The beat is back at Borderline, a live music venue that has been transformed. Now it’s set to impress a new generation of music lovers, says Emma Levine
Music for your ears! Visit one of London’s latest music venues, including Borderline and Omeara.
For many of London’s older music fans, Borderline holds cosy memories as an iconic music club, a Soho establishment that since the late 1980s has seen the likes of R.E.M., The Rolling Stones, PJ Harvey and Oasis grace its stage.
It was also a place that championed British indie bands, and kept its eyes peeled for hot new international artists – sometimes providing them with their UK debut. The club lies at the end of a tiny alleyway in Soho, just a stone’s throw away from Denmark Street. This was once the heartbeat of the UK’s music industry, where Bowie and Hendrix rehearsed in its studios, and skulked around its guitar shops. In its boho cafés they would sip coffee – or something stronger. Denmark Street’s music heyday is now a distant memory, with scant few music shops remaining, but thankfully Borderline has now reopened after a major refurbishment to keep the beat alive.
The club has transformed from an earthy venue to something sleek and savvy with striking features. The subterranean space has black walls and low ceilings, with exposed blackened steel pipes. The cocktail lounge area has colourful sofas with a teal textured wall, dominated by a striking row of painted animal skulls (below left) – a nod to the club’s former years when it used to adjoin a Tex-Mex restaurant. The Mexican theme continues at the huge neon-lit bar, where its choice of tequilas and margaritas is impressive.
But, of course, most of the new – and old – generation of visitors are going to Borderline predominantly for the music. The prominent stage, which is large compared to the rest of the club, will play host to little-known bands, club nights and its famous Titled nights – a throwback to the old days – with indie and alternative acts. This will be the place to discover the next great act. There’s also decent space for dancing – and let’s face it, you’re never too old to dance. Manette St, W1D 4JB. T: 020-7734 5547. www.borderline.london