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 are 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.
Last updated on 22nd March 2018
With the help of full 16-piece orchestras, live choirs and epic live performers, the Reimagine collective retell the stories of some of music's biggest and most-loved names including Daft Punk and Dr Dre!
Amy Winehouse, D’Angelo, Bobby Womack; they’re all superstars that have played at Camden’s iconic Jazz Cafe. Recently taken over by London’s Columbo Group, the Cafe hosts live shows throughout the week with hip hop and soul club nights kicking off at the weekends. Come for live performers, food and drinks in one of Camden Town’s best loved musical joints.
Experience a night of sensational music as the London Musical Arts Ensemble, directed by the talented John Landor, bring the outstanding works of Vivaldi and Handel to life in a romantic and spectacular setting.
One of the best alternative nights out in Clapham, Venn Street Records is a vinyl-clad, rock ‘n’ roll drinkers den covered with NME posters and other iconic music memorabilia. The venue hosts regular live music and DJ nights, with happy hour running from 5 to 8pm every day and #CheapDate offering 2 drinks and 2 pizzas for £15 between Sunday and Wednesday evenings.
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.
This March and April, fans of 90s hip hop and RnB are in for a real treat, thanks to the team behind the legendary Supa Dupa Fly events. Taking over some of London's biggest clubs, the venue's DJs will be spinning all your favourite tracks long into the early hours. Having drawn in artists like Disclosure and Professor Green, the upcoming events will see live music performances from DJ Pied Piper, CJ Beatz and Emily Rawson.
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.
The Hackney hideout named after its very own house band, Kansas Smitty's will take you back to the hazy jazz age of America's Deep South.It's an intimate place to see live music in London where killer juleps are the verse of the bar and the soundtrack is of the live jazz and blues persuasion. Enjoy their weekly concert every Wednesday.
Old Street Records has positioned itself right at the forefront of Shoreditch’s live music scene thanks to its cutting-edge mix of EP launches, new bands and established acts. Take in a constantly top-drawer mix of live acts or make for the basement, where there’s more of an intimate vibe thanks to the jazz evenings and low-key DJ sessions.
The group behind Night Tales have teamed up with Morty and Bob's toastie specialist to create a fun-loving bar in Hackney. The venue serves as a laid back cafe by day, but completely transforms itself after dark, when the DJs, live music and master mixologists behind the bar dial things up a bit.
The Piano Works, located in the heart of Farringdon, is an all singing all dancing house of song and London’s only non-stop live music venue. This 400 capacity Victorian listed basement will have you singing your favourite tunes from the top of your lungs, as all the songs played by the musicians are requested by you, the audience. Eat, drink, sing and dance the night away in a place like no other.
Sink on Paul Street is a lively party venue that prides itself on treating every moment as if it's a Friday night. With a fully stocked bar, ping pong tables, games of beer pong and even great live music from some of London's best up-and-coming artist, the venue has easily established itself as a fun-loving spot to watch live music in London.
As one of the few remaining ballrooms with its original decor still intact, it's only fitting that London's biggest Jive party takes place at the Rivoli Ballroom. Rolling back the clock and filling the historic London venue with a lively buzz, the evening will start with a fun jive lesson, before the reins are handed over to one of the great swing bands performing on the night.
The eclectic variety of live music sets at Stane Street Syndicate suits a night out for any music enthusiast. The laid-back atmosphere and contemporary decor encourages listeners to let loose and have fun.
If you’ve ever wanted to swing dance, head to Cahoots, the 40s experts, who will not only teach you all the moves, they’ll throw their doors open for a jolly good knees-up afterwards with their very own live swing band.
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 in London. Showcasing a centre stage and a super-wide space to mosh, head-bop, fist-pump and swing you'll get your musical fix here alright.
Join Proud East for their massive daytime party in London, where you can feast on pizzas and burgers, games like pool, beer pong and PS4, drinks and live music as well as top DJs.
