the best live music venues in london: barbican

Number 16: Barbican

No question, London’s live music credentials are rock solid. But which venues can turn a concert into a mind-blowing night out? Time Out readers pick the best places to see gigs in London.

New York Philharmonic perform at the Barbican New York Philharmonic perform at the Barbican - © Chris Lee


Silk St, London, EC2Y 8DS

It might look like it was built in 1920s Uzbekistan (then turned inside out) but, believe it or not, the Barbican is about to celebrate its thirtieth birthday.

This borderline-navigable optical and spatial illusion is a favourite venue of arts-loving Londoners due to the overwhelming breadth of musical genres that can be heard here.

Home to the LSO, it’s also where ’60s super-producer Joe Boyd and the surviving members of Pink Floyd chose to host their 2007 Syd Barrett tribute show.

In the last year alone, it has showcased Sufi music, and a for-the-hell-of-it mash-up of Afrobeat legends with South American electronicists, to preconception-shattering effect.

Most popular gigs at Barbican

  • I Am Kloot

    Recommended Tue Feb 19 2013, Barbican Centre

    Endearingly scuffed, potently poignant tales of love, lager and long, dark nights of the soul fro...

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