Living in London for the past three months have certainly opened my eyes up to the small gig scene in the capital.  We are pretty used travelling to huge stadiums across the country whether they are Wembley or Millenium but really, all we really fancy is a small intimate scene where you feel like the band/singer is only playing to yours truly.  So where are the perfect small gig places in London? Well this guide certainly will explain more…


If you love live music you needn’t ever be short of things to do in London, with something that’s likely to appeal to you happening almost every evening. Of course, for most of us it’s not realistic to be out and about all that often. This could make looking up trains to London and taking a short break well worth doing. Why not take a peek at the listings for some of the following small and atmospheric gig venues ahead of your visit?


Flickr Photo by tim-madden


100 Club

This famous venue will forever be associated with the punk explosion of the late 70s (when it held the first ever international punk festival) but throughout the years has hosted a huge number of bands from across the genres. The Oxford Street club faced closure in late 2010 but big name stars including Paul McCartney supported the campaign to keep it open and since then it’s hosted a range of smaller acts and seen special performances from rock giants like Paul Weller and Blur.


The Old Blue Last

If you like trying to catch the next big thing before everyone else does The Old Blue Last could be for you. There’s live music most nights of the week and quite often it can be enjoyed for free! This east London pub is owned by Vice magazine and is a short walk from Old Street station in fashionable Shoreditch. It’s also built up a reputation for hosting secret performances from big name artists, so it’s always worth keeping your eyes on the listings!


12 Bar Club

This intimate venue is well worth popping in to after a day in central London, as its Denmark Street home puts it between Charing Cross, Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road. You can catch all kinds of music here and indeed in the past the likes of Seasick Steve have played. There’s also a café around the front, so if you’re just after somewhere to have a drink it could fit the bill too.


The Dublin Castle

It’s hard to ignore Camden’s history when you’re putting together any list of live music venues in London. The Dublin Castle saw the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Coldplay and Blur take to its stage on their journey to superstardom and now forms part of the Camden Crawl Festival, meaning it could be as good a reason as any to get train tickets to London.

What are your favourite small gig venues in the capital?


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