Benoit Viellefon Hot Club take to the Ronnie Scotts stage for one of the most anticipated live music events in London. The band will be playing a selection of their most recent album released in August.
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.
Hot Since 91 are delivering a night of acoustic music dedicated to 90s hip hop and RnB. This time, Lauryn Hill is put under the spotlight, with four singers and 1 guitarists bringing her songs to life with a unique spin.
Hailed as one of East London's clubbing Mecca's, XOYO is a sought after destination for live gigs in London. Bringing in talent from not only across the UK but also internationally, you'll find legendary DJs taking you through to the early hours here as well as live sets from the like of Crazy P, Katy B, Mike Skinner and Ms Dynamite.
Take a seat in the luxurious Salvatore's Bar in Mayfair and enjoy an afternoon tea alongside a background of London's best live music. Choose from a wonderful selection of home made, unique savouries, sandwiches and pastries accompanied by your choice of Te’Freddo Teapot Cocktails whilst bunnies hop to it with table service and ambient music is played on the piano.
Come Thursday nights, Eaton Square Cocktail Bar becomes a hive of live music events in London with bands bringing the evenings entertainment to an opulent crowd. Sit back and relax in this plush lounge bar where you can tuck into divine Mediterranean style foods and drink specially crafted cocktails courtesy of some of London's top mixologists.
The Blues Kitchen brings mouth-watering Texan BBQ, bourbon cocktails and brass band tunes to Brixton’s thriving late-night scene. A dark cavern of old fashioned interiors and deep south style, this London blues music venue goes off at the weekends when live bands and DJs have the crowd dancing to vintage funk & soul, tooting horns and trumpets until 2am.
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 a warm atmosphere night after night, this charming East End local is one of the best music pubs in London.
London's Sindercombe Social treats visitors to weekly live music four nights a week from their stage. Local headliners will have you getting out of your seat to dance to enjoy the most this venue has to offer.
From incredible lasers and set design to some of the best DJs and live bands, this all-day festival at Kachette in Shoreditch promises to be absolutely massive.
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 in London. 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.
Having made a reputation for itself by delivering amazing American-themed dishes and stunning whisky-based cocktails, the team at Blues Kitchen in Shoreditch now turn to focus on their live music. Across April and May, the venue will be showcasing live music performances from the likes of Ephemerals, The Blues Brothers and Soul Exchange.
Bringing their brand of comedy Hip Hop to the Old Queen's Head stage, Abandonman lie somewhere between Eminem and Flight of the Concords. Hosted by Laugh Out London, this night of hilarious tunes is one of the best live music events in London this March.
Apples & Pears have carved out a stellar reputation for their acoustic sessions in London. 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 wood fired pizzas, signature cocktails and a handful of intimate live tunes.
A 60s style lounge inspired by the vintage decadence of Parisian drinking dens, Ruby's Bar & Lounge is a darling live music venue in London where you enjoy an intimate experience at a table for two like the good old days. Having taken over the space next door, Ruby's has extended her charm to bring you a full packed entertainment roster all week long.
Famous venue Quaglino's is getting the party started early on Easter weekend with their famous brunch. Available on Good Friday, the brunch includes live music, bottomless bubbles and multiple courses of their renowned seafood.
Forget those crowded bars and rowdy clubs, The Basement Shoreditch is a new live music bar in East London that showcases jazz performances and served expertly-crafted cocktails. Armed with an impressive arsenal of fruit, liqueurs and fiery spirits, the bartenders are capable of making every drink under the sun and promise to cater for every mood or taste you might have.
Studio 88 is found in the heart of London and offers an amazing live music experience, with two piano vocalists and an accompanying band playing the songs that you choose from specially designed cocktail napkins.
Angel's playground for raucous nights out and live music in London, The Old Queen's Head is something of an institution with the city's revellers. Far from your usual stylish haven, this place is rough around the edges and overflowing with edgy attitude. The dance floor gets sweaty, the music loud and it's a place for a cool gig or two.
