London Live Music Venues

 
 
 
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SBTRKT - Photo by Phil Smithies

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SBTRKT - Photo by Phil Smithies
Roundhouse
Koko
The Old Blue Last
Dingwalls
Dingwalls
Café Oto
Café Oto
Café Oto
Union Chapel
The Forum
The Forum
Scala
Hootananny
Bush Hall
Heaven
Shepherd's Bush Empire
Brixton Academy
Hammersmith Apollo
The O2 Arena
SSE Arena, Wembley
 

 

Tucked away in tiny basements, converted warehouses and cavernous chapels, London's live music venues come in all shapes and sizes. With an eclectic line-up of events, these venues showcase new names in the industry while also providing rare chances to enjoy intimate gigs from big stars.

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Bush Hall

Former dance hall that now plays host to a variety of live music.

310 Uxbridge Road, London, W12 7LJ

Tube: Shepherd's Bush Market Station (Hammersmith and City Line)

 
 

A unique venue whose high ceilings have played host to a wide variety of artists from cabaret to cutting-edge electronica. Built in 1905 as a dance hall, it made its way to 2001 in various incarnations before being renovated into the live music and entertainment venue we know today. The larger Shepherd's Bush Empire down the road gets all the mainstream gigs, whereas the Bush Hall welcomes niche artists and those on their way up. Occasionally established bands also seem to love it for secret and fan club gigs.

 
 
 

Brixton Academy

Giant live music venue with a high domed roof.

211 Stockwell Road, Brixton, London, SW9 9SL

Tube: Brixton Station

 
 

This former cinema with its art deco interior, proscenium arch and 140ft dome is London's most celebrated venue for live music, winning Best Live Venue at the NME awards for 7 years in a row. The famous sloping floor means there are great views wherever you're standing, though keeping your feet can be a problem at the more raucous rock gigs. Most of the biggest bands in the world have played here, and it also holds some of Britain's hardest club nights. The sound could be better, but with a capacity of 4,700, a 6am licence, one of the biggest dance floors in the capital, and a location in one of the hardest-partying areas of London, this is the only place to watch your favourite bands and DJs.

 
 

Events at O2 Academy Brixton

The Black Crowes
On Soon

Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th October 2021 - 7pm | £60, phone for availability, rescheduled from Oct 12 & 13, 2020, original tickets remain valid

 
The Black Crowes O2 Academy Brixton 2021-10-232021-10-24 Where:
O2 Academy Brixton, 211 Stockwell Road London, SW9 9SL
Category: Live Music

Original members and siblings Chris and Rich Robinson reunite to perform their debut album Shake Your Money Maker in full.

The Chainsmokers
On Soon

Tuesday 9th November 2021 - 7pm | £32.50, rescheduled from Oct 16, 2020, original tickets remain valid

 
The Chainsmokers O2 Academy Brixton 2021-11-092021-11-09 Where:
O2 Academy Brixton, 211 Stockwell Road London, SW9 9SL
Category: Live Music

Electro and progressive house from the US DJ duo, otherwise known as Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall, known for their hits Closer and Don't Let Me Down.

All events at Brixton Academy
 
 
 

Café Oto

Dalston's cafe/creative haven doubles up as an evening music venue.

18-22 Ashwin Street, London, E8 3DL

Tube: Highbury & Islington Station

 
 

Café Oto is a vibrant live music venue with the atmosphere of a student union cafe which puts on avant garde music from the Dalston scene. Housed in the old Reeves Artists' Colour Paint Factory - the three storey building was established in 1868 - Café Oto includes a large cafe/performance space where you can get lunch, tea and alcoholic drinks with an evening programme of creative new music almost seven nights a week.

 
 
 

Dingwalls

Camden venue that's hosted everyone from the Sex Pistols to Goldie.

Camden Lock, Camden Town, London, NW1 8AB

Tube: Camden Town Station , Camden Town Station

 
 

This small Camden venue, known as Dingwalls, has a bar at the back, a stage at the front and room for a couple of hundred people in between. Just as renowned for showcasing up-and-coming talent now as it was in the '70s when the Sex Pistols, Blondie and The Ramones were just a few of the seminal bands who performed there, Dingwalls continues to be a champion of new music.

 
 
 

Hammersmith Apollo

Art deco venue which offers a stage for both standing and seated events for theatre, comedy and concerts.

