Catfish and the Bottlemen's lead guitarist standing on stage bathed in blue stage lighting

White City’s hottest new music venue opens


news Arts and parks

Catfish and the Bottlemen played the inaugural concert at Exhibition London. PICTURE: GEMMA PARKER

A new entertainment venue has been christened, marking another milestone in the emergence of White City as a world-class cultural hub.

Exhibition London, created in a cavernous Grade ll-listed Victorian industrial behemoth, hosted Indie guitar band Catfish and the Bottlemen for an inaugural concert on Saturday night (8 February).

Completely restored, the upper hall of the old Dimco East building by Westfield shopping mall echoed to the sound of the band – its vaulted ceiling and sense of space adding to the buzz.

Constructed at 333 Wood Lane between 1898 and 1899, it is among the oldest surviving examples of Victorian industrial heritage in Hammersmith & Fulham, and was famously used for location shots in the final scenes of the 1988 movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

The giant redbrick structure housed generators which powered trains on the Twopenny Tube, now the Central line.

By the 1970s, the building had fallen into disrepair, except as a gloomy backdrop to films such as The Mummy Returns.

Renovation began in 2008, included removing trees that had grown inside! After a new role as a garage space for double-deckers, it is now a multi-purpose performance venue.

Catfish and the Bottlemen playing on stage at Exhibition London behind a large audience with arms aloft
Catfish and the Bottlemen playing in the cavernous Grade-II listed venue. PICTURE: GEMMA PARKER PHOTOGRAPHY

Building anticipation to the strains of The Beatles’ Helter Skelter, the Brit award-winning band Catfish and the Bottlemen stormed on to the strobe-lit stage to open with their biggest single to date, Longshot.

As the building began life generating power, the atmosphere on opening night was appropriately electric.

More than 2,300 people watched the Welsh four-piece, led by Van McCann, under the building’s spectacular oversized chains and ceiling hooks, a stone’s throw from the new creative campus that is the former BBC White City site.

The gig was one of a series of live music shows in aid of War Child, supporting children affected by war in the lead up to the annual Brit awards.

The borough is also set to host Bombay Bicycle Club at Bush Hall on 16 February, Foals at Shepherds Bush Empire on 17 February, and Tom Grennan at Bush Hall on 19 February.

Find out more about White City’s newest cultural venue.

Lead singer of Catfish and the Bottlemen standing on stage in silhouette
Lead singer Ryan Evan 'Van' McCann on stage. PICTURE: GEMMA PARKER PHOTOGRAPHY

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