Stop going out and start going to gigs
A guide to the best music venues London has to offer
Every single night out follows the same, old routine: pres, hitting the club, emptying your wallet on overpriced drinks, dancing to the same drum and bass/house/whatever – and repeat.
Why subject yourself to this every night you want to have some fun? One of the coolest things London has to offer is the enormous variety of music and gig venues all over the city – and not just central.
So, here are the top venues in London you need to go to if you’re up for experiencing some amazing nights of live music:
Roundhouse is located in Chalk Farm and is really quite an amazing building. It was originally built as a literal 'roundhouse' – a building which houses a railway turntable – but after WWII, it ultimately ended up being one of the UKs most extraordinary venues. This place makes top of the list not only because of its architecture, but due to the sheer variety of events that it hosts: not only do bands play here, but they also host plays, talks and much more. Plus it's an awesome building (have I mentioned that before?). Definitely one for your London bucket list.
O2 Forum Old Kentish Town
Having once been an old theatre and now renovated into a multi-thousand capacity venue, this place welcomes hundreds of bands showcasing their talent here every week. The stage is awesome and many bands use the space to get creative with their shows, resulting in some amazing stage presence and a great vibe for the audience to dance to. Some of great bands have performed there, including Modern Baseball and The Front Bottoms – and much bigger names like Jack White and even Rihanna.
At a 15,000 capacity, Ally Pally is huge and definitely a venue for the big names. I went here last November to watch Twenty One Pilots for the first time – it was one of the best shows I have ever seen. This one really can't be missed and if you see a band playing there that you like in the near future, chances are the event will sell out so make sure you book well in advance!
Old Blue Last
Located in hipster-central Shoreditch, this is one of the trendier venues in London. The ground floor is a regular pub (with pretty standard London prices, sadly), but upstairs the building is transformed into a small stage for a real packed-tight experience. The green room has signatures on the wall from bands that have played there – as you can probably tell, there are a lot of performers who’ve made their mark here. There were some pretty big artists up there, such as PUP, Yonaka and other amazing indie artists – this is definitely the place where you might see the next big thing.
Corsica Studios is great because it’s a 10-minute walk from Great Dover Street Apartments and about a minute’s walk from Elephant and Castle tube station. Loads of upcoming bands play here, including recently the extremely talented Low Island, who are taking the London music scene by storm. This venue is great if you fancy getting sweaty while dancing to some tunes and are just a little bit bored by the same top 40s playlist Ministry keep on repeat.
So, after all of this, do you still want to wait three hours in the Ministry queue just to pay £10 for a vodka and coke?