The Hammersmith Apollo (called the Eventim Apollo for sponsorship reasons and formerly – and still – commonly known as the Hammersmith Odeon) is an entertainment venue and a Grade II* listed building located in Hammersmith, London.
Designed by Robert Cromie in Art Deco style, it opened in 1932 as the Gaumont Palace, being renamed the Hammersmith Odeon in 1962. It has had a string of names and owners, most recently AEG Live and Eventim UK.
The venue was opened in 1932 as the Gaumont Palace and seated nearly 3,500 people. It was designed by Robert Cromie in the Art Deco style. In 1962, the building was renamed Hammersmith Odeon, a name many people still use for the venue along with the abbreviation "Hammy-O". It became a Grade II listed building in 1990. The venue was later refurbished and renamed Labatt's Apollo following a sponsorship deal with Labatt Brewing Company (1993 or 1994).
In 2002, the venue was again renamed, this time to Carling Apollo after Carling brewery struck a deal with the owners, US-based Clear Channel Entertainment (spun off as Live Nation (Venues) UK Ltd in 2005). The venue's listing was upgraded to Grade II* status in 2005. In 2003, the stalls seats were made removable and now some concerts have full seating whilst others have standing-only in the stalls. In the latter format the venue can accommodate around 5,000 people. The event was marked by rock band AC/DC playing an exclusive one-off concert and only charging £10 per ticket. All 5,000 tickets sold out in 4 minutes. In 2006, the venue reverted to its former name, the Hammersmith Apollo. In 2007, the original 1932 Compton pipe organ, still present from the building's days as a cinema, was restored. The building then changed hands and was bought by the MAMA Group.
On 14 January 2009, a placing announcement by HMV Group revealed that by selling additional shares, the company would raise money to fund a joint venture with the MAMA Group, to run eleven live music venues across the United Kingdom, including the Hammersmith Apollo. As a result, the venue was named HMV Apollo from 2009 until 2012. Other venues purchased include The Forum in London's Kentish Town, the Birmingham Institute and Aberdeen's Moshulu. The venue was sold by HMV Group in May 2012 to AEG Live and CTS Eventim. In 2013, the venue was closed for an extensive refurbishment which was carried out by award-winning architect Foster Wilson. The venue reopened as the Eventim Apollo on 7 September 2013, with a concert performance by Selena Gomez.
The Compton pipe organ
Restored organ, 2007
The original 1932 Compton pipe organ is still present at the Apollo and was fully restored to playing condition in 2007. It has a four-manual console which rises through the stage on a new lift and about 1,200 organ pipes housed in large chambers above the front stalls ceiling. Having fallen into disrepair, the organ was disconnected in the 1990s and the console removed from the building. However at English Heritage and the council's insistence it has been reinstated and the entire organ restored. A launch party was held on 25 July 2007, at which an invited audience and the media witnessed Richard Hills play the instrument.
Pipe organs such as this were installed in most cinemas of the pre-war period to provide music for film shows, accompany silent movies and to feature in solo performances. Many were also broadcast on the radio and recorded on 78 rpm records. These organs were based on church-type instruments but had many other sounds including percussion instruments built in. A lot of the pipe sounds were designed to sound like instruments of the orchestra and indeed the organs were in effect one-man orchestras, offering a large variety of sounds and being capable of accommodating music styles from classical to jazz. Although several such organs survive in the UK these days, there are very few left in their original buildings. The Apollo organ is one of these and its sounds now fill the huge Apollo auditorium again after about 25 years of silence.
Other acts have made music videos featuring clips from performances at the Apollo; Kelly Clarkson made a special version of her "Breakaway" video using clips from her concert at the Apollo in 2006.
The Hammersmith Apollo is seen in the American romantic comedy film Just My Luck where McFly perform. In the movie, the venue stands-in for the Hard Rock Café. It is also the location in The Football Factory where the Chelsea fans board the bus for Liverpool. It is mentioned in the poem "Glam Rock: The Poem" by the poet Robert Archambeau. The exterior of the (then) Gaumont Palace was used as the "Grand" cinema in the 1957 British film The Smallest Show on Earth.
On 25 March 1958, Buddy Holly performed two shows at the venue. These were his last shows ever in the United Kingdom.
