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Favourite Venues – Bush Hall, Shepherds Bush

Catherine May


Bush Hall doubles up as an events hall on non-gig nights. This doesn’t surprise me, it reminds me of an upmarket version of the community centres where I spent many childhood parties passing the parcel. I’m not sure if it’s the carpet, the chandelier or the make-shift stage that makes this the quirky beauty that it is, but it’s definitely a perfect venue to sit down on the floor and enjoy some live music.

In 2009, I went here twice in a fortnight and was tempted to make it three weeks in a row. On one occasion the room was left empty bar the makeshift stage at the front, whilst on the other it had been set up more like a wedding venue, with circular tables around the edge of the room. In fact, I remember the latter specifically highlighting the quirky nature of the room when I found myself standing next to a table of eleven year old boys at a Kate Miller-Heidke/Gabby Young showcase.

Bar staff have always been friendly here, willingly filling me up a bottle of tap water to let me hydrate myself free of charge whilst enjoying the music. The merch table is normally found in the entrance rooms and performers are more than likely to show their faces out there after the show.

Whilst more commonly used as a venue for smaller acts, this month has already seen the Scissor Sisters play an intimate fan gig there. It’s perfect for events like this; it offers dedicated fans the chance to see arena-worthy artists in venues they’ve long grown out of.

With the Empire a five minute walk down the road, Bush Hall definitely wins the battle of my favourite Shepherds Bush venue. Its intimacy wins hands down compared to the grandeur of the tiered Empire.

Situated a short walk away from Shepherds Bush Market tube stop and a more energetic stroll away from Shepherds Bush, it’s not too far away from Westfield so there’s a plethora of restaurants nearby.

The upcoming ‘New to Q’ series of shows are not ones to be missed at Bush Hall, with Funeral Party, Clare Maguire and Noah and the Whale all taking to the stage in January. Catch these acts here before they move on to less soulful venues!