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The Hope & Anchor Islington – No Stranger to the Stranglers

Hope & Anchor Islington

The Hope & Anchor Islington in 2020 Courtesy of Google Street View.

The Hope and Anchor Islington is a grade II listed building, currently owned by Greene King and still operated as a pub with great food and live music. Before this, however, and especially in the 1970s, it was an important music venue, first as a “pub rock” venue and later as a punk rock place to be. The Hope & Anchor is especially well known due to The Stranglers recording a live album, “Live at the Hope & Anchor” there in November 1977 which was initially only available as a bootleg until its eventual official release in 1992.

Stranglers Live at the Hope and Anchor

Live at the Hope & Anchor, The Stranglers.

Hope & Anchor Islington – a Brief History

The Hope & Anchor Islington was built in 1880 and it traded for many years as a public house. In the 1970s the venue was acquired by ¬†Albion Management. Under constant threat of closure the management organised the Hope & Anchor Front Row Festival, which took place between Tuesday 22 November and Thursday 15 December 1977 and featured many “pub” bands, punk bands and others who appeared for just expenses. A double disk album was made and released in March 1978.

Other notable acts to perform at the Hope & Anchor include Dire Straits, Squeeze, Madness, The Police, The Jam, The Ramones and the Pogues. The promo video for Madness’ “One Step Beyond” was recorded there.

It’s always encouraging to see an old established venue still operating successfully as we have lost so many of our live music pubs in recent years, even in busy and affluent London. The venue has been refurbished and upgraded by current owners Greene King, a large and popular brewery chain, and is well worth a visit. It is easy to find, being located in busy Islington with lots of public transport available although if you are travelling by car, you will find parking can be tricky, (and expensive).