EXPERIENCE OLD SOHO ON A TRAWL THROUGH THE LEGENDARY PUNK ROCK SITES OF THE AREA
British Punk was born in the Kings Road Chelsea but came of age in the clubs and dives of Soho and the surrounding area.Soho was a very different area in the mid seventies so join your guide Aidan McManus as he brings it to life and introduces you to the seminal historic punk characters and sites.
The Clubs,Marquee,Vortex,100,Roxy,Louise's and Notre Dame Hall,Strip club gigs,inspirational market stalls and boozers,where was the first Sex Pistols gig?Crash pads, Lesbian club hangouts and run ins with the law,this tour has it all!!
The tour lasts two hours and goes ahead whatever the weather.Meet at Tottenham Court Road tube station, opposite The Flying Horse pub, the damage being £15, see you there!
Tour goes ahead what ever the weather
This location is approximate. You will be provided with the exact location after you have booked.
great and knowledgeable tour which was really good fun! highly recommend!!!
I was hoping this tour would be amazing and it was! It was all I hoped for! Aidan knew so much and really gave a full and accurate picture of London punk at the time. He was more than happy to answe any questions and even helped us find a great place for lunch afterwards.
This tour was fantastic! One of the highlights of our trip to London. Aidan was incredibly knowledgeable and the walk around Soho was so interesting. It's a bummer the area isn't what it used to be when it comes to the music scene, but the tour itself was great. If you love punk or just music history, this tour is a must.
I took the tour on the 8th of December. Meeting spot was easy to find and Aidan was there well in time to greet myself and the other attendees. We chit-chatted a bit beforehand about his early days growing up in London in the 70's and then set off on our little adventure around deepest darkest Soho.
Aidan has the gift of pitching to his audience and keeping things light and genial throughout the couple of hours we weaved our way around the streets. We were never rushed and his genuine affection for those days gone past shone through.
Not only that, he didn't restrict everything to just the punk scene - there was the place where the coffee shop was where the nascent Kinks and Rolling Stones gathered, waiting to be discovered, there's where Keith Richards bought his guitars, and here's the studio where Bowie recorded Space Oddity. Cracking stuff.
But it's the punk we came for and it's the punk we got. Sadly, and only to be expected, many of the old venues have long since passed under the developers wrecking ball but Aidan knows the spots. We see where the Pistols played their first gig (St Martin's School of Art - still standing), where the original Marquee club was, the Roxy, the El Paradise, the 100 Club, and so on. Aidan had stories of attending gigs, keeping one eye on the performance of the bands, and the other on the time, fretting about missing the last train and having to sleep rough for the night.
All in all, 2 and a half hours went quickly and the only time I saw his mood darken was as we entered the reasonably recent addition of Chinatown, the development of same which saw many beloved haunts of his disappear.
So, geezers, do y'selves a favour and get on this. It's a little punk miracle and Aidan is a generous host well deserving of your dosh.
Also, the 100 Club is still a working venue and by all accounts, there's some top entertainment to be had there still, so check out what's on in advance and make a day and night of it in Soho. Blow me down if The Members weren't on the list of artists playing over the next week or so the day I took the tour.
Nice one Aidan - thanks again
Best tour in London !!!
You really felt you were working ih=n history. Engaging, funny, just the best money I have spent in ages.
The Soho Punk Walking Tour with Aidan was really good. He has a vast amount of knowledge and lots of pictures. He is constantly adding to his knowledge due to the people he speaks to / knows. The tour was a little longer than anticipated yet every minute of it was interesting. We would happily have taken Aidan for a drink afterwards but unfortunately we were rushing off to another part of London for a gig. We are hoping to do the Strummer Walk Tour at some point in the future.
Aidan is a fantastic guide -- extremely knowledgable, as well as funny and irreverent. Couldn't ask for a better ambassador to punk!
The Punk walking tour with Aidan was excellent
He is very knowledgeable of Punk, music and the London scene mixed with a fabulous sense of humour. Thoroughly recommend this tour
Outstanding stories and information about Punk Rock and a it's history.
