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Brixton Academy

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9 Reviews

211 Stockwell Road Brixton SW9

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    9 Reviews
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      10.02.2009 16:06
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      A great venue for vertically challengesd people, well located

      I think this is a great venue for watching live bands. I have seen quite a few bands play here from Deacon Blue, to The Beautiful South and recently our yearly pilgrimage to see Carter USM.

      Getting there isn't too bad, once you leave the tube station turn right and walk up the road after a five minute walk you will see the domed roof of the academy. If you are buying tickets it is probably worth checking the direct web site as the "add-ons" like the booking fee are sometimes cheaper than ticketmaster.

      As usual you will probably meet up with the bouncers in the foyer I have only ever found them friendly but I notice a previous reviewer found them rude.

      I have only ever stood downstairs so I'm not sure what its like in the seated area upstairs. I really like this venue because the floor slopes down to the stage - I think it was on old cinema and so has retained the raking.

      When you aren't very tall (like me) this is great because it meand that I still have the opportunity to see the band reasonable well without having to just listen and just jump up every so often.

      Do expect that the odd glass of beer will be thrown and be prepared for the amazingly sticky floor by teh end of the evening - it will feel as though you having chewing gum on the bottom. The toilets are well placed at the sides of the stage (Ladies on the right as you look at the stage) and there are quite a few and they always seem well stocked with toilet paper.

      The sound quality is generally OK but as bands tend to bring their own equipment it really depends largely on the band.

      As I say one of my favourite venues, easy to get to, easy to see, and teh sound quality is usually good.

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      15.07.2008 23:48
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      You have been warned...

      Most of the points have been covered already such as guidelines for buying tickets and whereabouts this is situated. But I just wanted to add my piece!! I went to see the Hives there a few months ago, and although I regularly attend gigs all over London this was my first time at Brixton Academy. Firstly, the door staff were quite rude(when going in), of course they had a job to do but they were just frankly rude to us. When we were in there it was nice at the start, the atmosphere was chilled out and the support acts played and I got a chance to meet some really cool people. My friends wandered off and came and went as we pleased for the first hour or so. Toilets are really conveniently placed, by the sides of the stage as well as in the bar area so you never have to miss much.
      We had got there earlyish and were right at the front. The problems started when The Hives came on and suddenly I couldn't move! If i'd had known it was going to get that busy so quickly I would have legged it to the back well before. Anyway, I managed to stay there for about 5 songs before realising I was having one of my mad moments (I go deaf and blind not good, especially in public places!). I couldn't get out for the life of me. I was so disorientated and they have some metal bar rails across the floor which really confused me as I thought they were a person!
      Annnyyyway, my moral of the story is, don't stand at the front if you can't hack it. It DOES get busy, you WILL get 3 pints of beer on you very quickly and you WILL get knocked on the floor several times. So stay away if you're not prepared, and if that's your sort of thing, well, enjoy it!
      Apart from that, the venue was good! The sloping floor ensured everyone could see well.
      Oh point to note for anyone going there soon, check your transport back because I know they're doing something to the tube line that serves Brixton so you can't use it after 10pm or something. It's disrupted my plans to see Foals there as i'm not getting buses in Brixton at 1am, argh!

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        01.04.2008 00:39
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        Brixton Academy

        ...Introduction...

        I have reviewed Hammersmith Apollo and Birmingham Symphony Hall and after my first concert at Brixton Academy I have decided to do a review of the venue. Brixton Academy was built in 1929 and was originally called The Astoria. It was originally a cinema and threatre and then changed to a music venue.

        The Brixton Academy name has only been used since 1983 and became a Carling Academy in 2004. There are also Academy venues in Bristol, Birminham and Manchester. During the 1980's it allowed some of the biggest names in music including the likes of Eric Clapton, Dire Straits and The Police to rehearse there.

        ...Location...

        The Brixton Academy is within easy access of the tube station and there are various buses around which take you to various places. It is a short walk down the road from the tube station and you will see it on the left. It is around the centre of Brixton

        Nearest rail: Brixton
        Nearest Tube: Brixton (Victoria line) or Stockwell (Northern line)

        ...The Academy...