45 Queen Caroline Street, London, W6 9QH

Tube: Hammersmith Station

 
 

Once London's largest all-seater venue, the Hammersmith Apollo has a 3,600 capacity for seated shows and a 5,000 capacity for standing-room-only gigs. It was renovated in 2002, and now works well as a venue for theatre (hosting a huge variety of shows from Riverdance to Thomas the Tank Engine) as well as rock concerts. It has been the scene of some famous rock concerts including gigs by the Beatles, David Bowie and Queen and does a strong line in comedy - it's where Live at the Apollo, screened on BBC1, is recorded. Its visually challenged exterior (not helped by its poluted location on the busy Hammersmith roundabout) disguises an impressive art deco auditorium - when it was built in the 1930s its original purpose was a cinema and it still features the original 1932 Compton pipe organ.

 
 

Events at Hammersmith Apollo

Jason Donovan: Even More Good Reasons
On Soon

Friday 22nd October 2021 - 7pm | £38.75-£47.25, rescheduled from Oct 14, 2020, original tickets remain valid

 
Jason Donovan: Even More Good Reasons Hammersmith Apollo 2021-10-222021-10-22 Where:
Hammersmith Apollo, 45 Queen Caroline Street London, W6 9QH
Category: Live Music

The Australian vocalist performs classic pop hits to mark the 30th anniversary of his debut album, Ten Good Reasons, intermingled with stories and chat about the highs and lows of his career.

Mo Gilligan: There's Mo To Life
On Soon

30th Sep, 8th Oct & 9th Oct, 23rd Oct, 12th Nov, 18th Nov and 25th Nov 2021 - 8pm | £21.50, rescheduled from Oct 22-24, 29-31, original tickets remain valid

 
Mo Gilligan: There's Mo To Life Hammersmith Apollo 2021-09-302021-11-25 Where:
Hammersmith Apollo, 45 Queen Caroline Street London, W6 9QH
Category: Live Music

Highly-energetic stand-up from the actor, comic and social media star.

Jimmy Carr: Terribly Funny
On Soon

25th, 26th, 27th and 28th Oct 2021 - 8pm | £34, rescheduled from May 8 & 9, original tickets remain valid

 
Jimmy Carr: Terribly Funny Hammersmith Apollo 2021-10-252021-10-28 Where:
Hammersmith Apollo, 45 Queen Caroline Street London, W6 9QH
Category: Live Music

Deadpan, black humour and one-liners from the British TV favourite, known for his role as host of 8 Out Of 10 Cats, attempting to make light of dreadful things.

Iliza Shlesinger: The Forever Tour
On Soon

Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd November 2021 - 8pm | £29.75-£35.25, rescheduled from May 2, original tickets remain valid

 
Iliza Shlesinger: The Forever Tour Hammersmith Apollo 2021-11-022021-11-03 Where:
Hammersmith Apollo, 45 Queen Caroline Street London, W6 9QH
Category: Live Music

Straight-talking and provocative material from the US comedian, who scored notable successes on iTunes and Netflix.

Tommy Tiernan: Tomfoolery

Friday 10th December 2021 - 8pm | £16 & £23, rescheduled from Dec 16, 2020, original tickets remain valid

 
Tommy Tiernan: Tomfoolery Hammersmith Apollo 2021-12-102021-12-10 Where:
Hammersmith Apollo, 45 Queen Caroline Street London, W6 9QH
Category: Live Music

Frank and fiery material about the bizarre nature of modern life from the edgy Irish stand-up and actor, who stars as Da Gerry in Derry Girls on Channel 4.

All events at Hammersmith Apollo
 
 
 
 

Heaven

This mega club is famous for its gay night but also welcomes an impressive gig programme.

Under the Arches, Villiers Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 6NG

Tube: Charing Cross Station , Embankment Underground Station, Leicester Square Station

 
 

London's most famous gay club is a vast labyrinth of dancefloors, bars, cafes and shops. This is the kind of place where it's perfectly ok- and encouraged- to jump on a podium: skimpy outfits are preferred. The atmosphere in this deservedly famous venue is second to none. As well as the notorious club nights, Heaven boasts a regular programme of live gigs, which include both established and up and coming artists. It has also been used for a number of music videos, including 'Tapes and Money' by dance producer and DJ, TEED.

 
 
 

Hootananny

A spiritual home for London's reggae, rock and world music fans.

95 Effra Road, London, SW2 1DF

Tube: Brixton Station

 
 

This pub is the sister venue to one of the Scottish Highlands' most successful venues, Hootananny in Inverness. Revamped and refurbished, it's fast-establishing itself as one of the finest venues in South London. The late night venue plays host to a regular programme of world music: reggae, blues, ska, jazz-funk, gyspy swing, battle rap, flamenco rock and dubstep, it can all be found here. It has a crowd covering all ages, races, and income brackets, united by their desire to listen to great music and socialise.

