A Trip Down Tin Pan Alley, London

Tonight, I visited the 12 Bar Club in London’s West End for the first time and was mightily impressed.

Conveniently situated in Denmark Street – a street long renowned for its connections to live music – the bar has got just the right mix of friendliness and scruffiness – and the beer’s reasonably priced too.

The street facing part of the bar serves as a café, with two other bars leading on to the stage at the back.

The dark, low-roofed and intimate crowd area really is bonkers as it offers two viewing positions: upstairs (where you can only see the heads of the band) or downstairs (where you can only see up to their neck).

So here’s the actual view we had for rather excellent Kevin-Rowland-esque meets ‘ neo-orchestral soundscapes’ The Irrepressibles:

stage view from 12 Bar Club, London

Impressive, huh?!

Naturally, you’ll do fine if you’ve managed to grab one of the seats in front of the stage, but we learnt that by leaning waaay back against the back wall we could catch the occasional above-neck glimpse of the musicians.

Helen McCookeryBook at the 12 Bar Club, London

We’d gone along to the bar to see an old chum, Helen McCookeryBook (formerly of The Chefs) play her third-ever solo gig.

Helen and I go back ages – I was in her band Helen and The Horns for a while and we always seemed to end up working on various musical projects, often with another old pal, Lester Square from The Monochrome Set.

Anyway – I’m waffling now ‘cos it’s late – but I can report that I had a chuffin’ top night out and I can thoroughly recommend the 12 bar Club as an excellent old-school live music venue.

And they certainly pack the bands in onto their tiny stage: their site claims that they have an average of four acts a night, seven nights a week!