The O2 Academy, Brixton, is one of London's leading music venues,
nightclubs and theatres. Situated in Brixton, south London,
England, the building has hosted a range of leading rock acts since
becoming a music venue in 1983. The maximum capacity is 4,921 (3,760
standing downstairs; 1,083 seated and 78 standing in the circle),
alternatively the all-seated capacity is 2,391.
1.1 The Astoria
1.2 Sundown Centre
2 Music venue
3 Albums recorded at Brixton
4 Videos recorded at Brixton
6 External links
The venue started life as a cinema and theatre in 1929 on the site of
a private garden in Stockwell Road. Designed by the architects Thomas
Somerford and E. A. Stone, it was built at a cost of £250,000 as
an "Astoria" theatre. The opening show was the
Al Jolson film The
Singing Fool, followed by a variety act, including
Heddle Nash and
Derek Oldham which was broadcast by the BBC. The building still
retains many of its original features, including the proscenium arch
Italian Renaissance interior.
Part of the
Italian Renaissance interior of the auditorium
The Astoria eventually closed its doors as a cinema on 29 July 1972.
It was then converted into the Sundown Centre rock venue in September
1972, but was not a success and the Sundown closed down some four
months later. In May 1974 planning permission was sought to demolish
the Grade II listed building and replace it with a motor showroom and
petrol station. However the redevelopment scheme was scrapped. The
building was kept heated after it closed, and was used as an equipment
store by the Rank Organisation.
In 1981, The Astoria, remodelled by Sean Treacy, who later ran the
entire site services, was re-opened as a rock venue called "The Fair
Deal" with a concert by
UB40 and an interior restoration. The Clash
played the venue in 1982 on their Casbah Club tour (30 July) but the
venue closed later that year due to debt. In 1983, Simon Parkes bought
the venue for £1, and re-opened it as the
The Academy's success steadily grew throughout the 1980s with numerous
reggae productions and it was hired out to major rock and pop acts
such as Eric Clapton,
Dire Straits &
The Police for rehearsal. The
venue was also used for video shoots for
Wham and Culture Club.
In 1995 Parkes sold the
Brixton Academy to Break For The Border. Under
its new ownership (McKenzie Group), reinvestment started immediately,
with a complete £500,000 refurbishment of the Art Deco building
frontage to its original grandeur, additional facilities both front of
house and backstage and a capacity increase to just under 5,000.
The venue is currently run by the
Academy Music Group after a
re-branding in August 2004, and hosts a range of live acts and club
The decorative proscenium arch, framing the stage, with a concert in
progress (Sex Pistols, 2007)
Being one of the biggest non-arena venues in London, the Brixton
Academy has been used by many very successful acts. The venue has also
been voted venue of the year twelve times since 1994 in the annual NME
Awards. In addition the venue has won the Music Week Award for
Venue of the Year several times including 2009.
The Smiths played their last ever gig here in December 1986 which
was an Anti-
Apartheid benefit scheduled for the Royal Albert Hall but
rearranged to the
Brixton Academy due to
Johnny Marr being involved in
a car accident.
Madonna played a special (not during a concert tour) performance at
the venue in 2000, to promote the release of her album, Music. The
concert was broadcast live online and was watched by a record-breaking
audience of 9 million.
Rammstein, Iron Maiden, The Clash, Deborah Harry, The Prodigy, Arcade
Fire, Nine Inch Nails, Bob Dylan, HARD-Fi,
The 1975 and Sex Pistols
have all played five consecutive nights at the venue.
The Mighty Boosh
The Mighty Boosh broke this record in 2008, with their second live
show Boosh Live, playing seven consecutive nights.
The xx equalled
their record in March 2017, playing seven consecutive nights in
support of third record I See You, becoming the first music act to
reach that number.
Leftfield set the venue's decibel record in 1996.
They were summarily banned from using the same sound system at the
venue after the high bass levels started disintegrating the ceiling,
resulting in showers of dust and plaster. They returned in 2000
using a different sound system.
Albums recorded at Brixton
Main article: Live at
Space Ritual Alive, a 1972 live album by Hawkwind, recorded in 1972 at
Brixton Sundown and Liverpool.
Live at the Academy, Brixton, an album by Gregory Isaacs, recorded in
Pete Townshend recorded Deep_End_Live! at
Brixton Academy on 1/2
Academy, a 1989
VHS video by New Order was recorded live at the
Brixton Academy on 4 April 1987 as part of the International
See You Up There, a 1989 live album by Stiff Little Fingers, recorded
17 March 1988.
A New Decade: Live From
Brixton Academy, a 1990 live album by Soul II
Soul, was recorded in the summer of 1990.
Live at the
Brixton Academy, a 1991 live album by Faith No More,
recorded in 1990.
Weird's Bar & Grill, a 1993 live album from the band Pop Will Eat
Itself, recorded in 1992.
