Marquee Club  (London, UK)

Experience the essence of rock culture in the basement of central London, watching the spectators dive after a fight with security guards.

London is the home for rock music and there are many Rock Clubs. There are many places where you can feel the history since there is a culture to find value in old things in UK. There are many brick and stone building, and in a little larger music play site, it has medieval balcony seats, and if you look at the interior, you will feel that it is the place where classical music and opera can be played. Listening to rock music performance in such a place is a strange sensation.

Now, the Marquee Club, a place that had a huge impact on the formation of London’s rock culture. It opened in 1958, but changed location twice. I visited in 1990. This is the last place near the “Tottenham Court Road” on the tube. I’m not sure how great the rock dawn and heyday of the 70’s and 80’s were in London, but I cannot forget the impact of this Rock Club, as the rumors of this Rock Club in media and stories.

I have visited in 1990. I did not have a ticket, however, just went there to get into this Club anyway, there was a long line in front of the Club. It was doubt whether I can get in or not, I was in the end of the line, then I got into the Club finally. The band performed was “The Almighty”. I did not know this band at all at that time, however, it was famous in general, and came to Japan later.

I had no impression about this band performance, instead, it was astonished at me that I have watched the “Diving” of audience from the stage, at the very first time. In the fully packed venue, audiences were trying to climb up to the stage, by sneaking the big and strong security men in front of the stage. Security men was slushing and punching the audiences like taking care of animals, when they are trying to climb up.

I have never seen that kind of scene and staring it during the performance. The audiences who has succeeded to climb up by sneaking the security men, having dive from the stage, but having a trouble with the other audiences to receive divers, then, I had been laughing continuously during the performance.

“The Almighty” in Marquee Club in 1990

In Japan (Tokyo) at that time, it was common that halls to perform the music has seats such as “Nakano Sun Plaza”, “Shibuya Public Hall”, and “Tokyo Health and Welfare Pension Hall”, and even small Rock Club such as “Meguro Rokumei-kan” has seats. There was still an unwritten rule that “music is to be listened on the seats, not by standing” and there were no all standing Rock Clubs. Therefore, the scene in this “Marquee Club” was shocking to me.

This Club was closed afterwards, then started by changing the name as “Astria”, but it is not in operation in the year of 2018.

This place gives me how all standing-club is great at the very first time and I really appreciate and respect this Marquee Club.

Visited in 1990

​Basic Information

■ Name of Place:Marquee Club
■ Address :105 Charing Cross Road, London UK
■ Performed Musician : 
The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Who, King Crimson, Yes, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, The Clash, The Police, The Cure, Dire Straits, Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Metallica