8 of the Best Music Venues in Soho, London

Gregory Porter at Pizza Express
Gregory Porter at Pizza Express | Courtesy of Pizza Express
Nicholas Atkins

Soho is synonymous with nightlife, pride and having a good time. It’s also a great place to see live music. Here’s a run down of 8 of the best places to see some.

1. Ronnie Scott's

Bar, Nightclub, British

Ronnie Scotts stage
Courtesy of Ronnie Scott's

In the Jazz world, Ronnie Scott’s is nothing short of legendary. Since 1959, it has hosted the biggest names in Jazz, from Chet Baker and Ella Fitzgerald, to Katie Melua and Jamie Cullum. The cosy and plush interior is the perfect bunker to pass an evening, soaking up some smooth sounds. You can imagine the room shrouded in cigarette smoke so thick you could barely see the glint of the saxophones on stage. Thankfully the air is now as fresh as the jazzy licks on offer.

2. The Borderline

Music Venue

Diversity is the order of the day at this much-loved Soho institution. For the past two decades, it’s been serving up the best in established acts and new and upcoming talent. Come for rock, metal, indie, blues, country and folk acts. With a capacity of under 300, things get pretty intimate, but don’t let that stop you strutting your stuff and enjoying a classic Soho evening.

3. 100 Club

Music Venue

100 Club
© Stephen Burrows / Alamy Stock Photo

Another London legend. Everyone who is anyone has played here, from The Clash to Oasis. It has hosted live music since 1942 when it was known as the Feldman Swing Club. As with many of the thousands of acts who have performed here over the decades, this one goes down in history as one of the city’s greats.

4. Pizza Express Live

Pizzeria, Restaurant, Nightclub, Italian, British

Pizza Express Jazz club
Courtesy of Pizza Express
This intimate basement pizza-based jazz club has presented the cream of musical talent since 1976 in the heart of Soho. It’s won an armful of awards as one of the best jazz venues around and has hosted a dizzying roster of performers including Norah Jones, Gregory Porter and the late, great Amy Winehouse.

5. Jazz After Dark

Music Venue

It may be known as Jazz After Dark, but this lively gem also hosts blues and acoustic acts. It’s a late night cocktail bar and restaurant as well, so all your needs are catered to. With live acts every night and late opening during the week and weekends, it’s a favourite haunt for many a musician, including once upon a time Mr Pete Doherty and The Libertines.

6. Ain't Nothing But Blues

Bar, Nightclub, American

© Free-Photos / Pixabay
Live music rocks a saloon style back room in this Kingly Street blues bar, named after the timeless Georgia White song. Caricatures of blues legends like Muddy Waters and Lightning Hopkins adorn the walls and the well stocked bar is sure to cater for all tastes. As long as you’re a blues lover, you’ll love it.

7. Spice Of Life

Bar, British

7. Spice Of Life
Courtesy of SOL
This listed Soho landmark plays host to great Jazz names from Darius Brubeck and Soweto King, to Jamie Cullum himself. There are events every night of the week including Open Mic spots if you’re feeling particularly brave. Cheap drinks, great food and ice cool music make this one a real local star.

8. Live At Zedel

Music Venue

Enjoy dinner and a show at the acclaimed Brasserie. The house bands will serenade you as you devour your coq au vin in classic French surroundings. There’s gypsy jazz, Latin, New Orleans soul and cabaret acts. The tunes are as saucy as the food.

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