Live at the
Brixton Academy, a 1994 live album by The
Brian May Band.
Hole recorded their 1995
MTV Unplugged sessions there.
Brixton Academy, a 1999 live album by Atari Teenage Riot.
Live at the
Brixton Academy, a live album released by
Sizzla on 29
David Gray recorded his concert on 16 December 2000 as the album Live
Brixton Academy December 2000.
Motörhead recorded their 25th Anniversary concert on 20 October 2000
Brixton Academy entitled 25 & Alive Boneshaker, released as DVD
music video in 2001 and as an audio album later in 2003 under the Live
Brixton Academy title, the latter featuring the façade of Carling
Brixton on the cover.
Conflict Turning Rebellion Into Money. Recorded 18 April 1987 during
The Gathering Of The 5000.
Under a Pale Grey Sky, 2002 live album by
Sepultura but recorded in
1996. Last show featuring Max Cavalera.
Machine Head recorded their live CD
Hellalive at the
on 8 December 2001. This CD was released on 11 March 2003.
Scarred: Live at
Brixton Academy, a 2003 live album by Gary Numan,
recorded in 2001.
Brixton Academy, a 2003 live
DVD by the Inspiral Carpets.
Live in London, a 2003 live album by Judas Priest, recorded in 2001.
A live album was released immediately after all four
Franz Ferdinand recorded part of their self-titled live
DVD at Brixton
Academy in 2004.
Death in Vegas
Death in Vegas album
Satan's Circus was released as a limited
edition double pack including a live CD recorded at
Rumble In Brixton, a 2004 live album and
DVD by Stray Cats.
Brixton Academy, a 2004 live album and
DVD by Dido.
Good Charlotte Live at
Brixton Academy, a 2004
DVD by Good Charlotte
Brixton Academy, a Limited Edition
DVD recorded in 2004 for
Groove Armada's album Lovebox, released for their Best Of album.
Part of Rammstein's
Völkerball was recorded at the venue between
3 and 5 February 2005.
Moby recorded his concert on 19 May 2005 and a double CD of the
recording was available to buy at the venue after the show.
Over the Years and Through the Woods, a live CD and
DVD by the Queens
of the Stone Age on 22 August 2005
The Poison: Live At Brixton, a 2006 live
DVD by Bullet For My
Damian Marley recorded the album Damian Marley, Live at the Brixton
Academy in 2006
Brixton Academy London, UK 11/13/07, a Limited Edition CD
recorded by Concert Live for Alexisonfire, and distributed after the
Live In The UK 2008 at
Brixton Academy 1 February 2008, a Limited
Edition CD recorded by Concert Live for Paramore, and distributed
immediately after the show
Edgy In Brixton, a 2007 live
DVD by The Fratellis
Live In The UK at
Brixton Academy 3 May 2008, a Limited Edition CD
recorded by Concert Live for The Wombats, and distributed after the
Brixton Academy, a live recording from the band Kasabian,
available only from some digital download services and encumbered with
DRM. It was recorded at
Brixton Academy on 15 December 2004. This was
the band's final show of their momentous breakthrough year, and band
member Sergio Pizzorno's birthday.
There Will Always Be an England, a live
DVD and documentary recorded
in 2007 for Sex Pistols.
Jimmy Eat World
Jimmy Eat World recorded their concert on 18 February 2008 and a
double CD of the recording was available to buy at the venue after the
show and also online. The show was a sell-out despite not having a
major hit in the UK.
Pendulum recorded a live
Brixton on 4 December 2008.
Dave Matthews Band
Dave Matthews Band released a
DVD of a 26 June 2009 concert entitled
Across the Pond as a part of a box-set
Europe 2009 on 22 December
Jamie T recorded his concert on 5 February 2010, which was sold at the
venue the next day.
Chase and Status recorded live album Live at
Brixton Academy in 2012
Faithless recorded their "Passing The Baton" album live at Brixton
Academy in 2012.
Two Door Cinema Club
Two Door Cinema Club recorded a live album as part of a two-disc
deluxe set for the 2012 album Beacon.
Asking Alexandria recorded their show at
Brixton Academy in January
2013, it was released in December 2014 in
DVD format on Live From
Brixton And Beyond.
Carter USM recorded their show at
Brixton Academy On 14 November 2009.
This recording was released as part of the two disc ' The Drum Machine
Years' release which also included a recording of the previous night's
London (HMV) Forum.
Carter USM "The Final Comedown" Live CD &
DVD was recorded in
November 2014. Said to be as the best live film & audio recording
of the band that has ever been made & a fitting end to the bands
Of Mice & Men (band) recorded their show at
Brixton Academy on
March 2015. Made a live
DVD called, 'Live at Brixton' Released on 27
New Order recorded their show at
Brixton Academy on November 2015.
Made a live album called, 'NOMC15' Released on 26 May 2017.
