As musicians living in London, we are truly privileged to be a tube ride away from some of the UK's most iconic and interesting music venues. We have chosen our favourites - from the smaller obscurer venues London has to offer, to larger more well-known 5,000 capacity venues.
The Union Chapel, Angel, Islington
We saw the Pierces here a few years ago and have vowed to go back on numerous occasions. Not only is this 19th Gothic revival church beautiful, the acoustics are superb! The haunting melodies of the Pierces reverberating around the room was truly mesmerising.
The venue was voted best live music venue in 2012 by Time Out magazine, demonstrating its popularity. It doesn't function purely as a music venue but also as a drop-in centre for homeless people, and as a functioning church.
Another interesting fact I came across about this venue is that it is the only church in the country
with a fully working original hydraulic (water powered) blowing system, which can be used as an alternative to the electric blowers - pretty cool!
We recorded our first few songs as young musicians at the Roundhouse - for free! Roundhouse is a registered charity helping those aged 18-25 to start their career in music.
Not only did it help get us started in music, we've also attended many gigs here over the years, including First Aid Kit this month (which was amazing). See our blog about it, here.
Despite its decent size, we still found we were easily able to get close to the stage and there was still an intimate feel to it, which is why we love this venue so much.
Located in East London, Shoreditch, we visited this venue for the first time about a year ago to see The Big Moon. It's an interesting space - we thought it might be an old station hence the name and appearance. Turns out it was an old coal-store for the railway but had fallen into disrepair years ago.
Today, it is home to a number of creatives who use the co-working space, and the venue is used to hold a variety of events.
It's a really quirky, interesting space - we definitely recommend checking out what's on there and checking it out.
o2 Academy Brixton
The O2 Academy, Brixton, is one of London's top music venues. As well as gigs it also holds club nights and plays.
It originated as a cinema and theatre in 1929 but became a music venue in 1983 and has since had artists such as The Clash, Iron Maiden and Bob Dylan grace its stage. The venue has been voted as best music venue 12 times by NME since 1994 and that's no surprise. The venue itself is a good size (not too small, not too large), the floor is sloped so you get a good view of the stage, the interior design is striking and the atmosphere is usually very good.
We've seen numerous bands there, including Skunk Anansie, White Lies and Evanescence.
The Green Note
This tiny Camden venue was founded in 2005. It's the kind of place you would walk past never knowing it's there - from the outside it just looks like a cafe. However, this small, intimate venue has hosted artists such as Leonard Cohen and Amy Winehouse.
The capacity is small so it gets packed very quickly. Tickets for events there sell out very fast so you have to book well in advanced. The same goes for the open mic night, which has people queueing outside the doors to get a slot as early as 5pm.
We've performed here a few times in the open mic night and Naz performed at a Leonard Cohen event. The atsmosphere is very intimate and relaxed; you could hear a pin drop during performances.
These are our favourite music venues in London - tell us yours in the comments!