        As you walk into the Academy you will find yourself in the foyer and then a short walk ahead will take you to the doors for the Hall. It is rather similar in look to the Hammersmith Apollo in terms of the balcony and stalls standing although the balcony is a little closer to the stage than at the Hammersmith Apollo.

        ...My Gig...

        I saw Velvet Revolver for the second time having seen them in Cardiff International Arena last year. They were supported by two bands, Big Linda and Pearl who were fronted by Meatloaf's daughter Pearl. The quality of the music was very good but that wasnt all that there was about this concert.

        Once in we took our places in the stalls standing area and everything was going well until Velvet Revolver came on and then the people in the middle of the stalls standing started acting like complete idiots jumping up and down with no care for anyone else. This really annoyed me and I was ready to cause a scene had it not subsized.

        This was the biggest negative about the concert for me and there was also some woman snorting cocaine who I saw when I went to get the next round of drinks at the bar. This didnt leave me with a good feeling either as I am really anti drugs and music is a better thing than drugs.

        ...The Sound System...

        This was something that pleased me greatly, The sound was superb and even though the speakers didnt look like they were that great they produced a superb sound that filled the hall with great punchy bass and had the subtlety to reproduce the guitar solo's and vocals. The Brixton Academy is known as a great venue sound wise.

        As someone who pays a lot of attention to the sound quality I have yet to go to a gig when there has been bad sound quality. Brixton Academy, Hammersmith Apollo, Cardiff International Arena and Birmingham Symphony Hall all have great sound systems.

        ...Overall...

        Overall it was a fantastic concert but there should be more done to stop the bumping that I and many others were subjected to without even the slightest apology from the offenders. It is a great look venue but go elsewhere if you do want to be bumped by moronic idiots. This is is the main reason why I give the Brixton Academy four stars instead of five,

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          02.03.2008 18:43
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          Brixton Academy is an excellent music venue and one that I would certainly recommend.

          Brixton Academy is a London venue that I have frequented many a time over the years. Having seen artists such as Fall Out Boy, Feeder, and Brand New there I have always been impressed with the sound quality and always there is a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. It is a well run venue, and although if you're wishing to buy alcoholic drinks there then you'll find them to be extremely expensive, this is only to be expected really when attending a London venue.

          It is one of London's leading music venues and with a capacity of 4921 has been a popularly used venue for bands since opening as a music venue in 1983. Bands will often play at Brixton Academy for a number of nights to give a chance for as many fans as possible to see them at the venue; Rammstein, Massive Attack, The Clash, The Prodigy, Arcade Fire, Nine Inch Nails, Bob Dylan, HARD-Fi and Sex Pistols for example have all played five nights in succession at the venue.

          Featuring an Art-Deco interior, the Brixton Academy boasts of an impressive internal design and when I have attended I have always enjoyed looking around and taking pictures not only of the bands that are performing but the venue itself also. When attending you can either stand downstairs which is what I tend to do as the atmosphere is terrific, or you can be seated on the balcony (something I have not done before as it is all a little too subdued for my liking when witnessing explosive rock bands). If standing then you'll find that the area is sloped, a fantastic idea meaning those at the back do not suffer and that everyone can see the band playing. I used to hate attending music venues and having some tall person in front of me meaning that my vision was restricted, these days however I myself am that annoying tall guy at gigs. Due to the slopes you can see the band no matter how far back you happen to be and this is always excellent. At various points there are barriers also meaning that sections of crowd are separated. The barriers are parallel to the stage and although they are easy to move under and in fact there are openings to cut through, it does stop the crowd from forming as one mass and certainly restricts the likelihood of a crush.

          It is interesting to note that the Brixton Academy actually started life in 1929 as a cinema and theatre. It was built as an 'Astoria' theatre at a cost of £250 000 and still it retains many of its original features. The structure of the venue is extremely impressive, it certainly looks the part when you're queuing up to see your band of choice. Its doors were closed as a cinema in July 1972 and instead it was converted into the 'Sundown Centre' rock venue which lasted a mere four months. In 1974 there had been plans to demolish the place and replace it with a car showroom and petrol station, fortunately however these plans were scrapped and it was instead used by the Rank organisation as a place to store equipment. In 1981 it tried its luck as a music venue once more, this time named 'The Fair Deal', again however the venture did not work out and in 1982 it closed as a result of debt. In 1983 it opened as the 'Brixton Academy' and the rest is history.

