Kings Arms Tavern
A bar that leaves everyone with a story to tell.
February 05, 2015
For the past 18 years, The Kings Arms has been one of the most treasured music venues in Auckland. In fact, if you call yourself an Aucklander and a music fan and you haven’t sweated it out trying to find a good pozzie to peer up at the Kings Arms unusually high stage, you probably aren’t that much of a music fan after all.
Situated at the end of an unassuming road in Newton, The Kings Arms is steeped in history, the decor not much changed from the 80s, a typical large old pub, with a flat upstairs that probably has a few tales of its own. The front bar is layed with beer stained red carpet and is the spot to catch a Sunday Warriors game, make a couple of bets, and sink into a few lion reds and a packet of cashew nuts. They serve pub lunch Wednesday to Friday and dinner on Tuesday. What The Kings Arms is really known for though is the main gig room; a long and surprisingly skinny hall with a bar that runs along the side wall, across the other side of the room are the bathrooms, which on a busy night will require several friendly taps on the shoulder and ‘excuse me’s’ to get to. Outside is a large beer garden, the kind of spot where you re-kindle your cigarette habit while catching up with mates who you probably hadn't seen since last time you were at a Kings Arms gig.
With local and international acts gracing the stage 3-4 times a week, there has been many a legendary Kings Arms moment. The National and The White Stripes played there before they were ‘famous’, one time The Strokes and Kings Of Leon decided to turn up unannounced after playing at the Big Day Out, Cody from The Mint Chicks has been noted on several occasions to have climbed the walls and attempted to swing from the dusty old light shades. Shit, if you are reading this, you probably have a couple of special little Kings Arms moments of your own - or will do, soon.
The Kings Arms is a place where magic happens and with acts like CJ Ramone, Sharon Von Etten, and Jesus Jones set to play in the near future it doesn’t look as though this is likely to change anytime soon.