12 live music bars in London to keep on your radar

From low-lit DJ sets to outstanding lyrical performances, live music in London is one of the city’s greatest highlights.

There’s something for every music taste in the capital. Check out the top picks for the best live music bars in London.

1. Old Street Records – Shoreditch

Old Street Records live music bar in LondonAs one of Shoreditch’s favourite live music bars, Old Street Records is famous for its lively EP launches and groundbreaking performances from newly established bands alike.

No two nights are the same at Old Street Records. Music genres range from exciting groovy soul beats and hip-hop house to low-key DJ sessions and cosy jazz nights. With live music every night, check out their schedule and grab your ticket today.

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2. JUMBI – Peckham

JUMBI live music bar in LondonHosting album playbacks, instrumental jams and even poetry performances, JUMBI is a newcomer to the London music scene that has already made a statement. As a trendy listening bar, JUMBI has stripped back the classic DJ set-up with a single deck that has hosted multiple notable names in the electronic industry.

Describing themselves as ‘more of a hang spot’, JUMBI’s relaxed, warm atmosphere makes it a cosy, low-key South London spot that lets you melt into the music.

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3. Nightjar – Shoreditch

Live music barNon-stop jazz, swing and blues tunage? Check. Old school speakeasy atmosphere? Check. Mouthwatering vintage-style cocktails? Check! Nightjar in East London’s trendy Shoreditch district is one of the capital’s favourite live music bars – and for good reason!

Alongside serving a spectacular cocktail menu, Nightjar Shoreditch is renowned for its dazzling speakeasy bar performances influenced by the prohibition era. But keep your eyes out, this live music bar is well hidden! Keep an eye out for the unassuming front door with a bird plaque.

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4. System – Stoke Newington

System live music bar in LondonOne the most unique listening bars on this list, System based within the Newington Green Road butchers, Stella’s, is a pop-up, walk-ins-only hi-fi bar. Open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, System’s bizarre butchery turned live music bar set-up is hard to ignore.

With a regularly rotating collection of DJs, smashing neon signage and superior speaker quality throughout, System is the perfect spot to get up close and personal with the tunes.

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5. Upstairs @ Ronnie’s – Soho

Women singing into microphone at live music barHidden above Soho’s iconic Ronnie Scotts’ jazz club, you’ll find Upstairs @ Ronnie’s. This intimate live music bar is a treasure trove of instrumental and lyrical gems.

Monday nights see New Orleans-influenced singers and pianists take the stage. Tuesday night is TALENT night with Ruby Sings. On Wednesday nights, Upstairs @ Ronnie’s welcomes ‘jazz ‘n samba’ sets. Thursday nights host exquisite guitar duos. Fridays mean all things Afro-Cuban. And Saturday night is the vinyl night!

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6. MOKO – Tottenham 

MOKO live music bar in LondonFrom the musical duo behind JUMBI, MOKO is a new North London hi-fi music bar venue offering transformative deep listening experiences. Opening in 2023, MOKO serves an array of signature cocktails, delicately crafted small plates and modern vegan soul food.

Celebrating the vibrant sounds African-Caribbean diaspora, MOKO’s house, jazz, soul and electronica events aim to bring people together with a strong focus on community and balance.

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7. Night Tales Loft – Hackney

Drumset at Night Takes Loft live music bar in LondonEscape into a New York-style apartment oasis at Night Tales Loft, one of Hackney’s most up-and-coming spots. This live music bar doubles as a cosy café by day and a lively cocktail bar by night. Serving tasty street food and creative cocktails, NT’s Loft is best known for its dynamic and ever-changing selection of musical genres.

From serene mid-week jazz sessions to a non-stop house and garage party across the weekend, NT’s Loft is the music lounge that does it all. With neon lighting, communal tables and funky beats, assemble your mates for a groovy night out at NT’s Loft!

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8. Brilliant Corners – Dalston

Vinyl shelvesInspired by the original listening bars in Tokyo, Brilliant Corners is a dimly lit music bar offering appetising Japanese small plates, a gorgeous natural wine menu, and an ever-evolving vinyl collection.

Location in Dalston and with its spectacular floating moon light installations and low-lit setting, Brilliant Corners is a vinyl-only listening bar housing one of London’s only audiophile sound systems. Sip stunning orange wine, chow down on exquisite edamamé and get ready to feel the music.

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9. Fidelio Cafe – Farringdon

Cocktail sat on pianoRediscover authentic classical music at Fidelio Cafe. Situated in London’s buzzy Farringdon district, Fidelio brings together the biggest names in the classical music industry.

While challenging the traditional orchestra performance approach, Fidelio’s musical experiences aim to create an intimate connection between the music and its guests. For jazz lovers out there, Fidelio even hosts live jazz sessions in their secret underground bar.

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10. All My Friends – Hackney Wick

Originally only intended to be a three-month pop-up back in 2022, All My Friends in Hackney Wick has exploded onto London’s live music scene. Bringing together huge DJs, impeccable BBQ street food and sumptuous natural wine, All My Friends has become the ultimate Hackney hang-out spot.

What’s more, All My Friends even has its own record shop! Described as a ‘lovely digging spot’ by local DJ Anna Wall, All My Friends’ electronic music collection is the gold mine for vinyl enthusiasts and collectors.

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11. STEREO – Covent Garden

Low lit barInspired by the dynamic New York and London nightlife and music scene, STEREO is a refreshing live music bar hidden beneath Covent Garden Market. STEREO delivers a splendid music programme each night, ranging from relaxed tunes from the house band and unique one-off artist performances to a rotating roster of resident DJs.

And we can’t forget to mention their out-of-this-world cocktails. The Disco Punch Bowl (served inside a disco ball!) is Rockstar Sharers menu showstopper. The late-night menu’s mouthwatering nachos and deep-fried mozzarella are also highlights.

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12. Next Door Records – Shepherds Bush

Live music at Next Door Records, Notting HillWest London’s newest record and bottle shop has been making waves across the capital’s fast-paced music scene. Opening in lockdown, by day Next Door Records is a cosy, laid-back café workspace serving first-class coffee with endless vinyl racks to peruse. But by night, Next Door Records welcomes an array of local musical talent.

From live instrumental and lyrical performances to relaxed DJ sessions, Next Door Records has become a favourite casual hangout spot for music lovers and foodies alike. Check out their Instagram to discover the current food residents.

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