Florence + The Machine, JME, Mumford & Sons, Kylie Minogue – and our aforementioned favourites, Amy Winehouse and the Arctic Monkeys – what sounds like a stellar noughties festival line-up is actually just a few of the big names that have played at one pub in East London.
Owned by Vice Media UK, The Old Blue Last was a brothel for hundreds of years before re-opening in 2004 as a pub. “It was a horrible s***hole back then and since we bought it the ceiling has collapsed three times,” Vice UK has commented in an article published to celebrate the magazine’s ten year anniversary.
But even before it was a brothel, the Old Blue Last had a long and rich history of being a bedrock- if you pardon the pun- of both British culture and British debauchery. The site the pub is on today used to be known for being a favoured spot for the likes of William Shakespeare and John Webster to frequent, and the 1700s saw the pub open for the first time as “The Last”, a pub notorious for being what we’d today call a gay men’s club of sorts.
READ MORE: Everything you need to know about watching the Changing of the Guard
But even before it was a brothel, The Old Blue Last had a long and rich history of being a bedrock- if you pardon the pun- of both British culture and British debauchery. The site the pub is on today used to be known for being a favoured spot for the likes of William Shakespeare and John Webster to frequent, and the 1700s saw the pub open for the first time as “The Last”, a pub notorious for being what we’d today call a gay men’s club of sorts.
Unassuming in aesthetic, today this Shoreditch-based joint is considerably stripped back, especially in comparison to the hipster reputation of its owners and the even more hipster fame of its E1 location. More dark walls and classic pub bar stools than fairy lights and mason jars, the pub is known for its young crowd and, naturally, fantastic live music.
Secret shows of big name acts at The Old Blue Last are scattered throughout the calendar, and entry is usually free. And despite not being necessarily massive in size, there’s always enough room to dance, something reviews of the place have made note of.
“The Old Blue Last has the awesome power to make any gig into a beer-soaked, freak out, dance party,” wrote Spoonfed. The Evening Standard even went so far as to call it the best live music venue in the whole of the capital.
Find The Old Blue Last on Great Eastern Street, right in the heart of Shoreditch. A five minute walk from Shoreditch High Street Overground Station, you can also access it from Old Street Underground Station, alongside a variety of bus routes that service the proximity from across the city.
Do you have a story you think we should be covering? Email [email protected]
The East End is one of the beating hearts of the capital so here at MyLondon, we’re doing our very best to make sure you get the latest news, reviews and features from your area.
Now there’s a way you can keep up to date with the areas that matter to you with our free email newsletter.
The East London newsletter goes out twice day and sends you the latest stories straight to your inbox.
From Barking to Bow, Canning Town to Canary Wharf, we’ll make sure you get the very best every day.
To sign up to the East London newsletter, simply follow this link and select the newsletter that’s right for you.
And to really customise your news experience on the go, you can download our top-rated free apps for iPhone and Android. Find out more here.