Reflecting its international influence and cultural diversity, London is an exciting hub for both visual and performing arts, and music has long been at the forefront of the city’s creative expression. This has led to an affluence of outstanding music venues, including some of Europe’s most iconic concert halls and clubs. We take a look at the best places to see live music in London.
Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is undoubtedly among London’s most iconic concert venues, regularly hosting award-winning performers from around the globe. Built in 1871, it has the history to stand up to its reputation, too. Not only do people come here for the shows, they also come to take tours of the grand interior. Amidst the impressive performances held here, the Hall hosts the prestigious BBC Proms.
Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club
There aren’t many jazz clubs more famous than Ronnie Scott’s, which has been hosting legendary jazz musicians since 1959. To this day, the world’s leading jazz and blues musicians perform in this intimate space each night of the week.
Within this Grade I listed gothic setting, musicians take to the stage to be a part of the chapel’s rich live music offering, and the performances are only made more impressive by these cavernous surroundings. The venue covers a range of musical genres but it’s best known for acoustic and jazz nights.
Cecil Sharp House
Dedicated to the preservation and celebration of English folk music, Cecil Sharp House hosts regular dances and shows, with appearances from some of the biggest names in both folk and popular music, such as Mumford & Sons and Goldfrapp. Events take place on a daily basis.
As one of London’s major arts venues, Barbican Centre showcases the talent of artists across a broad range of disciplines including visual arts, film, theatre and dance. Music is of course integral here, with concerts ranging from string quartets and symphony orchestras to a contemporary music offering.
Royal Opera House
In its Covent Garden setting, this internationally renowned venue hosts the biggest names in opera, classical music and dance within its lavish auditorium. Performances by both The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet take place here, including seasonal favourites such as The Nutcracker.
Delve further into London’s music scene by joining the London Rock Tour with Evan Evans. Taking place throughout the course of a morning, afternoon or evening, this tour takes in the city’s studios, gig venues and film locations.
Image credits: Cover photo © iStock / 8213erika. Royal Albert Hall © iStock / Tony Baggett. Ronnie Scott’s © Flickr / vjlawson. London Tango Orchestra at the Union Chapel © Flickr / Paul Hudson. Royal Opera House © Flickr / Norio Nakayama.