          When attending the Brixton Academy prices can vary, but in my experience I have always paid a price of around £20 per ticket subject to booking fee. Tickets can be purchased from a number of websites across the internet (Ticketmaster.co.uk, Aloud.com etc.) or if you happen to be in London then you can also buy tickets from the Sheperds Bush Empire. It's certainly a venue that I would personally recommend to all, I have enjoyed many a night at the Brixton Academy and can have no complaints whatsoever with the place (other than the high price of alcohol). Of all the larger venues I have visited in London, the Brixton Academy is certainly up there amongst the best and whilst some music venues I never wish to visit again, Brixton Academy is one venue I shall happily be returning to in the future.

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            08.10.2006 15:30
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            A good venue and has held some amazing gigs

            Brixton Academy is one of the most popular venues in the whole of London. It has held the likes of Kasabian, The Killers, Primal Scream, The Raconteurs and so man other great, massive bands. The venue itself has a capacity of 4,921 with 3,760 standing in the stalls area and 1,161 in the seated circle are upstairs. Overall there are 8 bars, four of which are in the stalls are round the sides. All under 14's must be accompanies by an adult and should purchase tickets in the circle, seating area.

            I went to the maximo park gig there on friday 6th October. It was my second time at the venue. As you probably know Brixton does not have a very good reputation and after hearing about the mcdonald's shooting the other week i was a bit scared about going. I went by tube and only had a two minute walk to the venue. Brixton didn't seem that bad although when leaving the venue i was offered drugs once outside the tube station.

            The venue itself is pretty damn big and has great sound and great lighting which helped to make the great band even better. It was absolutely packed by the time maximo park got on at 9:30pm but i was to be expected. As any other venue, during the gig everyone was a living radiator and you couldn't help sweating like a pig but its all part of the experience anyway.

            Overall the venue was quite good but the most important thing about a gig is the band

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              27.09.2006 13:51
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              Not recommended due to inadequate security.

              Brixton Academy is one venue I wil not be returning too, the security is inadequate and the safety of people attending was far from satisfactory. There was only 4 security men at the front barrier and they were unable to cope with all the fighting and surfing and people were getting crushed and hurt. I walked out 20 minutes into the concert as I was hurt and the security done nothing about it ! I have many wonderful memories of concerts I have attended at other venues, but this concert at Brixton academy is definetly one I would rather forget. This was my first time at this particular venue and will definetly be my last time. This venue is in no way near as good as many I have been too.

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                17.06.2006 17:03
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                Wouldn't recommend, over-crowded, not a great experience

                I went to Brixton to see Tiesto play on the 16th of June this year, a great DJ, but unfortunatly a crap venue.

                We got there 3/4 of an hour before the event started and it was fairly easy to find, located just 5 minutes from the tube station. We were approached 3 times in the time we were queing for "spare change". This place is not the greatest place and has a rough reputation.

                The gates opened at 10pm and when we got in we were searched, a standard procedure for events like this. The venue itself seemed good at first sight. It has a big dance floor and upstairs there are seats to sit on, although these are not reserved so if you wish to have a good seat it is best to get there early. There have been several concerts played here, big names such as Brian May and Prodigy.

                There are several bars located around the building as well, making it easy to get a drink wherever you are in the building. The prices are average for london, about £3 a pint.

                The sound system for this concert was also spot-on, and for the first hour we were there the whole occasion was very impressive. I think when it comes to events like I attended, you want to dance, so most of your time is spent on the main dancefloor which is sloped.

                The toilets aren't the cleanest in the world, but the venues major downfall is that theres no air-conditioning. It may be true that many other venues lack this facility either, however, when the main feature (in this case Tiesto) was on, the floor was packed full of people. Many people ended up taking their tops of because they were so hot, just walking past peeople you could feel the heat come off them like radiators! I think the problem was they allowed too many people to go.

                When buying tickets for an event here, i'd recommend doing it online, its fast and efficient, I think i got my tickets through within a week of payment. The website I used was http://www.brixton-academy.co.uk/.

