Live Music In London: Finding The Best Bars To Visit

Posted by admin on 2018-10-23

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London’s live music scene mirrors the diverse communities found within the city, providing live entertainment options for any taste or preference. From stunning venues that attract well-known performers from across the globe to local pubs and hole-in-the-wall clubs, music enthusiasts will find no shortage of options. Alternative rock, funky pop, and even smooth jazz – you can find it all in London!

A trip to London wouldn’t be complete without exploring the live music scene, and we’ve got the resources to help. Enjoy our guide to the best live music in London and add a few of these swingin’ spots to your travel itinerary.

Jazz Cafe

Music: Jazz

5 Parkway, Camden Town, London NW1 7PG, UK | +44 20 74856834

Cool cats from all over the city flock to the Jazz Cafe to take in the hottest live music in town. This live performance venue offers an expansive space for gigs that can accommodate over 400 patrons at a time, in addition to a popular restaurant on the first floor. The club has hosted legends like Don Cherry, Jimmy Smith, Eddie Harris, and Amy Winehouse over its 25+ years in business, making it a bucket list item for many jazz enthusiasts. Show prices vary and can be purchased in advance through Ticketmaster or Ticket Web.

Green Note

Music: Roots, world, acoustic

106 Parkway, Camden Town, London NW1 7AN, UK | +44 20 7485 9899

Touted as “London’s favorite music venue”, Green Note is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. The laid-back, intimate venue is a place for gathering and celebrating all walks of music. With 15 years of experience, the Green Note has become the place in London for roots, world, and acoustic music, attracting musicians from all walks of life. Green Note offers a fully stocked bar and an array of vegetarian snacks and tapas. Given the popularity of the venue and the limited space, planning your trip in advance is recommended as many events sell out.


Boisdale of Canary Wharf

Music: Jazz, Blues, Soul

15 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 4QT, UK | +44 20 7715 5818

Travelers seeking a high-class night out on the town will love the lavish offerings and atmosphere at Boisdale of Canary Wharf. Situated along on the Canary Wharf along the famous River Thames, Boisdale offers modern, British fare in several stunning rooms, including a whiskey bar, an oyster bar and grill, and a cigar library. Pick your poison — or hop from one experience to another before settling in for a night of live entertainment. The main restaurant area features a stunning live entertainment stage and hosts performers seven days a week. The music typically includes a range of blues, jazz, and soul, though other styles are covered for special occasions. Advance reservations are available directly through the restaurant.


Venn Street Records

Music: Rock, Alternative, Acoustic, Open-Mic

78 Venn Street, London SW4 0BD, UK | +44 20 7738 8645

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Live music in London isn’t all glitz and glamour. Visitors seeking an eclectic, funky vibe will feel right at home at Venn Street Records. The cool and cozy venue showcases vintage music memorabilia like posters, album covers, records, and more. A local gem, the venue focuses on local performers with shows ranging from local bands, acoustic acts and even open mic nights. Venn Street also offers unique food and drink selections to match their unique concept. Check out this funky spot for a memorable music experience! (PS – travelers on a budget can take advantage of the #CheapDate special during the week — two specialty drinks and two personal pizzas for only £19.)

Luna Lounge

Music: Jazz, Blues, Rock, Singer-Songwriter, Open Mic Night

7 Church Lane, London E11 1HG, UK | +44 7904 525639

Touted as London’s ‘official home of live music’, Luna Lounge certainly delivers on that promise. Curious guests looking for a casual, come-as-you-are venue that caters to a wide array of genres will feel right at home in the popular lounge. Live music is offered seven nights a week and performances include everything from singer-songwriter expos and open mic nights to jazz performances, blues jam sessions, and so much more. The best part? Music is provided free of charge! A trip to the Luna Lounge is a great way to enjoy a few drinks and support the growing London music community.

The Piano Works

Music: Audience Request

113-117 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3BX, UK | +44 20 7278 1966

A hidden gem in the heart of London, The Piano Works is the perfect spot for a lively night of music and fun. Located in the basement of a Victorian warehouse, the unique venue matches the unique concept behind this restaurant, bar, live music combination. A non-stop music venue, in-house musicians take center stage each night and take real-time music requests from the audience. The eclectic bar menu serves up succulent snacks and creative cocktails to keep the party going all night long. A trip to The Piano Works is truly a one of a kind experience! And, the music spot offers a lively brunch for a little ‘Sunday Funday’ action.

