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The best music venues in London: Alexandra Palace

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

Alexandra Palace

Poor old Ally Pally: this landmark hilltop venue (with some of London’s best views) opened in 1873 as The People’s Palace, but it’s been devastated by fire twice – once, just 16 days after first opening its doors to the masses, and again in 1980, when the central Great Hall was destroyed.

It’s almost as if the Masonic sculptures and frescoes that adorn its interior were somehow tempting a supernatural higher power. Bar and toilet provision for some of the big shows remains patchy thanks to the layout, but the soundsystem is beloved of audiophiles – the Pixies chose it for the first London shows of their re-formation, and James Murphy for the last UK appearances for LCD Soundsystem.

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Muswell Hill
Next venue: Roundhouse


Amy L Tastemaker

A brilliant venue for live music - they have a food market in the hall outside where the band set up, with a range of food options, including Bodeans, Buddha Bowl, wood-fired pizza, a burrito stand, fried chicken strips, and sometimes Smokestak is set up outside. They also have a craft beer truck plus several other bars so you never have to wait too long for a drink. There's also ample toilets - a necessity at a live music venue. Transport is always very well set up, with a bunch of buses waiting outside the venue at the end of the night to transport everyone back to the nearest tube station (Wood Green), or Alexandra Palace station (on the TFL rail) is only a 15 minute walk back down the hill. I've seen Florence & the Machine and Phoenix here, and both have been fabulous.