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Live Music

The Best Music Venues In London

Photograph of the blog post author, Annika Hope

Annika Hope


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Hello avid music fans! Isn’t the best thing to go and see live music and haven’t you always wondered where to go in this crazy city? I wanted to include both medium sized live music venues and those which are more on the independent side, as there are so many to mention, I didn’t want you to lose out on the best of the best. So in terms of London music venues, there will be a variety, but they all share the same value, to bring live music to people in London, whether that be jazz at Ronnie Scott’s or dance/electronic/hip-hop/rap at the Roundhouse. Whatever your music vibe, you will be able to find it and hopefully our list will showcase the best live music venues in London for you to try out – or go to again if you know about these already. 

Roundhouse Camden

This iconic London music venue used to be a former railway engine repair shed which was turned into a huge music venue. It makes it stand out in terms of architecture but also it is a pretty unique venue and it is famous for being one of the electronic music venues in London. 

It is steeped in history as acts such as Jimmy Henrdrix, Pink Floyd and The Doors have performed there and so bands like Process, The Amazons, Gregory Alan Isakov are all following in their footsteps. 

Ain’t Nothin But The Blues Bar

An independent small music venue based in Soho, may just be the best blues club in London. Once again, you can judge for yourselves but with its intimate setting and laid back style – very different from the Roundhouse I hasten to add. There is live music every night and I would go so far to say that it is one of the best small music venues in London town. The vibe is so much fun and you won’t be disappointed whoever is playing on the night you turn up. The venue is on Kingly street, so there are plenty of fun bars to head onto afterwards. 

Ronnie Scotts 

Ok now if you want a more fancy type of jazz and blues night, then this is the place to go. It is a renowned jazz music venue and it is based in Soho. They have been running since 1959 and welcomed some of the most legendary names on the jazz scene since then including; Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Yusef Lateef, Dizzie Gillespie, Buddy Rich, Count Basie, Ben Webster, Chet Baker, Stan Getz, Freddie Hubbard, Ella Fitzgerald and many more! It is open 7 days a week and there are two rooms where you can listen to jazz all night. One being the Main Jazz club, which is downstairs and you have to book tickets to and the other is called Ronnie’s Bar Upstairs where they do Sunday Live Music Sessions and weekly jazz nights at like Ruby Sings, featuring entirely new music by unsigned musicians and bands. They do this every Tuesday, so go and see for yourselves. 

The Lexington 

If you are searching for another one of the best indie music venues in London, then The Lexington might be for you. In a space above a pub, The Lexington showcases indie artists such as Ezra Furman, Billy Bragg, The Thermals, The Pastels. And if you are there on a Monday night, you can even do the pub quiz before you head on upstairs for some live music! I went to see Charlotte Cornfield there this week and it has a great vibe, so I would suggest you check it out for yourselves. 

Hawley Arms Camden

This music venue was a favorite haunt for the late Amy Winehouse and she performed there for a secret charity gig called ‘Apocalypstick’. The gig was in aid of ‘Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Charity’. Even now, there are plenty of gigs available at the pub and if you are looking for small music venues in London, this is the place for you. It has so much history and in 2019 there was a moment when they thought they would have to close their doors, and they did not want to take the risk of it being sold to developers. But thanks to the generosity of the locals they were saved from this dire situation and are now back up and running. 

The Blues Kitchen 

Based in Brixton, Shoreditch and Camden, these venues hit the nail on the head when it comes to blues and soul. If you want to hear classic funk, soul & rock n roll and listen to London’s finest musicians play, then head on to either of the venues around the city. This Friday in the Brixton venue, the first set of the night will be dedicated to musical royalty and Brixton local, David Bowie, with a selection of London’s finest musicians tearing through a set of his hits including “Changes”, “Lets Dance”, “Starman” & ” Heros”. This is one cool music venue in London, and you don’t want to miss it!


