As a cross between your local nightclub and a heritage live music venue, The Garage provides a great 'does what it says on the tin' night out.
Ideally located just a few seconds' walk from Highbury and Islington tube station, The Garage has been a firm fixture on the live music circuit for nearly 20 years. Focussing its attention on one large open space, the venue holds around 600 people between a stage and bar that have been designed ideally for a group night out. The slightly raised back-bar area of the dance floor neatly separates the going-for-it-dancers and the more chilled out observers on a night out. A short walk outside provides two free cashpoints but if the money runs out during the evening there's a charge cash point at the entrance of the venue.
Attracting a mixed crowd depending on the genre of the night, The Garage's clientele can change evening to evening. However, the well thought through layout allows for a great atmosphere to travel across the club easily. The open plan dance floor ensures groups can stick together whilst still being able to grab drinks separately and find one another again quickly. The bar stretches the entire top end of the room, making it easy to find a space and keeping waiting customers happy in the meantime. The great thing about The Garage is that it lends itself to meeting new people, it's big enough to enjoy yourself yet small enough to bump into new friends you may meet at the bar.
Above all else The Garage lends itself to live band music. The stage is a sweeping focus point in the room and the acoustics work well in conjunction with a fantastic sound system. On top of this, the lighting rig is far beyond the size of the space making for a spectacular show. As well as the venue's strength and reputation with live singers, bands and artists it also hosts various club nights which are well attended. Expect anything from metal to pop to blues to spoken word depending on the night you choose to attend, as being part of the well respected Mean Fiddler group means The Garage is open to any quality form of music.
Given that the bar fills the entire length of the back of the room it is, as expected, well stocked. All of the usual suspect spirits are largely available including gin, vodka, Bacardi and several rum options. Red Stripe, Tuborg, Carlsberg and San Miguel are all available on tap as is Gamers as your only tap cider option. Pints come in at around a fairly standard £4, so a good night out can be done on an average budget. Be aware that a Challenge 21 policy is run at the door and the bar, so don’t forget your ID!
The Last word
For live music in the Highbury and Islington area you'd be hard pressed to find a decent comparison to The Garage. It's not somewhere you would travel to unless you were after a specific act but it certainly provides a good night out and does what it does well.