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Concert Venues :: Middle Earth


Now Known As
Date Opened 1717
Venue Capacity
Venue URL
Venue Address 43 King Street
Covent Garden
London, England

Venue Information

Originally until 1756 it was Lord Archers substantial private mansion. Later it was rented to a peruke maker (wig maker), before it became the home of the new Royal Institute of Architects.

It has been a private home for the very wealthy, an hotel, a glamorous warehouse, a burlesque hall and a theatre.

Then it became one of the first establishments to organise and to make boxing an art.

In 1891 boxing, although supposedly regulated by the Marquess of Queensburys rules, was artless thuggery, the heaviest and stupidest fighters tended to win and the sport existed purely to sate punters bloodlust and (much like horseracing today) for the exchange of bets.

Boxing was so corrupt that one particular bout at 43 King Street descended into farce when both fighters took a dive before a punch had been thrown. The sharper of the two, realising the wrath of the ringsiders, feigned blindness while the mob set about pummelling his hapless opponent. The blind fighter was awarded the purse.

The Club realised the absurdity of the situation and set about gentrifying the sport.

Started as The Electric Garden, it transformed into "The Earth" and attracted a whole new band of converts.

With 1967 in full flower and psychedelia becoming widespread, many new sounds were introduced by the knowledgeable DJs John Peel and Jeff Dexter. If UFO was exotic, then Middle Earth was breathtaking.

Held in a vast warehouse basement in Covent Garden when it was still a market, the club was a stones throw from the Opera House and at midnight, droves of brilliantly attired people would congregate around the tube exit.

The blast of sound and heavy incensed air would welcome you into a world of fruit, liquid slides, films, porn and vast amounts of drugs. The essential friends meeting place that was UFO was being lost to whole new groups of people as soul bands had evolved into psychedelia, Zoot Money became Dantalions Chariot with their awesome lightshow, together with The Action and The Creation.

The stoned crowd would leave at dawn and pick their way through the vegetables much to the amusement of the market workers. Grandmas attic was being plundered for any old or theatrical garb.

At 2am on March 3 it was raided by 150 police - apparently the biggest paramilitary operation since the war.
Hippie - by Barry Miles

After the police raid, people moved on to the Roundhouse at Chalk Farm.

Venue Photos

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