Steeped in rock'n'roll history, the Alleycat was a place I knew I had to check out when I moved to London. It took me a good year before I went, and the experience did not disappoint - but not exactly in the way I had expected.
In its glory days, the Alleycat had hosted and recorded the Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Black Sabbath, and many other legends, which you can see proudly boasted through memorabilia on their walls.
The bands playing now, however, are pretty far removed from the bar's rock star past. If you're lucky, one of the few bands playing will be pretty decent, or at least know how to work a crowd. And with one or two mojitos, its hard to not have a good time. But as the night flows on, so do the drinks, and the following bands are no exception. It's not unusual for the last two acts to be completely hammered while on stage (in true 60s rocker fashion), and lead singers tend to stray into awkward renditions of Cher's "Believe" in between sets.
Whether the talent is hit or miss is irrelevant though, as the place is always good for a laugh. A nice break from the typical club scene, you can really tell who the regulars are, as they're usually the most drunk and lively.
After an awkward DJ set before closing, we were about to head out before the lead singer of the final band was pulled out and up the narrow stairs to the exit....in only his boxers. While this sort of shock and awe made my friends and I laugh a bit, we were quickly informed that this is just the way of the Alleycat.
The Alleycat can be found at: 4 Denmark Street WC2H 8LP Closest Tube: Tottenham Court Road