Great tour! Aidan nos contó cómo fueron realmente lo orígenes del punk, recorrimos los lugares donde las bandas tocaban y ensayaban, fue emocionante recorrer el SoHo sabiendo que en esas mismas calles y lugares transcurrió una época que dejó su marca e influencia en la música y la cultura en general.
Great tour, Aidan has great knowledge of the local spots from being in the clubs back in the day. Great storyteller on the clubs and seminal shows. Well organized and fun.
Had a great time with Aidan. He’s a punk rock historian and knew all the sites and had amazing stories about the era and the musicians. Would highly recommend to anyone who loves punk or any kind of rock. My wife doesn’t even like rock music and she was fascinated by the history. Thanks again, Aidan. -Mark Wolf
Aidan is top notch !!! Five stars and then some... his memory and first hand knowledge of the accounts of the days of the era are second to none, I couldn’t have asked for a more pleasant and entertains experience.
Taking a wealth of knowledge about the development of the Punk era and some good facts to no doubt debate over at bar with my friends who believe they know “everything” about the genre ...good stuff!
I highly recommend this tour to any music history fan from any genre, Aidan will draw you in with his tales and keep you entertained the entire walk. I promise you this, upon my return to the U.K. I will most definitely pay him a visit again ...thank you Aidan it was an excellent visit ...Cheers
Really brought the story to life- can't recommend highly enough
Brilliant ,irreverent and downright great fun . A walk with character ,personality and lots of great stories.
Fascinating tour and incredibly knowledgeable tour guide. Highly recommend!!!!!!
This is THE tour to go on if you're even remotely interested in punk rock! Aidan was highly knowledgable and one hell of a speaker. His first hand accounts as well as his vivid story telling , put you right back in dirty SOHO in the hayday of the up and coming punk scene.
Aiden has a unique personality and exellent sense of humour. He has busted some myths about punk culture, you won't find this information online! Highly recommended for anyone who wants to look at punk London with the eyes of an eyewitness. :D
We were a little late from the tour but it was a really great one. Aidan is super enthusiastic about punk and knows a lot about the history and the bands. A must do if you are interested in the lesser known facts of Soho.
Aiden’s Soho Punk Rock Tour is an excellent, very informative & highly entertaining stroll around the Punk heartlands of London’s Soho. Full of stories of the early days of Punk Year Zero, as well as fascinating social history about the venues & buildings that went to contribute to this history. I wonder how many old punkers have strolled around Soho & walked right past the infamous Roxy Club, even though it is celebrated with a blue plaque! If you’re a dedicated Punk historian, or the other half of one, a casual observer of musical history, or just a welcome tourist looking to fill a fascinating two hours of one of the real stories of London, then this is the tour for you! Aiden is knowledgeable, articulate and delivers his stories in a highly entertaining and down to earth manner. Thanks mate!
Very informative the information was delivered in a easy to understand way. We weren't rushed plenty of time at each location. All questions answered.
This man is a real human encyclopedia of punk.
Wonderful tour with Aidan, really enjoyed. It worth the visit, don't miss the chance to have a really different experience of London! Will do other tour with Aidan next time in the city for sure
Aidan was a fantastic guide, he had an amazing wealth of knowledge which he shared in such an interesting and engaging way. I would highly recommend this tour to avid punk fans and those who want to know more. Best tour I have been on.
My wife and I had the "Soho Punk Tour" with Aiden a week ago.
It was really great, very informative and Aiden had told many interesting stories about bands, clubs and concerts in the early years of punk in London.
I can absolutely recommend this tour for people who are interested in youth movements, punk music and art.
Top fella, screaming entertaining walk. Knew a lot of good stories and showed us all the places.
Well worth the money the tour lasted 2 and a half hours. Aidan is very informative we learnt some interesting facts - recommend the tour.
Aidan was an excellent tour guide, and his first-hand knowledge and stories really made this tour all the more fun!
A fun, informative, and eye-opening experience. Aidan is a great guide. Not only does he cover punk rock history, he knows his Soho history, culture, and politics so you understand it all in context. As a historian, I was quite pleased.
You must do this tour if you are at all interested in rock music! Aidan is a fantastic tour guide. He lived the 70s and 80s and speaks from a personal point of view. He is also extremely well read and knowledgeable. 2 hours of absolute fun!