 
 
 

Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen

Warehouse style bar with great acoustics and an impressive live music programme.

2-4 Hoxton Square, Hoxton, London, N1 6NU

Tube: Old Street Station

 
 

Hoxton Square have deliberately gone for an unfinished urban feel, with bare warehouse walls, scratched-up furniture and one huge glass wall exposing the clientele to the headlights of cars trapped in the one-way sytem. With the likes of Example, Foals and Austra gracing the venue's stage, it's a great place to uncover new music - expect sticky floors and big crowds.

 
 
 

Koko

Located in an old theatre, this Camden institution offers a mixture of live bands and club nights.

1A Camden High Street, Camden Town, London, NW1 7JE

Tube: Mornington Crescent Station , Camden Town Station, Camden Town Station

 
 

KOKO offers a great mixture of live bands and club nights that have put it at the heart of the Camden nightlife. The huge stage, broad balconies and plush upstairs bars are a reminder of its former role as the Camden Theatre, and the deep red colour scheme, chandeliers and gilt molding give it a decadent air that matches the rock stars who grace the stage. It has an illustrious rock 'n' roll history, having hosted The Clash and the Sex Pistols in the 1970s, and The Eurythmics, Madness and Madonna in the 1980s. It became a much-loved scuzzy rock club in the 1990s, before being restored and reopened in 2005.

 
 
 

Roundhouse

Big-name acts and a programme dedicated to fresh talent are all housed under this famous roof.

Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH

Tube: Chalk Farm Station

 
 

Boasting a colourful history, the Roundhouse initially started life as an engine shed. It was later transformed into a bonded warehouse for Gilbey's Gin before Arnold Wesker established Centre 42 here, insisting it became one of the most cutting-edge performing arts venue in the country. Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd played several memorable concerts and it is these performances that have sealed the Roundhouse's legendary reputation. By the 1980s it was a crumbling wreck and took £27 million to restore it. A shiny, angular, glass three-storey extension has been attached to the original dark-grey drum. Tickets for main performances here can be a little steep but you can rest assured that you're supporting one of the best artistic initiatives in north London.

 
 

Events at Roundhouse

Squarepusher
On Soon

Friday 29th October 2021 - 7pm | £25, rescheduled from May 15, original tickets remain valid

 
Squarepusher Roundhouse 2021-10-292021-10-29 Where:
Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road London, NW1 8EH
Category: Historic Buildings

The jazz bass virtuoso and electronic envelope-pusher makes his return following a five-year hiatus, with new album, Be Up A Hello. With support from Paranoid London, Scalping and Ray Keith.

All events at Roundhouse
 
 
 
 

Scala

This King's Cross venue is home to live music, clubs, art, and film.

275 Pentonville Road, King's Cross, London, N1 9NL

Tube: King's Cross Station

 
 

Housed inside the old King's Cross Cinema, Scala might be a bit tattered around the edges but this only adds to its battered charm. The venue welcomed legends like Iggy Pop during the 70s, but didn't become a  purely music venue until 1993. Since then though it has seen an illustrious series of soon-to-be-famous bands pass though the doors, including Foo Fighters, Chemical Brothers, Scissor Sisters and Coldplay.

 
 
 

Shepherd's Bush Empire

Former BBC recording theatre now plays host to gigs and occasional club nights.

Shepherd's Bush Green, London, W12 8TT

Tube: Goldhawk Road Station , Shepherd's Bush Market Station (Hammersmith and City Line), Shepherd's Bush Station (Central)

 
 

The Empire is, admittedly, not the most comfortable of venues - the standing area is sunk so far beneath the main stage that anyone under six foot risks painful neck injuries if they want to watch from close-up. Still, the faded grandeur of this former BBC recording theatre, a fantastic acoustic, and the cheerful international population of Shepherd's Bush all add up to a fun live experience, and many musicians cite this as their favourite London venue to perform in.

 
 

Events at Shepherd's Bush Empire

The Pineapple Thief
On Soon

Saturday 30th October 2021 - 7pm | £26, rescheduled from Sep 26, 2020, original tickets remain valid

 
The Pineapple Thief Shepherd's Bush Empire 2021-10-302021-10-30 Where:
Shepherd's Bush Empire, Shepherd's Bush Green London, W12 8TT
Category: Live Music

British prog-rock five-piece, started by Bruce Soord in 1999.

