Whether you’re in a band, or an avid fan of gigs, London is undoubtedly one of the most cultural cities in the world. As such, there are a number of venues throughout London that provide acts for a number of different genres. Below are some of those considered the best, whether you’re looking to go and see the latest headline act, or you’re looking for a London venue hire to host your own event, (and if you are, companies like G and D Events are great for finding someting unique – they do Christmas parties too).
Although the smaller of the two Shepherd’s Bush venues available in London, it has an elaborate interior that really adds to the atmosphere of live music, as do the elevated ceilings. Bush Hall has been host to the who’s who of modern music, with startling performances from acts including The Killers and REM. There’s even an area tucked away for the more vocal, so those who are there to enjoy the music can do so without interruption.
Those who are fans of the 1970s will feel right at home at Made Jojos’s. Porn baron Paul Raymond initially opened the venue as a generic club, before moving over the deco fittings from the Whitehall Theatre, turning it into the glitzy venue it is today. Sitting in the heart of Soho, Madame Jojo’s offers a number of different club nights including White Heat, a showcase that allows new acts to showcase their talents.
Where many venues come complete with their own vibe, Café Oto offers something a little different. Some may scoff at its minimalistic approach of white walls and no visible stage, but it’s little quirks such as these that allow artists within the venue to truly express themselves. Acts that have performed at the venue include Ghedlia Tazartes and Miki Yui. Those who a bit peckish can also take advantage of the Persian inspired food.
It’s a common misconception that jazz is for people of a certain age. The Vortex looks to dispel this myth by offering its patrons a selection of contemporary jazz performances seven days a week. The venue itself has a quirky design that somehow works, and is home to a multitude of different styles and influences. It has also hosted nights by some of the most recognised names in Jazz, including Polar Bear and Sir John Dankworth.
Those looking for a mix of live bands and DJ sets could do worse than to visit Plan B. The venue was reopened in 2009 by electronic group Hot Chip, and has seen a plethora of successful nights since. Boasting a warehouse-style interior and neon strip lighting, the whole venue has an ambient feel and has seen artists such as James Blake perform, as well as hosting DJ sets from LCD Soundsystem and Basement Jaxx.
Of course, it’s not all about jazz and rock music. Sometimes music buffs require something a little more laid back. The Barbican is able to cater for such tastes thanks to its classical and contemporary acts. The acoustics within the venue are crystal clear, and the venue itself can easily hold up to 2,000 music fans. The venue has also been used by artists who wish to strip back the songs for a more organic feel. Once such act to employ this tactic was Antony and the Johnsons back in 2009. The venue goes beyond music and is able to offer its visitors a mix of theatre performances, art exhibitions and film screenings.
The venues listed are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to music venues in London, but it does show how diverse and unique the options are for music lovers who visit London.