From David Bowie to Pink Floyd and the Kinks, London has been home to some of the biggest rock bands in history. Live music is still the beating heart of London’s nightlife, and there are plenty of places to catch your favorite bands on stage.
Notable Rock History Sites
- Abbey Road in north London is where the Beatles shot their cover art for the 1969 album of the same name. The street is also home to the world-famous Abbey Road Studios.
- Built in 1971, the flagship Hard Rock Café in London was the first of its kind to swing open its doors. Take a seat for a flame-grilled burger and fries, and admire memorabilia from rock ‘n’ roll’s heyday.
- The West End’s Denmark Street is London’s answer to Tin Pan Alley—and it’s here that the Rolling Stones cut their first record.
- Beloved singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse lived and played in the pubs and clubs around Camden before achieving international fame for her powerful, expressive vocals.
- Battersea Power Station takes pride of place on the banks of the Thames River, and was famously featured on the cover of Pink Floyd’s 1977 album, “Animals.”
Notable Live Music Venues
- Alexandra Palace, near Muswell Hill in north London, plays host to a stellar selection of gigs and performances year-round.
- The Roundhouse in Camden welcomed the Doors and Jefferson Airplane in 1968, and to this day still features some of the best rock acts on the circuit.
- Royal Albert Hall may look sedate and stately, but the venue has a rock ‘n’ roll pedigree dating back to the ‘60s when Eric Clapton and Cream first took to the stage.
- Since 1959, Ronnie Scott’s in Soho has been a jazz-lover’s dream destination. Big names including Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, and Nina Simone have all played there, and the venue continues to showcase the finest contemporary jazz musicians in the game.
- The Borderline sits just off Charing Cross Road and is a great place to catch intimate gigs from London’s up-and-coming artists.