London’s lost venues – in pictures

  • The Stranglers onstage at the Nashville Rooms in 1977. The pub was one of the high spots of the London punk and new-wave circuit.




  • AC/DC on stage at the Nashville Rooms, which were on North End Road in Kensington, on 27 May 1976. Live music stopped in 1980 and the venue is now a pub called the Famous 3 Kings.




  • Clubbers at Le Beat Route in Greek Street, Soho. In the early 1980s this basement club was very influential in fashion circles and was a magnet for many future pop stars including Boy George, Spandau Ballet and George Michael. The club is now part of the Be At One chain of cocktail bars.




  • Jerry Harrison and David Byrne of Talking Heads playing the band’s first UK gig at the Rock Garden on 13 May 1977.




  • Patti Smith on stage at the Rock Garden in 1977. During the late 1970s and 1980s the venue, situated in The Piazza, Covent Garden, was popular with up-and-coming punk rock and new wave artists. It is now an Apple store.




  • Elvis Costello performing at a New Musical Express competition winners’ gig at the Clarendon Ballroom on 20 January 1981. The venue, on Hammersmith Broadway, was demolished in 1988 to make way for the Broadway Centre.




  • The Cure at the Marquee club in 1979.




  • The Marquee club on Wardour Street in Soho, played host to big names such as the Jimi Hendrix Experience, pictured playing there on 2 March 1967. Although the original entrance remains, the main club area to the left of the entrance was demolished and replaced with a restaurant.




  • Adam and the Ants with their manager, Jordan (far left) at the Marquee club in 1977.




  • On 16 November 1981, the ZigZag club opened on Great Western Road in Westbourne Park. The opening night featured this performance by Bow Wow Wow, a band created by Malcolm McLaren. The club lasted barely a year and the building lay derelict until 1994 when it was demolished and replaced by housing.




  • The basement of 69 Dean Street, Soho, housed Gossips (formerly Billy’s) nightclub, which hosted various one-nighters, the best known being Gaz’s Rockin’ Blues. Gaz ran a weekly night there from 1980 to 1995 with DJs playing ska, punk, reggae (such as here at Sir Jules’ Sound Table, in 1982) and rhythm’n’ blues. Live acts also played. The whole building is now the Dean Street Townhouse hotel.




  • The Limelight on Shaftesbury Avenue opened in 1985 in a former Welsh Presbyterian church. In its heyday in the late 80s, regulars included Boy George (pictured there in 1986), Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, George Michael and Steve Strange. It was taken over in 2003 by Australian pub chain The Walkabout, which converted it into a sports bar. This ceased trading in 2010 and the premises are awaiting conversion into a new performing arts centre.




  • George Michael dancing at the Limelight on 30 July 1986.




  • The Vortex was a punk club that opened in summer 1977 in a basement on Wardour Street in Soho. Siouxsie and the Banshees are pictured playing the venue that year. The last gig at the Vortex was Tubeway Army in spring 1978. These days the venue is now the Nova Club below Dirty Harry’s bar.




  • My Bloody Valentine, featuring their original singer Dave Conway, on stage at the Sir George Robey in 1986.During the late 1980s this pub, on Seven Sisters Road in Finsbury Park, was the venue for any up-and-coming band with a Ford Transit on the ‘toilet circuit’ up and down the country. The site currently remains vacant.




  • The Damned at the Roxy in 1977.




  • The Clash and the Heartbreakers headlined the official gala opening of the Roxy on Neal Street, Covent Garden, on 1 January 1977. The venue became famous for hosting the exploding UK punk music scene in its infancy – this photo of the Clash is from 15 June 1977 – and was a place punk could call its own. Today the site is occupied by a Speedo swimwear shop.