Sir George Robey

Finsbury Park, London, England, UK

Demolished 2015

The Disappointed Tourist: Sir George Robey, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

“The Robey,” as it was affectionately known, was a key live music venue when I was going to gigs in the city in the late 1980s and early ’90s. It was a grungy old place and my friends and I had a love-hate relationship with it. Nevertheless, it was a social hub of enormous sentimental value, and I was sad to hear of its demise. Michael W.

The Sir George Robey was a Meaux public house and later a music venue, on Seven Sisters Road in Finsbury Park. It was originally named The Clarence Tavern. It was renamed in honor of the music-hall performer Sir George Robey in 1968, becoming a performance destination for bands such as Bad Manners, Billy Bragg, Fairport Convention, They Might be Giants & Blur. The pub was the inspiration for The Harry Lauder in Nick Hornby’s book Fever Pitch and is also mentioned in Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting. After being renamed The Powerhouse in 1996 and then renamed Robey, it closed in 2004. Despite being locally listed, it was demolished in 2015. The site is currently vacant.