The famous Half Moon in Putney is one of London's longest running, and most respected live music venues.
Since the early sixties some of the biggest names in the music world have performed here; The Rolling Stones, The Who, U2, Bo Diddley, Kasabian and many, many more.
It all began with the folk and blues sessions started by Gerry Lockran, Royd Rivers and Cliff Aungier in 1963. 'Folksville', as the sessions were called, featured new British and European artists alongside established American blues-men. These included pioneering blues duo Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, the influential blues artist Champion Jack Dupree and Arthur Crudup (Elvis Presley covered three of Crudup's songs). British acts included a young Ralph McTell, John Martyn, Bert Jansch and Roy Harper, all now legends of the folk world.
This exciting birth of a new kind of music venue, at a time of musical revolution in London led to many memorable nights in the Half Moon. British acts included John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Alexis Korner, The Yardbirds - basically anyone who was anyone in the emerging blues scene made an appearance here and at other South London venues such as The Eel Pie club and The Crawdaddy. Visiting American blues and rockabilly stars included Clarence 'Frogman' Henry of "I Ain't Got No Home" fame, Taj Mahal, Frankie Ford, Memphis Slim and Eddie Floyd.
As blues and folk thrived bringing the likes of Fairport Convention and Van Morrison to The Half Moon, so other genres began to appear. From the psychedelia of The Bonzo Dogg Doo Dah Band and Bob Kerr's Whoopee Band; to sixties mod groups The Pretty Things and Nashville Teens; to early pub-rock acts like Dr Feelgood; the Half Moon was the centre of the emerging music movements yet continued to stay faithful to the traditional British folk scene.
It was never just a "passing through" venue. Residencies at the Half Moon have included Elvis Costello and Steve Marriott of Small Faces fame. U2 played here four times during their first UK visit, which included their first ever sell-out gig. John Martyn returned decades after his first Half Moon gigs to perform a week long residency, and both Tim Rose and Roy Harper did the same. Other memorable gigs at the Half Moon include K D Lang's first UK appearance, Kate Bush's first ever public performance and a surprise appearance by Nick Cave.
The Half Moon has always been synonymous with a certain local band The Rolling Stones, whose most recent visit was at a private event held at the Half Moon in May, 2000. As well as performing as the band, individual members of the Stones have appeared here in various side-projects, and have also used the venue for rehearsal space.
As well as music, the Half Moon has seen great comedy acts, including Billy Connolly, Harry Hill, Rufus Hound (who met his wife at The Half Moon), Shazia Mirza and Al Murray Pub Landlord.
While the Halfmoon is well known for its heritage, the story isn't over just yet. In fact the venue continues to host live music 7 days a week, whether it be the return of the Half Moon's original folk and blues acts or tomorrow's next big thing.