Videos recorded at Brixton
ITV Panto Cinderella, which was not actually released on
Brian May performed at the venue in 1993
Tenacious D has the entire performance from 3 November 2002 at the
Brixton Academy on the second disc of their DVD, The Complete
Iron Maiden recorded three videos here: "Women in Uniform", "Run to
the Hills" and "The Trooper"
Faith No More
Faith No More had their performance filmed at The
Brixton Academy in
1990. The performance was released on
VHS and subsequently to
is titled You Fat Bastards: Live at the
In Bed With Carter was filmed at
Brixton Academy. It features a live
gig of Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine (Carter USM).
9 Songs features numerous performances (e.g., Franz
Ferdinand) all shot at
DVD Love and Poison, originally released in 1993, was
AC/DC filmed the music video for their song "Thunderstruck"
at the Academy.
Boy George and
Culture Club filmed the video for their 1986 top-ten
hit "Move Away" at the
Brixton Academy. The video has extensive
footage of the venue, including the entrance hall, the staircase and
the circle. The band is also seen as silent film-stars racing cars
across the venues former film-screen.
Video shoots for
Wham! were held at the venue. Billy Ocean's video for
"When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going" on the soundtrack for
The Jewel of the Nile
The Jewel of the Nile was shot in
Elegies, the 2005
DVD from Machine Head featured material record at
Brixton Academy while on tour the previous year.
Sex Pistols are due to bring out a
DVD of their five gigs in 2007.
It is mostly based on the 10 November 2007 gig.
The Mighty Boosh
The Mighty Boosh Live
DVD was recorded at the
Brixton Academy in 2006.
The video for "Who's Got A Match?" by
Biffy Clyro was recorded at
Brixton Academy in October 2007.
Moloko recorded a live DVD:
11,000 Clicks at The
Brixton Academy on 22
November 2003. It was the last show of a long tour for
Moloko and was
likely their final performance as a band.
N.E.R.D. recorded their second single "Spaz" from third album Seeing
Sounds at The
Brixton Academy on 14 June 2008.
Bullet For My Valentine
Bullet For My Valentine recorded their gig for the
DVD The Poison:
Brixton on 28 January 2006.
Alanis Morissette Flavor Of Entanglement tour was televised in the UK.
On 26 June 2009,
Dave Matthews Band
Dave Matthews Band filmed the music video for their
second single, "Why I Am".
Placebo filmed the video for their 1999 single "Every You Every Me"
during a gig at the Academy.
A concert in 1992 by Ride at
Brixton Academy was recorded for the VHS
Going Blank Again – Live at
Brixton Academy (also known as Brixton).
You Me At Six, filmed the music video for their song "Underdog" and
Gabriella Cilmi filmed the video for her 2010 single Hearts Don't Lie
at the venue.
Queens of the Stone Age's
Over the Years and Through the Woods
partly recorded at
Brixton Academy. It also features a live CD.
Deadmau5 recorded 5 videos off 2010 album 4×4=12
DJ Shadow, In Tune and On Time.
Placebo – We Come In Pieces.
Groove Armada -
Brixton Academy (13-14 December 2002) - available with
The Best of Groove Armada: Limited Edition CD+
Steel Panther recorded their live
DVD British Invasion at the Brixton
Academy in 2010, and was released in late 2012.
The Smashing Pumpkins
The Smashing Pumpkins recorded their performance in 1996, selective
songs from the performance appears on
DVD which is on their recent
reissue of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.
The music video for the song "Run Free" by
Asking Alexandria was
filmed at Brixton.
"Les Enfants Sauvages" – Gojira – Recorded March 2013, released
Asking Alexandria's performance at
Brixton in January 2013 was
recorded and is set to be released as a live
DVD with bonus extras on
15 December 2014.
Babymetal – Live in
London – Includes performance recorded 8
November 2014. Released 20 May 2015.
^ "O2 Academy Brixton". LondonTown.
^ "O2 Academy Brixton". cinematreasures.org. Retrieved 11 February
Academy Music Group - The UK's leading owner and operator of live
music and club venues". academy-music-group.co.uk.
^ "Blackwell saluted as best of last 50 years". Music Week.
The Smiths live history: Artists Against
^ "New 'The Mighty Boosh' exhibition to showcase unseen tour
photography and Noel Fielding illustrations". NME.
The xx announce record-breaking seven
Brixton Academy shows". The
Leftfield Bring the House Down
^ "Faith No More: Live at the
Brixton Academy (Video 1990)". Internet
Movie Database. 18 September 1990.
^ "Faith No More: Live at the
Brixton Academy Movie Reviews,
Information and Film Reviews for Faith No More: Live at the Brixton
Academy the Movie". movierevie.ws.
^ "Amazon.co.jp - LIVE IN LONDON -BABYMETAL WORLD TOUR 2014- [Blu-ray]
DVD・ブルーレイ - BABYMETAL". Amazon.com.
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