                If you are thinking of attending an event here, just be wary that it can get very hot and overcrowded, and this can very much ruin what could be a very great night.

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                  21.01.2004 00:20
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                  I've been going to Brixton Academy for numerous different gigs over the years, and have grown to love it, as one of my favourite London venues. Less grotty and run down than the Astoria, far more intimate than Wembley Arena, friendlier staff than just about anywhere, and great sound quality too. The venue itself is pretty flexible, having been used to TV recordings, stand up comedy, and club nights, but I'm most familiar with it's most common use - a good old rock venue. In days gone by, the venue was obviously used as a theatre, but the standard of the decor still remains, with the decorations all kept fairly up to scratch, and great decor around the stage to almost give you the illusion of being in an open air theatre. The majority of gigs only use the downstairs (stalls) area, which is usually a standing area. Some of the more popular gigs also use the upstairs (circle) seating area, although be warned - the seats are unreserved - so get there early for a good spot! The standing area slopes - which makes a nice change in you not having to struggle to watch the band. There are also barriers parallel to the stage that cut through the crowd at various points - which is great for those at the very front as it cuts down on the number of crowd surges (typical at any venue) that you have to endure. They also provide a great spot to lean against for the more lazy of us - or if the crowd is dense enough, they give crowd surfers an easier way to get on top of the crowd. The venue doesn't appear to have a policy against crowd surfers - I'll leave you to decide whether or not this is a good or bad thing. The bars are usual venue prices (about £3 for a pint) - certainly nothing to write home about - but hardly unexpected for a London venue. Both bar and door staff are very friendly and polite, and the door staff certainly don't treat you like cattle, unlike at many other (unnamed) Lon
                  don venues. As was mentioned in another review, there's a first aid point as well, along with one of those ubiquitous 'convenience' (fee payable) cashpoints, payphones, cloakroom, and all the other stuff you'd expect. Toilets are a bit manky, but that's to be expected really. A lot of people are a bit wary about going to gigs at Brixton simply because of the area's reputation - although in my opinion, you certainly shouldn't let this put you off having a top night out there. The venue's only two minutes' walk from the tube station - and remember, you'll be travelling to and from the gig with over 2000 like-minded fans, who all just want a trouble-free night out. Just use your common sense; be very careful if using an on-street cash point (or even better, get some money before you get to Brixton), and know where you're going before you get there. Tickets can typically cost anywhere between £10 and £25, depending on the event. Tickets and gig listings are available from www.ticketweb.co.uk - They tend to be cheaper than other online ticket sites, as they don't insist on sending standing tickets by Special Delivery (which can add about £5 to your order). Tickets can be bought in person from the Shepherd's Bush Empire (Shepherds Bush Green London W12 8TT) who are owned by the same company. This should save you a few pounds as if you pay in cash, you won't have to pay a booking fee or postage. But watch out - you can't buy advance tickets from the Brixton Academy box office - it's only for ticket collection, or, on the rare occasion that a gig hasn't sold out, on-the-door ticket sales. So to wrap up... great atmosphere, great people, great bands, great night out!

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                    02.05.2002 20:44
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                    I have bee going to The Brixton Academy, since 1995 and ever since then I have known that the venue is a large theatre house which is now used to hold Raves / Gigs / and other types of performances? It has a large dancing area (some call them stalls) and a even larger tiered seating plan upstairs which give you a really good view of the stage. The security is very friendly there, they tend to try to help you when you need it i.e.: finding toilets. Pick pockets, Over zealous men/women. There is a first aid room, which is always good to have at a venue that can hold at least 3000 people in. Through all the events that I have been too at 'The Academy', they seem to be able to change the décor every time, to suit the event, i.e.: I went to a rave and the whole ceiling was covered with a parachute, and large backdrops everywhere, where as when I went to a live gig, they had only decorated the stage which is good as when people started jumping around thing would invariably get knocked over. They sell drinks and food in'?The Academy' the drinks are just about pub prices, and food is the usual although I would not eat it I have known people who have and they say that for the price they where charged they would not get another burger. When arriving at ?The Academy? you will be greeted by lots of different types of people, from all different races / religions, but hey that doesn?t matter as they are all doing what your doing and going out to have some fun.

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