Great tour, great stories that eye- and ear witness Aidan gleefully shared with us, plus extra tipps where to go. Highly recommended for anyone interested in British rock history!
Aidan is a real certified GUIDE of the Punk period in Soho and London, not because he was trained or he made a research on, but because he lived that moment and he can talk about with the knowledge of the protagonist. Punk was an incredible shock in the music world of last century, a gun shot (talking about sex pistols...) that did change a lot of things, Aidan like few others will be your mentor making alive again those unique years.
AWESOME tour! I would highly recomend it to anyone who is interested in punk music.
"Punk is an attitude"
Aidan´ s tour was excellent - he really have lots and lots facinating stories about clubs, people, fashion, sites and music scene. He even had some current info about the Michael Monroe and Hanoi Rocks. That specially warm our Finnish hearts :)
One of the highlights of our trip! Aidan gave us a good overview of Soho before we started the tour which was important to see how this relatively small area became the epicenter of punk. Many sights & stories...Aidan can sure spin a yarn :) Well worth the price & a must for anyone into punk rock!
So glad I came across Aidan's Punk Rock walking tour. While he's full of great information, he also incorporated his own personal stories and memories into this exceptional, unique time in London's music history. I found Aidan funny in his true, authentic British humor and slang. It was a great way to experience Soho and learn so much more about the history. Thank you Aidan!!
A fantastic tour with great detail about the Sex Pistols and Punk Rock, also a lot or Rock 'n' Roll history and of Soho in general, it lasted 2.5 hours!!
Really interesting and amazing tour, it felt like some kind of a punk heaven. Also learned a lot about how to walk London streets properly.
To me punk rock history is as valid as any history.
It molded my youth many years after its popularity and continues to today.
There could not have been a better tour guide than someone who was there.
Aidan was truly passionate about the subject matter and the information was so indepth i walked away with so much information that i never knew. You will not be disappointed.
Great tour, Aidan is full of stories and information!
Really interesting tour, Aidan was extremely knowledgeable guide, a must for all interested in the beginning of punk in London Town.
Aidan has curated a fun, informative walk through Soho that punk fans and non-punk fans alike can enjoy. This tour is a great way to step back into a different, slightly grimier time in Soho's history and learn a few things. As a sidenote, I brought my mom along who had never heard the words Sex and Pistols used in the same sentence before, and even she enjoyed it!
This was a very informative and fun tour. Aidan was as knowledgeable as he was intrepid. He did a wonderful job of explaining the 1970's vibe, and how much had changed. He even gave us recommendations on the local music scene of today.
What a wonderful way to see the secret history of London! As a bit of a punk historian myself, a lot of the stories weren't new to me, but Aiden's great storytelling was always compelling and full of anecdotal nuggets. Actually seeing all the sites and seeing how the entire cityscape has changed since the 70s was fascinating to say the least. And rather than limit the content to punk proper, Aiden really lays out the whole history of the Soho underground in oder to contextualize punk. I hope he puts out a guidebook someday, and I can't wait to take his crime tour next time I'm in London. Whatever your level of punk knowledge or interest, I can't recommend this tour enough.
Great walking tour - knowlegdgeable guide. Even entertained a non-punk fan. Saw a side of the city wouldn't have observed without the tour.
The dog bollocks,never mind the tourists here's Aiden. Couldn't think of a better way to spend 2 hours in the rain.A must for anyone who has an interest in punk
Knowledgeable and colourful guide, interesting circuit
Aidan had such a command of the streets of Soho and the information he shared with us was so interesting on the 70's punk scene!!! We enjoyed every minute of the 2 hour tour and HIGHLY recommend this to anyone interested in this history as we were!
ABOUT THE GUIDE :
Aidan is really nice and friendly person. It was about 15 years old when punk starts to kick in London, you can understand he have passion for that era, for its culture and music. He will explain you how life was at that time and the impact of punk culture in London along with very funny stories and curiosity.
ABOUT THE TOUR:
Really interesting couple of hours about London punk rock history. You will have the occasion to visit:
Denmak Place - associated with British popular music since 50's, first via publishers and later by recording studios and music shops.
