‘What kind of music are you into?’ That dreaded question that everyone hates being asked (unless you’re one of those who can’t wait to explain your utter passion for ‘minimal synth’). No matter how comfortable you are with your musical tastes, the answer ‘I like a bit of everything’, is always followed by a sense of regret that you just aren’t knowledgeable enough… weren’t you supposed to memorise a go-to answer the last time this question came up? But fear not, dear Londoners, as we are here with an eclectic range of venues that will please and expand your musical appetite. So next time that question comes up, you can just share your wealth of knowledge about London’s best venues for ‘up-and-coming’ talent.
1. The Bedford
The Bedford in Balham is legendary and showcases incredibly varied live music acts from Monday through to Thursday (varied not just in style & genre, but also in skill…). The likes of James Morrison and Paolo Nutini played here during pivotal points in their careers, so you never know… you could be watching the next big thing. The atmosphere is fantastically welcoming and it’s definitely the place to go for an evening of laid back entertainment.
2. Zigfrid Von Underbelly
This Shoreditch classic bar & food house is an independent business owned, designed and run by Irish designer Paul Daly and it’s… well, a little crazy (much like its name suggest). The decor is pretty monumental and includes totem poles, surfboards and plenty of neon colour. Make your way downstairs to Underbelly, Zigfrid’s live music space. If you love a bit of blues, then tonight (Thursday 14th April) catch some brilliant bands – tickets are from only £3 on Fever. But if you’re too busy tonight (get you, eh?) then see what other events are coming up here…
3. The Troubadour
This quirky looking joint near Earl’s Court is a cosy little cafe (founded way way back in 1954), which provides a side of live music alongside your coffee. After being saved from closure last year, it has continued it’s legacy of creative innovation and has played host to some of the UK’s famous acts pre-mega-fame, including Ed Sheeran, Laura Marling and the queen of vocals, Adele. They have musical events running every week. To check out what’s on this month, have a peak here.
4. Cafe Oto
This Dalston venue is dedicated to housing and showcasing creative new talent, providing London with a concert programme that goes beyond mainstream tastes. By daytime OTO is a Cafe, by nighttime they showcase live music 7 evenings a week. Feast your eyes (and later ears) on what events they’ve got coming up this month here.
5. Piano Works
The Piano Works in Farringdon offers a unique and personal way to listen to live music. The idea is that guests pick up a napkin, write down their song request and send it to the pianist (with a cheeky tip included). So you can sip on a cocktail as your favourite song tinkers away in the background.