Live music has had it tough over the last couple of years. But, with London being such a hotspot for new up-and-coming artists, there are loads of places to celebrate its return. What’s more, there are so many genres emerging each year that you’ll never get bored. So whether that be jazz and blues, or rock and radio, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best places to see live music in London to ensure that there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

1.      The Jazz Cafe

Address:  5 Parkway, Camden Town, London NW1 7PG

The Jazz Cafe
Source: The Jazz Cafe Instagram

An award-winning music venue located in the heart of Camden, ‘The Jazz Café’ has hosted some of the best jazz, soul, and reggae artists with the likes of Amy Winehouse, Adele, and Bobby Womack just to name a few. The music venue also boats a beautiful two-storey restaurant and cocktail bar, allowing you to enjoy the live performances right in front of the stage, seven nights a week. Paired with an intimate and vibrant atmosphere, there is no doubt that this is one of the best places to watch live music in London

2.      Old Street Records

Address: 350 -354 Old St, Hackney, London EC1V 9NQ

Old Street Records
Source: Old Street Records

Hosting two floors of a bustling atmosphere, old-school-realness and an eclectic music lineup is ‘Old Street Records’, renowned for its live music and delicious cocktails. With an extensive history of discovering new bands and hosting EP launches, this venue also offers intimate jazz nights and live DJ sets in its basement, plus not to mention a happy hour and rustic, Italian pizzas that are incredibly tasty, making it a hotspot for all London music lovers.

3.     The Piano Bar

Address: 16 Carlisle St, Soho, London W1D 3BT

‘The Piano Bar’ showcases a private cocktail lounge with breath-taking live music right in the heart of Soho, with new acts performing each night of the week. From soul to jazz, the intimate ambience of the venue truly takes you back in time to over a century ago in New Orleans when this genre was first on the rise. Now, this bar is super exclusive and top-secret, tucked away from the bustle of Oxford Street, so make sure to grab your tickets super early and enjoy the splendour of great music (psst you didn’t hear it from me).

4.      The Bulls Head

Address: 373 Lonsdale Rd, Barnes, London SW13 9PY

  The Bulls Head
Source: The Bull’s Head Instagram

With the Thames right on its doorstep, this tasteful gastro pub hosts a stage that has been home to many famous musicians such as Jimmy Witherspoon and Mick Jagger, as well as up-and-coming jazz artists. Not only are you within touching distance of the performers, but ‘The Bulls Head’ also hosts a ‘rich musical heritage’ that allows you to travel back in time to the old jazz clubs and their shows. Paired with a relaxed and homely atmosphere, it’s definitely worth checking out!

5.     The O2

Address: Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 0DX

   The O2
Source: The O2 Instagram

Boasting the likes of Rihanna, Beyonce, Travis Scott and AJ Tracey, the O2 Arena in London is by far the biggest venue on this list and close first in the UK! With a capacity of 20,000 people, you can witness your favourite artists performing on stage before your very eyes with an atmosphere like no other. World tours, one in a lifetime performances, the lot – it can all be found under one roof. With such a buzzing atmosphere, the O2 is definitely one of the best places to watch live music in London.

6.     The Old Blue Last

Address: 38 Great Eastern St, Hackney, London EC2A 3ES

The Old Blue Last
Source: The Old Blue Last Instagram

A Hackney favourite is ‘The Old Blue Last’, a ‘refurbished East End boozer’ attracting thousands of young students with its hip and trendy vibe with the likes of Giggs, Charlie XCX and Amy Winehouse amongst the endless list of artists that have performed there. Now owned by VICE, this pub used to be the hotspot hang out area for Shakespeare, previously known as ‘The Theatre’ which moved south of the river to now become ‘The Globe’. Not only is it a spectacular venue for live music, but it also has some remarkably interesting history behind it.

7.     Sebright Arms

Address: 31-35 Coate St, London E2 9AG

Sebright Arms
Source: Sebright Arms Instagram

Making its mark on the London music scene, and certainly on my list, is the Sebright Arms, a gastropub in the bustling borough of Hackney, once again. With its alumni starring Catfish and the Bottlemen, this venue is perfect for all my indie music lovers out there, especially those who love an intimate atmosphere. With a pub located upstairs and the stage downstairs, this is the perfect spot to stay all night to enjoy the talent and seriously good drinks, and for a great price too.

8.     The Half Moon

Address: 93 Lower Richmond Rd, Putney, London SW15 1EU

The Half Moon
Source: Half Moon Putney Instagram

Heading into South West London, I introduce to you ‘The Half Moon’, a rock ‘n’ roll pub that has welcomed names such as The Who, U2 and The Rolling Stones right onto its very own stage. Having opened in 1963, and is now one of the cities longest-running live music venues, don’t be fooled by the ale on tap and the wooden countertops, because behind the curtains is a whole load of history. So no more need for FOMO, make sure to check them out!

9.     Paper Dress Vintage

Address: 352a Mare St, Kingsland, London E8 1HR

Paper Dress Vintage London
Source: Paper Dress Vintage

Vintage clothes store by day, live music venue by night. Yes, you did read that right, and I can honestly admit that this is definitely a unique experience you need to check out. With an intimate venue that sees many flocking in to enjoy the fabulous performances and local craft beers, ‘Paper Dress Vintage’ is far from your standard local music scene. Enjoy a true house party atmosphere whether that be in the spacious backyard or the wonderful music room upstairs – there’s literally something for everyone!

10. Gigi’s Hoxton

Address: 11 Hoxton Square, Hackney, London N1 6NU

Gigi’s Hoxton
Source: Gigis Hoxton Instagram

Let’s head back into Hackney where I introduce you to Gigi’s Hoxton, an energetic restaurant and bar that accompanies a slight twist to its live music events. Fancy classic jazz or guitar night? Perfect. Fancy a vibrant performance from drag queens masqueraded in glamour and makeup galore? Also perfect! That’s right, Gigi’s host’s performances from all genres for all tastes of live music, with artists as big as Little Mix having, also performed there, to ensure that everyone has fun. So make sure to grab your glue gun and glitter and get ready for a night of music like no other.

So there you have it, something for everyone! Whether you fancy an evening date or night out with friends listening to some ridiculously good music, make sure you check these spectacular venues out. You never know, you could be witnessing the next big thing…

If you’re big into live music, then you’re also in one of the best cities for festivals. Check out these top London festivals happening this year and start planning an epic day/night out.

Last Updated on July 9, 2024