The Scotch of St. James

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The Scotch of St. James
The Scotch
AddressMasons Yard
London, SW1
United Kingdom
Coordinates51°30′28″N 0°08′14″W / 51.5078°N 0.1371°W / 51.5078; -0.1371Coordinates: 51°30′28″N 0°08′14″W / 51.5078°N 0.1371°W / 51.5078; -0.1371
Public transitLondon Underground Green Park; Piccadilly Circus
TypeNightclub, music venue
Opened1965; 54 years ago (1965)
Closed1980 (1980)
Re-opened: 2013

The Scotch of St. James is a nightclub situated at Masons Yard, London.[1] Tucked away at the bottom of an alley it served as a prominent nightclub, live music venue and historically significant meeting place for London's rock elite in the 1960s. The club opened on 14 July 1965 at the height of 1960s swinging London and replaced the Ad lib Club, which closed in November 1966, as a meeting place for the swinging London set and rock musicians.[2] The heritage of the Scotch St. James was referenced when it was relaunched, after 25 years of closure, in 2012.[3]



The Scotch of St. James was where a then unknown Jimi Hendrix first performed on the night of his arrival in England on 24 September 1966,[4] when he joined the house band for an impromptu session on stage.[5] It was on this night that Hendrix met Kathy Etchingham who became his girlfriend.[4] On 25 October 1966 the Jimi Hendrix Experience played their first UK gig as a private showcase at Scotch of St. James.[6] The club was also where Paul McCartney first met Stevie Wonder, after the latter's live performance at the club on 3 February 1966.[7]

During its heyday in the mid 1960s bands such as The Gass were employed as the house band[8]. Patrons at that time included the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Kinks, Rod Stewart, the Moody Blues, the Spencer Davis Group,[9] Eric Burdon, the Animals, Sonny and Cher, Inez and Charlie Foxx also Goldie and the Gingerbreads. People such as the Beatles and Rolling Stones were given their own tables.[10]

The club closed down in the mid 1980s.

2012–present day[edit]

Sulk at the Scotch of St James in 2013

The club was restored and re-opened by a group of investors in January 2012. After a brief collaboration with Parisian nightclub brand Le Baron between April and November 2013,[3] the club was renamed 'Le Baron London at The Scotch of St. James' and reverted to the original name of The Scotch of St. James in March 2014.

The new club is a fashionable[11] night club frequented by the rich[12] and famous[13] including Kate Moss, Sofia Coppola and Benicio del Toro,[14] Suki Waterhouse, Cara Delevingne, Georgia Jagger and Edie Campbell.[15] The club has also attracted pop stars such as Harry Styles[16] and Rita Ora.[17]

Other events hosted by the club include performances by musicians such as Miles Kane,[18] Jack White, Mark Ronson, and John Legend. The club has also hosted parties for fashion houses including Stella McCartney, J.W Anderson, Longchamp, Roger Vivier,[19] Matthew Williamson, Linda Farrow, Rockins and Eyeko.[20] Others who have held private parties at the club include Scarlett Johansson, Rihanna, Jack White, Dinos Chapman, Keira Knightley and Mark Ronson.[15]


  1. ^ "Friends of The Scotch of St. James". Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  2. ^ Cramp, Nathaniel (31 July 2006). "Ad Lib club: It happened here". Time Out. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Le Baron London Reopening at Scotch of St. James Playlist". Vogue. UK. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  4. ^ a b Vulliamy, Ed. "Jimi Hendrix: 'You never told me he was that good'". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  5. ^ Record Collector issue 330 (2006) p.93
  6. ^ Record Collector issue 330 (2006) p.94
  7. ^ "Paul McCartney meets Stevie Wonder". Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  8. ^ Leslie Fran (28 January 2009). Interview with Bobby Tench. Blues In Britain. pp. 18, 19, 20 Vol 1 issue 94.
  9. ^ Miles, Barry (1998). Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now. London: Vintage. p. 140. ISBN 0-7493-8658-4.
  10. ^ "A social club for The Beatles: return to rock'n'roll clubland". The Independent. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  11. ^ "The London bars and restaurants where fashion folk hang out". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  12. ^ ""Super models and shy tycoons launch The Scotch and Jalouse"". Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  13. ^ ""The Scotch: Where The Beautiful People Play In London"". Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  14. ^ "the Le Baron Playlist"". Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  15. ^ a b "The Scotch St.James". Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  16. ^ "'Harry Styles parties in swinging 60s playground Scotch of St James". Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  17. ^ "Rita Ora dares to bare in revealing denim dress at the launch of Rockins For Eyeko ". Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Purple Diary". Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  19. ^ "Roger Vivier Virgule party". Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  20. ^ "Rockins for Eyeko launch party". Retrieved 7 December 2014.


External links[edit]