London is live with the sound of non-stop music!
Just when you thought you’d seen it all in the west end, The House of Song presents a brand new, audience requested live music venue to the heart of London’s theatreland.
Those who find themselves in the city centre on a daily basis but shy away from the bright lights and spot lights, can find a different kind of singing and dancing experience, hidden just off Leicester Square, where the playlist is decided entirely by you.
We’ll let Late Night London talk you through it…
“After years of working in the west end and frequenting the haunts of Soho and Piccadilly for after work drinkies, I have finally found the mecca that is “Studio 88”.
This new sister venue of the ever-lively hotspot “The Piano Works” in Farringdon, “Studio 88” is a hidden little gem hidden underneath an office building just off Leicester Square. Unfortunately for my liver and bank account, that office building happens to be mine.
With it’s nonchalant entrance and signage on the corner, you would be forgiven for not realising it was there before but behind the entrance and past the cloakroom lies a striking staircase that leads you into a deep cover hive of music, martinis and mad dancing.
With a full 6 piece band, 2 musicians and even sound tech people on stage, you really are quickly transported away from the hustle and bustle of Leicester Square with it’s hellish tourist taps, and into a underground world of live music and raucous dance scene.
The venue is surprisingly big downstairs and every-time you turn a corner or approach what you thing is the end of the space, another cavernous row of booths or open area of the bar is found. Its uniquely curved bar front is the perfect perching spot to watch the band whilst ordering drinks. The bar is however dangerously surrounded by the dancefloor which means you will likely have to cross this to get back to your table and of course do some kind of god awful drink-carrying shuffle-dance as you pass.
With a full band and emphasis focused on the entertainment you would think that the food and drinks menu would be a mere afterthought but with an impressive collection of cocktails, Californian style food served in cones and an army of bartenders chomping at the bit to create beautiful drinks, it is clear this is a well thought out venue. I enjoyed several drinks (clearly – seeing as I got in at 2, woke up the boyfriend loudly eating my wok to walk and sweated through my t-shirt on the northern line this morning) but the best of which was their old Fashioned. I love a traditional drink and this naughty little tipple will put that fire in your footsteps. Interestingly served with a lit cinnamon stick – don’t make the same mistake I did and for some reason forget all the laws and the fact that you don’t smoke but “assume it’s a cigar” and try and smoke it. Cue 5 mins of me dousing my mouth with water trying to get cinnamon bark out of my teeth.
We had of course started our evening with a few pre-drinks as per usual so we were lively when walked in but it didn’t take long before our group strolled on to the dancefloor decided to give a full display of our “varying” dance abilities.
To our delight the clever people behind the scenes had ensured that every table and napkin caddy was brimming with song request forms and pens so that you can freely request songs to be performed by the ensemble. And boy do they deliver. An incredible wide range of song knowledge means that everything from Lauren hill to The Beatles, from Proud Mary to Hotline bling and even The Fresh prince of Bell air tune was being performed. Something about your favourite tunes being performed right in front of you makes you want to scream along in tandem but luckily their mic’s drown you out because they really did these songs justice (whilst I was inaudibly butchering that rendition of Valerie).
Opening at 5pm every night you are sure to turn some heads when you suggest a piano bar for after work drinks but trust me, after a Dry old January – this is the way to bring your back to your former “accidental Thursday drinks” and crown you champion of the social committee.”