urban75 blog

A Thursday night in Coldharbour Lane, Brixton – Albert, 414, Dogstar and more

Thursday nights around Brixton are usually my favourite. Thursdays are civilised and fun.

Come Friday and Brixton invariably groans to wobbling hordes of braying pissheads, ‘collars-up’ laaads on the pull and over-confident. excessively loud moneyed types up from the suburbs.

That’s not to say that there’s not some great nights to be found over the weekend – what can be better than 30 samba drummers playing tonight for free?! – but Thursdays are often where it’s at for socialising with locals.

Here’s a few photos from last night.

First stop was the Prince Albert, and then I popped next door to check out one of Brixton’s undiscovered gems: the live ska/jazz nights at Club 414. Here’s where you’ll find some fantastic musicians in an old-school Brixton  atmosphere.

On the small stage was some superb steel pan playing, evoking a warm Caribbean vibe on a chilly November evening.

The 414 live music nights on Thursdays are not for well-oiled all-night party people though – at this club you’re expected to listen to and appreciate the bands, not shout over them or stand in front of the stage updating your Facebook status.

It’s one my favourite nights in Brixton.

It has to be said that weekends at the Dogstar can be a bit much for some, with the place jam-packed with people keen to extract the maximum party potential out of every minute of the night. It’s not my kind of crowd, but I really like Thursdays here.

The staff are lovely and the DJ plays a good mix of tunes, although I wish he’d lose his annoying predilection of cutting out the bass EQ for eight bars of almost every single ruddy track he plays.

It may sound suitably dramatic when the bass comes roaring back in, but the preceding bout of screeching treble is not a lot of fun.

On Thursdays at the Dog, there’s room to move on the dance floor, and you get served quicker too. And that’s a win in anyone’s book!

Heading down Coldharbour Lane, looking back into the centre of town. On the right is Brixton Village (formerly Granville Arcade).

It’s acquired the nickname of ‘The Villaaage‘ amongst some locals, on account of its rapidly changing, upwardly mobile clientèle on weekends.

The depressing face of nu-Brixton.

Bedecked in a ludicrous ‘edgy’ typeface, this Barratt Homes development called ‘Brixton Square‘ implies that it’s going to contain some public space. It won’t. It’s a gated community.

Designed like a bland office block and of no architectural merit whatsoever, the cheapest one bedroom flat in this development will set you back £265,000, putting it way out of reach of most locals.  The cheapest rent is likely to be £16,000/year for a one bedroom flat.

There was supposed to be an affordable housing provision in this new build, but there’s been some unpleasant wriggling going on. Read the full story here: Barratt Homes, Brixton Square and the fight to retain affordable housing in Brixton. Please sign the petition.

The Angel pub, thankfully now repainted after being covered in unsightly graffiti as part of an ‘art’ piece.

Bought by uber-rich property developers Lexadon, most of the building will be turned into upmarket flats and there’s little prospect of anything remotely resembling the original pub coming back. Another sad loss to Brixton.