Not SE area, but have you ever been to The Borderline near Charing Cross? Awesome venue - most major bands have played there at some time. Their rock club night is Thursday I think - check out www.borderline.co.uk for details.
They even had Rage Against the Machine in there once upon a time - the place only holds about 2-3 hundred people, so that must have been madness!
In fact, there's too many good venues just a short tube ride away to limit yourself to SE1.
A friend's band - called Bodaseed - are playing the Carling Islington Academy this Thursday. They are heavy rock/indie - so maybe Thursday is the day for rock in Islington.
Other good rock venues I've been to - The Astoria (Charing Cross), The Underworld (Camden), the Electric Ballroom (Camden), The Garage (Highbury). All of these are extremely near tube stations, and I'm sure as dammit the last three of those four have regular live music nights/rock club nights.
And one that I've never been to, but I'd really like to is Trash. This is a regular club night at a club called The End in WC1. Whilst not always strictly rock, they do have a lot of people out of well known bands doing DJ sets there, so presumably you'd get some rock. I think you have to be prepared to walk the line where rock and electro meets.
You're not wrong Birdie. I've been vowing to go to a gig a month for the past three years, and I've failed so miserably. Think it's cos my other half isn't a rock lover. Now there's a memory - gig girls...just how good are indie chicks?
And how could I forget the Kentish Town forum? I saw Feeder there when they were heavy rock - before they went all mainstream. Oh, how I wish it was 1997 again!
Good replies! I've been at Mean Fiddler to see Devin Townsend Band, it was brilliant. Underworld at Camden is also good. Coronet and Venue sounds interesting, it's only because I work at Soho I'm totally fed up with the whole area.