The Knowhere Guide

Live Music Venues in Reading, Berkshire*

Live sounds in a garage, pub, park or stadium

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Live Music Venues
  • The Face Bar, The 3 B's, Purple Turtle, Deja Vu, Iguana Bar, RISC Global Cafe, South Street - all of those are small drinking venues often with live music. Hexagon, Rivermead, and of course, the fields behind the Rivermead which turn into Reading festival every August Bank Holiday weekend.
  • plug n play stuff
  • Just like to update this out of date section by adding Plug n Play studios in Milford road. Reading's best kept secret as far as live music venues go, with appearances from bands such as Dreadzone, The Kicks, Mystery Jets, Hello Wembley, Pete and the Pirates, Zion Train and many more.
  • Face Bare
  • Fez club and purple turtle are good for alternative music
  • FACE CLUB - LOCAL GIG EVERY FRIDAY. PACKED MOST WEEKS. IMMENSE MUSIC SCENE IN READING (EMO/HXC/SCENE/POP PUNK) FEZ CLUB HAVE ADVERTISED SHOWS AROUND ONCE/TWICE A MONTH - NORMALLY PRETTY AWESOME - AGAIN ONLY IF YOU FIT INTO THE READING MUSIC SCENE SOUTH STREET - BIG LOCAL GIGS OFTEN SELLS OUT NEARBY CELLAR BAR IN BRACKNELL, EVERY SUNDAY OFTEN SELLS OUT DEPENDING ON HOW GOOD THE BANDS PLAYING ARE, ENTER SHIKARI, EXIT TEN, SYLOSIS HAVE ALL PLAYED THERE OFTEN I.E. ALEXISONFIRE COMING UP (IF YOU HAVENT HEARD OF THESE UNDERGROUND BANDS THEN ITS UNLIKELY YOULL FIT IN, MAINLY SCENE HXC EMO KIDS GO) OX FORD ZODIAC IS ONLY A 20 MINTUE TRAIN RIDE, MASSIVE SIGNED BANDS PLAY THERE, AWESOME VENUE, LONDON IS ONLY ROUGHLY 20 MINUTE TRAIN JOURNEY TO ASTORIA - ONE OF THE BIGGEST VENUES IN THE COUNTRY, HOST BANDS AS BIG AS A7X LAMB OF GOD CRAZYFISTS AS I LAY DYING ECT
  • Look out for the Sand Creek Massacre, great local band. There are loads of venues, Colors by the station on a Thurs is good, The Rising sun on a Friday always has some top bands and cheap beer.
  • Rising Sun Arts Centre, Silver Street. College bands and bigger. Very nice bar - good fruit juice!!
  • The university?
  • rivermead for the reading rock festival and other acts, scissor sisters were there in october. the hexagon, has bin visited by misteeq and jamelia this year.
  • The Fez Club - live music on different nights of the week - from indie to rock to hip hop - The Killers to Blak Twang
  • South Street does some good venues, in January they had a punk rock night which kicked ass
  • Jazz club nr reading west station
  • CELLAR BAR! South hill park in Bracknell, slightly out of Readin but definitely worth the trip! Or local bands do play at schools, if ur desperate 4 some decent sound!
  • the roebuck is generally good on a saturday night and gotta love festy once a year!
  • the alley cat (gun street) is closed (2004), a nightclub is there now. How can reading-with all its diversity not have one decent music venue that advertises in advance and has decent bands?!
  • er.. reading seriously has NO musical venues. the union only once in a blue moon gets a band and they only ever play 1 or 2 songs. there's some good local talent at the 3Bs bohemian night or the purple turtle, but for any kind of show you will have to go to london (or up to nottingham as well)
  • burfieald common area. seamus based around there. random - order. loads at the willink school. white stripes tribute band.
  • erm, wow ok university prolly best will have 2 loom out for special events though. if not purple turtle have certain nights of live entertainment!
  • reading rock is the best ive seen!
  • Reading Rock Festival, of course, but "retreat" normaly has live bands
  • The Three B's on a Wednesday night. Anybody can get up on stage and sing dance read poety or fart, whatever takes you fancy. There is usually a very high standard of audio arts going on there. Well worth it on a Wednesday night when nothing else is happening.
  • roebuck,south street,student union,turtle,fez,bar oz occassionally... and festie.
  • nowt good at the mo'
  • reading festival in the summer is amazin... n bar oz sumtimes has live stuff its pretty cool
  • south street is best for gigs. rising arts centre. bar oz. south hill park in bracknell is nice. fez. this is alternative music. there is also the hexagon. and reading festival. as if you didn't know.
  • The sky
  • free partys lots about, ask in purple turtle
  • THE READING FESTIVAL. 'Nuff said.
  • at the mo on sunday there r crappy bands playin in the band stand but ull hear our music ova there well we try???? and on sunday night if ur not at school then go to bar oz its great where gregs band plays ???
  • What in Reading?!!? wait for the festival. buy space cake. Get nicked.
  • RG1's on Thurday night is absolutely legendary.
  • READING ROCK FESTIVAL. great!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Rivermead every summer - WOMAD fesival & READING ROCK!!!
  • READING FESTIVAL !!!!!!!!!!
  • Reading Festival, although sadly once a year
  • Two word... free parties... every w/end without fail. Junktiun Ten :(
  • The Alleycat had bands of an actual calibre (eg. Super Furry Animals, Shed 7, Bluetones), but since it was shut down, nowhere has replaced it. Occasionally, local bands play at the Rising Sun, but be forewarned: the biggest names have been Electralane, Saloon and Herman Dune. Some bands play Tuesdays at the Students Union. Evidently, some rockier bands play at the Corn Exchange, and there are bands on at South Street Arts Centre, but don't expect anyone good to play.
  • The Turks Head used to have good bands on. I don't know if it still does in it's new incarnation - The Fez and Firkin. Touring artists usually play the Hexagon or Rivermead.
  • The jazz club, V expensive though. Definatley one to take the ladies to.
