There was a time when vintage purely meant second-hand. ‘Antique’ was simply ancient and you certainly wouldn’t accept a hand-me-down no matter how many times your Mum described it as ‘pre-loved’. God-forbid anyone ever bring out the photographs of you in that metallic shell suit. Somewhere down the line, though, we turned a corner, and ironically retro instead means ‘so right now.’ With this in mind, Venn Street Records hasn’t missed a trick. Playing on the idea that old school equals cool, this vintage-inspired indie bar in Clapham is the perfect place to chill out and reminisce on a much cooler (albeit a little fashionably-challenged) era. It may be an oldie but it’s a bloomin’ goodie. It’s a shame the same can’t be said for the shellsuit.
Cosied up in Clapham’s trendy Venn Street, this notoriously hip bar-come-diner is a definite step-up from your average watering hole in South West. A rock ‘n’ roll lover’s dream, Venn Street Records puts good music and a good time at the forefront of everything, well and truly appeasing all of the indie-loving bar goers in attendance. Split across two levels, the cool leather details, velvet upholstery and exposed brickwork perfectly balance the retro NME posters and vinyl-clad walls throughout this vibrantly funky venue. With every detail flawlessly refined and no corner left unturned, Venn Street Records possesses an almost organised rough and ready vibe. One that is more commonly found in trendy Shoreditch haunts, making this a head-banging addition to South West London’s nightlife scene. Party on, Garth.
Music: Indie, Rock, Live, Acoustic
Dress Code: Casual
Train Station: Clapham Common
Address: Venn Street Records, 78 Venn Street, London, SW4 0BD
Giving such a blatant nod to all things melodic, it goes without saying that the music in Venn Street Records is the real attraction to their punters. With regular live performances every day of the week and a tasty selection of craft beers on offer, this venue sets the bar exceptionally high with real rock authenticity. Week long food offers on typical hearty bar snacks ensure evenings out at Venn Street Records don’t cost the earth. And if you’re looking for something a little more sophisticated, there’s also a great range of classic cocktails to choose from. Who says you can’t enjoy a bit of acoustic rock with an Amaretto Sour in hand, eh?
It’s definitely worth noting that, while Venn Street Records might not be the biggest of bars in the area, it is certainly one of the most fun. Filling up seamlessly throughout the week, prepare to be all-elbows on your mission to get to the bar. Luckily, the warmer months see a spill over onto the paved area out the front for a little extra breathing room – phew! On a typical evening, you’ll find a 50/50 mix of young bar-goers and slightly riper music-lovers all there to enjoy the delights of a few beers, great music and an even better atmosphere. There’ll be the odd after-work group where Office Ian politely steps aside and makes way for Headbanging Harry to take the floor. But, for the most part, Venn Street Records appeals to those who can actually remember the original Bon Jovi line-up.
Ticking all the boxes when it comes to a fun-loving rock ‘n’ roll night out, Venn Street Records sticks out like a sore thumb in its Clapham context, but for all the right reasons. Its genuine indie atmosphere, quirky interior and indisputably great musical preferences ensure a top-notch evening whether you’re a fan of all things rock or not. It’s no wonder retro has become so damn cool when it looks as good as this. Hey, maybe now’s the time to dig out that shell suit. Someone’s gotta kick-start that trend again, surely? That things’ so old it’s new again.