Heaven 17
On Soon

Friday 5th November 2021 - 7pm | £32.50, rescheduled from Nov 21, 2020, original tickets remain valid

 
Heaven 17 Shepherd's Bush Empire 2021-11-052021-11-05 Where:
Shepherd's Bush Empire, Shepherd's Bush Green London, W12 8TT
Category: Live Music

Sheffield-originating threesome and pioneering electropop group.

Brian Fallon

Saturday 11th December 2021 - 7pm | £26.50, rescheduled from May 21, original tickets remain valid

 
Brian Fallon Shepherd's Bush Empire 2021-12-112021-12-11 Where:
Shepherd's Bush Empire, Shepherd's Bush Green London, W12 8TT
Category: Live Music

The American rock artist and Gaslight Anthem frontman performs with his band The Howling Weather.

All events at Shepherd's Bush Empire
 
 
 

The Forum

This former art deco cinema now welcomes a weekly programme of live gigs.

9-17 Highgate Road, London, NW51JY

Tube: Kentish Town Station

 
 

Once a gorgeous art deco cinema, The Forum is now an essential mid-sized rock venue. It's got everything you want from the North London rock scene, with superb bands week-in week-out, and a fully-lubricated, enthusiastic and music-loving crowd. Well-designed and well-organised it manages to avoid the bar queues that are a feature of so much London gigging, while the main stage has great sound and a design that brings bands far closer to their audiences than you have any reason to expect in a venue this size.

 
 

Events at The Forum

Ella Eyre
On Soon

Monday 25th October 2021 - 7pm | £22.50, rescheduled from Jun 2, original tickets remain valid

 
Ella Eyre The Forum 2021-10-252021-10-25 Where:
The Forum, 9-17 Highgate Road London, NW51JY
Category: Live Music

The MOBO and Brit Award-winning R&B and pop singer-songwriter, best known for her collaborations with Rudimental, promote the self-empowering anthem New Me.

All events at The Forum
 
 
 

The O2 Arena

The largest purpose-built music venue in London.

Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0BB

Tube: North Greenwich Station

 
 

The centrepiece of the redeveloped Millennium Dome is the O2 Arena, the first purpose-built music venue in London. With a capacity of 23,000, it offers the rather soulless Wembley Arena some serious competition. Big name acts such as The Rolling Stones, The Killers, Justin Timberlake, Girls Aloud and Tina Turner have performed on stage, with the likes of Beyonce, AC/DC, Kings of Leon and Britney Spears set to appear in 2009. The 02 Arena also hosts live comedy and was used for the first ever ATP World Tour tennis finals in November 2009. It has been used ever year since for the annual tennis event - with the current contract running until 2015. A variety of other sports events take place under the dome - including darts, polo, gymnastics, martial arts, wrestling and basketball from the NBA. As a music venue, it is reportedly the most visited arena in the world. From the expensive debacle that was the Millennium Dome, something quite special has sprung.

 
 

Events at The O2 Arena

Mamma Mia! The Party
Ongoing

1st October 2021 to 3rd April 2022 - Various Times | £99-£180 inc welcome drink and four-course meal, adv booking required, adv tickets from www.mammamiatheparty.com

 
Mamma Mia! The Party The O2 Arena 2021-10-012022-04-03 Where:
The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square London, SE10 0BB
Category: Live Music
Simply Red
On Soon

Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th October 2021 - 7.30pm | £62.50-£75, rescheduled from Oct 24 & 25, original tickets remain valid

 
Simply Red The O2 Arena 2021-10-232021-10-24 Where:
The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square London, SE10 0BB
Category: Live Music

The inimitable Mick Hucknall and his soulful band perform their hits.

Elton John
On Soon

Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd November 2021 - 7pm | £51.25-£163.75, rescheduled from Nov 2, 4, 2020, original tickets remain valid, phone for availability

 
Elton John The O2 Arena 2021-11-022021-11-03 Where:
The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square London, SE10 0BB
Category: Live Music

The internationally-renowned singer-songwriter and musician, whose career has spanned six decades and has seen him win numerous awards and acclaim in both the commercial charts and musical theatre industry, performs from his back catalogue as ...

Elton John
On Soon

7th, 9th & 10th, 12th, 14th and 16th & 17th Nov 2021 - 7pm | £51.25-£163.75, rescheduled from Nov 6 & 7, Dec 2, 9, 14, 16 & 17, 2020, original tickets remain valid, phone for availability

 
Elton John The O2 Arena 2021-11-072021-11-17 Where:
The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square London, SE10 0BB
Category: Live Music

The internationally-renowned singer-songwriter and musician, whose career has spanned six decades and has seen him win numerous awards and acclaim in both the commercial charts and musical theatre industry, performs from his back catalogue as ...