  • The Matrix-if you can get in! With most popular pop acts around there now-good luck!
  • The Beethovens Hotel is reverting to its former name the Roebuck Hotel - bands are continuing but added entertainment will include Folk, Country, Classical, Discos and Comedians with a touch of magic. The new launch date is the 13th April, 2001 where Reading and Tilehurst are invited to join the newlook Roebuck in its Friday 13th Horror Evening.
  • The 3B's on a weds night, get up and do what ever u need 2 do. It's called 'The Bohemian Night', your host is 6ft Rob, all hair & flares!!
  • For live music try the jazz club, all other venues have close due to Readding being full of monkeys.
  • We're back where we were 5 years ago. Lots of small places for local bands, Rivermead and the Uni for larger acts. Alleycat started OK, then began to take the piss, recruited sopsychotic security and paid the price.
  • BRING BACK THE ALLEYCAT!! Or at least a decent venue for live music that tells you what's happening before it happens and bans most of the really shite local bands from appearing (eg Roscoe, Junction, Metro or whatever they're called now). The Rusing Sun Arts Centre tries its best but it's not enough. How can a town that can put on two festivals per year not have a live music venue...
  • 99% dance clubs (dead). Even "Alley Cat live" has become "The Fez" - alternative music, but sounding more like techno "dead" crap to me. Tudor Tavern is the only hot spot in a bleak musical landscape.
  • reading is generally VERY poor for venues - a real shame for a town of it's size and cultural diversity
  • With the demise of Alleycat, the mantle is left primarily to Bar Oz (Sloppy Joes, THe Orange Club and numerous other names in its dim and distant past) which is OK for local bands. The University used to be excellent for gigs but has gone down hill in recent years. THe Rivermead is big enough to attract the likes of Radiohead, Stereophonics. THe two Firkin Pubs (THe Flyer in Blagrave St and the Fez on London Road)are OK. Lots of pubs have an endless supply of dodgy R&B covers bands playing in them. And of course theres the festival which is still the best in the country and WOMAD for that mini Glastonbury vibe.
  • Who saw Short People at The Jazz Club last night. Brilliant. If that's Jazz I'm a convert.
  • Alleycat live was alright I suppose, though it was right next to that Purple Turtle shit hole that the NF used to drink in.
  • The Jazz Club, fantastic new venue in reading and by far the most stylish with Live Music every night Jazz blues and funk. Also has the best food in town with a full a la carte menu, great for a special night or just if your feeling hedonistic. International artists and top local bands Funk Assembly on new years eve.
  • Where are the live music venues these days? I moved here in April 1999 and havent seen a gig here yet. I am into rock/metal, and could bring a couple of brilliant bands up here, but dont know where to go!!! Nothing seems to happen at Alleycat Live these days.
  • Club New Valbonne, Caversham on a Friday night is Total Metal night.
  • The Granby Tavern has changed into a gay pub. So the previous description of the music nights is out of date. Pierre Victoire. Open late on Fridays and Saturday, Friday is jam night and if you don't like bad blues and terrible soul avoid it. Sometimes you do get some good players so it might be worth a try. Of course if you want to play you could make our life more pleasant but please tune that guitar.
  • "Upstairs at Pierre's" ( above Pierre Victoire Restaurant is fast becoming the place for live local music, with jam sessions on Mondays and Fridays, with resident Lead French rock guitarist Jean-louis. This place has a great atmosphere, and slightly crazy bar staff, plus the cheapest cocktails in town. Gives the purple turtle a run for its money, though the owners are friends. Brilliant food in the restaurant downstairs. Als regular alternative poetry nights, salsa dances and booze promotions....superb
  • Rising Sun - Silver Street, mellow, smokers place. Fingers are hurting so will just add the Iguana to that, oh, and Pavlov's Dog in the Butts (Broad Street Mall)
  • The Granby. This is no longer a music venue, but is now a gay pub.
  • Alleycats get in great local and smaller national bands. A real sweaty venue, superb for a really 'active' gig. Too many fill in nights of shite dance stuff, although I think they get big name DJs.
  • Alleycat Live may have some good bands on, but it has about as much atmosphere as a multi-storey car park. The Rising Sun Arts centre on Silver Street puts on all the stuff that nowhere else in town does, from world music to avant-garde electronic acts.
  • 21 South Street (between Uni and town) A great place for fun and crazy things - live music, theatre, salsa dancing classes and great comedy nights (every 2nd Friday night)
  • A new venue! Alleycats Live on Gun Street opened in October 95, seems to offer a good range of live music based on the booked acts. Prices about ?3-5. Good so far, and seem to be making a big effort.
  • Afterdark
  • Beethovens Music Bar, Oxford Rd, Tilehurst, Reading (01734) 427517 which is fast becoming one of the best live music venues in Reading. Certainly not "vile". Has music Thur/Fri/Sat every week. Free entry on Thursday, £1.00 some Fridays & Saturdays.
  • The Granby Tavern, Cemetry Junction. Free to £3, mostly rock.
  • RBH Social Club, Craven Road (RBH=Royal Berks. Hospital), usually about £3,quite a large venue.
  • Trade Union Club: now gone bust - but the new owner of the site is trying to get a public entertainment licence. The locals aren't too keen.
  • University

