The live music scene in London is well and truly alive – from pristine venues to watch polished acts, to small, unsigned bands playing live gigs at spit and sawdust venues. There are also open mic nights for just about anyone to cut their musical teeth. As long as there’s a band willing to play, there’s generally a place happy to have them. Best of all, many events are free, or cheap. Make the most of what’s on offer because you never know, the band you are watching might be on the brink of superstardom.

The Slaughtered Lamb

The Slaughtered Lamb hosts the Electroacoustic Club on selected Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, which  showcases the best in acoustic, folk and electronica music. You’re bound to find something new and unusual.
» 34-35 Great Sutton St, EC1V ODX 
Tube: Barbican;

The 100 Club

Feted as the oldest live music venue in London, the 100 Club boasts an “open-minded” music policy; artists as diverse Muddy Waters, Beverly Knight, Clash and the Oasis have appeared here. It was the launching pad of the Sex Pistols and a sponsorship with Converse recently saved this old club from the axe.
» 100 Oxford St, W1D 1LL
Tube: Oxford Circus

Club NME at KOKO

Every Friday, KOKO in Camden hosts Club NME. First launched in 2004 by the Kaiser Chiefs, the clubnight has propelled the likes of The Gossip, Foals, Glasvegas and Klaxons into the mainstream. This is the place to go to watch bands vie for a shot at rock ‘n’ roll stardom.
» 1a Camden High Street, NW1 7JE
Tube: Mornington Crescent;

The Lexington

Half Dixie honky-tonk and half Camden refugee, this venue of the rickety warehouse variety hosts bands most nights. They vary from rock, catchy pop, new- wave and electronica. Students from the nearby halls of residence and young professionals munch on chilli dogs and chicken, then burn off the calories with the live music.
» 96-98 Pentonville Road, N1 9JB
Tube: Angel


Dingwalls is a great live music venue to see up and coming acts while they are still cutting their teeth. Their regular new music nights are popular.
» Middle Yard, Camden Lock, NW1 8AB
Tube: Camen Town


An edgy underground venue in a city full of gaudy champagne-and-short-skirts rah-rah bars, Jamboree, nestled amid Cable Street Studios in Limehouse hosts bands playing Americana/ Bluegrass, Ragtime and Swing every Monday, Tuesday and Friday. Jazz fusions, Gypsy and Ska also pipe out from its industrial environs.
» 566 Cable Street, Limehouse, E1W 3HB
Tube: Shadwell