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The best music venues in London: O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire

The city's 20 best places to see live music, as voted by you – get the latest gig listings and buy tickets

O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire

Once a BBC Television Theatre, it’s not surprising there’s something telegenically grand about the Empire. The building’s baroque interior exudes a grown-up glamour few venues can match, which is why it’s one of west London’s few contenders for the city’s favourite venue. 

The environment lends a gravitas to the chirpiest performance, as Lily Allen ably demonstrated in the flush of her fame. So you can imagine the sensation of seeing the likes of David Bowie, Bob Dylan or Amy Winehouse here.

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Shepherd's Bush
Next venue: 100 Club

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The Man on the Street
The Man on the Street Tastemaker

Love this place. Had some bonkers nights here. Best ever was Rival Sons backed by The Graveltones. Great mix of emerging US and UK talent. The hot spot in the house is downstairs. Get close to the action. Upstairs is a bit like being in a cinema "watching" the band from afar. However, if its the choice of upstairs or miss it .... go upstairs. This is one of those venues where on day you may just say "I was there when ...."