Top London Live Music Bars
It’s no surprise that a city as great as London offered the world some of the biggest names in music history. The Rolling Stones, The Clash, Deep Purple, Fleetwood Mac and Iron Maiden just to name a few. In London’s greatest live music bars and clubs there are daily performances by young ambitious artists, as well as already popular ones who made their way to stardom. It’s crucial to nurture this kind of culture, a culture that doesn’t forget its roots and past. Real rock stars are born in crummy, torn up garages and local venues where youthful ambitious musicians do the only thing they love – play music! Well alright, the romanticized stories of underachieving individuals performing in their local pubs only to make their way to fame and fortune, might be over-exaggerated. Never the less, it’s no secret that great careers have started in London pubs and bars. Whether you prefer a more intimate setting or a downright wild night out and about the city, you’ll find your ideal venue in London. The capitol has a proud heritage when it comes to the live music scene, and it looks as though it’s not about to fade away anytime soon.
The Dublin Castle
If you want a real taste of Camden, the Dublin Castle is the ideal pub to do so. Once a band or artist manages to beak through the music scene in Camden, who knows what great things can happen in the future. Amy Winehouse performed in the Dublin Castle and it was apparently one of her favorite venues to perform in. Don’t expect a flashy interior or high end trendy furniture, because it’s all about the people and the music here.
Visiting address: 94 Parkway, Camden, London, NW1 7AN
O2 Academy Islington
There’s probably not a raunchier live music venue in London than this one. Drunken teenagers wearing too much eyeliner bouncing all over the place might not sound appealing at first. But it’s important to note that this venue hosted an Eminem concert. It’s not a magnificent or historic venue that’s going to blow anyone’s mind, but with the right people and band playing, it can be a fun evening.
Visiting address: 16 Parkfield Street, Angel & Islington, London, N1 0PS
Located in Kensington, the Troubadour club is a venue where the great Jimmy Hendrix once played in. On its own, this should be enough to convince anyone to visit this place and at least see it in all its glory. The Troubadour club is actually just one part of this establishment, as it’s a lovely restaurant and bar as well. But it’s the music events that really puts everything into perspective, and it’s the reason why it found its way onto the list.
Visiting address: Old Brompton Road 263-7, Earls Court, Kensington, London, SW5 9JA
Ain’t Nothing But Blues
This club is probably the only club in England that’s a 100% authentic blues venue. Live blues music is available everyday, performed by various local musicians. If you thought the blues era was over, you might be right. But there’s still a core audience that would rather die than see the blues go away for good. Even if you’re not partial to this style of music, nothing should stop you from at least giving this venue a visit.
Visiting address: 20 Kingly Street, Soho, London, W1B 5PZ
As we stated earlier in the beginning of the article, world renowned musicians began their careers in London bars and clubs. In the Barfly club is where Franz Ferdinand and Coldplay had their modest, but bright and ambitious, beginnings. To this day the club strives to showcase talented artists and their musical abilities. You never know when the next Beatles or Queen bands might be playing in the Barfly. And because of this, it deserves to be mentioned and praised for its contributions to the music scene.
Visiting address: 49 Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8AN
In 2001 this magnificent London venue was restored and re-purposed after being used as a bingo hall and even a soup kitchen for some time. In the 1920s it was a well known dance hall, and thanks to its new owners, it once again provides a spot where people can enjoy amazing music and dance their troubles away till the wee hours of the morning. Since its restoration, the likes of Lily Alen, Sugababes and James Morrison played and performed here. Live acoustic sets and cabaret shows in Bush Hall are always splendid.
Visiting address: 310 Uxbridge Road, Shepherd’s Bush, W12 7LJ
This is one more Camden venue that boasts a tremendous line up of musicians that have performed here, as well as comedians, theatre acts and other art performances. Live music shows here are almost guaranteed to give you a night to remember. Entertainment isn’t just about having a good laugh and going home. The Roundhouse offers you a chance to really soak up the culture of London’s young artists and give them a chance to become the future savants of their respective arts.
Visiting address: Chalk Farm Road, Camden, NW1 8EH
Located near the revitalized part of King’s Cross, the Scala club likes to mix things up with a wide range of different genres of music. Since 1999 Run DMC, Lana Del Ray, Rita Ora and the Foofighters played here. Ain’t that a line up of musical legends that would put other venues to shame? Because of their eclectic line ups, make sure to check out their event listings and see what evening is the right one for you.
Visiting address: 275 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9NL
Chamber and instrumental music is Wigmore Hall’s main focus, and over the years it has truly become one of the world’s greatest concert halls. It has been entertaining classical music lovers for well over one hundred years, and it seems as though they’ve never been more enthusiastic about it. With roughly 450 concerts each year and ticket sales totaling 200,000 over its existence, Wigmore Hall is an elegant venue that oozes class and poise.
Visiting address: 36 Wigmore St, London, W1U 2BP
We haven’t forgotten about the clubbing scene and the clubbers who have created their own community and culture over the past few decades. If it’s dance, techno and electro sounds you’re after, XOYO attracts the biggest DJ names from around the world. It’s situated in a large basement like area in Shoreditch, and it’s most probably the best venue in London for mind-blowingly loud parties that last until sunrise.
Visiting address: 32-37 Cowper Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 4AP
Ronnie Scott’s is a legendary London jazz club that was established back in 1959. It’s situated in the heart of Soho and is the ideal place to spend a calm evening listening to the soothing, sweet and sometimes melancholic sounds of jazz. In the early days of this jazz club many world class musicians have played here. Sarah Vaughn, Miles Davis and more recent ones like Kurt Elling, Wynton Marsalis.
Visiting address: 47 Frith St, London, W1D 4HT