Live Music in London
London’s live music scene comes brimming with characterful pubs, swinging jazz joints and exotic basement clubs in their dozens. Leave your typical clubbing blueprint at home this weekend and let a live band soundtrack your night out; there’s plenty of music pubs and gig venues in London well worth checking out. Read on for our hand-picked guide to the best live music venues in London.
The raw talent discovered by Amy Winehouse has made his way to the stage at The Roof Gardens as part of their LIVE! sessions this winter. Liam Bailey has spent years honing his acoustic-soul sound and now after the release of his debut album in 2014, Definitely Now, he will be performing some brand new material at this live music event in London.
Amy Winehouse fan? You simply can’t miss this one. Putting on a second night due to the incredible popular demand, the latest tribute to this musical icon takes place at XOYO in Shoreditch on Wednesday 17th. Expect an evening of classic songs from the Winehouse back catalogue, performed with a full live band and an adoring crowd of her fans in tow.
Recently crowned the third best bar in the world, Nightjar’s dazzling speakeasy atmosphere owes much to its live music schedule. Settle in for a night of highly innovative, multi-sensory cocktails on the side of a line-up of top vintage performers. Expect a discerning playlist of swing, jazz and acoustic blues with a New Orleans tinge.
Without a shadow of doubt, going to see VIBE perform live will provide you with a truly unique experience. These six talented musicians are simultaneously unashamedly nostalgic and daringly current. They'll perform all of your favourite songs like you've never heard them before - imagine a fusion of Chaka Khan's 'Ain't Nobody' with Drizzy's 'Hotline Bling'. The result? An awesome performance with a booming 'club' atmosphere.
Taking you back to a time of smokey Jazz bars, swinging soul singers and Charleston jives, the Piano Works in Farringdon offers its guests a night bursting full of splendid singing and dubious dancing. Based in a Victorian warehouse, this spacious spot will be filled with nostalgic patrons as the live band play some of the biggest jazz and swing songs from yesteryear. Grab a drink, sit back and relax as their talented musicians take you back in time with their soulful sonatas and tantalising timbres.
Granted, Oriole’s exquisite cocktails and sharing plates are well worth the visit alone, but it’s the live music programme that really completes the picture. Tying in with the bar’s global theme, enjoy a soothing roster of jazz, swing and blues tunes at one of London’s finest cocktail bars.
If you’ve found yourself with a particularly potent hangover to shake off, you’ll need to head round to this excellent Clapham gastropub. It’s one of the finest places to catch live vintage jazz music in London come Sunday lunchtime, when guests enjoy traditional roasts with all the trimmings supported by a live band playing those easy, chilled out tunes. Bliss.
Looking for a unique bar for live music in London? Then it's time to tread in Shoreditch. One of the most charming bars in town thanks to their vintage nod to 1930s New Orleans, tuck into a regular roster of live music with jazz and soul acts a-plenty. Heck, gather round the piano if you must.
Once described as a "bible-bopping, jaw-dropping, what the flip is going to happen next roller coaster of massive amazement", it’s fair to say this won’t be like karaoke nights you’ve been to before. Reverend Michael Alabama Jackson and Sister Mary-Lou of ‘The Church’ are in town to host this special Valentine’s karaoke service, where there’s to be duets, shots for the singers and a well-rounded evening of unholy, ridiculous fun.
The Blues Kitchen brings mouth-watering Texan BBQ, bourbon cocktails and live blues tunes to Brixton’s thriving late-night scene. A dark cavern of old fashioned interiors and deep south style, come at the weekends when live bands and DJs have the crowd dancing to vintage funk & soul until 2am.
The Bayou is a deep-south inspired diner in Camden that serves up hearty portions of Creole-inspired cuisine - think sticky bbq ribs, Maryland crab cakes and Mississippi steaks. But on top of that, The Bayou also hosts regular live music nights, with authentic country musicians plucking the strings all night long.
Boisdale of Bishopsgate is a popular haunt known for its outstanding food, classy oyster bar and its refined formal dining space. They host a sophisticated evening of dinner and live jazz music come the weekends, when guests can pick up two courses for as little as £20 while enjoying entertainment from Marta Capponi and Andrew McCormack.