Based in Camden, another medium sized music venue, which has housed the likes of Amy Winehouse, Madonna, Coldplay, Grace Jones, Prince, Lady Gaga, Pete Doherty, Jorja Smith, Honey Dijon, The Rolling Stones, Prince and many more. Tonight KOKO plays host to Diplo, Juls, Skinny Macho and Omar-S, Ash Lauryn, Jasper James on Saturday night – are you going? It is a diverse and cool music venue in London and one that is a favorite amongst Camden locals. 


This distinctive venue in Surrey Quays has so much history behind it and the owners of the venue have preserved the original features making it one of the biggest and coolest music venues in south london. Massive club nights are a hit here and upcoming events include; Solardo Presents Higher – Ben Hemsley, Cassy, Melanie Ribbe and Paco Osuna and also The Hxdra: Efg London Jazz Festival 30th Birthday – Bonobo, Danilo Plessow, Mafalda, Joe Armon-Jones & Maxwell Owin, Tenderlonious & Lorenzo Morresi and


Electric Ballroom Camden

This venue in north london has been hosting club nights and live rock bands for many years and has been around since 1938. I’m sure the type of music gigs have changed slightly since then. 

Acts such as Jim Reeves, Sid Vicious, Madness, The Clash, Richard Ashcroft, Snow Patrol, The Killers, Stereophonics, U2, Phil Lynott, The Boomtown Rats, Joy Division, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Public Enemy, Blur, Supergrass, Garbage and The Smiths have all performed at the venue.

In recent years bands such as The Vaccines,  Future Islands, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Razorlight, Dinosaur Jr, Parquet Courts, Les Savy Fav, Interpol, Ocean Color Scene, Cage the Elephant, The Strypes, Muse, Of Monsters and Men, Foals, Sir Paul McCartney, Alt-J, Megadeth, Kaiser Chiefs, Nero, Prince, Ed Sheeran and many more have graced the stage with their presence. 

Electric Brixton 

The venue in Brixton is a leading nightclub venue hosting dance DJ sets & an eclectic live music programme. The Clash and the Smiths played at the venue when it was known as Brixton Ace for all you history buffs out there and it certainly one of the larger live music venues around London town. Tickets are already on sale now for Nation of Language in November 2022, Ken Crason in February 2023, Warmduscher in November, so what are you waiting for? 

Union Chapel

I have been to this famous London music venue quite a fair bit, and even performed here as part of the London Contemporary Voices choir. Even though this is not technically music, this is one of the venues that Letters Live use for their annual ‘celebration of the enduring power of literary correspondence’. Imogen Heap has performed here, and artists from Bjork, Celeste to Elton John as well. It is such a special location and produces many unique events which is maybe that is why Londoners are very fond of it.

Village Underground

An example of east london music venues, you will find it offers concerts, club nights, exhibitions, theatre and more. A renovated Victorian coalstore, acts like Hollie Cook, Ojerime, P-Rallell are all waiting to play at this intimate venue. As they say on their website, ‘Village Underground is a space for creativity & culture in the heart of East London’, and I am willing to agree. 

The Dome 

Based in Tufnell Park, The Dome has opened its doors to the public for a good stretch of time.  ‘Housed in a Victorian building complex (erected in 1884) and originally intended for use as a community centre and swimming baths. Having survived everything from world wars and infernos to hardcore punk shows, The Dome has steadily earned a reputation as one of the most vibrant and diverse music venues in London’. Acts who have performed here include; Lily Allen, Florence & The Machine, Khalid, The 1975, The Wonder Years, Giggs, Mitski, Jamie Lenman, and Gorgoroth. You could say it is a very varied venue. 

Closing Thoughts

So what do you think of or list of music venues in London? Do you agree and are there so many that we didn’t get to mention? I think I managed to include quite a few of the best music venues, but of course I didn’t get round to suggesting the biggest music venues in London such as the Royal Festival Hall or the Royal Festival Hall, maybe these need to be saved for another article. But it can be said that when it comes to the best small live music venues in London, we do pretty well.


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