Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Jun 6th 2010 5:00AM by Julian Marszalek
Come to See: This is the place to come to if you want to catch bands just as they're about to break through to the next level. One of London's more intimate venues, its subterranean environs range from the delightfully sweaty to the mildly squashed, but at least you're never far from the band. In fact, you'll be so close to the bands that the distinction between band and audience is frequently blurred. A variety of differing club nights and musical policy ensure that you'll be entertained by the next bunch of achingly hip rising indie stars through to more rough and ready garage rock 'n' roll bands.
The Atmosphere: Despite the often cramped conditions, the Buffalo Bars errs on the side of friendliness and once one person starts dancing, the effect is often infectious. By virtue of being located in a basement underneath the Famous Cock pub on Highbury Corner in north London, the effect of entering the venue is not unlike that of Alice following the White Rabbit -- and with similar results. Surprisingly, the queues at the bar aren't as bad as you'd think and there are nooks and crannies available for those who prefer to watch the action rather than participate in it.
You Saw Them Here First: A wide range of artists including Brooklyn proggers Oneida, Delays, Leeds-based post-rockers Vessels, Futureheads, the Libertines and Magic Numbers have all graced the venue on their way to the top. Or, in some cases, the middle.
Claim to Fame: Guitar-less nice boys Keane played a "secret" gig here just after the release of their debut album, 'Hopes and Fears.' Of course, the gig was so "secret" that the queue to get in to the venue stretched halfway down Upper Street while the fortunate few that did make it in were pretty much hanging from the rafters as much as each other.
You Should Also Know: The Buffalo Bars also host a variety of club nights as well as gigs. Among the best are; Guided Missile, which blends live music with a party atmosphere, Crimes Against Pop and the occasional visit by the ever popular blend of jangle indie and 60s soul that is the How Does it Feel to Be Loved? The legendary Club Beer -- music that only sounds good when you're drunk -- made the Buffalo Bar its home in the late 1990s until its organisers sobered up and influenced the unfeasibly popular Guilty Pleasures.
Booking Now: Rising bands We Are the Physics, the Lysergics, the November Five and the Owls Are Not What They Seem are all booked to appear over the coming weeks while the Horrors' Spider Webb spins beat, garage and psyche classics at the Cave Club later in June.