London is one of the best cities in the country (if not the world) when it comes to experiencing live music, with venues of all sizes and styles in every corner of the capital. Whether you’re after a small, intimate gig where you can enjoy a relaxed drink and a conversation, or want to immerse yourself in a full-on, high energy concert with one of your favourite artists, you won’t be left disappointed.
It’s easy to get around the city to most of its major music spaces, but if you’re planning to visit London for some live music, make the most of your stay and book yourself a relaxing night in at a Montcalm Hotel in London. Close to all of the main transport connections, it’s an ideal hub to rest in, before or after a live show.
Read on for a rundown of some of the best spaces for live music around the city.
Summer in London is packed with fantastic live music performances in the great outdoors, with several exciting events to bring the festival atmosphere into the city. You’ll find lots of day and weekend festivals as well as outdoor concerts taking place all over London, with some of the biggest and best taking place in Hyde Park.
As one of the gems of the city, it’s no surprise this Royal Park is the place to be.
The park has seen several of the biggest names in pop gracing the stage over the yars, with mesmerising live performances across the expansive space. While it can often be a large and busy event, attracting tens of thousands of people, it’s also a unique way to experience the electric atmosphere of being in the city.
Being in Hyde Park means it’s also easy to get away for a little peace and quiet when you need to, and you’ll find plenty of great places to enjoy a drink or meal after the concert. The fantastic Hankies Marble Arch is just a short walk away from the park, and with its relaxed but stylish ambience, it is the ideal place to sample some tasty Indian-style tapas, while having a drink or two.
Leake Street Arches
You might not have thought that one of the most character-filled live music spaces would be found tucked away in a side street just minutes away from the bustling throng of Waterloo Station. But if you head down towards the arches at Leake Street, you’ll find yourself happily surprised.
Lined by walls of colourful street art, this area feels like an entirely different part of the city, and the railway arches have been transformed in a variety of creative ways. You only need to follow your ears to find the music – you’ll find intimate bars and innovative theatre spaces, with an excellent range of live music most nights.
It’s a great place to head to if you’d prefer a more understated night out, with music, drinks and good company, all served up with plenty of style and atmosphere.
The Barbican Centre
If you’re staying near Shoreditch at the M by Montcalm or the Montcalm Royal London, there is plenty of fantastic live music most nights to enjoy. East London is also packed with some of the best music venues in the city, so if you’re after something a little more eye-catching and special, you won’t have to venture far to find it.
But, for a really memorable night out, venture out to the magnificent Barbican Centre, just a short walk away. The Barbican Hall features a diverse calendar of live music throughout the year across every genre, from classical music to contemporary rock and alternative music. With its distinctive artistic ambience and dramatic presence, it’s the ideal place out for a special night of music.
There’s also plenty to see and do around the Barbican too, making it a fantastic venue for an all-day affair. Check out the venue’s creative and inspiring exhibitions and installations before the show, and grab a delicious meal or snack in the in-house restaurant or café afterwards.
St John at Hackney Church
Another beloved East London venue, this performance space is especially unique as it is located within a working Anglican Church. The Grade II listed building is an active church, regularly holding services and events for worship – but by night, the 2,000 capacity space is regularly transformed into a magnificent and atmospheric concert hall.
With the incredible acoustics offered by the church’s wonderful 18th-century architecture, any performance you see here will leave you utterly spellbound.
The Shacklewell Arms
London has plenty to offer when it comes to large capacity music venues, for sold out performances and large-scale productions. But if you simply want to enjoy a fun and friendly gig without all the frills, then this is one of the best places to experience music in the city.
This tiny pub backroom might seem small and unassuming, but the iconic venue has been the launchpad for many of the biggest new talents on the rock and alternative music scene. What it lacks in glamour, it makes up for with a small and intimate space, and the rewarding opportunity to see emerging names before they break out to the bigger venues.
The Royal Albert Hall
On the other end of the spectrum is one of the capital’s most extravagant and extraordinary music venues. Home to the BBC Proms as well as countless pop and classical performances, any show at the Royal Albert Hall is always one to savour. It’s worth taking a moment or two to sit back and savour the beautiful architecture around you, as well as absorbing the fantastic acoustics around the space.
The Royal Albert Hall is often a highlight of many artists’ tours, and will often sell out quickly, so if you’re keen to catch a show there it’s best to plan ahead of time, to make sure you’re not left disappointed. Once you’re there, the large venue is easy to get to and make your way around, with extensive accessible support, to make sure visitors get the best out of their experience.