Best Bars with Live Music in Brixton

Photo of Lizzie Thomson
London Writer19 December 2017

Being one of the best areas in London for nightlife, it’s no surprise Brixton has an incredible live music scene. If your night out is missing some exceptional music, check out these popular Brixton bars that are a hit with locals.

Hootananny Brixton

If you’re looking for a reggae fix, Hootananny boasts some of the best live reggae (and reggae fusion) acts in South London. Friday nights are dedicated to live music, but the award-winning club also showcases acts performing throughout the week for eager fans. The vibrant venue located on Effra Road also serves food from around the world and hosts a Carribean food stall Thursday, Friday and Saturday with traditional BBQ and jerk chicken dishes.

Upstairs at the Ritzy

If you’ve visited Brixton, you’ll undoubtedly be familiar with the famous Ritzy Cinema. The iconic venue also tempts locals with a selection of live music, band nights and open-mic nights. The famous Brixton club hosts MOE Presents – a.k.a., ‘Music Over Everything Presents’ – on the last Monday of every month, a night that welcomes performers from any genre be it grime or spoken word, to showcase their talent on stage.

Ritzy Cinema | © Geograph


The famous corner pub in Brixton is set over three floors and attracts crowds of people every week without fail. If you’re looking for live music south of the river, the legendary venue also hosts band nights and regular live DJs. Just make sure you leave plenty of time to get there as buzzing weekend crowds often result in queues extending down the road.

The Blues Kitchen

If your weekends are missing the sound of some great blues and soul music, be sure to head to Brixton’s The Blues Kitchen. The club is a hit with Londoners in all areas of the city with venues located in Brixton, Camden and Shoreditch. With live bands performing every single night of the week, you’ll definitely get your live music fix at this buzzing bar. Not only that, but if you fancy making an evening of it, get there early and order some dinner from their top-notch American-style BBQ restaurant.


This popular venue is in many ways the epitome of Brixton, oozing a laid-back, understated vibe. The spot is a hit with South Londoners due to its winning programme of live music and DJs, with different nights on every week showcasing local talent as well as well-known acts. Once a traveller’s inn, the unique spot seeps character and the large outside terrace space is a hit with clubbers.

Brixton Jamm | © Ewan Munro/Flickr

Market House

Located right in the heart of Brixton, on Coldharbour Lane, this lively bar and music venue draws in crowds by offering different live DJs on rotation every week. During the day, the venue is the perfect cosy drinking spot, with comfy sofas and tasty cocktails, and you don’t even have to leave the building if you want to carry on the party, as music plays until 4am! It’s no wonder Market House is one of the best nightspots in Brixton and particularly popular with South London night owls.

Prince of Wales

Having been running for the past three years, POW has become somewhat of an institution and an absolute go-to venue for live music south of the river. Thursday nights, known as POW’s Late Night Hang, are dedicated to live jazz all night and are legendary with Brixton locals. With free admission and doors that are open until 3am, it’s certainly a tempting spot to get your weekend started early.

Effra Social

Previously known as the Conservative Club, The Effra Social is now open to the public for the first time in over a century and is a popular drinking spot with South Londoners. The Victorian building offers a selection of live music events including gigs and club nights. The unique space is actually a conventional working men’s space, but a revamp has breathed a new lease on life into it, which continues to charm punters.

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