Sure, there’s something to be said for a sticky-floored, purpose built venue with a stage, a bar and relatively serviceable bogs. However, we’re also big fans of the weird and wonderful spaces that bands sometimes find themselves playing. Here’s out pick of the strangest venues in the world. Let us know about your own favourite peculiar gig locations in the comments below.
On the edge of a 1940s Wild West film set in the Mojave Desert, five miles from anything even resembling civilisation, sits the legendary Pappy and Harriet’s. At this rock’n’roll roadhouse, you can sink margaritas in jam jars, eat blue cheese smothered Tex-Mex food and dance to sweaty Americana sounds in what used to be an ‘outlaw biker burrito bar’. A favourite of local lad Josh Homme, it has seen tequila sodden shows by Arctic Monkeys, Eagles Of Death Metal, Vampire Weekend and Robert Plant.
Swapping a Californian polo field for equally searing Caribbean waters, the SS Coachella sets sail for its maiden voyages to the Bahamas and Jamaica back in 2012. Aquatic parties have included the Weezer Cruise, R Kelly’s Love Letter Cruise, electronica bosh-fest Holy Ship and the Celebrity Silhouette which came complete with nine bars – transformed into a floating festival, with sets from Pulp, Hot Chip, Yeasayer, Grimes and Warpaint. Here’s to hipsters on the high seas!
Proud Camden, London
A former horse hospital, thankfully the smell of manure no longer wafts around Proud¹s 200 year old, Grade II listed flagship venue on Chalk Farm Road. After watching a show you can get your drink on in the stables where sickly beasts who¹d hurt themselves pulling barges along the canals could rest up. If you¹ve a thing for venues with a horsey history, also try the Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Los Angeles
The final resting place of Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone, as well as silent screen dreamboat Rudolph Valentino and the site of George Harrison’s cremation before his ashes were scattered in the Ganges, the Hollywood Forever Cemetery once played host to a 6am gig by Bon Iver. There was a similar sunrise show from The Flaming Lips, who, fittingly, performed ‘Do You Realize’ surrounded by tombstones alongside Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Over the next few months, Sigur Ros and The xx will both play in the grounds of the palm tree lined graveyard.
Tan Hill Inn, Yorkshire
The highest pub in Britain, the Tan Hill Inn sits at 1,732 feet on top of the Pennine Way. Such out of the way-ness though didn’t put off British Sea Power from once putting on their very own one-day festival at the altitudinous pub. The band played three different sets to a crowd that included Arctic Monkeys, Klaxons and Simian Mobile Disco’s James Ford . They also made their very own ale for the occasion.