Multi-purpose arts space Village Underground in the heart of Shoreditch in London started its life as a garage but then it started hosting epic semi-legal warehouse style parties over a decade ago, of which I hold some great memories!
As Shoreditch itself became more and more popular as a night time destination, Village Underground went ‘legit’ and metamorphosed into a cutting edge arts and live music venue, hosting an eclectic array of artists on their way up to the top. To me, this venue epitomises east London; the high bare brick walls and no-frills environment provide a captivating environment to watch live music. If you keep your eyes peeled, VU hosts underplayed or festival warm-up shows for artists that usually fill arenas many times its size.
Aside from live music, the venue also hosts live art and theatre, and with an all-night licence, some of its electronic club events are legendary. Drinks are straightforward – with a choice of lagers, IPAs and ciders served in 330ml cans alongside wine and mix drinks. The site is also home to a group of creative businesses; look above the venue to see renovated London Underground train carriages perched up on the roof that now serve as studios and office spaces.
There is also a huge wall on the Holywell Lane site, which is the largest dedicated wall for Street art in London. New art is commissioned every 3 months.