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All the information in the Knowhere Guide has been contributed by users over the years. No one person is responsible for it all and not all contributors will agree with all the opinions included.

Parts of this information have been supplied by: tommy, Dan Hull, Rihannon, Rich, Julz Angell, Merlin, Serge Gainsbourg, Ali Reid, John Kennedy, gus, kate, Claire, alex, Berkshire Tai Chi, pal roppa, Adil, Tom, Supermong, Ian Batey, Leona, holey, Mark B, Charlie, Deborah, mel, Baxter, Marie Scoble, Bunts, Justice, Anthony Lee, helen, Hugh Platt, Matuk, nick, Alice Halsey, suzanne, nicky jones, Kiar, mark ambrosio, Marie Thake, powelly, rebekah, wellcoolbuds, Savage, Jonn-T, Mike, me, gemma, Ben, Roy-Svork, L.R.Millard@reading.ac.uk, Leanne Walker, ceri morriss, Andy Mason, Randal Williams, fdfd, Anna, Tom Carthy, sue, Tim, SarahBeth Day, amy, chosen_the, famey, Matt Reeks, sez k, PAUL WALTER, Beccy, Michael Hefferan, Jonny Sunshine, Ingrid, Sara, Emma, Hole, Ruby, Ailsa, Darryll Eaton, charley, Kat, kevin buckley, Ot, info, simon nash, dodge, Gemb, K. Meredith, Lee Hayes, G. Power, m , Daud Mcdonald, mark dale, Isabel Cosgrove, Chrissy, Olwen Roy, louisdc30, Luke, lee hayden, twisted vube, Mako, Jon Kirkwood, neil Charlton, jonno, helen sirrell, Stuart Norris, Adam Roberts, generic, ed, DONNA, Luke Stammers, Mark, stiz, MetaWraith, Choosri James, caroline mcaslan, Jaymi Leigh Dooley, Lee, jussy, Alicia, munaza, Sandy, Philip Gunns, Cat., Bekki, Ross, Simon Williams, Viney, g, Charlotte Hutchinson, SimonA, Al & Mush, Keke, Stuart Eagles, OWEN SAWARD, Simon Coffey, Daniel, Michael Howard, OLI BRADSHAW, L.J.J., Beth Robinson, Blackwell, Steph, donkey club rules, nic, Smid, Helen Blanchard, Alistair Coleman, ol'c -unt, elaine_morton, steven, sandman, paul cairney, esvuz, bill, Lea, hi, Chris Lack, Kirsty Hall, Driving Force Software Ltd., zambo, Ande, anj, Jordan Mace, Bob Saunders, Leah Sherwood, sam hammond, Whitehouse Studios, Stephen Wiliamson, Jonathan, Dave Neale, tom summers, Digby, Phil Edwards, DAVE, Jo, pete, nikki, Steve Lutwyche, random, Marianne, Richard King, EX-SOUTHENER, Hannahmarie, Phil Deverson, Bernard Smith, paul logan, ian dunn, Andy, ema, Shazza, pixie, Gianluca Vialli, Matt, Min, Ray Lee, Carl, Raoul Volfoni, louise, Becky, bj, HAYDN, James, blah, jozef hodgson, benito from catering, Fuzzy, Stefan, Steve (another 4bury piss 'ead), steve, Phil, toldyer, Paul, Joseph Fitzgibbon, simon humphries, george penfold, wb, Emily, skater, Reading Roadbusters, Cath Shelley, Russell Carter, charlut, Marvo, Sophie, Thisis Techno, Hugz, King Kola, dan styler, Mat, Lizzie Stanley, Steven Barker, Daniel Browning, anne bradshaw, Joe Allen, Jacqui Henness, Tim Edwards, Oliver Setchell, Shazzzzaaaa, Jon Stonehill, Michael Wimbish, susan kelsey, Sarah, daf, keith, Lawrence Piddock, Jaymi, emma wilson, Maryjane, Holly, zaki, Witchard, Plank, Anthony p, Esbie, lisa, John, Patricia Brazil, Aliturabi, Woody, denny, Umair

Last updated: 2009-01-20

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