Most freshers, within a week of moving into halls, will get countless adverts and leaflets for nightclubs and venues pinned up on their kitchen noticeboards or slipped under their doors. Among them is Kasbah in central Coventry, which at first glance looks like “just another club” for students to go to. Most of the time, that’s just what it is – a dimly lit, pulsing, bass-blaring main room playing electronic hits and club bangers until the small hours. But there’s another side that most people don’t know about, and that’s as one of the region’s best live venues.
When moving to a new area, especially cities like Coventry, there can be an overwhelming number of destinations to spend an evening at. Depending on your personal preferences, you may choose to enjoy one of the many bars that the area has to offer, or go out with your new flatmates for your first experience of a nightclub. My fresher’s week was a whirlwind tour of being dragged between the Copper Rooms, Neon, Smack, and other, more forgettable places. Kasbah is one of those places that, with the hindsight of experience, I wish I had gone to sooner.
While you stand in the much shorter queue for the bar, you might turn your head and notice the stage and speakers at the back of the room, and more often than not, a band will be setting up to play
The club, which is on Primrose Hill Street, is a destination for some surprisingly big music artists. Most recently, Manchester art rockers Everything Everything toured there off the back of their latest album, RE-ANIMATOR. The club has also hosted award-winning Coventry artists JAY1 and Pa Salieu, with more of their shows coming up in September. These big names consistently sell out the main room, making it vital to grab tickets as early as possible.
If you’re looking for a more intimate and toned-down experience, Kasbah still has got you covered. Venture out from the main room, and you’ll come across not only the best smoking area/beer garden around (where many a drunken friend can be made) but also the smaller indie room. This is where the magic happens. While you stand in the much shorter queue for the bar, you might turn your head and notice the stage and speakers at the back of the room, and more often than not, a band will be setting up to play.
Indeed, the second room of Kasbah is a place for newer artists to play and create an atmosphere of locality and unity. The venue is a favoured location by musicians from Warwick BandSoc, and is absolutely perfect for those looking for a chilled-out gig where you can get right up close to the performers. Sure, the acoustics of the room may not be the best, but the particular feeling of togetherness and a common love of music is an experience that you just can’t get elsewhere.
Keep that Kasbah leaflet pinned to the kitchen noticeboard, and make an effort to go
My first visit to Kasbah was specifically to see some Warwick-grown artists, and I enjoyed every minute. You could look the performers in the eyes, witness their musical talents from up close, and be completely wrapped up in their sets. The great thing, too, is that often enough, the bands will come down off the stage after they’ve played, and you can talk to them directly. One of my best memories from there is excitedly babbling to a drummer and chatting to them over a drink.
Whenever you listen to live music, you don’t necessarily have to like every artist you see. The great thing about Kasbah is that there’s lots going on every night. You can go back to the main room, spend time in the spacious outside area, or just keep ordering Jägers to forget what you just heard (although let’s be honest, you were already going to order some). Embarrassingly enough, I hadn’t visited Coventry until I went on a club night to Kasbah. I’m told that’s not uncommon among Warwick students. So, my advice to freshers would be: keep that Kasbah leaflet pinned to the kitchen noticeboard, and make an effort to go. It’s absolutely worth it.