go around the corner to the pitcher and piano toilets.
The Cavern is an interesting place. I am never entirely excited about a venue when you go into the (fairly skanky it must be said) toilets and they have that hideous blue lighting designed to stop people from seeing their veins so they can't shoot up. Frankly it's offputting.
That being said, the toilets are the worst feature of an otherwise passable venue (seriously, steer clear of the toilets though). The bar is pretty damn cheap, and being in Exeter that's something to be celebrated. The bar staff are also generally polite, friendly and efficient, which again in Exeter is not something to be steered at. The doorstaff are also friendly and queuing rarely seems to be a problem.
As a live venue it has its limitations. Clearly it is essentially a cavern; it's underground with low ceilings and you are in a fairly confined space. This is an advantage at small intimate gigs, but less so with crowds all thrashing up and down as there's a lot of wall to get thrashed into. They do however have a great mix of new bands, bigger rock/indie stuff and alternative stuff that you just can't find pretty much anywhere else in Exeter, whether it be live or by virtue of CDs.
So basically the place is cheap and cheerful but if you are into something other than the mainstream, it's pretty much your only bet.
NB Little tip for you: don't ask the DJ to play 'Are You Gonna Be My Girl'. He won't. Even if you ask him all night. Not that that's ever happened to me of course...