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 edge from this bar with live music in London.
Hoxton Square has long been a huge hit with the Shoreditch crowd, and there’s a true gem of a live music venue right at the heart of it. Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen serves food and drinks to its outdoor terrace, but really it’s best known for live music - with a regular line up of the best emerging bands on the scene right now. Don’t believe us? Florence + the Machine, Foals and Mumford & Sons have all graced the stage here before...
For the most fun in town, head over to Blues Kitchen Brixton this Easter Sunday as Old Dirty Brasstards are taking over the joint for big band versions of your favourite hits.
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.
Daniel Koek and Samantha Womack are heading to The Temple for an exclusive tell-all about their time on the award-winning production of South Pacific, as well as playing exclusive performances and enjoying a Champagne reception.
Every Saturday night, this gem of a Wimbledon gastropub welcomes a different live music act to the stage. Entry is free, the bar is stocked full of everything from well-kept ales to the finest spirits and some of the most sought after wines from across the globe, while revellers ease themselves into the weekend against a backdrop of classic hits and today’s chart-toppers.
Intertwining jazz improvisation and spoken word, the Jazz Verse Jukebox brings a thrilling and diverse ride of art from some of the best names on the scene, and hosted by broadcaster and vocalist Jumoke Fashola.
From swing bands, folk troupes and high octane blues groups, Blues Kitchen Camden has a rollicking line-up of live music. Get there early and feast on their meaty Southern plates and bourbon-filled cocktails before dancing until the early hours.
Looking for a unique bar for live music in London? Then it's time to step foot in Bethnal Green and discover this hidden gem. 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 and sling back some heavy liquors too.
One of the best live music events coming up in London, head to Library London for a night of blues and country from the best rising artists in the business.
Ray's Bar in East London celebrates its love of jazz every Wednesday with a night of stunning live music, courtesy of famous saxophonist Rachael Cohen. Having played in some of London's biggest venues and performed alongside the best jazz players in town, Miss Cohen will be performing two sets every Wednesday and will unquestionably leave you smiling thanks to it's carefree, laid-back vibes.
Live music in London means plenty of booming gig venues, hardy concerts and big name acts, but what if you fancy some casual sounds on a night out in the city? Boasting their own music roster, The Half Moon in Putney is prime for indie acts and humble sounds all week long.
The legendary Jazz Cafe is putting on a soul-fest to see your weekends out. Head to the Camden venue as Atlantic Soul Orchestra put on a show-stopping concert complete with all the big hits. Throw in a side of cocktails and Southern-style food and you've got a delicious night.
One of the best upcoming live music events in London, this affecting and atmospheric evening of acoustic acts at Peckham's Asylum will be awe-inspiring to say the least.
This sweet, traditional pub regularly hosts some very jazzy jazz London nights indeed! Sunday swing sessions and a mix of jazz musicians bopity bop bop away to create an electric atmosphere. If you fancy a craft beer, real ale or spot of food while you're jiggling around, try their delicious menu of pub grub.
For live jazz music in London and to feel like you've stepped back into the bygone days of the 1920s, discover London's most elusive party collective, The Candlelight Club. Prohibition is back, bootleggin is rife, flappers are wild and the parties go long and loud with these guys so don't mess about.
If there's one South London spot that always knows how to have a good time, it's Blues Kitchen Brixton. Join them any night of the week for live music from local blues bands, swing singers and DJs, guaranteed to keep you dancing the night away.
The Sky Garden are inviting you 35 floors into the sky for cocktails and music. Enjoy the beautiful view alongside live music and tunes from their DJs, as well as their amazing range of mixed drinks.
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.
Inspired by the Parisian jazz clubs of old, the Toulouse Lautrec Jazz Club in South London is quickly rising up London's live music ladder. Hosting a handful of jazz and funk & soul bands throughout the months of April and March, the venue hopes to recreate the same electric energy that flowed through the vintage live music spots of the 1920s. Grab a drink, enjoy some delicious food and watch as the stage comes to life at this live music venue in London.
