Jazz clubs just wouldn’t be the same if they were big, airy spaces with plenty of natural light.
Maybe it’s because the low lighting enhances your hearing to bat-like levels, thus allowing you to appreciate the music to the fullest possible capacity.
Or, jazz musicians are vampires.
Either way, Chelsea’s 606 Club (or ‘The Six’) fits the bill. Found down an old industrial alley, behind an almost unmarked gate and down a dimly lit flight of stairs, it’s the quintessential musicians’ bolt-hole: a candlelit cavern where world-class jazz bands and singers play
within biting distance feet away from the front row.
606 Club has been run by flute-tootin’ jazz-cat Steve Rubie since 1976, when he was invited to take over the swinging 60s jazz den where he once worked as a chef, and enthusiastically replied – “not a chance”. Over the following five decades he’s made a name for the place as one of the best jazz clubs in the world, drawing talent from the length and breadth of the country and incubating jazz greats like Jamie Cullum.
Packing in ten bands a week, the programme runs the gamut from jazz to gospel, Latin, funk & soul, with a reasonable £10-16 music charge that goes straight to the band. It’s not uncommon for members of the audience to spring up and jam with the musicians up front; but if you want to keep a low profile and save your rendition of Chopsticks for another night, you can sit back and enjoy the show with a slap-up meal cooked fresh to order by chef Jean-Pierre. On Sundays, he rustles up roast chicken and lamb (beetroot pancakes for the veggies) to go with their laid-back afternoon gigs. And naturally, there’s a big ol’ wine list to wash it all down with, too.
No bloody maries, though.
NOTE: 606 Club is currently only open Thursday-Sunday, with some gigs streamed online. To find out who’s playing, and to book a table (highly recommended), head HERE. Please note that due to licensing restrictions, on Friday & Saturday nights you’ll need to order a meal with your drinks.
606 Club | 90 Lots Road, Chelsea, SW10 0QD
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