Live in London!
Globally recognized as a multicultural melting pot of myriad ways of life and living, London can be a sensory explosion for visitors. Being home to numerous diaspora communities, tracing their roots to near and far corners of the globe, the city offers incredible variety to those looking to explore its art scenes, experiment with different cuisines, and experience its characteristic cosmopolitan ethos. Unsurprisingly, this also finds strong reflection in its musical cultures - drawing upon a range of international influences, fusing and blending genres, and often celebrating a strong sense of community in the city's most celebrated live music venues. Here's taking a look at some of the most exciting music hubs of the city, which promise to be an aural treat!
Blues Kitchen (Camden, Brixton, Shoreditch)
With multiple venues around London, and also one in Manchester, Blues Kitchen has proven to be one of the most exciting live music venues in the city. While all around the week they host artistes from around the U.K. for blues, soul, or reggae nights, Sundays are usually for smaller local upcoming bands playing in an open mic format which gives guests an entire musical spectrum of options to choose from.
Brixton Jamm (Brixton) - One of South London’s premier music and social venues, Brixton Jamm has a unique mix of indoor and outdoor spaces, including a dancefloor, an outdoor terrace, and even a makeshift courtyard beach! This venue has hosted a diverse range of artistes from The Clash to Congo Natty to resident favorites Alabama Three. Their most popular recurring offering is the ABBA vs Fleetwood Mac party.
Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club (Soho) - Easily one of the most iconic music venues in the city, this club was historically managed by artistes Ronnie Scott and Pete King and has been home to some of the biggest U.K. jazz legends. Glastonbury headlining artistes like Eliane Correa have taken the stage here, while Cuban heavyweights Irakere and even Jeff Beck have recorded live sessions here. With a large stage downstairs and a smaller, plusher, more intimate venue upstairs, Ronnie Scotts’ boasts an incredible line-up of big names and upcoming acts to choose from for music enthusiasts in the city.
Eastcheap Records (Monument Station) - Having a record-store-like décor with vinyl-embellished walls and musical artwork, Eastcheap is the kind of venue any music enthusiast would feel right at home in. They have a mix of both DJ sets and live band music over the week with artistes like The Zealots doing funk and soul covers of Stevie Wonder or Aretha Franklin. If you’re an up-tempo swing jazz aficionado, you’d also find the likes of the Alec Harper Quartet taking the stage here from time to time.
5. Roundhouse (Chalk Farm) - Roundhouse is a unique venue in that not only does it offer its usual fare of jazz evenings and DJ nights, but it also showcases stand-up comedy performances alongside dance and theatre workshops and development programs and events for young artists and creatives. This makes it a one-stop shop for music and arts enthusiasts spending any length of time in London!
CIEE students in London often call our city home, and they’re not the only ones – London is the home address for some of the finest examples of art and artefacts in the world. London has nearly 200 museums, and one of the delights of living in this cultural capital is the fact that many of these collections can be seen for free.