Head high above London to the stunning Roof Gardens to watch intimate and underground live acts and magical gigs. Be entertained by some of the best new and established talent every Friday and Saturday in The Roof Gardens Live lounge.
The Cat and Mutton more than earns its stripes at all things pub-like; and the fact it regularly hosts some great jams is just another added plus. The enticing babble and buzz of chat and music wafts out from its prime position on Broadway Market; inviting folk in for a pint and a listen. Creating warm atmospheres night after night, this charming East End local is one of the best music pubs in London.
The Vic in Dalston is nothing short of an East London live music institution. It’s been the home of buoyant gig-goers for years on end, welcoming crowds from right around the capital for intimate yet raucous nights out. With a host of cracking drinks and a regularly rotating kitchen residencies, there’s no shortage of reasons to get yourself along before the music starts.
Guanabara brings the colours, magic and vibrancy of Brazil to the heart of London. Every day is like a carnival in its own right; with Samba bands, dancers and percussionists spreading that infectious Latin American charm before DJs drop popular music mixed in with Brazilian beats.
Welcoming a collection of the capital’s sweetest drag queens, the Cellar Door is the place to be for live music on a Monday Night in London. Tickets include a guaranteed seat and your first drink on the house, as a rota of top performers bring you the best in live music and alternative entertainment from a top West End cocktail bar.
Throw London’s wildest ceilidh band together with this vibrant Balham pub and you’ve got yourself a raucous evening out. Fiddle Paradiddle take the stage to serve up a foot-stomping, hand-clapping session of alternative tunes, and with expert callers on hand throughout, it doesn’t matter if you’ve never given it a try before.
A fusion of cocktail bar, kitchen and basement club on Soho’s Poland Street, Barrio’s atmosphere is something special. Live bands play an eclectic mix of tunes and there’s DJs too, as a fun-loving crowd sup tequila cocktails and whack out their best shapes until the early hours.
This sweet, traditional pub regularly hosts some very jazzy jazz indeed! Sunday swing sessions and a mix of jazz musicians bopity bop bop away to create electric atmospheres. If you fancy a craft beer, real ale or spot of food while you're jiggling around, that's no problem at all! What's more, glance out the window and you'll spy the twinkling riverside. Bloody lovely.
With regular lively appearances from the likes of The Wastemen, Keith Harkin and Nigel Thomas, The Candlemaker proves to be a wonderful and wacky rock and soul music venue. Priding itself on its community atmosphere, expect friendly and energetic evenings in a psychedelic setting. Inspired by a nearby candle factory, this place has some serious style.
The Winter series of the Roof Gardens incredible LIVE! sessions continues with the short-lived legend and Camden queen Miss Amy Winehouse. Having left her mark in the music industry with an undeniable sensational voice rooted in alternative jazz with those iconic lyrics, this night of live music in London will be captivating in remembering her talent.
The Piano Bar private members club in Soho is opening its doors to host an evening of smooth jazz music and signature hand crafted cocktails, all in a sultry 20s speakeasy setting. For just £10 you can be shmoozed for the night by live jazz performers plucked from the bestin Europe whilst supping on some sumptuous drinks.
Bird is Smithfield’s premier private hire venue, where private functions with live music are held in a stunning, 5-floored Georgian townhouse. The Birdcage cocktail bar is a particular favourite; it’s an ideal spot for birthday parties, engagement celebrations and the like, with room for live music entertainment and further optional extras.
Come Thursday nights, Eaton Square Cocktail Bar becomes a hive of live music activity with bands bringing the evenings entertainment to an opulent crowd. Sit back and relax in this plush lounge bar were you can tuck into divine Mediterranean style foods and sup on specially crafted cocktails courtesy of some of London's top mixologists.
Blues Kitchen boasts a live music programme that makes it the envy of Shoreditch. Talented live Rock & Roll bands and DJs take to the stage most evenings to showcase their skills long into the night (3am at weekends). The atmosphere is fantastic, the BBQ'd treats are delightful and the drinks flow all night.