The photo booklet that forms part of The Who's Quadrophenia album features pictures of the venue (particularly within the centre spread;) the photos of the main character (Jimmy) waiting, kneeling beside his GS Scooter outside the venue as the members of the band take their groupies to a limo were taken during a photo shoot.
On 16–18 May 1974, Slade played three dates on their "Crazee Nite Tour" supported by Beckett. The band had a Slade-look-alike competition onstage before the gig – where the audience had to cheer for their favourite look-alike. The results showed on the Slade clapometer. Also the band created three walkways from the stage into the audience. The theatre management kept these in place for about 8 years after the Slade gigs.
The Irish blues-rocker Rory Gallagher recorded one concert for the BBC in 1977. The concert exists in bootleg DVD format, not in official format.
Carlos Santana and his band recorded for the BBC television programme Old Grey Whistle Test in 1976.
In 1976, much of Thin Lizzy's live album Live and Dangerous was recorded at the Hammersmith on the Johnny The Fox Tour. Again in 1981, Lynott and his gang appeared in the venue for recording of BBC In Concert. The disc are released as a part of the Box Set At The BBC, in 2011. Some of this tracks also appeared in the deluxe editions of Chinatown and Thunder and Lightning. Finally, the double live album Life/Live was recorded in the venue in 1981 and 1983, with the participation of guitarists Eric Bell, Brian Robertson and Gary Moore. The guitarist Snowy White participated on three tracks recorded in 1981 in the same venue.
The progressive rock band Camel recorded some tracks in 1976 for the release of a future live album. The album was released in 1978, and is called A Live Record. The entire concert was released and made part of the deluxe edition of Moonmadness. The same concert was broadcast by the BBC, and released in DVD format. The DVD was called Moondances.
In 1978, Black Sabbath still with Ozzy Osbourne held concerts celebrating 10 years of career in the venue. The opening band was Van Halen. The concert was recorded and released on video and later on DVD, with the name Never Say Die: A Decade of Black Sabbath. In 30–31 December 1981, the band now with Dio recorded their concerts at this venue. The gig was released on disc and vinyl in 2007, and later as part of the Deluxe edition of Mob Rules. In 1994 the show in Apollo was recorded and released one year later titled Cross Purposes Live.
On 24 February 1978, Sweet played their first concert at Hammersmith Odeon. As it transpired, it was to be their last British show with the classic line-up featuring popular blonde singer Brian Connolly.
On 20 February 1978, Rush recorded 11 tracks from their "A Farewell to Kings" tour, including tracks from all of their first five albums. These tracks were not released at the time. They were included as a bonus disc on their 10 November 1998 release of Different Stages Live which included recordings from both their 1994 Counterparts and 1997 Test for Echo tours.
Gary Numan recorded his Touring Principle show on 28 September 1979 and is widely recognised as the first release of a live concert video.
Whitesnake recorded tracks for their live album Live...in the Heart of the City on 23 November 1978. The album also included tracks that were later recorded (also at the Hammersmith Odeon) on 23 and 24 June 1980. Years later, David Coverdale and this gang appears in Hammersmith for the recorded of Live... In the Still of the Night album and DVD set.
The albums 461 Ocean Boulevard and Slowhand of the guitarist Eric Clapton were reissued in double cd deluxe format accompanied with a live album recorded at the venue, depicting tours of 1974 and 1976.
In 1980, the rock band UFO, without Michael Schenker, recorded the BBC program In Concert. In 1981, they again played in the venue for the same program. This two discs are in the 'UFO On Air: At The BBC', released in 2013.
Miles Davis played in 1982 with his modern Jazz fusion band. The concert was released years later in DVD.
The Michael Schenker Group recorded in 1983 one concert in video with former Ted Nugent bandmate Derek St. Holmes in the band. The video was released in 1984 with the title "Rock Will Never Die!". The DVD has released in the box set 'Walk the Stage: The Official Bootleg Box Set' in 2003.
The keyboardist Rick Wakeman recorded one video in the venue in the 1984 tour. The video has released in the 2007 special box set Treasure Chest and re-released in 2014 as 1984 Live: Live at Hammersmith Odeon.
The Canadian rockers April Wine recorded a performance at the venue for the launch of a video that portray a successful tour of the 1981 Nature of the Beast album. The video was released on DVD years later under the name Live in London 1981.
Saxon released their live album in 1982, with tracks of concerts in the venue.
