London’s Small Venues: The Silver Bullet, Finsbury Park

Silver Bullet

Kicking off a series aiming to shed a little light on smaller, newer or less publicised venues on London’s live music circuit, here we take a look at a former pop-up venue hoping to stick around long-term.

The Silver Bullet sits in the premises formerly occupied by The Gas Light, one of the rough and ready pubs that pervade the area around Finsbury Park station. A few years ago the whole block opposite the station was earmarked for demolition; in May 2010 a pop-up venue appeared under the pub’s former name, The Silver Bullet. As is the nature of a pop-up it was intended to be temporary, but when redevelopment plans were put on hold the venue decided to keep going.

The Silver Bullet has duly thrived in a part of town begging for a decent place to see a few bands. It’s often forgotten that, aside from large events in the park itself, the Finsbury Park area has a proud history of live music including performances by the likes of Pink Floyd, Bob Marley & The Wailers and Queen. Each of those played in the Rainbow Theatre, which sadly shut as a music venue in 1981 and is now used by a religious organisation.

The Silver Bullet has a tiny capacity compared with the old Rainbow, but it’s doing a pretty good job of ensnaring acts as they head on up the ladder of fame. Gigs in the last couple of years have included performances from Slow Club, James Walsh, John Newman, The Cuban Brothers and Lords Of The Underground. DJ sets are particularly popular and Rudimental, Don Letts, Maccabees, The Herbaliser, Mystery Jets and Mat Horne have all taken a turn behind the decks.

This weekend (18 January) sees sleazy London punks The Gaggers take to the stage on Saturday. The coming weeks include a range of international jams, DJ sets and gigs from the likes of London band Sisteray, who launch their new EP ‘She Likes The Drama’ at the Silver Bullet on Wednesday 5 February.

And should you need another excuse to get yourself to Finsbury Park that night, support on the 5th comes from Londonist faves The Deets.

It’s often but not always free entry at the Silver Bullet, so check their listings page before you rock up. Finsbury Park deserves to reclaim its spot on the live music map, so with any luck the Silver Bullet can continue to fend off the developers for a long time to come.

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