As recently as 2016 marlbank ran a list of 10 neighbourhood clubs in the massive London metropolitan area. We visited most of the clubs selected. Come this autumn 5 altogether will be no more.
These were not necessarily that well-known beyond word of mouth or musician recommendation. Some were quite new, some had been around for ages. But they all catered to local fans. One or two have thrived since despite the Pandemic.
All, upmarket or more modest, were valuable because they had a different feeling than the bigger budget west end clubs where people flock to attend from all over London, the south east and much further afield. These not always unassuming but just as often high quality spots musically catered to locals who did not want to take transport to and from their homes more than a short hop on a bus or a train ride away from their homes near by. They thrived on community spirit that kept them going for sometimes years and years and were a morale boost for local musicians who jammed or played low profile gigs while not on the road.
Of the 10 mentioned - the much missed Forge in Camden, very short-lived Jackdaw in Clapton, the excellent Kansas Smitty's in Hackney and the remarkable Hideaway in Streatham are all shuttered.
The fifth and last of these departures to join the list is the laidback jamming spot the Junction, situated to the rear of the massive King's College Hospital complex but closer to the Loughborough Junction railway station than Denmark Hill - roughly half way along going from Camberwell to Brixton.
The Junction is to close its doors in the late-summer, the owners on Facebook explaining: ''Unfortunately the Junction will be closing on September 1st as the landlords have decided not to renew our lease. We’re looking to try to find a new site but might not be able to nor have the available funds.''
The exterior of the Junction photo: marlbank