Top 7 London Nightlife Spots For Music Freaks.
By: Valerie Hoyoak
London is believed to be the music capital of the world, although this statement would most likely be disputed by other cities. It is, however, a wonderful place to visit for you party animals out there! Throughout the year London hosts to many music festivals and carnivals. The most famous one is the Notting Hill Carnival, which happens in August over the bank holiday weekend. Apart from pubs and clubs, there are many music clubs. Every type of music has a club somewhere in London! Here I have showcased just a small selection of party places for your next trip.
The fabric has a global reputation for diversity. What makes them special is the fact that they are willing to showcase new musicians so you may get to hear some up and coming talent. It is built on what used to be a Victorian meat cellar. They have the unique feature of having the speakers buried in the floor so the base literally fills every nook and cranny.
Fridays are the busiest nights and here you will be able to listen to some big names in breakbeat and electro. Saturdays are set aside for underground performers and internationally known players, sometimes with live acts. Sunday nights and into Monday mornings are for partygoers to indulge in some serious partying! It gets really crowded sometimes although the best acts usually show up at 3 am, when most tourists have left.
Address: 77A Charterhouse St, Clerkenwell – View on map
This club is the heart of Camden Town Nightlife scene and you will find a great mixture of live bands here. It is housed in what used to be the original Camden Theatre, which opened in 1900 and some of the features like the huge stage and balconies are still in place. Some of the original colors have also been kept like the deep reds, which along with chandeliers give this a decadent look. Famous people who made their mark there include The Sex Pistols in the 1970’s and Eurhythmics and Madonna in the 1980’s. In the 1990’s it changed into a rock club. Soon after that it was fully restored and reopened in 2004.
Address: 1A Camden High St, Kings Cross – View on map
The Blues Kitchen
As the name suggests this club is reminiscent of the Deep South. Texan barbecue is always on the menu here along with bourbon cocktails and classic brass band tunes. It is located in Brixton and caters to the late night crowd. It’s built in an old cavern type with old-fashioned décor and will very definitely remind you of the Deep South! While it is open during the week, weekends are where this place really comes alive. They usually have live bands and DJ’s, eager to get people on their feet and dancing the night away to funk and soul. It is not unusual to hear trumpets at 2 am!
Address: 134-146 Curtain Rd – View on map
This spot opened way back in 1959. Ronnie was a saxophonist and opened the small basement club in the west end so that he and friends could play together. The club later relocated to Soho where it is now and has the well-deserved title of being the world’s most famous jazz club. It is almost full to capacity every night! Count Basie and Miles Davis are some of the names that used to frequent the place, while names such as Kurt Elling and Cassandra Wilson appear in the line-up there now.
These big names shun the larger clubs in favor of this smaller one because of the welcoming atmosphere, so this may be the place to catch a rising star! Ronnie Scott’s place has lately become the ‘hang out’ place for young hipsters and music fans of all ages that enjoy jazz at its best.
Address: 47 Frith St, Soho – View on map
This club reopened in 2014 after a major refurbishment. Turning from a small, dingy place into a spectacular club that can now hold up to 3,000 people every night, it is recognized as London’s biggest venue now. It is famous for the Ibiza style of music that keeps people clubbing all night long! It now features state of the art visuals and a sound system to die for!
Great place for electro and techno nights, it also doubles as an event area. You will find it in Greenwich, which, while not exactly classed as a city hotspot, can fool you into thinking that you are off on holiday. It has a new all-night outdoor terrace, which has hot air pumped into it to maintain a pleasant temperature all year long.
Address: 338 Boord St – View on map
This is an art gallery by day and a music venue by night! It may not be the easiest place to find but it is well worth the effort. It has live music nightly and also attracts up and coming acts and established stars alike. Peter Doherty and Dizzie Rascal are just two names that have played there. You will find it in Camden Town Market on a little back street. It was restored to be able to accommodate much more people in the large main room with huge wooden beams supporting the ceiling.
The 200-year-old Grade II listed horse hospital has been ingeniously used to make this a great music venue. The individual horse compartments have been transformed into private seating areas where you can eat, drink and listen to music in relative private. The venue can also be hired out for events and it does get popular. Not surprising really, when you see that this is an exciting place with friendly staff and a trendy crowd to liven it up. This is one place you will want to return to for a second visit.
Address: Chalk Farm Rd – View on map
Ministry of Sound
This place is home to a large dance floor, a staggering sound system and a huge list of big name DJ’s! That’s the reason why it has become known as ‘the’ place to go clubbing! The club opened in 1991 so is relatively new on the scene. It did, however, herald the start of the explosion of large music clubs across the UK. The incredibly loud system attracts a good crowd every weekend. The Ministry also has its own line of clothing and a record label. There are sister clubs in various other countries. After a good, well-planned interior renovation, it opened up again to accommodate its fans and has never looked back. There is always an interesting line up of DJ’s and that brings people back time and again.
Address: 103 Gaunt St – View on map
It’s a well-known fact that London is the most multi-culturally diverse place in the world. This is also the case for the music scene as. With a population of 8 million (30% from other countries), it is easy to see why. Jamaican, Caribbean, Indian, Turkish and more influences, explains how and why the music culture has expanded in the city. Whatever your music taste or genre, you will be able to find a club that plays your style. Clubs of every sort abound in the city and surrounding areas. Your weekend visit needs never be quiet again!