From the outside, the O2 Academy Islington is not the most appealing of the O2 music venues (formerly sponsored by Carling). There are O2 Academy venues everywhere from Birmingham to Brixton and three in London alone (Islington, Brixton and Shepherd's Bush). The O2 Academy Islington is a shopping centre... is it just us or is there something deeply depressing about going to a live music venue and walking past Mothercare and WH Smith in a strip-lit mall? Somehow it just doesn't seem quite right. Still, the Academy's a decent venue once you're in, with a big capacity, great acoustic and remarkably cheap beer.