NIGHTLIFE

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

Where London - - Contents -

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

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