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Best Live Music Venues in London

9 Apr 2006  A former music journalist
2.5 of 5 bubbles based on 1 vote

These are some of the best spots to experience London's pulsating music scene.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: London
  • Category: Best of
  • Appeals to: Business travellers , Couples/romantics, Honeymooners, Singles, Families with teenagers, Large groups, Students, Budget travellers , Active/adventure, Tourists
  • Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. Royal Albert Hall
    Royal Albert Hall, London, England

    From Goldfrapp to Bloc Party to the BBC Symphony, the Royal Albert Hall gets top billing. Adjacent to Hyde Park and Knightsbridge Tube station, this centrally located venue has no less than 13 bars and 3 restaurants.

  • 2. Hammersmith Apollo
    Novotel London West, London, England

    Formerly the Hammersmith Odeon, the carling Apollo as it's officially know, has played host to a legion of greats, including Bowie, Queen and Thw Who. Recent acts to have belted bout hits to the 9000 ticket holders have included Black Eyed Peas and Velvet Revolver.

  • 3. Brixton Academy
    O2 Academy, Brixton, London, England

    Another venue with the Carling prefix, the Academy hosts launch parties and radio station bashes, as well as concerts. It's as much the venue of choice of the Indie stars of today (Kaiser Chiefs, Arctic Monkeys, The Streets, Editors, Death Cab, Maximo Park) as for the indie stars of yesterday (Richard Ashcroft, the Charlatans), who still play sell out gigs to the enthusiastic crowds.

  • 4. Astoria

    Billing itself as Central London's premier music venue, the Astoria serves up an eclectic mix. Depending which night you go, you might be met by the dulcet tones of Anthrax or Saxon, or find yourself in the bugglegum pop world of G-A-Y, the country's most popular gay night.

  • 5. The Garage
    The Garage, London, England

    The Mean Fiddler's excellent Garage is another indie venue with a strong reputation. Upcoming names play and the hottest indie clubs rock the place every week - don't miss Alan McGee's 'Now We're Off to Rehab' or all girl DJ night 'My Ex Boyfriend's Records.'

  • 6. Ronnie Scott's
    Ronnie Scott's, London, England

    The legendary Soho jazz club is still going strong. Open since 1959, you can get a good portion of pasta or excellent wine, as well as the top notes of jazz.

  • 7. Earl's Court
    Earl's Court, London, England

    Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Iron Maiden and My Chemical Romance are just a few of the diverse acts that play the Earl's Court Exhibtion Centre.

  • 8. Shepherds Bush Empire
    Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, England

    Lesser known, but it still can't be missed.

  • 9. Dublin Castle

    This Camden, North London Irish bar is often the first stop for upcoming bands in the UK. It was where Madness got their start and is a vibrant Brit-Pop venue.

  • 10. The Spitz

    Cutting edge and cross genre acts perform at this Spittalfields venue, known for its excellent sound and live recordings.