With the proliferation of digital music, the live music scene continues to thrive in London. So if you’re up for a night of listening to a new underground talent or a gig from some of the biggest names in music, check out these bars and pubs for a glimpse of London’s finest artists.
The legendary Soho jazz club Ronnie Scott’s is revered for it’s history in hosting major names in music such as Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Curtis Mayfield and Prince. The remarkable saxophonist Ronnie Scott (who founded the club in the 1950’s), wanted to showcase the quality of London jazz. His 250 seat club not only achieves just that, but it also serves as an avenue for upcoming performers that suit it’s style such as Experimental/Alternative band the Common Tongues and funk/soul events such as Funky Nation.
The O2 Arena
From the ashes of the Millennium Dome, the O2 has been attracting music stars all around the globe since it’s opening in 2007. From Madonna and Barbera Streisand to Beyonce, Kanye West, Miley Cyrus and Drake. While it may not win the most points for it’s affordability, it regularly sells outs thousands of seats. You can also catch the ‘Live in Concert’ at indigo at The O2, with many artists including Syleena Johnson, Ryan Leslie and Faith Evans.
Since 1990, The Jazz Cafe based in Camden continues to entertain hundreds of people every week. It has a restaurant located on the balcony where you can eat and sip on a glass of wine, while sitting back to enjoy live acts such as RnB singers and soul music performers. It’s sumptuous surroundings and soulful music make it a fitting place to take a date, a friend or even a small party to celebrate. Jazz Cafe also hosts themed club nights every Saturday, with drinks served at the bar and DJ’s playing the latest groovy tunes for you to dance all night long.
We remain in Camden for this fourth entry as we couldn’t leave without mentioning one of the most iconic music venues in North London. The aptly named Proud Camden is a 19th century horse hospital converted into a gorgeous nightclub. Serving food and drink from the early evening, live band performances from new and emerging UK acts can be seen in the gallery club room every night of the week. A celebrity hang out for locals, intimate music sets have been played by artists such as Florence and the Machine, Jessie J, Dizzee Rascal, Ed Sheeran and the Manchester Orchestra.
12 Bar Club
Probably the most unpretentious of venues to feature on the list, at the 12 Bar Club you can find eclectic music performances throughout the week. With a maximum capacity of 150 people, you will certainly get a much closer view of your favourite acts. The Covent Garden based pub with it’s shamelessly worn and unkempt (but clean) decor adds a sense of character and charm to overall experience. Expect a rather un-glamorous but a genuine quality atmosphere with four live bands a night with music ranging from indie, EMO and funk, to Rock and Reggae.
Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club on Frith Street was the site of Jimi Hendrix’s last public performance in 1970.