For many people, London is the music capital of the world. Nothing beats a few pre-gig drinks at the pub before heading to an iconic venue for a strong dose of head-banging and heavy metal.
You can’t beat a live gig, either, can you? Sitting at home streaming from Spotify, watching clips on YouTube or playing games like Motorhead video slot may be easy, but it's hard to emulate the thrill of a live gig.
Witnessing your favourite music-makers in the flesh in an iconic venue that is steeped in history is an unbeatable experience.
Live music will certainly never die, and some of London’s most iconic venues are more than playing their part in making sure the city’s rock scene is still going strong. Below is a look at a select few of them.
The Intrepid Fox
A pub that has moved around a bit after being ejected from a number of premises in what can only be described as true rock’n’roll behaviour, The Intrepid Fox is back with a boom in Islington after rock and metal fans came together to keep this precious venue alive. Even Mick Jagger has been known to rock out in The Intrepid Fox on occasions, while the venue’s diverse collection of bands and DJs pull in huge audiences on a weekend.
The Electric Ballroom
When the pubs and bars close in Camden, heading to The Electric Ballroom makes a great deal of sense. A market in the day, this iconic venue comes to life at night. One of Camden’s longest and most popular live music venues, rock royalty has taken to the stage there, alongside a range of other bands from other well-liked genres. The likes of The Smiths and Blink 182 have played there, as well as Sid Vicious and The Dandy Warhols. For fans of rock music, this Camden establishment rarely lets them down, although given the calibre of music on offer there, your safest bet is to snap up a ticket in advance so you aren’t disappointed on the night.
Another Camden-based venue, Hobgoblin is a goth pub with serious attitude. Formerly known as The Devonshire Arms, this alternative venue has been a home for people for decades, with Camden’s characters and music lovers assembling to create a unique atmosphere that will go down well with any diehard rockers among us. Particularly popular with punk and death metal fans, Hobgoblin is a great place to go to dance the night away.
The Fighting Cocks
Kingston Upon Thames
Although The Fighting Cocks isn’t located in Central London, it’s worth venturing outside of Zone 1 to seek out this This Kingston-based rock bar. Small in size but big in attitude, it hosts a wide selection of bands, from up-and-coming local bands to international acts. It’s a great place to drink delicious ales and mosh to some heavy music.
There are plenty of other rock venues in London besides: theO2 Academy Brixton, George Tavern (Stepney), Koko (Camden), The Underworld (Camden), The Windmill (Brixton), and The Crobar (Soho).