Ain't Nothin' But...

  • Bars and pubs
2 Love It
Soho

When the owners of this cluttered temple to da blooze hit upon the idea of using a Georgia White song title as its name, they could have plumped for ‘Hot Nuts’ or ‘Take Me For a Buggy Ride’.

Yet it’s the risqué singer’s 78 of ‘The Blues Ain’t Nothin’ But…’ that’s been given pride of place facing a cabin-like bar counter where pints of Adnams Bitter and Broadside, as well as Bitburger, Murphy’s and Mad Goose Purity are dispensed and duly taken back to a saloon-style back room accommodating the seating. That’s where the live music takes place most nights of the week, performed by tail-shakers happy to have a residency and equal acclaim from tourists and local enthusiasts.

The staircase down to the toilets is decorated with caricatures of great names in blues and wider genres (the one of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins is a work of art). Overall, a likeable student-bohemian vibe sets this place apart from the trendier spots along bar-lined Kingly Street.

Venue name: Ain't Nothin' But...
Contact:
Address: 20 Kingly Street
London
W1B 5PZ
Opening hours: Open/food served 6pm-1am Mon-Thur; 5pm-2.30am Fri; 3pm-2.30am Sat; 3-11pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Oxford Circus tube

Average User Rating

2.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:7
LiveReviews|14
1 person listening
The Man on the Street
Staff Comp

I am probably better known in this bar than I should be. For me it has its own magnetic pull after about 9pm. I like it for three reasons. The music, the beer and the people. Even if I go alone I am always in a group by the need of the night. You have to wait in line to get in, its often packed to capacity and the place can be jumping. If you like to be treated like a VIP, need a comfy chair and don't like hot sweaty Blues Bars, for God's sake don't go. If you want a place that feels like a bit of prohibition Chicago just landed in London, give it a go. From the reviews on here it seems some have really not enjoyed.  Thats so far from my experience on frequent visits. If you go, I just hope you have as good a night as me !

Cliff Bonner

My gob is smacked. The negative reviews here have left me with a feeling of disbelief. Are you - yes, you - going to the same place as I am? I have been visiting this place regularly for the last few months. I usually go on a Tuesday or Thursday and arrive about 6:30. It's free. I have never - and I mean never - found any of the staff rude or unhelpful. I drink - quite a bit - and have not found it difficult to get a drink or to get my seat held for me. Be real - it is not a place to eat. The music is great and the atmosphere is great. Given the entertainment and the geography the drink prices are acceptable. What else can I say to those who have rated it so low? I disagree.... but then I am of a 'certain' age, like my music 'real' and 'accessible' always carry a smile and use please and thank you as required. To those who are regulars ... I'm the well dressed, shaven headed bloke with lots of enthusiasm, a beer and a chaser.

Nigel Walton

Great venue ,going tomorrow to Jam ,just hope I can get on early enough to catch my train back to Coventry at 10.45 pm

Chris

Don't agree with all the negative comments at all. This place is pretty small and since it is popular they cram as many people as possible in there, so getting a beer can be a bit slow, but the amazing musicians and friendly vibe make it all worthwhile. Obviously it's not for everyone but if you want something different to the usual tourist traps in London, this is definitely the place to go. The Monday Jam session is great, one of our friends got to get up on stage to play with the band.

breno

Rude staff. The manager don´t treat anyone well. The girl with short hair at the ar is the most unpolite. The worse service i have ever seen in my entire life. Me and my party were kicked off the bar because i was starving and ate a sandwich (they don´t have anything to eat there, just beverages). If you ask fo the nachos that is shown on the menu they probably will say to you: "No mas, we won´t make it for your, the bar is full". I strictly don´t recommend it for anyone. If ou like to be treated as a human being DON´T GO THERE!!!!

J Souza

No doubt, a place where you can find great musicians working together, playing great music, first class blues, but the staff including the manager, are absolutely terrible, they are extremely rude, don't give a damn about the customers, rude, rude, rude. I am extremely regret to try this place. There are many others places in London where you can find great blues, with the same musicians that play at Aint Nothin But Blues Bar, but with much friendly and welcomely staff. There is nothing worth than go out to have fun and find yourself in a place where you get treated as garbage.

lola

great bar - aint nothin else like it in London. unpretentious and despite the comments below, the queues outside speak for themselves. It's crowded, and a bit chaotic but the act on the night we went were excellent.

roller

What a crappy Bar, that Manager has GOT TO GO! abuse from the bar, great open mic night but my god will never go to this place again, I spend over £300 in 3 hours! and still get asked to leave because they want their table! disgrace!

Justin

The Monday night blues jam here is superb, sometimes even world class, with a uniquely friendly atmosphere amongst the international crowd and musicians. In fax I've found most of the staff to be very friendly too. Yes, it gets crowded and you will have to que if you get there after 8ish and the decor is basic and the beer is pricey, but all in all one of my favourite nights in London if you love blues.

Lulu

I'm actually really surprised to read the comments on this place. It is such a shame the staff ruined the bar for so many people. There are a bunch of rotating bands, some are average but I've been a couple of times where they were really good. On the whole i love the atmosphere and the size of the place (i guess created by the people you go with). So as long as your highlight isnt buying your beer, you'll have an awesome time!

rachel

Awful bar..purely because the service was so bad..and the staff were so rude.DO NOT GO TO THIS BAR!!!

Paolo

A Very BAD place!!! I will never come back to this place in my life! We received the worse treatment ever! I really don't recommend this place to anyone simply because the manager (that is the guy behind the bar with long sideburn) was shouting as a mad even to some of the girls with a series of F**k off, spitting up, etc...because we had to finish our drinks quickly to leave a table that he needed and we were there just since 30mins around 8pm. This is enough to let you understand which kind of person he is and he doesn't deserve to manage this place at all! Neither have customer there! AVOID THIS PLACE!

Pietro

The worst service ever! We have been kicked out of the place at 8.30pm, because two of us were sitting in the corner of the stage (while none was playing). The exact line was "now finish your drink and get a F##k out of here" even shouted in front of girls. We were 15 people, enjoying the place and spending money over there. No one was drunk neither screaming. That's miles away from how a customer should be treated. And it's a great pity those lines above came directly from the manager!! AVOID THIS PLACE!!

Disgusted

Terrible bar! Writing this review simply because my experience was so bad and don't wish others to make the same mistake. Reading the other reviews however, my experience doesn't seem so extraordinary. I have never been to a bar/venue anywhere in the world where the staff were so incredibly rude. There are many London Blues bars which are much better without the arrogant rudeness - do not waste your time and money here!