Living Live and Loud in London

London is a huge melting pot of tastes and cultures, with people from all walks of life and all corners of the globe making it their home.

With millions of different inhabitants and visitors all looking for entertainment every year, there is something for every taste in the UK capital.

So if you’re looking to experience some live music on your visit to London here are some of National’s top tips for places to catch a tune:

Classic Venues


It’s rare for a band or musician to tour the UK without stopping for at least one night in London, and subsequently the city has played host to some of the biggest acts of the last 100 years, from the Beatles to the Sex Pistols. This has led to many venues becoming synonymous with legendary live performances from some of the biggest named bands in history.

The Hammersmith Apollo, formerly the Hammersmith Odeon, was home to the infamous final Ziggy Stardust gig from David Bowie in 1973, and was also the venue for the recording of a classic Black Sabbath live set in 1981. Today it still hosts big name musicians, as well as comedians and other variety acts.

Brixton Academy is a cinema-turned-music venue that has been the setting for classic live albums from the likes of Hawkwind, Gary Numan and the Pixies. Situated south of the river Thames this venue has some of the best acoustics in London and is a favourite amongst rockers.

For something a little less frantic head to Islington’s Union Chapel, this functioning church also doubles as a spectacular venue for less well-known acts, with former guests including Spiritualized and Jonathan Richman.

Oxford Street’s 100 Club is London’s oldest established music club. It’s intimate performance area has played host to classic acts including the Rolling Stones, Joe Strummer and The Sex Pistols. Today you can find everything from jazz to experimental electronica here.

Whatever your tastes, you can always guarantee there will be a show on somewhere in London for you to enjoy.

Picture by Ewan-M.

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