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The Astoria. Your memories?


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So, as I'm sure most of you are aware the London Astoria closes it's doors for the last time this week. It has long been one of my favourite venues, possibly even my number one London venue - Big enough to feel like an event but small enough to still feel intimate.

I've lost count of the bands I've seen there over the years but some that stand out would be Tool, Outkast, Dj Shadow, Radiohead & The Screaming Trees. They had that great bouncer who would regularly encourage one of the mentalist yet friendliest pits I've ever been in (I heard he died in a motorcycle accident, can anyone confirm or deny this?). I met my first girlfriend there, had one of my first drug experiences there & somehow I managed to never go upstairs in the 16 years I've been going there.

It will be missed.

Share your best Astoria moments?
Never liked the place much to be honest. Dark and soul-less really.

An old girlfriend got tickets to see (I just Died in Your Arms Tonight) the Cutting Crew back in the '80s. That bored me shitless. :D

Hawkwind once or twice was about iot for me really. :)
I've got some spine curdlingly bad pics taken at the heavy metal club there in the late 80s. Big hair. Everywhere.
I can indeed confirm that the great bouncer died in a motorcycle accident, and am slightly embarrassed that I can''t remember his name. A fine fella.

Saw some great bands do some wonderful performances tehre over the years, the first band being a christian rock act called Azimuth Brainstorm in 93, the first that i would admit to in later life being the Offspring in 94. Now it all seems much of a muchness in terms of cool.

Can't thnk who my favourite act might ahve been there, perhaps Rage Against The Machine, that was fucking awesome.
I've got some spine curdlingly bad pics taken at the heavy metal club there in the late 80s. Big hair. Everywhere.

I used to go there regularly from 1990-94ish for 'Rockscene' and I had some mighty big hair! My memories are all pretty hazy tbh - far too much cheap speed and alcohol involved :oops:

I do remember thinking the upstairs bar would be the perfect place to drop my first microdot and then sat glued to the spot as everyone turned into tiny little rock dwarves before my very eyes.

Oh, and I did make it to the (permanently closed) balcony bar with - er - a close personal friend and had lots of fun whilst the club went on below us, oblivious ;)
Played there in about 1992 - biggest stage I've ever rocked out on.

Saw my first ever (followed by one every November) Cardiacs gig at the LA2. That's where me and my ex got it together, what a night that was.

LA2 is a brilliant venue in the classic low-ceiling'd sweatbox vein. I've walked out of gigs there where every single geezer was stripped to the waist sweating buckets.
Green On Red, seventeen years later after they cancelled the gig the first time around

Getting in the back doors for a tenner for the Wonder Stuff

The Cramps

Being pissed and drugged to fuckery

Ten Benson and The Darkness....err...06? Spandex, noise and a good time had by all in a non-ironic manner.
I think I only ever saw the Fall and Jon Spencer (twice) at the Astoria.

Oh go no hang on, I think I saw MBV there and also Buffalo Tom with swervedriver, but that was before I lived in London so it may have been somewhere else and I just don't recall it properly.
Nirvana, 1991. The one after the one Geoff's on about - I couldn't get a ticket for that.

My favourite gig ever. Still got the ticket.
Late 80s:

TG Ltd (i.e. Psychic TV impersonating TG) - at this after hours thing they used to do on Fridays called Apocaylpse or something.
Psychic TV (with naked stage invasion) - Spacemen 3 supporting.
Front 242
Revolting Cocks (with really awful strippers)


Mark Stewart
LA2 - Test Dept (in anti-CJB mode)
LA2 - Audio Active (proper On-U Sound night)

Not been this decade tho, I don't think.

What I liked about the Astoria most was walking up Charring X Road and seeing lots of earnest young things wearing t-shirts of bands I had never heard of.
Danielle Dax supported by Gallon Drunk, in the early 90s. Was an OK gig. Danielle Dax was then in a kind of trying to be an alternative-Madonna pop music mode, and basically just recreated the pop rock album she had at the time. Gallon Drunk were good bad fun as ever.

Lemonheads, again early 90s. Shortly after It's a shame about Ray. Remember being very very smashed and enjoying it a lot.

Fishbone, early 90s. Christ knows why, but I sort of liked them at the time. It was about as good a gig as a Fishbone gig probably could ever have been. They threw trombones into the audience. I was sat with a mate in the upstairs balcony, and John Taylor and Amanda de Cadenet came and sat down at our table. They didn't look exactly thrilled to be there. How early 1990s can ya get?!
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