“ St Mary's, Southampton. „
The Joiner's Arms is only a few minutes walk from me and is one of the lesser known music venues in Southampton known nationally but is recognised for booking bands such as Oasis and Coldplay before they made it big, and I hope this continues as the last band I went to see there were Reckless Love who played at last year's Download Festival. It's located on St Mary's Street about half way along it (St Mary's is a very long street!) in the Southern part of the city about ten minutes walk from the city centre, and fifteen from the Southampton Central. It comprises of a bar area in the front and a stage at the back with a large ground area and has the capacity to hold about 200 people. It doesn't often get crowded but when it does there's enough room to manouver around it's just a bit tight which isn't very nice when you have a drink and you're moving around with a lot of people moshing around you! For me, the Joiner's Arms is more of a music venue than a pub. I've only ever been there to watch bands play and I rarely drink there as the prices are quite steep. I could only describe the atmosphere as a typical grubby pub if you only go there to drink but as a music venue it's much better. Ticket prices vary depend on the act who's playing. The acts that play at the Joiner's tend to be of rock genre, with some variations every now and again. To conclude, as a music venue this is a nice little pub with a friendly atmosphere as everyone tends to be into the same music and therefore can enjoy the acts playing. It can be quite cramped but entrance is often cheap in advance, with tickets on the door usually £2 more than the billed price. I wouldn't go for a quiet drink there though, too expensive.
Southampton's only live Rock/Punk/Ska venue. Situated in St Mary's Rd, almost opposite the new St Mary's Surgery by Palmerston Park. Open most evenings, from 7/8pm till 11pm for live acts, gigs, and upcoming bands. Entry is usually £4-£8 depending on who is playing and whether anyone has heard of them before, its usally pretty full in there whenever I've been! Entry is for ages 14 and up, be aware if you do look under 18 you will be ID'd at the bar. The bar is at the front of the venue with the live area (usually including mosh pit) is at the rear of the venue. Drinks are decently priced and they have a good selection of draught and bottles. The venues capacity is approximately 300, and some popular gigs are sold out but they do often have some tickets on the door if you get there early. I've always bought tickets in advance. Bands wise they've had some of the greatest rock bands of all time in there before they were famous. The Joiners is part of the Carling circuit for up and coming bands, although it is worth checking the Railway Tavern in Winchester as well for up and coming bands. The atmosphere for gigs in there is great! Having a small venue really means you get the best most intimate atmosphere and you're always close to the stage! The music isn't too loud and they are great ledges to put you're drinks on when you want a mosh. Sometimes it can be a bit full of teeny boppers, but it usually never detracts from the atmosphere.
If you are into rock music- or generally NME friendly bands the only place in southampton is Joiners- it might look like just another scruffy pub on st mary's st but it has been the home of many an up and coming band. It's worth checking out bands you havn't heard of before they get to massive to play joiner size gigs (2-300) Bands like at the drive in- who are now rising as a "Hot" band played recently- and the vereve in a recent interview namechecked the venue as the home of one of their best gigs! Tickets are usually around £5 and beer is prices are pretty reasonable- one word of warning St Mary's is a bit of a rough area so don't hang about too long if your getting public transport move on to a but stop or taxi rank a little further away- KEEP ROCKING!