After chucking in an IT job to create bespoke guitars, Jim Fleeting knows plenty about acoustics – and atmosphere

The décor has remained unchanged since the 1970s and it has a maximum capacity of just 350, but that’s what makes the 100 Club such a great venue to play, according to guitar hero Jim Fleeting.

With his independent spirit – which saw him jack in his IT job in London, head to Arizona to learn his trade and return to our shores to craft bespoke guitars – Jim knows a thing or two about music venues.

When he was an aspiring rock star, Jim played the 100 Club: “It’s hot, cramped and small but when you play there you get a great intimate vibe.” Ronnie Scott’s – one of the hot spots featured on SolSearch (a must-visit for places you must visit) – is another of Jim’s favourites, where he also had the privilege to perform. “It is unbeatable for history and for all the big names who have played there,” he says.

“The first time I saw Michel Henderson perform was Ronnie Scott’s and it was You Are My Starship – which he wrote, produced, sang and played bass on – that inspired me to make the Starship guitar, made from ebony.

“Aged 17, Henderson played with legend Stevie Wonder, then with even more legendary Miles Davis. Now that I love to make them rather than play them, seeing him perform in an amazing venue like the Royal Festival Hall on a bass guitar I made, has got to be the highlight of my career,” says Jim. For more independent, original outlets, go to