Venue MOT Unit 18: Everything you need to know about the South Bermondsey club

Jochan Embley

A stone’s throw from Millwall FC’s stadium, on the other side of the train tracks, sits a small business park.

In Unit 17, a hose manufacturer stores it goods. Unit 19 is home to a property maintenance company. Between them, in the small, unglamorous warehouse formerly occupied by a MOT centre, sits one of London’s best new late-night venues.

The club — appropriately named Venue MOT Unit 18 — has been in operation for just over a year but has already cemented its place as one of south London’s finest spots. It’s a DIY arrangement, but that means the club has little to distract itself away from the things that matter: great bookings, powerful sound systems and friendly staff, all of which can be found at this place.

This is the GO Clubbing guide to Venue MOT Unit 18.

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Vital statistics

  • Where is it? Unit 18, Orion Business Centre, Surrey Canal Road, SE14 5RT
  • What’s the capacity? 350
  • When did it open? April 2018

What’s the music like?

There’s an anything-goes vibe to the bookings. Old-school jungle, punishing techno, blissed out ambient, slick trap beats — all of that and more rattles the walls here.

Who plays there?

The programme is dominated by up-and-comers from the local area, both in terms of the DJs and the promoters booking them. But there are still a few big hitters to draw in the crowds, with the likes of Objekt, Body Hammer and Wes Baggaley among the previous names.

How expensive are tickets?

Pretty cheap. Early bird tickets usually start at around £5, and often don’t go above a tenner. When the big names are in town, you might be paying around £15 by the time the final release comes around.

How late does it stay open?

Thanks to its fairly remote location, the club can keep the party going longer than many of its counterparts. The licence here allows it to play music until 7am and, more often than not, the club makes full use of it.

How good is the sound system?

Superb. The set-up comes courtesy of Martin Audio — the same manufacturer used by much bigger, more established clubs — and it delivers a killer sound in these relatively tight surroundings.

What should I wear?

There’s no strict dress code here, so whatever you’re comfortable in.

How do I get there?

Truth be told, it’s not the best connected club in London. South Bermondsey is the nearest transport stop, with Network Rail links into London Bridge and down further into south east London.

Surrey Quays is the nearest Overground stop — around a 20-minute walk away. It is part of the Night Tube network, meaning it runs for 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays. For the Underground, Canada Water on the Jubilee line is a 25-minute walk away and is also on the Night Tube.