Ain't Nothing But Blues Bar

Music, Music venues Soho
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Taking its name from a musical revue that tracked the history of the genre, this blue-painted (natch) venue benefits from a late licence (3am on Fridays and Saturdays) and a specialist music policy, which in actual fact gives it a wide remit stretching from bar room honky-tonk through the west coast/Chicago sound to roots reggae, even. An unpretentious place with a reliably entertaining vibe, Ain't Nothin'… presents live music 7/7, with week nights often a better option, as they are far less busy. In short, it does exactly what it says on the tin.


Venue name: Ain't Nothing But Blues Bar
Address: 20
Kingly Street
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Average User Rating

3.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:7
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:4
1 person listening

'Ain't nothing but' is a great post dinner bar with some of the best jazz and blues music in London. Its a small and authentic environment but gets pretty packed.


Great blues bar just off bustling Kingly Street, in the heart of Carnaby. Small, intimate, with fantastic blues/jazz artists playing live. A really great place for pre or post dinner drinks, I would probably recommend pre as it gets absolutely rammed later on.

It’s no Ronnie Scotts but there is a bizarrely familiar feel to it, even if you have never been before. Lovely staff and good selection of ales and beers (also wine etc!).


Ain't nothing but is a great Blues bar on Kingly street, right behind Carnaby street and easily accessible via Oxford Circus station. My friend Anna basically lives in this bar and loves it dearly so she was the perfect person to experience it with. Everyone there is a proper music lover. The only thing I don't like about it is that it's constantly packed. I mean, you struggle to move once inside even on a Monday night. I think there are gigs every night, going amateur jamming to professionals. There's a great range of beers and you can be sure to make loads of great people while hanging out there.

I love this joint. There quality of the rotating musicians, friendliness of the people for a random chat, noone minding when we start to groove to the music (assuming not running into each other of course), while sipping a nice pint or two...

Only downside I see of leaving a good review is the line outside may get a bit longer, which has consistently been worth it.

We first went to this venue 21 years ago and have been going there and playing there ever since. It is totally unique in London and Europe in it's blues music 7 days a week policy, and 2 events per day Tuesday to Friday. The bands are never dull, the house music reinforces the venue's music policy, and the audiences are generally multicultural and wildly enthusiastic.

The Best Blues Bar this side of the Atlantic. Great live bands every night. Has been keeping the Blues going for 22 years. An institution.

I have been here twice. Each time to see West Weston. The atmosphere was terrific, the band world class, the staff were fine, the doorman was polite. We had a tremendous time. The beers were pricey, but we got there before 8:30 so entrance was free. We managed to get a seat eventually and were almost sitting on the tiny stage with the band. Where else could you get such an experience for the price of a few beer?

There are plenty of places in London to listen to live music, enjoy a good drink and good company and feel like you're actually welcome. Sadly, I wasted hard earned pennies buying a mediocre drink at this place before I realised this isn't one of those venues. Instead of drinks flowing it's arrogance and contempt overflowing.

AVOID THIS PLACE! Totally lame joint run by the Fun Police! Terrible experience with arrogant manager & staff who need to get a grip. And the beer tastes rank. This was the first bar we visited on a Thursday evening after work. When the live music started my colleagues & I were enjoying ourselves by having a bit of a dance (we were the ONLY people dancing to live music so what does that say about the punters) and then we were refused service after just 2 drinks at 9pm for being 'too drunk'. I was shocked. The arrogant & cowardly manager hid behind his excuse of Westminster Council being so strict and that it wasn't him being strict....yet the doorman was knowingly letting the band go outside and drink on the street at the interval while he was stopping everyone else form doing the same. Yeah, and Westminster Council cares if the people drinking outside are from the band or not, right? London has plenty of good bars. This isn't one of them. Find another place to have fun if you're on a night out.

To balance the one star review I should like to say we had no problems when we went to see the amazing keyboard player Dino Baptistse. There aren't many seats - but this place is not designed for people like me - 68 and creaky. This place is great value. If I was in my twenties I'd be coming here all the time.

The music is usually great but as per review below the managment needs to improve. Especially the doorman and his interpersonal skills. I'm OK with waiting in the queue to get into the club for an hour (it get's incredibly busy so I advise to get early) but this drunk and drugged wacko doorman refused to let us in as we had one beer in the queue. First one on the night just to be precise. Not pissheads.Honestly get a life. We've got the money to buy the drinks inside but if you are waiting for an hour in the queue you get thirsty. Do you know how many people come there pissed? You could at least consider serving drinks to your customers in the queue if you want to play by your strict rules. And advertise them! You put a screen outside - nice. Make some business and sell beer to those in the queue. Put a small speaker too to make the waiting more interesting. Make this place more friendly. Think about blues fans. Think about blues. Not your wacko rules!

Nice music, worse staff i have ever seen. I used to go to bars listen to blues and jazz for 15 years and this bar chocked me. The manager is well known as a piece of a jerk. The girl attending at the bar treates most of people very bad. Sincerelly there are plenty of bars that i could spend my money but not this one. If you would like to be treatened as a human being this is not your place.