The Windmill, 22 Blenheim Gardens, Brixton SW2 5BZ (map)
Tel: 020 8671 0700
Nearest Tube : Brixton
Best pub for a pre-gig drink:The Windmill itself, or the White Horse
The Windmill is: A VW Beetle
Interesting fact: Japanese all-girl band the 5678s played a packed and raucous show at the Windmill very shortly after they had appeared as the house band in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. The video for The View’s Wasted Little DJs was also filmed here.
How far from Brixton Tube Station is it? 7 minutes walk. Come out of the station and turn left. Walk up Brixton Hill, past the Fridge, and turn right at a road called Blenheim Gardens - it's about the sixth street on the right off Brixton Hill. Walk 100 yards up Blenheim Gardens and you'll hear the dog and see this place that looks like a youth club. You can also get a bus from outside KFC - numbers 45, 59, 109, 118, 159, 250 and 333 - it's the third stop.
Is there a cloakroom? No but it's usually fine to leave your coat in the corner near to where you are standing.
Should I get there early? Depends - if you are here for a band that's on late it is probably still worth getting here early and checking out the earlier bands - you see some famous perfomances here.
Otherwise you could have a drink in the White Horse round the corner, but we would recommend getting there half an hour to an hour after doors opening and getting in the spirit of things. Check the Windmill website for timings.
Anywhere to eat nearby? Plenty of chicken joints on Brixton Hill, or the White Horse for pub grub.
Brixton Windmill Venue Guide
The Windmill is a battered but characterful pub located down a side street off Brixton Hill which features hugely varied live music most nights. Somewhat resembling a youth club from the outside, the Windmill is small with a low roof (sweat literally drips from the ceilings here). The stage is in a corner facing the bar, with a small standing area in front of it and a corridor leading to an area at the back and a rear garden, where barbeques take place over the summer during the Windmill’s all-day events. They serve San Miguel and pints of ale, and the clientele are friendly, unpretentious and big music fans.
You are almost guaranteed a good night out at the Windmill. Pick the right night and you are likely to see one band you desperately try and remember the name of the next morning amongst the four or five who usually play each gig night. There is a relaxed vibe with an open-minded clientele who all have an obvious love of live music, which is appreciated by the bands, many of who are starting out their careers, who regularly pull out all the stops here. The Windmill takes its music seriously; turn up pissed and talk over the bands and someone will tell you to keep it down; you will see the Sound Engineer hopping from his desk to the middle of the crowd getting the levels just right; as their website states, they won’t put on bands just because they will be able to fill the venue with their mates, demo tapes are judged on their own merits; and many bands have played here on their way up, including The Cribs, Bloc Party, Hot Chip and British Sea Power.
On a typical night at The Windmill you will end up talking to strange people outside. You will see someone you recognise but cannot place from one band or another. You may see anything ranging from alt country to crack krautrock. You will tip toe across a puddle of piss in the toilets. And you will invariably have a great night.
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British Sea Power