If you have a passion for discovering up-and-coming musicians and you want to see what the underground music scene in London is all about, your choice of music venue options in London are truly limitless.
From blues bars, all-night rave parties, and even DJ House nights, one could spend hours upon hours researching the different venues in London that tap into your musical desires; but luckily we’ve narrowed down some choices for you.
Here are six of the best music venues known for showcasing alternative and up-and-coming musicians in London:
1. The Dublin Castle (Camden)94 Parkway, London
Featuring the best of indie/alternative rock at its finest, The Dublin Castle showcases four live bands every night as well as a late-night DJ set every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Most recently the venue has been known for “hiring” Amy Winehouse to serve customers behind the bar before her death, and everyone from Coldplay, the Arctic Monkeys, Supergrass and The Killers have performed here. (Blur even played a secret show here during their heyday as well).
For more information visit TheDublinCastle.com.
2. Brixton Jamm (Brixton)261 Brixton Rd.
Whether you want a more chilled-out acoustic night, an all-night rave, or even a hardcore grunge show, no genre goes untouched at this venue.
With everything from Nu-House, drum and bass, jazz, and even Eastern European-influenced music, you will almost certainly discover something that delights your eardrums if you plan on visiting Brixton Jamm during your stay in London.
The venue also hosts numerous jam sessions, comedy nights, events and even late-night after-parties as well.
For more information visit BrixtonJamm.org.
3. Lock Tavern (Camden)35 Chalk Farm Rd.
Generally speaking Camden tends to have the most indie music venues (which isn’t too surprising given its the capital of alternative culture in London), and the Lock Tavern is no exception.
This trendy music venue has an eclectic kind-of-feel to it, and has gained a massive following thanks to their ever-popular DJ nights every Wednesday. The venue also boasts an impressive beer garden (which some believe is one of the best in London) as well as mouth-watering Patty Smith burgers.
The venue has become famous for showcasing DJs as well as the best up-and-coming artists from a variety of different genres like electronic, disco and country; and although the name of the artists who perform here may not ring a bell, if you want to keep your finger on the pulse of the indie music movement in London, this is the place to be.
For more information visit www.lock-tavern.com.
4. The Hope & Anchor (Islington)207 Upper St.
Located in the Bohemian-style Upper Islington, The Hope & Anchor has always hailed itself as one of the best indie live music and pub rock venues in London, and hosts live shows every night of the week as well.
Apparently bands like The Police, The Pogues, Joy Division, Dire Straits, The Cure and U2 started their careers here, and even Keane made their debut at the venue on July 13th, 1998.
5. The Windmill (Brixton)22 Blenheim Gardens
It may only have the capacity to fit 150 people, but The Windmill certainly knows how to pack the punches musically when it comes to live music venues in London.
The Windmill was recently listed as one of London’s best music venues by Time Out London, and was also voted as 3rd in Time Out Readers’ Poll for the Best London Music Venue in both 2012 and 2013.
Some of the many big-wig bands who have performed here over the years include The 5678s, Archie Bronson Outfit, The Duke Spirit, Frightened Rabbit, Black Lips, Los Campesinos!, Crystal Stilts and many, many more.
For more information visit windmillbrixton.co.uk.
6. Blues Kitchen (Camden)111 Camden High St.
This true-blue blues bar has a great Americana vibe going for it, and showcases musicians from all over the UK as well as the US. Musicians range from well-known, established artists to the best of new and up-and-coming musicians in London as well.
Every Sunday night you can join in on a fantastic blues jam, or eat some Southern-style soul food while you watch a live band perform right in front of you. The venue also offers free harmonica lessons, Texan BBQ and 50 different types of bourbon.
For more information visit theblueskitchen.com.