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a city by city guide to the best indie clubs, bars, record shops and local bands

Athens, Greece

By Eleftheria Ioannidou

Athens is a city named after the goddess of wisdom Athena, who according to the legend defeated Poseidon in a duel! It has a history of thousands of years and is one of the greatest civilization centres that invented politics, mathematics, physics, architecture, arts. The city boasts Byzantine, medieval and 19th century monuments that attract thousands of tourists every year; however it’s the acropolis and its Parthenon Temple, the most important and well preserved heritage sites of the Ancient Greek civilisation, that are most popular as they stand proudly over the busy city. The fact that Athens is a very busy and noisy city though is contradicted with the fact that there is a very laid back attitude of the people who very often hang out in cafes, tavernas (restaurants) or around the little streets of Plaka and Monastiraki drinking frappe (greek coffee) or eating souvlaki and tzatziki (sandwich with meat and salad). Athens is a vibrant city with delicious cuisine, warm climate and an absolutely crazy nightlife where you can definitely find what you are looking for!


Voulgaroktonou 69 & Poulxerias 2, tel. 210 8827045
Indie club with two stages – on the upper floor one can dance to indie/Britpop tunes while downstairs the grooves are more electronic oriented. A classic indie meeting place.

Skouleniou 2, plateia Klauthmonos, tel. 210 3314330
Club with different music styles… alternative, indie, new wave, post-punk, electro, big beat, industrial are all blended. Get ready for the dancefloor!

Themistokleous & Gamveta 5, tel. 210 3840965
The underground place that offers ebm and electro sounds while occasionally hosts special events. A new hot spot.



An Club
Solomou 13-15, Exarxeia, tel. 210 3305057
Small venue in the centre of Athens, mostly used for hosting underground bands; Electrelane, Jack, Shed Seven, Fosca are only some of the names that have played there.

Club 22
Vouliagmenis 22, tel. 210 9249814
Venue that has hosted in the past names like Nick Cave, Nits, Thievery Corporation, Spiritualized, Pink Martini and Cousteau. It took the place of Rodon, the oldest rock Greek venue, which closed down in 2005.

Gagarin 205
Liosion 205, tel. 210 8547602
A rather big venue – it hosts various names from the international rock/pop music scene.

House of Art
Saxtouti 4 & Sarri, Psirri, tel. 210 3217678
It used to be an underground place but nowadays it hosts various gigs, from Nine Below Zero to serious Greek artists. I saw Hefner there in 2000!

Small Music Theatre
Veikou 33, Koukaki, tel. 210 9245644
Tiny venue that concentrates on experimental, electronica and improvisation but has also hosted lots of pop/rock bands. Thalia Zedek, Terry Lee Hale, David Toop, Taku Unami, Bertant Denzler and Looper are only some of the names that have performed there.


Peiraios 84, tel. 210 3425335
Alternative place with an underground basement and an everyday schedule full of live gigs, exhibitions, theatre plays and film projections.

Akadimias kai Zoodohou Pigis, tel. 210 3841282
A tiny place with great atmosphere, freestyle crowd and great electronic/bossanova sounds.

Corto Maltese
Karaiskaki 31, Psirri, tel. 210 3317731
Cool place with indie tunes and different DJs on the decks every night.

Pl. Avissinias 3, tel. 210 3246446
Tiny bar situated in a very cult place with excellent electronic and ambient sounds.

Avramiotou 6-8, Monastiraki, tel. 210 3210355
New place open all day long with various indie club nights.

Kleitiou 10B, tel. 210 3220650
Indie pop aesthetics and sounds within a tiny and usually extremely crowded bar.

Pop Up
25th Martiou 13, Nea Smirni, tel. 6946 658700
The ‘poppest’ place in Athens with pop art aesthetics, vivid colours and minimal decoration.

Record Shops

Art Nouveau
Solomou 23, Exarheia
Cult record store that started in the 80s with the explosion of punk and new wave but has remained an underground place to this day. The owner is a music journalist who grabs every chance to inform customers on the new releases.

Asklipiou 4 & Didotou, tel. 210 3645069
Record store with a variety on indie, electro, emo stuff.

Vinyl Microstore-Pop Art Records
34 Didotou, tel. 210 3614544
Indie record store with releases on indie pop/rock music. In the store one can find, apart from the huge variety of CDs and vinyl, two sofas, various radios and turntables, posters, flyers and most importantly.. free fresh coffee!!

Local Bands

Abbie Gale
Abbie Gale were born in 2003 in Patra. They have a distinct indie pop sound inspired by the likes of Field Mice and Felt and their female singer sings in English. They have performed with Laura Veirs and Unisex.

The oldest Greek band that plays indie pop/rock in English. They have supported Echobelly, Puressence, Sonic Youth, Pulp, Garbage, Doves, Jesus and Mary Chain, Echo & The Bunnymen, etc. They disbanded but recently (2005) reformed.

Alternative pop-rock band from Athens with female voice, English lyrics and tunes filled with motion picture soundtrack feeling. They recently moved towards a darker sound orientation, stamping influences from the 80s dark wave, pop, punk and dance scenes. They have opened for acts like The Flaming Lips, Cure, Placebo and Puressence.

Mary and The Boy
New four-piece band that plays cabaret pop music. One girl sings, another dances; one boy plays the piano, another makes noises with a music saw. They recently supported Marc Almond. Very interesting project!

Another greek indie band singing in English. Matisse were formed in Athens inpired by their love for David Bowie, T-Rex, Suede and Soft Cell. Matisse have opened for Marylin Manson, Garbage, Shed Seven, Puressence, and Electrelane.

Raining Pleasure
Raining Pleasure is a four-piece band from Patra. Beginning in the early Nineties, they quickly became the Greek indie scene's best-kept secret. They have shared festival stages with The Cure, The Pixies, The Dandy Warhols and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club while they recently made a new version of the classic album by Manos Hadjidakis, 'Reflections'.


DiDi Music / Big Star Promotions
Eptanisou 3 & Pipinou 2, tel. 210 8820426
Both companies provide the whole spectrum of services needed for the promotion and production of music and art events: booking artists (R.E.M., Depeche Mode, Radiohead, Oasis, Cure) organising events, managing artists. The Rockwave Festival, the biggest rock Greek festival, is also a trademark of both companies.

Olon Music
Bouboulinas 26, tel. 210 3304521
Olon Music has been one of the most active independent distributors of outsider music / electronica / alternative labels and an agency of more than a hundred shows to date with artists like Le Tigre, Devendra Banhart, Arab Strap, Erase Errata, Last Days Of April etc.

Sense Music Zine
A great music fanzine dedicated to the indie music scene. Have a look at the website – everything is written in English and you can find plenty of very interesting stuff!!

Synch Festival
Himaras 10-12, tel. 2106386200
The biggest electronic Greek festival, held in the summer (beginning of July). A 3-day experience full of innovative music, moving image and new media.

If you'd like to recommend a club, bar, record shop, band or any indie delight for inclusion in the Indie Travel Guide, please email us. If we've included a link to your band/shop etc, it would be lovely if you could link back to us. Thank you!

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