Named after O'Meara Street in Southwark, South London, where it is located, Omeara is one of the capital's newer live music venues, having first opened in 2016. It is situated under a stretch of railway that connects London Bridge Station to Blackfriars and is used for a range of events and gigs. When set up for live music performances, the venue is capable of admitting 350 revellers. The venue is the brainchild of Ben Lovett, perhaps best known as a founding member and the keyboard player of the band Mumford & Sons.
At just a little over 800 square metres, the auditorium at Omeara is small but it has an intimate feel that makes it ideal to see up-and-coming acts in a central London location before they hit the big time. The main performance area has the feel of an old Regency ballroom, which is slightly surprising considering that it occupies the space beneath two large Victorian-era railway arches. Some of the capital's top DJs have presented their sets at Omeara since it first opened its doors, and the management team are keen to put on an eclectic programme of events. In addition to some of Europe's best breakthrough solo musicians and bands, the venue has hosted indie disco club nights and private events.
With music venues and nightclubs in London tending to close rather than open in recent years, the launch of Omeara is something of a trend-bucker. According to the management of the venue, plans for a live performance centre of this type originated in 2012 but it took some four years before they were brought to fruition. An over 18s venue, Omeara has had a lot of investment in its sound system prior to launching, which is particularly noteworthy, given the relatively small scale of the venture. Speaking when the venue first opened, Lovett said that he intended to be heavily involved in the booking of live acts.
Following Omeara's initial positive reaction from London's music critics, the venue has gone on to stage a number of offbeat events. For example, the sound art installation Filthy Lucre, a concert and interactive show that explored the effect of music on the human body, for example, by using the body as a drum, was put on there. The capital's six-piece musical pioneers, Melt Yourself Down, also played at Omeara during the early days, offering their unique blend of industrial jazz with afrobeat and punk. Chicago-based DJ Amir Alexander, also known as Betty Ball Breaker, was another early performer who brought the sounds of US 1990s house to this corner of South London. The likes of Matt Willis, Irish band Kodaline, and Justin Townes Earle have all been booked to appear at Omeara.