Rupert Hohwieler 14/01/23
Bush Hall | It’s a Sound Venue
Bush Hall’s always had a lot of noise around it.
It is, after all, one of the best places to see a gig in Shepherd’s Bush…
But it’s also because it’s one of the most historic live music venues in London, with a distinctive Edwardian interior that isn’t comparable to anywhere else in town. Back when it first opened in 1904, on Uxbridge Road, Bush Hall was a dance hall. Today it’s still a dance hall. That’s not to say nothing’s changed in the past 120 years, it’s rather the opposite. After dancing through the roaring twenties, Bush Hill changed its tune: turning into a soup kitchen during World War II; followed by a spell as a bingo hall in ‘50s and ‘60s; as a rehearsal hall for the likes of The Who somewhere in between; then it was a snooker and social club in the ‘80s and ‘90s; before finally coming full circle when it was restored back to a music venue in 2001.
As far as catching gigs in the capital go, the experience at Bush Hall is certainly unique. When it was restored by its restorers and now owners, Charlie Raworth and Emma Hutchinson, they made an effort to stay faithful to the building’s period features, with chandeliers hanging from the ceilings, ornately-decorated cornices that look equally suited to an art gallery exhibiting old European paintings, and a red velvet curtain behind the stage (that’s also fronted by a grand piano). This classical aesthetic is all part of the Bush Hall charm, a charm that’s lured in big names like Adele, Amy Winehouse and Paul Weller to play secret shows here in the past, but the music agenda typically leans towards newer singer-songwriters and touring acts, plus emerging grassroots artists.
The venue, with its small size (capacity is 425) and high-ceiling combo, holds up well for acoustics, so volume is always clear – and adequately loud. And while concerts may take up a good chunk of the programme, the place isn’t always rocking. Bush Hill isn’t limited to just music these days, with theatre, comedy and cabaret and the odd wedding reception (provided you’ve nabbed an invite), sharing the schedule. For drinks, it’s the holy trinity of wine, mixed spirits and bottled beers. If you did want to go somewhere for a pre beforehand, you don’t have to travel far. You’ve got Next Door Records…
… next door.
NOTE: Bush Hall is open daily. You can find out what’s on, and book tickets, right HERE.
Bush Hall | 310 Uxbridge Rd, W12 7LJ
Want your cocktails with jazz and piano, all at once? Then check out the best London bars with live music…
310 Uxbridge Rd, Shepherd's Bush, W12 7LJ
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020 8222 6955
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