What’s Oktoberfest with Oompah bands? Celebrate six weeks of the Bavarian celebration with Oompah bands, steins and lots of competitions to win fun prizes.
If you’ve found yourself with a particularly potent hangover to shake off, you’ll need to head round to this excellent Battersea 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.
This Islington pub is home to the Lost and Found weekly supplying live music to visitors as they dance the night away or enjoy the pub grub. DJ sets and local bands shine in this pub tucked away in Northern London.
Iconic venue Quaglino's are bringing the music of Prince to life with renowned performer Brendan Reilly. Join the singer as he croons all of Prince's greatest hits, all while you enjoy a three-course meal and bubbles.
If you like your live music full of swing and fun and your music venues intimate, then the Lucky Pig is the spot for you. Located in Fitzrovia, this sexy spots hosts regular music nights; grab a cocktail and some bar snacks and settle in for a raucous evening.
The Prince of Wales are welcoming you in for an autumn series of live music, from up-and-coming acts to internet celebrities – all at affordable prices.
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.
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 so head here for a stomping night out with live music in London.
If you like your rock'n'roll with a side of serious style, then the Karma Sanctum Hotel in Soho is just the ticket. With regular gigs and fabulous bar, it's one of the best live music venues in London.
For a stunning night of live music in London you can't go wrong with A Night Of. Bringing together great musicians to pay tribute to some of history's most renowned artists, there's opportunities to catch one of the events at venues across London.
With a live piano player and plenty of cocktails, Saturday Grooves at L'Etranger Piano Lounge is a cracking spot to party on the weekend. The Kensington restaurant serves up a fancy French fare, an excellent cocktail menu and plenty of fun vibes.
Bird of Smithfield is a premier private hire venue in London, 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.
As one of the most popular operas during the 1800s, Il Matrimonio Segreto has been delighting audiences for decades. Head to a beautiful London location to hear a new take on this old classic as it is brought to life in the Brunel Transport Museum, an old rectory and several other completely unique locations.
With an exposed-brick interior, cool Camden crowd and a great range of bands and singers, Camden Assembly is a perfect place for live music in London. Sundays are the night to listen to some of North London's newest talent as well as regulars on the scene. Lucky Chip are in residencies, snack on one of their delicious burgers as you bop along.
Adding some electric swing to your already lively Friday nights, the team at the Arcola Theatre serve Londoners a truly stunning night out in town. Guests will first take part in a dance class before watching a talented jazz band fill the air with quavering notes and trembling tunes. Grab that special someone, pull on your best pair of dancing shoes and head to Dalston.
Head down to Dirty Bones in Kensington every Thursday to be blown away by live performers singing everything from hip hop to old school classics. While listening to the brilliant music, order from their menu of New York comfort food which includes dishes such as a Mac n' Cheese burger topped with pulled pork or go for a boozy shake.
Omeara is a unique and exciting gig space for everyone from labelled acts to up-and-coming stars. Their main Omeara room is a 320 capacity live space in Flat Iron Square, with some of the top talent flooding there. But that’s not all – there’s a Mexican Cantina inside to get your pre-gig drink on and a terrace to get some air giving amazing views of Southwark Cathedral and the Shard.
A King's Cross favourite for after work drinks and nights out with entertainment in London, The Star of Kings is quite the social hangout. A bit rough around the edges but boasting quite the legacy of live music sets in London, this pub has a Funktion One sound system for DJs and a decent stage set up for bands to rock out on.
The team at Powder Keg Diplomacy are pulling out all the stops, hosting live jazz and soul music every Sunday night for Londoners to enjoy. Guests will be able to relax and watch some of the capital's best live music performers show off their many musical talents, all the while drinking a stunning, hand-crafted cocktail.
Get whisked away NYC style with jazz crooners serenading you as you wine and dine at this buzzy London bar and restaurant which is great for live music.