West London's jazz club
The 606 Club has existed as a Jazz Club Restaurant for more than 30 years, being run by musician Steve Rubie since 1976. Originally a small 30 seater basement venue at 606 Kings Road, it built up a solid reputation through the 70’s and 80’s amongst musicians and audiences as the Jazz hang-out. The popularity of the Club amongst musicians led to the policy of only booking British based musicians in order to support the local scene, which has continued unchanged to this day. Eventually the Club outgrew its capacity and in May 1988 it moved to its present basement site at 90 Lots Road.
Club owner Steve Rubie says… “I first set foot in the 606 Club in the late 60’s after a gig with my friend, singer/guitarist Dave Lipson. Still in my teens I was fascinated by this tiny basement venue where some of the most outrageous characters I had ever met rubbed shoulders with a variety of visiting musicians and local celebrities. Situated at 606 Kings Road (just by Christopher Wray’s Light Shop) it was a unique venue which boasted 7 tables and a log fire, the only heating during the winter months. I was then still at school, although already playing venues, and it was a year later when I started at University in London that I became a regular visitor to the Club. Whilst the rest of my friends were going to parties every weekend, I was off to do gigs! And inevitably, afterwards we would end up at the “6”. It had been taken over in 1969 by an ex-actor and remarkable character called Steve Cartwright who did much to establish the 606 Club as a jazz venue. In those days it was very informal with no booked artists, just musicians dropping in for a play.
Five years on I left college and needed a job while I continued to study and practice my music, at which point Steve told me that he was looking for a cook and did I know anyone. I immediately said “Sure I can do that” and overnight became the cook at the 606 Club. I wasn’t exactly Jamie Oliver but I managed to not poison anyone and worked for Steve for almost 18 months.
A year on and it’s 1976. I’ve just come back from a tour in Italy and Steve (who sadly died in 2007) approached me and said that he was moving to France and would I like to take over running the Club. I immediately said “Not a chance!” And the rest, as they say, is history.
In the 30 years since then we have moved to grander surroundings at Lots Road and I have met and worked with many of the finest musicians in the World, a significant number of whom are British or UK based.The music scene at the moment is the strongest that I can remember and just looking through this programme gives some idea of just how amazing the musicians on the UK scene are.
So, on with music……”
The Club currently employs 2 bands a night Tuesday to Wednesday and one Band Thursday to Monday, a total of 10 bands a week (plus regular Sunday lunches), which makes us the biggest employer of British based Jazz (and related Music) artists in the country.With live jazz seven nights a week and Sundays being our special ‘singers’ night every night can be the best night. Fridays and Saturdays it is essential to book in advance.
The policy of the Club can be summarised as the desire to present the best British based Jazz available in the most relaxed surroundings possible with the best food we are able to produce, at an affordable price.
Our music policy is based around the rich and varied UK Live music scene and as such we rarely employ visiting artists. It is important to stress however that musicians do not have to be British to work at the Club, in my own band the pianist is Italian and singer Brazilian but they are both UK residents.
Due to our licensing restrictions we are only allowed to serve alcohol to non-members with a substantial meal. During the week (Monday-Thursday) we are quite happy for non-members to come down for soft drinks as long as we are able to get them in, but we are so busy at the weekends that you can only gain entrance as a non-member if you are coming in for dinner. The Club has an interesting, imaginative menu created by our head chef Jean Pierre. All dishes are freshly prepared with fish dishes being his speciality. Welsh rack of Lamb and Steak are also served as well as a good selection of vegetarian dishes, a chicken special and pasta dish of the day. We have an extensive international wine and beer menu.
We have a Music Charge (which goes straight to the band)
£10/head – Sunday to Thursday
£14 – Friday & Saturday
this is added to the bill at the end of the night, and we normally say for 2/3 courses, music and service the average spend is around the £45 per head mark. Booking is definitely advisable.
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