Apples & Pears have carved out a stellar reputation for their acoustic sessions. This charming neighbourhood cocktail bar on Brick Lane welcomes a cracking array of local talent to the stage at their open mic nights, where guests head over to top up on Vietnamese street food, signature cocktails and a handful of intimate live tunes.
Effortlessly charming with its Parisian speakeasy feel, The Reading Room hosts secluded singalongs every Saturday. This is an intimate, candlelit hideaway churning out cocktails and a dedicated absinthe menu, and the soothing tunes usually get underway from 9-ish.
A grand casino in the centre of Leicester Square, the Hippodrome Casino is more than an oasis for gamblers and has a number of different features for guests of all kind. Boasting six bars (with 24 hour license), a 24-hour food service and regular live music nights, it provides the whole package right in the heart of the City.
Take a seat in the luxurious Salvatore's Bar in Mayfair and enjoy an afternoon tea alongside a background of live music. Choose from a wonderful selection of home made, unique savouries, sandwiches and pastries accompanied by your choice of Te’Freddo Teapot Cocktails.
Blues Kitchen is one of Camden's most popular live music bars. Inspired by the dive bars of the Deep South, live music performances at Blues Kitchen Camden consist of soul, jazz and rock and roll played by some world famous musicians, including Seasick Steve, Mystery Jets and Dirty Pretty Things.
The Miller is a hub of activity, nestled among the backstreets of Borough and London Bridge. Regularly playing host to improvised comedy troupes and live music acts from across the city, this London pub is one of the best venues for live music in London. Book yourself a table now.
Regular live music nights play host to jazz, blues and rockabilly acts to give you a healthy dose of fun time retro inspired entertainment. This bar in Clapham serves a great pickleback (a shot of pickle juice followed by a shot of bourbon... I know) and boasts a vintage diner-esque interior. This Clapham bar is especially busy at weekends, so book now.
This extravagant bar in Mayfair is a high end experience for those wanting a lavish night out in the West End. With its vintage Hollywood style decor, special Cristal Champagne Towers and cool live band, Baroque is the bar to visit when you want to treat yourself to good live music in beautiful surroundings. Make sure you check out the luxurious Baroque, book online here.
Head to 1920s speakeasy-style supperclub Proud Cabaret City to witness one of the best London burlesque shows set to a backdrop of stunning live jazz music and a vintage-inspired three course meal. DJs then take over centre stage as the night heats up and the party lingers on into the early hours. Get your tickets now for this great London live music den.
Echoing atmospheric, Under The Bridge nestled beneath Stamford Bridge Football Stadium in Fulham is a hip-as hidey-hole accommodating all manner of entertainment. Stylish with a sick state-of-the-art sound system and lighting to match, this nightclub knows how to host live music. Showcasing a centre stage and a super-wide space to mosh, head-bop, fist-pump and swing, Under The Bridge is the perfect place to fill your ears with mega music melodies.
Rise46 has a whole host of live music throughout the week. Whether it's acoustic sets, live Jazz, up and comers, singer songwriters, or well known artist; you will be guaranteed a musical treat at Rise46. All alongside some fantastic cocktails, in a cool and relaxed setting - Rise46 really is the Clapham bar to be, for live music. Don't miss out on any events, check what's on offer and book online by clicking here.
Shaker and Company is one London's finest cocktail bars but also hosts acoustic sessions on Wednesdays and on Thursday, live blues sessions. Shaker and Company in Euston has New Orleans soul decor and feel, imagine listening to blues and drinking the mouthwatering cocktails in the lovely soulful environment. Perfect for having a calm live music night out in London with a couple of friends or impressing a date. Book online.
This notorious Camden pub crawl stops off at Blues Kitchen and Barfly - two of the city's heavyweight live music venues - where guests are able to access some great exclusive drinks deals. Join the Crawlers on a Friday and you'll also stop at KOKO, another of London's truly leading venues for catching some live music.
Electric Social in Brixton, newer than most of the other live music bars in London, has a club and live music venue upstairs. It has done well in establishing itself, attracting cool kids from all around London for a fun night out and live music acts. On Wednesdays, the microphone is open for young talents. Otherwise expect indie rock at this live music bar in London. Book online.