The Bull's Head, Barnes

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The Bull's Head
Bull's Head, Barnes, October 2014 01.jpg
London, SW13
United Kingdom
Public transitNational Rail Barnes Bridge
OwnerGeronimo Inns
TypeMusic and food
Genre(s)Rock, blues, soul, jazz
Opened1959; 60 years ago (1959)
Bull's Head interior, 2014

The Bull's Head, also known as "The Bull", is a pub in Barnes situated within the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, England. It hosts live music in an attached music room which has a capacity for 80 people.[1][2][3]

Overlooking the river Thames in the south west London suburb of Barnes, it was one of the first and most important jazz venues in Britain. The Bull's original music room was opened at the same time as Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club[4] and became known as the "suburban Ronnie Scott's".[5]

In 2009, The Bull's Head was named by the Brecon Jazz Festival as one of twelve venues which had made the most important contributions to jazz music in the United Kingdom.[6]



The Bull opened as a jazz venue in 1959 and, under the management of Albert Tolley,[7] became an important venue for major UK and visiting international jazz musicians during the 1960s.

In 1982 Dan Fleming took over the premises and the venue continued to flourish with its jazz roster. Fleming added blues and rock acts to its listings, a policy which continues to this day.[8]

The venue featured in Martin Scorsese's History of the Blues (2003).[1]

The music room was refurbished with sponsorship from Yamaha in 2006[7] and was renamed "The Yamaha Room".[1]

In 2009 the Bull celebrated fifty years as a venue and a spokesman from Yamaha Music stated: "We are delighted to congratulate the Bull's Head on reaching the milestone of its 50th anniversary. We are very proud of the Yamaha Jazz Room and our partnership with this historic venue, the unique place it occupies in international jazz history and its philosophy to present and showcase both established and new talent."[7]

2013 change of ownership[edit]

On 1 July 2013 Fleming retired and the Bull's Head lease was sold to Geronimo Inns, a wholly owned subsidiary of Young & Co.[8] Although the new lease agreement was said to protect the continuation of live music,[8] a petition to preserve the music room was launched in June 2013.[9] The refurbished pub and music room, needing acoustic improvement, was opened at the beginning of 2014.[10]

Musicians who have performed at the Bulls Head in Barnes[edit]

Bull's Head, 2014
Alphabetical listing

P.P. Arnold, Vic Ash, Guy Barker, Jeff Beck, Richard Busiakiewicz,[11] Maggie Bell,[12] Conte Candoli, Roger Chapman,[12] Al Cohn, George Coleman, The Quentin Collins Quartet[13] Jim Cregan, Jamie Cullum,[3] Blossom Dearie, Digby Fairweather, Willie Garnett, Herb Geller,[14] Coleman Hawkins, Tubby Hayes, Frank Holder, Chris Jagger, Mick Jagger,[13] Sheila Jordan, Peter King, Tony Lee, Bill Le Sage, Linda Lewis, Arthur Louis, Humphrey Lyttelton, who performed monthly at the Bull's Head for 42 years,[15] Rik Mayall,[1] Billy Mitchell, Zoot Money, Gary Moore,[16] Lanny Morgan, Dick Morrissey, Never the Bride, John O'Leary & Alan Glenn Allstars,[17] Gerard Presencer,[11] Alan Price,[3] Protect the Beat, Spike Robinson, Shorty Rogers, Charlie Rouse, Ronnie Scott,[18] Sax Appeal,[19] Phil Seamen, Bud Shank, Terry Smith,[18] Harry South, Kathy Stobard, Stan Sulzmann, Bobby Tench, The Barnes Blues Band,[12] Art Themen, Stan Tracey, Charlie Watts, Ben Webster, Don Weller, Harvey Weston,[20] Jimmy Witherspoon,[7] Ronnie Wood.[13]

Live recordings[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "The Bull's Head Barnes, The Yamaha Room". Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  2. ^ "The Bulls Head, Barnes". Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Bulls Head at Barnes 50th birthday". Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  4. ^ "London area of Barnes guide". 6 July 2013.
  5. ^ "Barnes". 9 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Bulls Head, Barnes, included in list of best venues". Evening Standard. 3 August 2009.
  7. ^ a b c d "Jimmy Witherspoon album Spoon Sings 'N' Swings (1966). Recorded at The Bull's Head, Barnes". Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  8. ^ a b c "The Bull at Barnes to change hands". Retrieved 3 August 2009.
  9. ^ "Iconic Music Room at the Bull's Head, Barnes, SW14". Archived from the original on 21 April 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  10. ^ "The Bull's Head website". The Bull's Head. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  11. ^ a b Carr, Ian and Digby Fairweather, Brian Priestley (2004) The Rough Guide to Jazz, p. 116. Rough Guides, 2004 At Google Books. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  12. ^ a b c Leslie Fran (October 2009). Interview with Bobby Tench. Blues In Britain. p. 20 Vol 1 issue 94.
  13. ^ a b c Buchanan, Clare (27 February 2014). "Jazz nights at Bulls Head a musical success". Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  14. ^ Jack, Gordon (2004) Fifties Jazz Talk: An Oral Retrospective, p. 88. Scarecrow Press At Google Books. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  15. ^ "Tributes to Humphrey Lyttelton". BBC News. 26 April 2008. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  16. ^ Newey, Jon. "Jazz breaking news: Save the Bull's Head Jazz Club". Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  17. ^ "Back to the Flamingo at Bulls Head Barnes Mon 28th January 2013". Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  18. ^ a b Chilton, John (2004) Who's Who of British Jazz: 2nd Edition, p. 338. Continuum At Google Books. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  19. ^ Scotney, Sebastian (18 December 2013). "Sax Appeal at Bull's Head". Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  20. ^ Chilton, John (2004) Who's Who of British Jazz: 2nd Edition, p. 384. Continuum At Google Books. Retrieved 6 July 2013.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°28′25″N 0°15′04″W / 51.4737°N 0.2511°W / 51.4737; -0.2511