There, you will see: Regent Sound Studio at No. 4 where The Rolling Stone recorded. Gioconda cafe’ at No 9, where music stars such as David Bowie and later Elton John and many other used to hang out. And finally at No. 6 the house where Sex Pistol used to live and recorded their first demo.
St Martins College of Art - where Sex Pistols made their live debut in the top-floor Common Room on November 6th 1975.
The place where The Roxy club used to be - legendary punk club from 1976-78. Lots of punk bands played there such as: Generation X
The Adverts, Buzzcocks, Chelsea, Cock Sparrer, The Cortinas, X-Ray Spex, Sex Pistol and many others. An Heritage Blue Plaques remains to remember the place.
Notre Dame Hall - now Leicester Square Theatre - in the 1970s was a music venue which hosted bands as: The Rolling Stones and The Who, but it was specialised in punk music, hosting such acts as The Sex Pistols. In 1979, The Clash previewed material from London Calling here shortly before recording the album.
The Cambridge pub - probably the Sex Pistol local pub for years. Situated near Danmark Place and St Martins College of Art, the pub is where Glen Matlock wrote 'Pretty Vacant' and many other musicians used to hang in the upstair rooms.
The Marquee Club - since the club moved in 90 Wardour Street in the 60's, it starts to host many rock bands on its tiny stage. It became really famous hosting major music bands such as The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Yes, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Pink Floyd. Another band that made regular appearances was The Manish Boys featuring David Bowie, who first played there in November 1964.
In the 70s hosted The Status Quo and from there lots of punk and new Punk order bands: as The Boys, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Generation X, The Police, XTC, Buzzcocks, the early Adam & the Ants, then Joy Division and The Cure.
Few doors away there is a pub called The Ship where all the members of music scene used to hang out, many gig where organise here and many music connections happen.
On the external wall of what was The Marquee - now a cocktail bar - you can see listed the most famous bands played there.
Vortex - Vortex was open by one of Roxy cofounder Andy Czezowski in middle 77 and last until March 78. Just 9 months, but hosted a lot of '77 punk bands.
100's Club - it's the last music venue still open from that era. It s still host punk bands old and new. I personally saw TV Smith recently play there.
As last you will see Louise's club - once drinking Lesbian club, it become an important venue of the punk scene thanks to Siouxsie bringing there Sex Pistol fans and punk crew.
I suggest to bring a camera and wear comfortable shoes
...go for it! ..I enjoy it .... It's really worthy!
I would highly recommend this tour to any music fan, whether you're into punk or not. Aidan was knowledgeable, passionate and an extremely charismatic host. As someone who experienced this brief but transformative burst of creative energy firsthand, he was able to give us a unique behind the scenes glimpse into the formative years of the UK punk scene, as well as the debauchery In Soho that allowed it to thrive. I went into the tour knowing a fair bit about some of the bigger bands and the scene itself, but Aidan constantly provided tasty tidbits of extra info that most people are probably unaware of. Will defintely be recommending to friends and family.
Great tour by a Punk Rocker at heart
What a brilliant couple of hours, thoroughly enjoyed the tour with a professional friendly guide who made sure that everybody was involved at all times, can't rate the tour highly enough, well done Aidan.
Absolutely brilliant. I cannot think of a better way to spend a few hours on a Saturday! Aidan was very knowledgeable and held our interest from start to finish, so much so, I didn't want it to end. I can't wait to return to London in April to visit the 100 Club for the first time to see Resistance 77. This is a not to be missed tour for anyone with an interest in punk and where it all began for so many bands.
Absolute brilliant Tour with a great host!! Highly recommended
An entertaining and informative tour through the early days of UK Punk. Lots of anecdotes delivered at some of the key locations with an emphasis on The Sex Pistols.
Great little punk rock walking tour of Soho. Really enjoyed it!
Engaging, informative and with a great guide who is clearly passionate about his subject. Great way to spend a few hours on a Saturday and great value for the amount you learn and laugh. Would 100% recommend.
