We reckon there’s no better place than London to see great live music, and that’s partly because of the superb selection of venues the city has – grand old music halls, churches, theatres, sweaty clubs and so much more. London’s clubs and music venues host acts big and small, from tiny indie gigs to huge hip hop concerts, and we’ve been exploring them one by one. Check out our venue profiles and make a date to discover the best of the London music scene.
Live music, warm cider and anxious weather-watching: the summer music festival season has become a British tradition. To help you plan a fab summer we’ve rounded up this year’s biggest and best UK and London festivals in one handy calendar. Whether you’re after a city weekender or fields full of fun, our 2017 festivals calendar has everything you need this summer. RECOMMENDED: More on music festivals
The Beatles burst out of Liverpool, packing skiffle songs powered by a sherbet sugar high, and magically grew into the highest selling band in the world, ever. John, Paul, George and Ringo created the definitive soundtrack for '60s idealism by using unadulterated romance, delicate folk storytelling for an increasingly outward-looking society, the warped psychedelic sounds of a progressive age and powerful, chugging rock to boot. These songs have lasted effortlessly and will continue to soundtrack the lives of generations to come, so come with us as we explore the Beatles on our magical list-ory tour... RECOMMENDED: The best songs ever
For the last 24 summers, Meltdown festival has allowed the Southbank Centre to hand over its programming calendar to a class of people hardly famed for their organisational skills – musicians. Luckily the impressive list of Meltdown curators (including David Bowie, John Peel and Yoko Ono) have always pulled through, making the festival an annual cultural highlight of the city. M.I.A. is curator of this year’s Meltdown (June 9-18). The fearless singer and artist had promised to ‘redefine the concept of a melting pot’ with the programming of this year’s festival. So, unlike previous years where household names like Radiohead, Nina Simone and Grace Jones took the focus, the line-up for 2017 is temptingly underground. And young. And global. From the scorch of Parisian afro-trap star MHD to the whiplash of pioneering Californian queer rapper Mykki Blanco, Meltdown 2017 looks set to be a winner. Here's five reasons why M.I.A. is a perfect fit for the role.
Tickets available here Saturday April 22 | Genesis Cinema Members are invited to this intimate evening, taking place at the Genesis Cinema in Mile End. Grammy-nominated musician Anderson .Paak will guide us through the breadth of visual artistry, influences and audiovisual creative process that have made him the artist he is today. The conversation will be led by Lily Mercer (Beats1/Rinse FM), giving music lovers and .Paak fans alike the chance to get up close and personal. With comedy from Johnny Cochrane and pals to kick things off, plus cocktails and pizza served throughout the night. All this alongside the sweet sounds of Khalil (Livin’ Proof) spinning us in and out of the event ’til the wee hours! Don’t miss this one-off opportunity. If you miss out on our allocation of free tickets, grab one here, starting at £39.
Let’s face it, the Garage has always been a bit dishevelled. The Highbury venue’s scuffed look was part of its appeal during the ’90s and 2000s, when bands like Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Cypress Hill, Babyshambles, Radiohead and Oasis all graced its sticky stage. But we’re a greedier bunch today, and we expect top-notch soundsystems and thoughtfully stocked bars as standard. New owners DHP Family (who also run Oslo Hackney and the newly reopened Borderline in Soho) are behind The Garage’s dramatic new look. Not only have they fitted a state-of-the-art lighting and PA system in the main room but the underused street-facing bar has cannily been spun into an extremely stylish coffee-shop-cum-cocktail-bar called General Store; it will open in the daytime and service both commuters and gig-goers. The music room upstairs is now a vision in blush pink velvet and stainless steel, where previously it was gloomy, uninspired and dour. Clearly Studio 54 has been an inspiration. The pastel hues plus 150 glitterballs on the ceiling (that’s one for everybody who can fit into the room at capacity) has led to its new nickname: Thousand Island. Musicians are in for a treat too – not only does the dressing room come with actual bottles of dressing in a cabinet (geddit?) but that mouldy sofa propped up on wooden pallets? Dumped. I saw my first proper gig at The Garage as a schoolgirl, standing front row as Spiritualized turned grown men into balls of tears. Scr
Thousand Island is a new self-contained music venue and late, late night club, in what used to be Upstairs at The Garage on Highbury Corner. Following a recent refurb, The Garage – a live music venue that’s been hosting major gigs since 1993 – is now hosting up-and-coming artists, as well as club nights in its intimate, upstairs space (with added mirrorballs on the ceiling). And it's within easy reach of Highbury & Islington station for when you need to stagger home on the night tube.