THE ANGEL – A GRASSROOTS MUSIC PUB AND MUSICAL HAVEN HUB


The Angel Bar slots in perfectly with Exeter’s quirky musical culture and vibrancy. 

We caught up with Pia, the Assistant Manager, to discover why The Angel is the top pick for many locals, tourists, and music lovers. 

A bit of history:

The bar has evolved from a Victorian-era establishment into a modern-day musical haven, making it another fantastic addition to Exeter’s culture and nightlife.

A focal point for modern-day music lovers and cultural enthusiasts, The Angel’s roots stretch back to 1869, when the construction of Victoria Hall, a 2,000-seater hall designed for conventions, exhibitions, and concerts, began.

Amidst this architectural flurry, the foundations of what would become The Angel were laid, initially intended as a pair of houses.

Despite early controversies surrounding its construction, one of these houses metamorphosed into the beloved venue we know today.

Image Credit: Chelsea Branch 

What’s the cow with wings logo all about?

Pia: It’s inspired by the New Devon Army—a small team of musicians, motocross riders, and agriculturalists who aim to fly the flag for all things Devon and seek to provide a platform for artists, agriculturalists, and sportspeople to do what they do best. They stock a range of awesome rural threads, but they also put on parties and have even staged a mini-festival.

Modern-day indie Icon:

Today, The Angel is a renowned independent ‘boozer’ with a soul, frequented by a diverse crowd, including business people, local regulars, rugby fans, and music lovers. 

Situated on Queens Street, directly opposite Exeter Central Station, its prime location near the University and Exeter College ensures a constant buzz and high footfall, contributing to its status and significant popularity.

Image Credit: Chelsea Branch 

Weekly rituals

The Angel’s weekly calendar spotlights commitment to live music and community.  

It hosts the city’s longest-running open mic night every Wednesday to support local bands and musicians.

Image Credit: Sebastian Williams 

On Tuesdays, ‘Blues Jam’ is regularly hosted by Baz and Daz. All genres are welcome (with a soft spot for Blues). Expect a mix of originals and covers or just a jam.

Every Thursday, resident blues legend Will James, a talented singer-songwriter-guitarist originally from Exeter, recently returned from London, where he played regularly on the London blues scene.

Will’s musical style is a refreshing take on the Blues, and the pub’s footfall increases noticeably on these nights. 

Over the weekends, the venue transforms into a live DJ hub, offering something for every musical taste. The intimate yet electric atmosphere is powered by an exceptional Funktion One sound system, complementing the venue’s quirky décor and ensuring that every night is an experience to remember.

Even on nights without music, the Angel’s playlist always has visitors reaching for the Shazam app. 

The Angel’s atmosphere

The Grassroots Music Pub embraces Exeter’s eclectic and diverse atmosphere, the ambience we regularly bang on about here at Involving Music.

Image Credit: Sebastian Williams 

The venue prides itself on being a chameleon, adapting to its patrons’ varying tastes and preferences while maintaining its independent spirit. 

Image Credit: Sebastian Williams 

Whether it’s the heated debates on the back deck or the mesmerising performances that grace its small dance floor, The Angel exemplifies the vibrant and inclusive ethos that defines Exeter’s cultural scene.

Recommendations from Team Angel:

The Old Firehouse comes highly recommended for its nostalgic ambience, live music, and, of course, its legendary pizzas.

Pixy’s, the eye-catching bar on Gandy Street. A showcase for great drinks from across the Southwest and a new supporting venue for Exeter Phoenix.

Image Credit: Chelsea Branch 

For visitors seeking a place to stay, the cosy confines of the White Hart and Leonardos to the convenience of the City Gate Hotel and Farmers Union.

We believe in Angel Bar

With storied walls and vibrant music nights, this venue epitomises the spirit of music tourism and the addictive soundwaves of Exeter. 

Image Credit: Chelsea Branch

For updates and live events, follow the venue on Facebook and Instagram.

For more on Insider recommendations for Exeter, head over to our Exeter webpage.

Image Credit: Chelsea Branch

More about the Venue

Capacity: 300

Cloakroom: No

Admission: £Free

Bar: A great selection of ales, lagers, and usual spirits and mixers. Hot drinks are available.

Food: Bar snacks only!

Toilets: Ground level toilets.

Wheelchair access: Ramp available. No disabled toilet.

Dog friendly? Yes

Location:  The Angel Bar is located in the centre of Exeter on Queen Street

Train: The closest train station is Exeter Central train station, which is directly opposite.

Also close by is Exeter St David’s train station, approximately a 20-minute walk.

Bus: Sidwell Street bus station, Exeter’s main bus terminus, is a 10-minute walk from The Angel.

Chelsea Branch

Chelsea Branch, a roots, rocksteady, reggae and everything in between enthusiast. First gig was to see the Ordinary Boys at the Lemon Grove (Exeter) at 16 after taking a liking to their Ska-inspired track 'Rudy's in Love' (and the frontman, Preston). After University, she spent seven years in brilliant Bristol, revelling in its dynamic music scene—a move very much inspired by a first-time visit to St Paul's Carnival. She now lives in Exeter alongside her partner Bev, embracing Devon country life and swapping sound systems for sea swimming and scriptwriting. Though her 'All the Reggae' Spotify playlist remains pinned, she believes exploring music genres is essential to a good life. Currently, she's turning the volume up for a real mix of artists and genres, from Idles to Olivia Dean, Jack Johnson (albeit his ''In Between Dub'' album) to Julia Jacklin. Her passion for music and local knowledge of Exeter supports Involving Music in amplify emerging artists' voices and celebrating grassroots music venues.

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