The British rockers Magnum recorded several concerts of 1988 tour of album In The Wings of Heaven. The video has released in 1989 as In the Wings of Heaven Live.
Def Leppard recorded the video of Bringing on the Heartbreak on the venue.
In 1983, Dire Straits recorded the concerts for a future release. Finished launching in 1984 the double album Alchemy and a video with the same name. The video was remastered and released on DVD and Blu-ray in 2009, in its full version.
The black metal band Venom released a double album in 1985 called Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. One of the discs was recorded in the venue. The band was banned in 1984 because they ruined the ceiling of the theater with a show of fireworks (during the track Countess Bathory). The show was recorded and released on video in 1984 with the name Seven Dates to Hell, with opening by the young Metallica. The following year, the band recorded the concert at this venue for a television special, named Live from London. Both shows were released on DVD in the decade of 2000.
In 1980, Blondie performed one of their most famous shows. Robert Fripp joined them on guitar, and their live cover of "Heroes" (which was later used as a B Side) was recorded there. In addition, some more live tracks recorded were later used as bonus tracks on the 2001 rerelease of the Eat to the Beat album.
On 25 October 1982, Depeche Mode performed there as part of their See You Tour. The concert was filmed and parts were released as Live at Hammersmith Odeon London in 2006, as a DVD included in the remastered album, A Broken Frame.
In 1982, Japan played a six-night residency from 17 to 22 November. These were the band's final performances in the UK and the final night's performance was recorded and then released in 1983 on VHS and audio as Oil on Canvas.
Recital of the Script is a live album by Marillion, recorded at a concert at the Hammersmith Odeon (as it was called then), London, on 18 April 1983. The recording was made on the final date of the tour promoting their 1983 debut album Script for a Jester's Tear. Featuring former members Fish on vocals and Mick Pointer on drums, it comprises songs from that album as well as all tracks of the 1982 debut EP Market Square Heroes and the B-side of "He Knows You Know" (1983). The side two of live disc The Thieving Magpie was recorded on 9 and 10 January 1986, as well as two tracks from Real to Reel album, released in 1984.
In 1983, Culture Club, with Boy George, were filmed at the height of their success. The film bears resemblance to David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust shows, which had taken place at the same venue ten years before. The 13-track concert film was released theatrically in 1984 as A Kiss Across The Ocean and on VHS later that year. It is now available on the Culture Club - Greatest Hits DVD released in 2004.
On 17–23 December 1985, Dire Straits sold out 7 nights from their "Brothers in Arms Live in 85" Tour.
On 21 September 1986, Metallica performed at the Odeon during their Master of Puppets Tour. This is one of the band's last performances with bassist Cliff Burton, who was killed in a bus crash, six days later and also featured Guitarist John Marshall as James Hetfield was recovering from a skateboard accident. This performance formed the basis for the Hammersmith Apollo's appearance in video game Guitar Hero: Metallica in 2009, complete with Master of Puppets-themed stage.
Between 15 and 20 December 1986, the Norwegian band a-ha held 6 concerts at the Hammersmith Odeon 
At the start of the seminal Public Enemy album, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, they are heard addressing the Hammersmith Odeon crowd at a concert there in 1987. Due to trouble outside the venue before and after the show Hammersmith Odeon refused to host any rap groups for several years afterwards.
On 16 November 1987, Anthrax performed at the venue. The concert was released on VHS named Oidivnikufesin.
On 29–30 September 1992, Megadeth, supported by Pantera, performed two evenings in a row at Hammersmith. The second night was recorded and later released as a DVD on their box set Warchest.
In summer of 1992, Erasure played 8 consecutive nights at the Hammersmith Odeon on the opening of their "Phantasmagorical Entertainment Tour", just after the release of their most successful single, Abba-esque. No other artist apart from the Beatles has played such a row of nights at this venue.
Musical Theatre star Michael Ball has performed at the Hammersmith Apollo on nine occasions—each time selling out. In 1992, He was both the last person to play the Odeon and first person to play the newly named Apollo on the same tour. His concerts in December 1993 and 1994, were recorded by BBC Radio 2. He also recorded his 2003, 2007 and 2013 concerts for DVD release.
J J Cale played three nights in October 1994, along with Christine Lakeland, Bill Raffensperger, James Cruce, Rocky Frisco and Jimmy Karstein. excerpts from the second of the three nights were later broadcast on BBC Radio.
