London – The Globe and The Marquee Club

The penultimate London post features two very different venues for entertaining the folks.

The Globe Theatre is where many of Shakespeare’s plays were first performed. Built in 1599 from the timbers brought across the river from an older theatre, burnt down in 1613 and rebuilt with a tiled instead of thatched roof. Finally closed in 1642 because of a puritan administration and then demolished in 1644 to make way for housing. Skip forward to around 1970 when Sam Wanamaker founded the Shakespeare Globe Trust, the beginning of the re-emergence of the theatre on a site a few hundred yards away from the original location on the south bank of the Thames.

We took a tour, which was short but fun. Unfortunately could not take pictures inside because, we were told, some children were rehearsing. They weren’t children and whatever they were rehearsing was crap anyway but still, no pictures. The exhibition is also worth seeing, even without the tour.

If you walk a short distance around the back towards Southwark bridge you can easily find the original sites of the Globe, now under a block of listed Georgian flats and the Rose theatre, which predates the Globe.

The Marquee Club must be London’s equivalent of New York’s CBGB, a small shitty place that was home to tons of great music. It opened in 1958 on Oxford street as a venue for jazz and skiffle acts. Its most famous period, and the one during which I visited many times, was between 1964-1988 when it was at 90 Wardour Street, Soho. My pictures show it as it is today, converted into swanky Soho Loft apartments, the only sign it was ever a famous music venue being the blue plaque about Keith Moon playing there with The Who in the 60’s.

Aside from the fact he’s dead and was a nutter I have no idea why they singled out Moon for the plaque. The 60’s saw Alexis Korner, Cyril Davies, Chris Barber, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, The Who, King Crimson, Yes, Jethro Tull, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Pink Floyd as well as The Manish Boys featuring David Bowie and Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac who gave their first performance there in 1967.

The 70’s saw a leaning towards punk acts like The Boys, Eddie and the Hot Rods,The Stranglers, Generation X, London, The Police, XTC, Skrewdriver, The Sinceros, Buzzcocks, the early Adam & the Ants, The Jam, Joy Division, The Sound and The Cure amongst many others.

In the 80’s it became popular with British Heavy Metal bands including Def Leppard and Iron Maiden as well as Marillion and many others.

Aside from any of the more famous names, two gigs I remember as being a whole lot of fun were by these bands:

Nine Below Zero

Eddie and the Hot Rods

It looks like both bands are still going strong. Good for them!

Here are the photos:


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