Pete Tong Presents Ibiza Classics

Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th December 2021 - 6.30pm | £35-£85, rescheduled from Dec 4 & 5, 2020, original tickets remain valid

 
Pete Tong Presents Ibiza Classics The O2 Arena 2021-12-032021-12-04 Where:
The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square London, SE10 0BB
Category: Live Music

The BBC Radio 1 legend will be in concert with The Heritage Orchestra - conducted by Jules Buckley - for a creative re-imagining of classic dance-party anthems.

All events at The O2 Arena
 
 
 

The Old Blue Last

Traditional no frills boozer famed for its live music.

38 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3ES

Tube: Old Street Station

 
 

The Old Blue Last is a legendary pub and live venue in Shoreditch, East London brought to you by the people at Vice magazine. The venue has two floors, the pub and the small upstairs room where the likes of Arctic Monkeys and Florence and the Machine have played gigs before becoming the stuff of legend. The pub hosts different nights which range from fun bouncy pop to punk parties, indie swag hipster nights to dirty drum and base as well as Vice magazine launch parties. In the live room upstairs most nights are free and even the ticketed gigs rarely cost more than a fiver.

 
 
 
 

Union Chapel

The Islington Chapel is one of the most enchanting music venues in London.

Compton Terrace, London, N1 2UN

Tube: Highbury & Islington Station

 
 

This Grade II listed building just south of Highbury Corner functions not only as a place of worship, it is also one of London's most unique and enchanting live music venues with a diverse and enticing list of upcoming events. There's something quite magical about this place and you will be hard pushed to find a more memorable location to listen to live music in London. The Chapel has seen over a century's worth of visitors come through its doors and has welcomed artists such as Bjork, Tori Amos and Fionn Regan to the stage in recent years. Performers are framed by the stained glass window and the space is lit with the warm glow of church candles. A fully licensed bar is open on show nights, and a kiosk in the Chapel provides visitors with hot chocolates and snacks to keep hands warm in those chilly winter months.

 
 
 

Wembley Arena

Vast, mostly seated venue for live music, indoor sport and touring family shows.

Arena Square, Engineers Way, London, HA9 0DH

Tube: Wembley Park Station

 
 

This is London's second largest indoor arena after The O2, and though the building lacks the character of some of the older venues, the sheer scale of the place makes Wembley Arena an exciting place to watch a gig. Located opposite Wembley Stadium, Wembley Arena has hosted concerts by some of the world's most famous artists, including The Beatles, Rod Stewart, ABBA, The Cure, Spice Girls, Beyonce, Bob Dylan, Pearl Jam and many more. Comedians who have graced the venue with their witty presence include the likes of Eddie Izzard, Michael McIntyre, Ricky Gervais and Bill Bailey. Try and have a look at a seating plan before booking, as you can end up an enormous distance from the stage. Wembley Arena is also a major indoor sports venue, hosting the annual Masters Snooker tournament, boxing, mixed martial arts, ice hockey, darts, netball, basketball, five-a-side football, wrestling and even cage fighting. The Arena, which was built in 1934, originally housed a swimming pool, which was used during the 1948 and the 2012 Summer Olympics. A versatile space, Wembley Arena has also been used for the filming of popular TV shows The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing.

 
 

Events at SSE Arena, Wembley

Il Divo

Friday 17th December 2021 - 6pm | £45-£150, rescheduled from Dec 12, 2020, original tickets remain valid

 
Il Divo SSE Arena, Wembley 2021-12-172021-12-17 Where:
SSE Arena, Wembley, Arena Square, Engineers Way London, HA9 0DH
Category: Live Music

The multi-award-winning collective - aka Urs Buhler, Sebastien Izambard, Carlos Marin and David Miller - perform classical-crossover.

All events at Wembley Arena
 
 
 

XOYO

This basement club is one of the best places to catch big-name DJs, dance acts and bands.

32-37 Cowper Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 4AP

Tube: Old Street Station

 
 

Located a few minutes from Old Street tube, XOYO opened in September 2010 and was re-launched in 2012. On Friday nights the venue holds a programme of cutting edge live events - past performers include Mark Ronson, Simian Mobile Disco and Mike Skinner - while Saturdays are dedicated to parties from some of London's top club promoters, including Bugged Out!, Neon Noise Project and Upset the Rhythm. Spread across two floors, the top floor being sister bar The Shoreditch Butchery, XOYO has a capacity of 800 and aims to be an incredible platform for London's clubbers. 

 
 
 
 
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