Where to Go for Indie and Rock Nights in London

The Lexington
The Lexington | Courtesy of The Lexington
Nicholas Atkins

If you love rocking out to the Libertines, Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys and all those other indie and rock heroes, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of the best places to go for indie and rock nights in London.

1. Catch Bar

Nightclub, Pub Grub

This funky Shoreditch bar is well known for hosting amazing live indie, rock and alternative nights and an awesome programme of DJ nights too. The upstairs band room has helped to launch the careers of legends like Bloc Party and Babyshambles. It stays open til 2am on the weekends.

2. Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen

Bar, Restaurant, Pub, Nightclub

Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen
Courtesy of HSBK
Is there anything this place can’t do? With live music nights happening all the time, in years gone by this east London legend has hosted the likes of Mumford and Sons and Florence and The Machine. As well as amazing live music, the bar serves killer cocktails and delicious food.

3. XOYO

Nightclub, Pub Grub

This super cool east London hangout has split personalities, rocking out with indie and alternative stuff during the week and going electronic on the weekends. There’s always a big name to be seen here: Friendly Fires, Solange and Simian Mobile Disco have all been known to grace the stage.

4. Old Queens Head

Pub, Pub Grub

The Old Queens Head, Essex Road, Islington London c 1990 Photograph by Tony Henshaw
© Tony Henshaw / Alamy Stock Photo
The Old Queens Head is a great place to find out who the new up and coming musical talent is in London. On their way up, Bombay Bicycle Club, Foals and Michael Kiwanuka all dropped in for a set. The Pull Up The Roots nights are the stuff of local legend and the party goes continues on Friday and Saturday, staying open til 2am.

5. O2 Academy Islington

Music Venue

This place boasts the biggest indie night in London and is open until 3.30 am, so you can party the night away without worrying it’s nearly chucking out time. Two huge rooms play the cream of indie, pop, party music and dance. Huge, sweaty, indie fun.

6. The Lexington

Pub, Pub Grub

The Lexington
Courtesy of The Lexington
White Heat is the Lexington’s hottest indie night, taking place every Friday night at this Islington institution. Rocking indie bands are hosted in the band room, it’s business as usual in the well stocked bar and upstairs boasts some wicked DJs spinning alt pop and electro. It’s open til 4am, so perfect for a big one.

7. The Borderline

Music Venue

This intimate Soho basement shows the coolest live music as well as hosting wall shaking, foot-stomping indie club nights on weekend, where they spin indie records until 4 in the morning. A well established stop in the indie tour of London, The Borderline has hosted Biffy Clyro, The 1975, Pearl Jam and Mystery Jets.

8. KOKO

Concert Hall, Music Venue, Theatre, Building

KOKO, Camden Town, London
© Jansos / Alamy Stock Photo
This baroque style theatre looks as hedonistic and impressive as many of the bands that grace its legendary stage. Club NME is the night not to miss with live bands (both well known and new kids on the block) rocking the stage and indie DJs spinning tunes until 3am every Friday.

9. Café 1001

Cafe, Tea

Set in the heart of hip east London on the world famous Brick Lane, Café 1001 boasts one of the busiest programmes around. They host wild live shows in two big band rooms and serve food and drink all day. A great place to hang out and discover your new favourite indie bands.

10. The Old Blue Last

Pub, Pub Grub

This uber trendy East End pub is well known for hosting the coolest indie rock and underground music nights in the capital. You can catch DJs as well as live bands across the huge two floor venue in among the hip elite of London’s East End.

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