Live At Zedel

Music: Cabaret and Jazz

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WHAT A NIGHT. A massive thank you to everyone who came down to @liveatzedel and made last night special. I was blown away by the reception. It felt great to do my own show in London and to include so much of my own material in particular to launch the EP. I’ll share some more clips with over the coming days but I’m feeling a little worse for wear today ?. Feeling more determined to share more of my music with the world. The official video of the night will be out soon, gonna make a start on another EP to be released early 2019 and we’re going to do another show in December so stay tuned . . . #independentartists #unsignedartists #stevie #stevieb #steviebor #singer? #singersongwriters #singerlife #singerlifestyle #singerman #singerguitarist #musicianslife #entertainerlife #theentertainer #newmusic #newep #bluesy #rocknrollmusic #countrymusic #mysongs #londongigs #londongig #crazycoqs #liveatzedel #lovelivemusic #upandcomingartist #milliondollarquartet #thanksforcoming @thewillybordrums @harryhaywardguitar @suoinegue

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A unique combination of art, theatre, music, and comedy — Live at Zedel is unlike any other live performance in London! This art deco gem offers more than 100 live performances each year, including residencies and special programs. Popular performances include ‘Sinatra: Raw’, ‘Black Cat Cabaret’, and the ‘Harold Sanditen’s Open Mic Party’ — to name a few. Each performance features colorful costumes and interactive elements to get the audience involved. The venue also offers a variety of snacks and tasty beverages for purchase. Live At Zedel is truly an unforgettable experience!

The Water Rats

Music: Various, Local

328 Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross, London WC1X 8BZ, UK | +44 20 7833 3312

Travelers looking for a hole-in-the-wall spot for live, local music will love the homey feel of The Water Rats. A historic local venue, the bar is well-known for hosting up-and-coming performers that eventually moved on to become big hits, like Bob Dylan and Oasis. Other notable performers include Katy Perry, The Courteneers, and Ra Ra Riot. Come hungry, as Water Rats offers a full food menu chock full of comfort favorites and an eclectic bar list with various cocktails, beer, and wine.


Under The Bridge

Music: Various

Fulham Road, Fulham, London SW6 1HS, UK | +44 20 7386 3327

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Jazz night out. #underthebridgelondon

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Despite the name, this venue is not located under a bridge, but rather under the Stamford Bridge Football Stadium. Designed with music in mind, the stunning event space spared no expense with state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems and impeccable attention to detail throughout. The venue accommodates 550 guests with limited seating room, so be prepared to claim a cocktail table or dance the night away; booths with bottle service can be booked in advance. Performances aren’t limited to one music genre but instead vary greatly per night. Visitors can expect to find everything from well-known, national artists for sold-out shows to comedy showcases, local rock and jam bands, and more.  


The Blues Kitchen

Music: Blues

111-113 Camden High Street, London NW1 7JN, UK | +44 20  7387 5277

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Perfect for a weekend adventure, The Blues Kitchen is THE place to go in London for authentic live blues. The intimate, rustic space creates a homey atmosphere for a night of rockin’ soul tunes. Come early for dinner and enjoy a taste of home with London’s take on southern/Cajun cuisine. Or, come late for drinks and music. The bar boasts London’s largest whiskey collection, perfect for ‘brown water’ enthusiasts, though other spirits, beer, and wine are also readily available. Live music is offered on weekends at all three local locations, and reservations and the full performance schedule are available through the website.


Old Street Records

Music: Variety

350-354 Old Street, London EC1V 9NQ, UK | +44 20 3006 5911

Do you like creative cocktails, handmade pizza, and live music? If so, Old Street Records is the place for you! The cozy interior sports a variety of high-top tables, comfy booths, and bar seats, making Old Street a great spot for groups of any size. The popular bar features a variety of up-and-coming local acts and well-established performers that cover the full spectrum of genres. Old Street Records is the perfect spot for casual music fans looking for a no-frills, low effort night of live music and fun.


The Candlelight Club

Music:1920’s inspired

Secret pop-up locations

Throw on your best outfit and head out for the hottest speakeasy in town! The Candlelight Club is a unique concept that embodies prohibition-era thrills with secret parties at different locations around town. Each venue is a secret (you can contact the club for location information) and is dimly lit via candlelight to maintain secrecy. Everyone is dressed to the nines as live 1920’s inspired music plays, drinks are flowing, and good times are had by all. The Candlelight Club celebrates the ‘Roaring 20’s’ in true fashion and you won’t want to miss out on the fun!

There you have it – the best spots for live music in London! Looking for more things to do? Check out our blog for more London travel inspiration.

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