Awesome tour! So much musical history! Aidan was there for the birth and death of punk rock in London, very knowledgable. I thoroughly enjoyed my time and learned loads of cool facts. I can't wait to walk through Soho and re-visit all the spots that Aidan pointed out. Highly recommend for any punk and/or rock and roll fans.
Outstanding walked passed these places before and never knew that's where all these clubs where and very informative
I'm working in Soho since more than a year and yet didn't know half the stuff, Aidan told us. This guy certainly has the street credibility you need for a tour like this. Best of all was that he was just talking about the Pistols and Glen Matlock wen Matlock actually turned up in person and said hi to us.
Book this tour - it's worth every penny you pay for it!
Informative, funny and true to punk roots.
Aiden was cool. Seemed very knowledgable.
Excellent tour of the various punk history of Soho. A great deal of the stories told were on the Sex Pistols, and none other than the bassist of the Sex Pistols randomly walked in on our tour and was introduced to us by Aidan. We had a great time and would definitely recommend to anyone interested in early London Punk history.
Soho mit anderen Augen sehen! Aiden lässt über seine Erzählungen die Punk-Geschichte lebendig werden. Es war ein unglaublich tolles Erlebniss die Geburtsorte des Punk zu sehen und Aiden zu zu hören. Es ist auch mit normalen Englischkenntnissen leicht ihm zu folgen. Er hat ein sehr gutes Gefühl, ob er von allen Teilnehmern verstanden wird. Ich würde die Tour sichern noch einmal mit Aiden machen. Wer das alte Punk-Soho noch erleben will sollte sich beeilen bevor die letzten Relikte verschwinden...
Andreas aus Hannover
Great tour with a really friendly and funny tour guide :) very interesting and cool stories
A comprehensive tour of all the punk places of Soho by a well informed and enthusiastic host, and a good dose of humour too. Aiden's a great host and made the time fly by, bringing each location alive with stories and facts. Highly recommended
One for the sex pistols anorak
Highly recommended if you love music
Thank you again Aiden for the great walk through Soho last week. You and the wheather made everything perfekt. You keep punk and the Pistols alive.
It was excellent , extraordinary, i do highlyrecommend
Booked this tour for my parents' 60th birthdays that both fall on the same week. They absolutely loved it and said that Aidan was passionate and informative. They'd never been on a tour like it! A perfect present. Cheers Aidan!
Absoltely authenic tour! We liked it! Punk's not dead!!!!
I love a rock (history) tour. Over the course of numerous visits to the UK, I've done five, and Aidan McManus's Original Soho Punk Rock Tour sets a standard all others should follow.
A few day's prior to the OSPRT, I did a certain bus tour and let's just say they were "winging it". (The moment the driver asserted Siouxsie & The Banshees and The Cure played the Blitz club - they most certainly *didn't* - EVERY other 'fact' was rendered questionable. I was left thinking, “Exactly how much of this is ACCURATE?”)
You'll get no such spurious reportage from Aidan. Not only was he *at* some of the gigs he recounts, the man is a walking encyclopedia and he walks you to locations I'd not even THOUGHT we might go to. Locations I'd seen on previous tours were imbued with information that other guides didn't know or didn't care to know. The tour is not just "punk”; there's spillage into Sabbath, Bowie, Queen... And it's not just "music"; it covers the sex trade, the clubs...
It's billed as "two hours", but after two AND A HALF hours, Aidan asked the group, "Are you up for seeing one more place?" It was of course a unanimous yes. I won't spoil the surprise of the final location but not only was it unexpected, it was possible to peer in and see EXACTLY how it looked in
76-77. (It hasn't changed.)
If the Sex Pistols mattered, or if The Clash mattered, from a lot down to even a little bit, if early UK punk history holds any level of fascination, this tour is very much for you if not damned near essential. If you’re simply curious and fancy a pleasant stroll around the West End with an extraordinarily amicable fellow who paints a vivid portrait of a time and place that reshaped music and art, it's arguably the best value tour in London. If all you really want from a London rock tour is a photo on the Abbey Road crosswalk, this is probably not for you. (And you can get that for free. Tube it to St John's Wood and walk.) But for an extraordinarily comprehensive, layered and indepth portrait of the people and the places from a vibrant time unlikely to ever be repeated, the Original Soho Punk Rock Tour is without peer. Very highly recommended.
awesome tour! I'm local but learnt loads and aiden was a great guide
It was an excellent trip in a London you prolly wouldn't find otherwise. Aidan is a superb guide, fast paced with lots of knowledge about London's Punk history. It's a shame most of the buildings are removed or changed destination but with this tour you can breath the old atmosphere nevertheless.
