The Troubadour, London

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The Troubadour
Troubadour, London, 18 Apr 2009.jpg
The Troubadour, 263–267 Old Brompton Road
Location London, England
Owner Simon Thornhill
Type Coffee House and Music venue
Genre(s) Folk
Opened 1954

The Troubadour at 263–267 Old Brompton Road in Earls Court, established in 1954, is one of the last remaining coffee houses of its era in London, with a club room in the cellar famous as one of the primary venues of the British folk revival in the late 1950s and 1960s. The club was one of several London coffee house venues at which notable musicians played; other such venues included Les Cousins and Bunjies.


The club has played host to a number of major artists in various stages of their careers. Notable among these have been:

The club is, however, chiefly associated with folk music. Notable artists appearing under this banner have been:

Many of these acts are captured performing at the venue in the photographs of Alison Chapman McLean.[13]

Behind the scenes[edit]

A key name in the history of the Troubadour is that of Anthea Joseph (1940–1997[14]) who organised many of the folk events at the club and was often credited as 'the Manager' of the venue. It is widely reported that when Bob Dylan arrived in London for the first time he was given no instruction other than that of his mentor Pete Seeger to seek out "Anthea at the Troubadour". In 1968 she joined Witchseason Productions as Joe Boyd's assistant.

Decor and ambience[edit]


The Troubadour's influence was felt around the UK. The Bristol Troubadour Club fulfilled a similar role in the west of England, but with a more bluesy feel.

The Troubadour in Los Angeles was a copy of the London club (it even copied the sign above the door) that opened in 1957 and runs still today. From the beginning it was a much larger venue but with a similar ethos.


The Troubadour has had only three sets of proprietors since its opening:[15]

  • 1954 to 1972 – Michael Van Bloemen[16] and Sheila Van Bloemen, founders of the venue,
  • 1972 to 1998 – Bruce Rogerson,
  • 1998 to present – Simon Thornhill and Susie Thornhill.

Recent history[edit]

The Troubadour is now a thriving cafe-bar and restaurant and the club continues to host live music and poetry, mainly by performers who, in the club's tradition, write their own material; more recent artists to pass through the club include Jamie T, Gak Jonze, Jack Peñate, The Dead 60s, Surianne, Chris Singleton, Paulo Nutini and Morcheeba. The performance space has been doubled in size but is still an intimate venue of just 120 seats. Upstairs, the café itself also continues to thrive.[17]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°29′20″N 0°11′30″W / 51.48889°N 0.19167°W / 51.48889; -0.19167