On any night of the week you can see an astonishing range of live music, originating from the four corners of the globe.
You’ll find everything from the world’s biggest bands to great new unsigned talent. There are just endless places to satisfy your musical desires so we couldn’t possibly list them all, but here are few of the main contenders:
The 100 Club on Oxford Street has a glorious musical history, having been one of London’s premier venues since the 1940s. It reportedly staged the first ever punk gig as well as classic 60s bands like the Stones and the Kinks, and it remains at the forefront of London’s music scene. www.the100club.co.uk
The 606 Club has hosted some of the biggest and best Jazz, Blues and Soul performances in its 25 year history. It’s an intimate underground venue with a great ambience and they also serve good food til late. www.606club.co.uk
Brixton Academy has a surprisingly intimate feel for a large venue. Perhaps that’s because of its sloping floor which allows for good views wherever you are. It attracts really big names as well as less mainstream talent – definitely one of London’s top venues.
Ronnie Scott’s is a world famous Jazz venue with live music seven nights a week. It’s got a cool and classy atmosphere with black and white photos of the jazz greats that have played there, adorning the walls.
The Barfly is a central part of Camden’s pulsing live music scene. Big acts like Coldplay and Franz Ferdinand have played here, but they also have a commitment to promoting new music and encourage bands to send their demos in. The weekend club nights are something of a legend too, teaming DJs with live music.
The Bull & Gate in Kentish Town is a smallish pub/live music venue showcasing great bands every night of the week. Typically there’ll be 3 bands playing every night and tickets are inexpensive. Established names do play here, but the best reason to come here is to check out the raw new talent coming out of the capital.
The Dublin Castle in Camden is a small pub venue, which has live music most nights of the week. It’s a great place for checking out hot unsigned talent, plus the bar has a late licence so the party can continue after the bands have finished!
O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire is a beautiful Victorian listed building with two tiered balconies. It’s a great medium-sized venue and practically everyone has played here at one stage or another!
The Jazz Cafe is a laid-back bar and restaurant venue which hosts top-quality live acts every night. You can catch the leading lights in Hip-Hop, Soul, Funk and Jazz of course.
The Garage in Islington often plays host to well-known Rock and Indie bands from the US, as well as popular British bands. The smaller Upstairs at the Garage is great for lesser known up-and-coming bands at the cutting edge of London’s music circuit.
Wembley Arena is one of the world’s most famous music venues and has a capacity of over 11,000. It’s a huge venue which in its history has hosted all the major music acts from The Beatles to Coldplay.
The Halfmoon in Putney, West London is a great place to catch rising new original bands, and also hosts bigger stars occasionally. It holds regular acoustic singer/songwriter nights which showcase new performers.
HMV Forum in North London’s Kentish Town used to be an art deco cinema, now its an essential mid-sized rock venue that hosts top Rock acts every week. Great views and acoustics.
The O2 Arena truly creates a new benchmark in what both fan and performer can and should expect from a rock or pop concert in the UK. You will only see the world’s hottest and most sought after acts on this stage; Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake, Scissor Sisters, Prince, The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Take That… and what a way to enjoy them. www.theo2.co.uk
Parker McMillan Live performance is the most important aspect of this City based bar and venue. You’ll find an eclectic line-up of performers with some being dedicated to showcasing young musicians. To get booked: Fill out the online application form, providing some additional information about your band.
Plan B This venue can accommodate up to 500 people over its 2 floors and boasts a late license – so it is no wonder it is becoming an increasingly popular place to play for bands and DJs alike.
Punk At this stylish Soho venue, expect cabaret, live music, art exhibitions and lots of anarchy. Anything goes here…indie, soul, new rave, house, electro, pop, disco…
Project Orange An indie/rock bar based in Clapham Junction with live bands playing downstairs once a month.
Proud Galleries At Proud is a truly unique venue situated in the heart of Camden. This is the new fashionable location for parties, book launches, record launches, and fashion shows accompanied by a superb back drop of contemporary photography, cutting edge fittings and a state of the art sound system.
Purple Turtle This venue brings together the best of Londons nocturnal talent. A variety of nights ensure that, no matter who you are, the turtle has something to offer you!
Rhythm Factory With a music policy for everyone, the laid back atmosphere of the Rhythm Factory means everyone can relax and step back from the hustle of inner city life. The music moves from funky, jazz, soul, and gentle hip hop. To get booked: Simply sent them a CD or DVD of your band! They have band nights most weekdays, so what are you waiting for!?
The Roundhouse is a north London landmark venue presenting an international programme of high quality events for diverse audiences.
Snooty Fox Live music five days a week!