The Soho Punk Tour with Aidan McManus was great! Aidan has a great personality, and knows this territory well. He kept things moving, and it was fun for anyone, whether they know anything about the music and time or not. Highly recommended.
Aidan was very knowledgeable and approachable. Although a lot of places no longer exist, Aidan managed to capture the atmosphere from back then though detailed descriptions and interesting anecdotes.
Great day out for old punks! Very informative. Captured the time well with stories and photographs.
We had an incredible two hours in the company of Aidan as he took us through history. The preamble is in the title: it's a punk rock tour, but Aidan has carefully curated sights, sounds, images and buildings which really capture the feeling both aesthetically and anecdotally from this punk guru. From Denmark Street to the end of days in punk terms this is all about the wonder of being different in a world where everything is the same, what better place to experience that than Soho?
Amazing doesn't cover it really: we listened to some truly awesome stories that could only come from the mind and mouth of someone who had been there. Aidan, we salute you!
Oh and don't forget to grab a pint at the end - it's what Sid Vicious would have wanted (maybe).
Excellent tour, highly recommended, Aidan's knowledge of the sex pistols and the punk scene is brilliant
Aidan was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the history of London, and his passion for all things punk was evident from the beginning. Aidan was well prepared with photographs and suggestions of records/documentaries we should listen to. Would definitely recommend to a friend!
Booked on the 28.05.16 tour and Aiden provided a fantastic commentary on the punk scene in and around Soho. The tour is full of stories and anecdotes of what happened where and when and included a superb insight into the history of the area. Would thoroughly recommend the tour to anyone interested in the early punk scene in London. Thanks Aiden!
Just brilliant! Aidan was so passionate & knowledgable about the music & history. Was a delight to listen to all the stories. Look forward to doing another tour with him when next in London.
What a great way to spend a couple of hours. If you are into your music, and in particular Punk, it's a fascinating tour. Aidan is knowledgeable and enthusiastic and packs so much into the tour. He has a real appreciation of the rich musical heritage of Soho and it's good to know that Aidan is doing his bit to keep the heritage alive. Corporate London seems to be happy to forget the rich musical and cultural history we have in our capital city. Cheers Aidan, a great tour.
Any music lover, when visiting London, should take The Original Soho Punk Rock Tour. Our host Aiden makes us relive the punk era with is encyclopedic knowledge as he takes us to some of the most famous places in Soho that hosted the likes of the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Who, The Police, The Rolling Stones, to name a few.
Not only did we learn which band played at the locations we visited, we were given a rare insight into their lives. We learnt about the marketing and media manipulation behind the shenanigans that made these bands famous.
Aiden really made the memories flood back as we zig-zagged all through Soho visiting these site, many of which have been repurposed by other businesses.
I highly suggest you take the tour before even more of these landmark buildings are torn down, only to have their pictures displayed in a museum dedicated to Punk Rock.
An entertaining and informative tour with this lovely guy
In his pink hat. He did his best to include the punk widows.
Good tour, got to learn about the neighborhood's past and how it's changed, and some good personal stories and folklore.
The tour was dynamic and a fast two hours. Unscripted, unlike the "other" London tour guides, Aidan McManus is a vivid, salty storyteller and keeps it interesting.
A great time was had by all on our tour! Aiden is fun, full of facts and a passionat guide through Soho punk history.
Absolutely brilliant couple of hours walking around with Aidan. Hear about Soho's punk history from someone who was there, saw it and lived it. Aidan is a great guy who knows his stuff, is happy answering questions and makes social history come to life. Geographically I know Soho really well, I now know more about its history, who did what and where and with whom. Cannot recommend this tour enough - thanks Aidan!
Had a great time !! Really interesting would highly recommend to anyone interested in punk and London life !! Aidan was a great guy too with great stories !!