Celine Dion played in May 1995 where she sold out and many people waited outside to hear her perform this was also the show that Debued her first ever show in London She performed I Can't Help Falling In Love With You a cover of Elvis Presley's classic song where she hit a stunning G5 with sustained vibratos and melismas although her Glasgow concert was widely regarded as her finest on her tour.
In July 1995, Riverdance made its UK debut at the Apollo, selling out its initial four-week run and returning in the fall for another 19 weeks, breaking box office records in the process.
On 19 July 2000, Alice Cooper filmed his Brutally Live DVD. The godfather of, "Shock Rock", records in the video the presentation of the 2009 tour to launch Theatre of Death Tour: Live in Hammersmith 2009 in DVD and cd.
In 2001, Roxy Music recorded their Live At The Apollo, presentation in CD, DVD, and in Blu-ray in 2011.
On 21 October 2003 rock band AC/DC charged fans £10 a ticket to see them play at the Apollo at what was one of their most intimate shows in years. The event sold out online in just four minutes. The lead singer Brian Johnson was suffering from a lung infection on the night of the gig.
In 2004, the venue was part of the Carling Live 24 event, which saw Feeder play their only date of that year. The venue also spawned the BBC television series Live at the Apollo, originally titled Jack Dee Live at the Apollo
On 19 June 2007 OMD filmed their Architecture & Morality and more comeback-tour in this theater.
In September 2008, comedian Michael McIntyre performed sell out shows around theatres in the UK and his filmed performance at the Hammersmith Apollo became the best selling debut comedy DVD of all time.
In December 2008, metal band Slipknot performed three nights at the Apollo – one of which was filmed for MTV World Stage.
On 11 July 2009, Thunder played their last concert in a sold out Hammersmith Apollo, as being the last stop on their 20 Years & Out tour. The show was also filmed and recorded for a last Thunder live DVD.
On 29 November 2009, British Christian rock band Delirious? played their farewell concert at the venue. The show was sold out and was recorded for a live album and DVD.
On 15 December 2009, the Apollo hosted the UK premiere of It Might Get Loud, a documentary film that covers the careers of guitarists The Edge, Jimmy Page, and Jack White. Page was the only star of the film to attend the UK premiere.
On 19 March 2010, British band The Stranglers recorded a live DVD entitled Live at the Apollo.
On 8 April 2010, the comedy film directed by David Baddiel and starring Omid Djalili, The Infidel had its premiere. The organ was played by Richard Hills as the audience arrived and in the interval. This was the first film premiere at the Apollo for over 20 years. The occasion also marked the first proper public performance for the organ since the 1980s.
On 14–18 July 2010, American magicians and comedians Penn & Teller performed, their first UK performance in more than 16 years.
Bob Dylan performed three sold out concerts, ending his 2011 Never Ending Tour with Mark Knopfler. These three dates brings to total of Dylan performances at the venue to twenty-four. He performed there six times in 1990, eight times in 1991, six times in 1993, once in 2003 and three times in 2011.
Glee star Matthew Morrison did a one-off solo concert in 2011, which was filmed as a special for Sky 1 entitled Matthew Morrison: Live at the Hammersmith Apollo.
On 21 December 2012, Brian Cox and Robin Ince hosted a sell-out show containing performances by scientists, comedians, actors and other apocalypse sceptics for a show to coincide with the predicted Mayan apocalypse entitled "The End of the World Show".
On 15–16 March 2013 the original line-up of Status Quo played two sold-out shows on their Reunion Tour, after being apart for 32 years. These concerts were released on CD.
On 7 September 2013, Selena Gomez opened the newly renovated theatre on her Stars Dance Tour, the only performance in the UK for the tour. The date also commissioned the venue's new name, Eventim Apollo.
From August to October 2014, Kate Bush undertook a 22 date residency called Before the Dawn at the Apollo. These performances were her first live shows in nearly 35 years.
On 24 and 25 February 2015, Placebo played two sold-out shows as part of their 20-date tour of Ireland and the UK, which marked the beginning of the band's 20th anniversary celebrations.
On 20 and 21 September 2015, British singer Morrissey performed what he dubbed his 'last UK shows ever' at the venue, both nights were attended by an array of celebrities and Morrissey's usual quips about the Queen and the Brit Awards made for a classic Morrissey show.