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The best music venues in London: Vortex

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



Music Jazz Dalston

There are few venues in the city you could visit on spec at any time and be guaranteed to hear something interesting. With the possible exception (depending on your tolerance threshold for Japanese no-wave) of the nearby Café Oto, the Vortex is one of London’s most lovingly curated venues.

Jazz is the order of the day, but the Vortex serves it up in kaleidoscopic variety. This is where ‘gateway jazz’-turned-dubstep Mercury nominees Portico Quartet cut their teeth, where electro-jazz mad hatters Three Trapped Tigers first broke, where dual-sax genius Pete Wareham roadtests his various prog-jazz outfits such as Polar Bear and The Final Terror.

For the less daring among you, there’s a regular calendar of big-band, piano trio, vocal, free improv, world-music, gypsy/East European and folk-oriented sounds each month. See listings for details, or just turn up and dig it, daddy-o.

Next venue: Royal Albert Hall

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