I found myself in East London last night searching for a club called The Village Underground in an area that could easily be defined as sketchy (or dodgy in Londonese).
My friend Biz needed to review a band called Chapel Club for her newspaper and had snagged two free tickets. I went as her plus one because A) I thought it’d be fun and B) I wasn’t prepared to let her wander around Shoreditch at night.
Shoreditch is the land of the hipster: skinny girls parading in black leggings, shorts/skirt and layered tops with hats and boys lounging in skinny jeans and elf-looking shoes. As we were walking down the street, we saw a Shoreditch man putting up “LOST MONARCH BUTTERFLY” signs. (I’m not sure if he was making a statement or really was looking for his pet butterfly.)
We found our club halfway down an alleyway; it was literally a hole in a wall. We walked through the hole and into a scene from Oliver! It could have been the Artful Dodger’s hangout.
The Village Underground is an abandoned tube station turned a bar and stage. There are no windows, but there are a few skylights in the vaulted that let light sneak into the smoky venue. The place in not huge, but the high ceiling makes it appear vast.
Not someplace I would want to be by myself.
But as one of many people enjoying the music of Chapel Club (the alternative response to The Killers) on a Thursday night, The Village Underground is a trendy and bustling place.
It just took a while to get my hearing back.
NB: I will be in Paris this weekend and won’t have a computer at my disposal. Blogging will pick up again May 31.