Hammersmith Apollo, Queen Caroline Street, W6 9QH (map, layout)
Tel: 020 8563 3800
Nearest Tube : Hammersmith
Best pub for a pre-gig drink: Not a great choice but probably the Distillers Arms
The Apollo is: A Volvo Estate
Interesting fact: David Bowie performed his last concert as Ziggy Stardust here in 1973, an event caught on video.
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How do I get to the Hammersmith HMV Apollo? It's 5 minutes from Hammersmith Tube Station - behind the shopping precinct. Come out of the tube station, turn left, walk through the shoppng centre and through the back doors. It is
on the other side of that really busy road (there is an underpass).
Should I get there early? It's a good idea to get to Hammersmith early, with it being on the notoriously unreliable Circle/District line. Once there we would recommend having a drink in one of the pubs opposite the tube station (go out of the front entrance of the shopping precinct) as it is not so much of a nice venue to hang around in - busy bars, busy toilets. Headliners usually come on at 9:30 so you should try and be in position shortly after 9 if you are standing.
Anywhere to eat nearby? Pub grub or McDonalds. Not much else really.
Last Shadow Puppets (16/10/08)
Hammersmith Apollo as is rather like the Brixton Academy in both size and appearance. The layout is quite similar; large sloped standing area, which offers pretty good views from all around; a seated area in the circle upstairs; a large old theatre-style stage. But unlike the Academy it has a few faults; Firstly, to get a drink you have to leave the auditorium and visit the bar in the main foyer area, or alternatively the huge and rather busy bar upstairs. this has recently been rectified with the appearance of a bar in the top right corner as you look from the stage. So unlike Brixton, which has bars within the main standing area, you are likely to miss some of the performance if you fancy a drink.
The Hammersmith Apollo is not the easiest place to get to, and the surrounding area is not the prettiest, beneath the Hammersmith Flyover. There is also a distinct lack of decent pre-gig pub options - Hammersmith seems to be the home of bad pubs, so play safe and try the recently refurbished Distillers Arms, from the owners of Balham's Bedford Arms.
I saw Kings of Leon here, which should have been a tremendous gig, but whilst the band were great I didn't have a superb time, largely because of frustrations with the venue.
So not the capital's best venues then, but if there is a band you really want to see there is nothing to stop you having a great night here.
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The Flaming Lips at the Hammersmith Apollo