London’s Best Live Music Venues To See Emerging Musicians/ Artists/ Bands
By Annie Walton Doyle
There’s nothing quite like live music, and despite many small venue closures, the capital is still a hotbed of great grassroots venues, showcasing the best emerging artists.
While large stadiums offer fantastic acoustics (plus spectacular effects), there’s something about the small music venue which still reigns supreme. The intimate atmosphere alongside the comfort and cosiness of seeing music at a smaller venue makes it all the more exciting.
Here is our pick of the top five smaller music venues in North London.
Green Note Camden
Located less than five minutes walk from Camden Town tube station, Green Note isn’t just an award-winning music venue, but a fantastic vegetarian café and bar, too.
With live music every single night, Green Note boasts wins in many venue awards, including nods from Time Out and the Camden Inspire Awards.
Green Note prides itself on a laid-back, friendly and intimate atmosphere. The music styles tend to be within the roots, acoustic and world genres, but with an incredible artist playing every night, there’s sure to be something for everyone.
The exposed brickwork and vintage, pub-inspired décor add to the cosy vibes. Music lovers also praise the fantastic acoustics, which is really what a small music venue should be all about.
The Boogaloo in Highgate always offers an abundance of fun. Describing itself as a rock ‘n’ roll pub, there’s a jukebox filled with classic, a stunning courtyard stable and even a vintage market on Saturdays.
Alongside all this, The Boogaloo is also a prime live music venue. With a huge amount of rock ‘n’ roll history (two of the Sex Pistols even did a impromptu gig there in 2016!) the venues shabby-chic décor makes it equal parts relaxed and exciting.
Although it’s got a vintage-inspired atmosphere, there’s no way you could accuse the venue of being stuck in the past, either. Alongside dedicated live music nights every single weekend, the Boogaloo also hosts a huge variety of pub quizzes, making it a great option for a quieter pint or an opportunity to dance the night away.
Alongside live bands, the Boogaloo runs its own radio show and boasts iconic resident DJs sure to fill the dancefloor. If you’re into rock ‘n’ roll, ‘60s, soul, hip hop and indie, The Boogaloo is one of the best venues to listen to some top-quality live outfits.
Located in Tufnell Park, The Dome is a live music venue above a friendly and chilled out pub. The result is a vibe that’s slightly more off the beaten track. The building was originally intended as a Victorian swimming baths, giving it some uniquely excellent acoustics for live sounds.
The Dome offers an extremely diverse range of live music style, from indie to rap, and from hard rock to folk. What sets the Dome apart is its high quality of show – it almost works as a stadium venue, but just in a smaller and more intimate setting. It retains its authenticity and vintage charm while constantly improving its fittings and equipment, to deliver you an unbelievable live music show.
From the outside, you may not expect much from the Finsbury, located in Harringay. What looks like any old pub, though, is a deceptively excellent live music venue on the inside.
Alongside tons of comedy and pub quizzes, the Finsbury hosts a ton of gigs, with a huge range of musical styles. The pub has a casual feel, with large comfy sofas and plenty of space, but when the music starts the excitement builds.
The Finsbury particularly prides itself on its state-of-the-art equipment, designed to give music fans the ultimate experience in small venue live music.
As the name suggests, Blues Kitchen is all about the blues. Located on Camden High Street, the bar offers delicious Cajun-themed eats, plus live blues music to rival New Orleans itself.
At the weekend the venue opens up for DJ nights where things can get a little wild and are always great fun. If you’re into something more chilled out, the Blues Kitchen is runs a huge range of events – often pairing a live sound with a bargain offer on food or drink.
Every weekend offers something different, but whatever you go for, be sure of top quality acoustics and excellent vibes all round.
Annie Walton Doyle writes for Inspiring Interns & Graduates, the UKs leading graduate recruitment agency.