This is a review of the VENUE that is known as the Borderline, Orange Yard, Off Manette Street, London
The Borderline is set to close down (or become something else) in late 2019.
Date of visit- 3rd September 2009
Band seen- Neckar
Admission cost- £14
Number in (Wednesday evening) around 150
The Borderline is a cellar type venue in Central London just off Charing Cross Road (nearest tube Tottenham Court Road, turn right a Foyles and first right again). Situated at the end of a short dead end it could be described as "tucked away". The outside, at the front, under the sky, is the "smoking area". OK so if it is raining they loan you an umbrella........
Once past the pay point you descend a standard twisting flight of stairs and enter the auditorium just the the right of the stage. To your right there is a cloakroom where, for a fee of £1.50, you can check in your coat and beyond this is the stage.
Heading to your left there are several large "steps" where the audience can stand, with, above their heads, banks of lights and above the stage a row of speakers. On the night I attended one of these speakers was clipping badly on certain frequencies, but otherwise I considered the sound to be generally good, and I guess had I chosen to stand somewhere else it could have even qualified for very good!!
At the other side of the room, and at a level similar to the back of the raised steps is the bar area, typical London club bar, where bitter is served in a tin at extortionate prices, but I settled for draught Guinness.
Further back in the room is an area where one can sit at tables, as it is a bit higher than the main audience area you could see over the top of a lot of the people and just about see the band, and there was a large screen TV there projecting a live feed off the stage, but the picture quality was not great. At this point in the room it was actually possible to have a conversation over the sound. The seated area seems to have a Texas Ranch type feel, but why I have no idea, and it does not do it very well. Right at the back are the toilets which were frankly poor, but at least there was no chap offering to squirt soap on your hands in exchange for money.
I liked The Borderline, my guess is that the crowd changes completely depending on the style of music, but overall I would say it is a good venue, better than some London cellars. (Since writing the above I have been back several times. )
(Since writing it has had a total makeover (correct 2017))
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