East Bloc information

East Bloc is a bustling venue situated on City Road.

Ranked #925 of 2091 pubs & bars in London

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East Bloc reviews

By Diogo C.

Went in with a friend and although we sat and talk the whole time, I had a really cool time. Great decoration, nice toilets, two dance floors, although the music kinda mixes because of the size of the place. The staff was professional enough, although the bar was a bit small and sometimes they can't hear because it's right in the center of the dance floor and you'll have to repeat yourself several times. Also note they don't do pints, only cans. If you're a Guinness drinker, don't expect to find it here. When me and my friend went in the first thing he said he was: "This is like what gay bars shown in documentaries and movies look like".

By Tim R.

Basement bar / club with imaginative Keith Haring style murals decorating walls. Been twice, both weekday nights. Quiet but friendly clientele, stylish without being pretentious, refreshingly attitude free. Mostly gay. I assume.Thursday nights Boy Trouble with free entry has a lot of potential. Good music, lots of eighties tunes with a sprinkling of more contemporary numbers. The place has quite a dark and seedy feel which I liked. I don't think I'd want to pay 10.00 or so to enter at the weekends but if you can get in for free then the ramped up drinks prices are maybe bearable.I found the sound system a bit loud for my liking, although there's little spaces and corners to sit, this is a hot, sweaty space for dancing and drinking, difficult to hold a conversation in!

By Eh K.

I consider East Bloc a haven for gay guys and straight girls alike. If you're sick of people commenting on your appearance, harassing you or being generally irritating in a normal club environment, this is definitely the place for you. It's a basement club and absolutely tiny, probably the size of a three-bed in central London. The décor is pleasingly grimy and so are most of the regulars, anything goes here. It effectively captures the 99p store exoticism of East London with a mixture of trans-women and fag hags - although this is also one of the only gay venues I've been to where gay men and women dance in harmony; it's only cliquey in the sense that everyone knows everyone and you start to feel part of the family fairly quickly. As far as the different nights go, my personal favourite is the Yeast London Cabaret on a Thursday which is fairly new. £3 gets you at least 3 acts from the resident performers and normally a guest or some live music too. The dj often follows the theme of the night with fun with live remixes and plenty of gay anthems. The only thing stopping East Bloc from being 5 stars is the lack of a 'proper' bar. Drinks are £2.50 for a house single and mixer. Finishes at 4.

By Colin F.

The best thing about this place is that it's not The Joiners (only joking, I know it’s forbidden to say anything against that old dump). I have been to East bloc quite a lot and it’s pretty good. Meat on Saturday 29 Jan was a good laugh. The Friday night (disco fag bar) varies depending on the people – sometimes excellent, sometimes a bit disappointing. I have to say that as time goes on the place is attracting more of the wannabe cool try hards – i.e. the people who have wrecked this part of town and forced us all out into dalston etc. Just checked out their wesbite and they go on about being good value. This from a place that charges £4 for luke warm cans of beer! That aside this is a welcome addition and I hope that it isn’t totally swamped by the bridge and tunnel crowd for a while longer.

By Ian M.

Tucked away on an anonymous stretch of City Road, you’re really not going to find East Bloc unless you’re looking for it - and the clientele probably like it that way. Run by Wayne Shires, maestro behind a number of iconic Vauxhall clubs, East Bloc looks to combine underground gay clubbing with an east London aesthetic and music policy, and largely succeeds.

The Venue
Head downstairs into the main room and you’re greeted with Keith Haring-influenced artwork, dim lighting and a wall of heat. There’s no getting away from it – East Bloc gets very hot. The main room is a long, low-ceilinged rectangle with a neon-lit bar at the one end and a stage and DJ booth at the other. There are no seats and no frills, just smoke, lasers, strobes, a very loud sound system and a floor full of exuberant dancers pushing the air con way past its limit. On a packed summer night the walls and ceilings get wet with sweat, and this isn’t the place to keep your outfit pristine!

Off the main room things get a little labyrinthine – depending on how the various movable walls are positioned, sometimes there are two extra rooms, sometimes one, and sometimes none. While this can be disorienting, part of the venue’s charm lies in discovering a room you’d never come across, complete with sound system, DJ and dedicated ravers. There are also a few hidden alcoves dotted round the club with comfy sofas for those wanting respite from the dance floor.

The Atmosphere
East Bloc’s crowd is largely made up of gay men ranging in age from early 20s to late 30s, and a strong hedonistic streak runs through the crowd. With a welcoming, inclusive atmosphere, the focus is very much on music, partying and dancing rather than cruising – as such there are often girls and straight clubbers dotted between the muscles, pretty boys and trannies. Events tend to start slow and only really get going around 1am onwards – while the club is often empty at midnight, it isn’t unusual to see it heaving at six in the morning.

The Music
This is a DJ-led venue that seldom, if ever, has live acts. Generally the DJs are taken from the cream of London’s gay clubbing scene and veer towards house, disco, electro and techno, although there are also indie, pop and urban nights scattered through the month. On a Friday or Saturday the main room stays on the harder side of 4/4 beats while the back room focuses on party sounds, with forays into RnB and pop.

The Drink
Drinks are priced pretty much how you’d expect for a venue in east London – around £4 for a drink, with the beers coming in cans rather than bottles, and a decent, if not ground-breaking, selection of spirits.

The Last Word
If you’re looking to sit down and have a long chat, then East Bloc’s probably not for you. However, if you’re out for a night of underground raving that captures the original, debauched spirit of house music, this club is heartily recommended.

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