For the past fifteen years Brooks Blues Bar (BBB) has established a reputation for showcasing top international blues and jazz musicians.  Despite operating in nine host venues it has succeeded in not only creating an intimate atmosphere, but also booking some of the greatest living acoustic musicians around and in providing the best sound for them to perform. 

Tony Bell & Ann Rosenberg (with support & encouragement from the late Brian Cookman) set up Brooks Blues Bar on 1st. May 2003 in the cellar bar of the Brook Green Hotel in Hammersmith. BBB operated every Friday, but after a change of management moved to pastures new at the end of July 2006. Thus BBB temporarily relocated to new venues: Wednesdays in Notting Hill and Thursdays in St Margaret’s Twickenham, with one Friday a month in Camden at The Green Note whilst seeking a regular venue in West London to accommodate its growing audience.

In November 2006 BBB was approached by the manager of The Telegraph on Putney Heath and it was mission accomplished in finding an excellent new regular weekly venue. The opening night in January 2007 drew a capacity audience. The new venue enabled an upgrading of the sound system to provide the best quality sound of any of London’s small venues. 

At the end of 2010 Tony & Ann were going to retire from the demanding routine of setting up the room, stage, lighting and sound system and the de-rigging at the end of the evening. However the protest from audiences and musicians alike persuaded them to continue. So BBB moved again – this time to The Parsons Green Sports & Social Club (aka The Parsons Green Club) in Fulham, on a monthly basis from January 2010 

After two acclaimed years at The Parsons Green Club, Tony and Ann again contemplated retirement until approached by the Jazz Café Posk at The Polish Social & Cultural Association in Hammersmith to establish a monthly blues night.  The venue was less labour-intensive with the added bonus of a dedicated stage, house lighting and house sound system, plus a grand piano and good transport links.

So BBB entered its exciting second decade in 2013, continuing to bring the best acoustic blues to London, on the first Saturday of the month starting on January 5th.. 

BBB in conjunction with Jazz Café Posk admission policy was to keep entrance fees affordable. Both Brooks Blues Bar and Jazz Café Posk operate on a non-profit, self-funding basis.

However in November 2016, after four years and 50 live gigs with an average audience of 78 at Jazz Café Posk the manager disappointingly informed BBB that the Polish Social & Cultural Association no longer wished to feature live acoustic blues acts.

At the same time BBB negotiated a new host venue agreement with the renowned Seven Dials Club in Covent Garden. After a successful pilot launch BBB re-located to Covent Garden performing two gigs per month as agreed..

However BBB ended its agreement with the Seven Dials Club in Covent Garden at the end of March 2017 after six gigs there (average audience of 66) when they suddenly changed the agreement and moved the financial goalposts. In addition it was discovered that BBB’s sound equipment had been tampered with on more than one occasion whilst in locked storage at the club! 

BBB thought the Sound Lounge in Tooting would work as they understood BBB’s ethos and needs. However as a venue it did not work for our audience, and as un-expected  and un-agreed costs surfaced, BBB had no option but to pull out at the end of July 2017 after six gigs there (average audience of 42). Furthermore regular free gigs on other days at The Sound Lounge jeopardised a potential local paying audience for BBB’s gigs. 

In September and October BBB briefly relocated to The Bush Theatre (Reading Room & Studio) in Shepherds Bush and The Lyric in Hammersmith (Bar & Grill) with three events salvaged from the Seven Dials Club and The Sound Lounge.  Whilst these three events were favourably received by the small audience, the seating capacity and facility fee will dictate the necessity to increase ticket prices which BBB have kept unaltered for the last four years. As BBB is aware that everyone's spending is being squeezed, it is not known how this will impact on audience numbers. BBB is awaiting available 2018 dates from The Bush and The Lyric.

Despite BBB’s enforced increasingly nomadic existence in 2017 fifteen gigs were ultimately completed to the usual high standards after rescheduling nine of them, including twice having to reschedule three of them! However, unfortunately and regrettably two blues gigs and two jazz gigs ad to be cancelled with the repeated unavoidable change of host venues.

Thus sadly 2017 proved the most turbulent and demoralising year in the fifteen year history of Brooks Blues Bar. Dwindling paying audiences for live music in London and fewer suitable and economic host venues in attractive areas were prominent drawbacks. It was particularly soul-destroying to experience low turnouts for some of the best living Blues and Jazz musicians on the planet, which were included in BBB’s strongest annual programme in 15 years.

Ann Rosenberg & Tony Bell

Tony Bell and Ann Rosenberg


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Brooks Blues Bar
Past host venues

2003 – 2005:
Brooks Green Hotel (Basement) – Shepherds Bush

Inn On The Green – Ladbroke Grove (CLOSED)
Green Note – Camden
Turks Head – Twickenham

2007 – 2009:
The Telegraph – Putney Heath

2010 - 2012:
Parsons Green Club – Fulham (CLOSED FOR DEVELOPMENT 2013)

2013 – 2016:
Jazz Café Posk – Hammersmith

Seven Dials Club – Covent Garden
Sound Lounge – Tooting
(CLOSED 15th November)
Lyric – Hammersmith
Bush Theatre – Shepherds Bush