TOP 5 MOST UNUSUAL MUSIC VENUES IN LONDON
WRITTEN BY JASMINE LEE KENNEDY
Love gigs, but sick of the same old venues? Then check out our top 5 most unusual music venues in London, where you can enjoy an incredible show with boundless ambience.
Tamesis Dock, Vauxhall
First on our list is London’s floating pub, Tamesis Dock – a brightly coloured converted-1930s barge which sits idly on the Thames. On the weekends, they’re known for showcasing up-and-coming talent below deck, playing anything from Latin jazz and neo-soul to ukulele karaoke. As gigs are usually free and work on a first-come-first-serve basis, we recommend you get down there early to avoid disappointment. When you’re not throwing shapes in the hull, you can head upstairs to enjoy their tasty tipples and top-notch British grub, all washed down with the stunning view of some of London’s most famous landmarks.
Albert Embankment, Lambeth, London, SE1 7TP
Cafe Cairo, Clapham North
As you walk through the doors of this North African-inspired hideout, you’re immediately enchanted by the unique decor. Cobbled floors meet crimson walls, with mismatched, vintage chairs and curious Egyptian knick-knacks as far as the eye can see. If you head to the back, you’ll find a magical, tented alcove that has been brought to life with fairy lights and huge, inviting cushions. But if it’s a gig you’re after, make your way downstairs and you’ll see live performances and DJs playing reggae, Latin, drum & bass, jungle and just oh so much more. Great for a glass of rum punch, a bit of a boogie – and a free slice of toast.
88 Landor Rd, Clapham, London SW9 9PE
The Sky Garden, Fenchurch Street
At the top of one of London’s most famed skyscrapers, the Walkie Talkie, you’ll find the Sky Garden. Here, you can drink amongst the clouds surrounded by landscaped gardens and breathtaking views of the capital. On Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, you can also catch live music and DJs there, playing a range of music from classic jazz to soul and house. They ask that you book ahead using their online service but, if you are unable to do so, you can come as a walk-in after 6pm on Wednesdays and 9pm on Saturdays.
20 Fenchurch St, London EC3M 8AF
The Blues Kitchen, Brixton
With retro dining booths, dim, atmospheric lighting, and the ever-present saloon typeface on the walls, you feel transported to another era at this quirky South London bar. They have live music on nearly every night, playing Motown, funk and soul, with DJs hitting the decks in the earlier hours. On the weekend, events are usually free until 8pm, but can become ticketed after – although they’re rarely over a tenner. If you’re in the area for dinner, tuck into their American soul-food classics, which include mac and cheese and New Orleans gumbo.
Tip: Make sure to try the buffalo wings.
40 Acre Ln, Brixton, London SW2 5SP
Natural History Museum, South Kensington
This is probably the last place you’d expect to go for a night out, but on the last Friday of every month (excluding December) the Natural History Museum hosts silent discos. Upon entrance, you’ll be handed a pair of headphones that let you flick between three different DJs who’ll be spinning tunes simultaneously. Sliding across the dance floor in the architectural beauty that is the Hinzte hall – under Hope, the resident whale skeleton dangling in the centre – is a truly surreal experience. So, if you’re going for a walk around the National History Museum, why not stay a little bit later for a drink and some music?
Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD
Tamesis Dock: Tripadvisor – https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d1225478-Reviews-Tamesis_Dock-London_England.html
Cafe Cairo: Out Out – https://www.outout.info/venue.php?id=11792
Sky Garden: Own website – https://skygarden.london/
Brixton Blues Kitchen: Design my night – https://www.designmynight.com/london/bars/brixton/blues-kitchen-brixton/review
National History Museum: Own website – https://www.nhm.ac.uk/events/silent-disco.html