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Looking for a whistle-stop guide to entertainment in London - whether it's clubbing, live music, theatre or comedy we've got you covered.

London has a reputation as a bustling city of power, passion and prestige, and accordingly there is no shortage of options for your entertainment needs. Whether it be live music, clubbing, theatre, comedy, or eating out with a good bottle of red, there’s a venue, night, and occasion for all. 

When you’ve got your bearings, it’s time to pick up a copy of TNT to find out what’s going on. In the meantime, here’s our guide to the biggest, best and most essential things to see, do and be a part of.

Main stage 
London’s live music scene is the talk of the town – and beyond. With a host of venues catering for the small intimate gigs as well as the ground-shaking arena epics, there’s accommodation for even the planet’s biggest stars. The newly refurbished Wembley Stadium is the natural stop for the world’s biggest acts, with Muse, Metallica and Foo Fighters having unleashed their live shows here in recent years. 

The nearby Wembley Arena is host to popular telly shows such as the perennial X Factor, in addition to comedians and bands – Flight of the Conchords performed a sell-out show here not two years ago. 

The O2 Arena, formerly ‘the Dome’ has, in the space of five years, quickly cemented itself as one of the world’s most popular venues in the country. 

An ‘intimate large venue’ if you will, it hosts a variety of shows, comedians and gigs ranging from TV show Strictly Come Dancing’s live tour and stand-up comedian Lee Evans to rock legends Led Zeppelin. 

Intimate setting 
As well as catering for the big guns, there are all manner of smaller scale venues across the city. The famous 100 Club (the100club.co.uk) in Oxford Street is a small venue that has seen the likes of the Sex Pistols and, more recently, Oasis, and was supported by none other than Paul McCartney when threatened with closure. King’s Cross’ The Scala (scala-london.co.uk) is an intimate venue par excellence, getting you up close and personal with the performers, and north London’s Highbury Garage is a regular stop for indie and rock’s finest. 

Brixton Academy is world famous; the former theatre and cinema having been the setting for live albums by the likes of Motorhead and Franz Ferdinand, and a regular stop for alternative bands, pop acts as well as comedians. 

The rejuvenated Roundhouse in Camden is an arts and music venue steeped in history, so too the Hammersmith Apollo which is a fave for top-selling artists and comedians alike and is host for the comedy show Live At The Apollo.

Familiar sounds 
For those missing the sounds of home, don’t worry as plenty of bands and comedians from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa tour their shows over here. 

Remember to check the pages of TNT for listings. There’s nothing like supporting homegrown talent overseas, and a special, one-off thrill can be found seeing bands from home abroad.

Buying tickets 
Most bands’ official websites have links to booking, or reminders when tickets go on sale. Sites such as Ticketweb or SeeTickets offer weekly newsletter letting you know who’s playing when and where so you don‘t miss out. 

If you’ve missed the initial sale then there are a number of sites where you can buy or sell tickets for gigs and shows too, such as seatwave.com and viagogo.com. The price might be steep, but sometimes there’s no price on seeing your favourite band.

Clubbing 
Electro, techno, house, trance, R&B, garage – whatever you’re after, there’s sounds to suit with clubs ready to challenge even the most energetic of clubbers. 

Ministry of Sound in Southwark, south London, is one of the clubbing scene’s mainstay attractions. With five rooms, four bars, four dancefloors, and four DJ booths, there is plenty to keep you going to the small hours.

Fabric in Farringdon is a top ten regular in ‘Best Club in the World’ polls in the press, and it lives up to its billing. It has three rooms including a ‘bodysonic’ dancefloor’ which pulses bass through your feet. 

Electric Brixton, formerly The Fridge, is a new, young upstart on the club scene and well worth checking out. In the summer, EGG near King’s Cross and Dex Club in Brixton (dexclub.co.uk) both boast balcony terraces so you can check out the tunes in glorious sunshine. 


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The Antipodeans' guide: London entertainment venues guide - the best in clubbing, comedy, live music and more
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