Clean Bandit's top five classical music venues in London

The chart-topping four-piece let us in on the best places to catch a classical concert

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Image: Justin Sutcliffe

Blending classical instruments and club beats? It could all go horribly wrong, but in the hands of four-piece Clean Bandit, the result is a string of quirky and catchy electronic pop hits. Since the band have been rooted at Number One in the charts for three weeks with latest single ‘Rather Be’, we asked Clean Bandit’s cellist Grace Chatto for her favourite places in London to enjoy classical music.

1

The George Tavern

‘The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (the resident orchestra at the Southbank Centre) have started doing nights around cool venues. I went to one at The George Tavern, a pub in east London, where they had a quartet
of really top-notch players who play on period instruments. The fact that it was in a pub made it quite different: it’s really unusual to hear people playing on period instruments outside of a church or concert hall.’

2

Peckham multi-story car park

‘This is a bit of a strange one. It has Frank’s Café on the roof, and the floor below is used for orchestral performances. I went to see Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” being played there, and there was a raging storm around the car park. The rain was coming in the sides, so we had to get as close as possible to the orchestra, which just made it feel even more intimate and exciting.’

3

Kings Place

‘This one is quite new. I really like the sound quality there, but some don’t – they think it’s too clear. I saw the Chilingirian Quartet there recently – they’re a completely different kind of string quartet to the one that played at The George Tavern. They play in an extremely rich way, and I think Kings Place was the perfect venue for that quartet. There’s a really nice café and bar too.’

4

Wigmore Hall

Wigmore Hall is my favourite. It has the best sound for chamber music.
I love how it’s decorated – it’s all red velvet seats. They always put on amazing quartets and chamber ensembles. If you aren’t going to see anything in particular, you can always be sure that it’ll be a good programme.’

5

The Purcell Room

‘I love the Purcell Room, which is quite small compared to the other halls at the Southbank. It’s an intimate experience and has really good sound. It’s not as beautiful as the Wigmore Hall, in my opinion, but it is a really good space for chamber music. One performance given by cellist Steven Isserlis, playing Brahms sonatas, really stuck in my memory.’


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