Time Out London Reveals the Capital’s Best Live Music Venues 2012

[pullquote_right]Alongside the Top 20, Time Out has asked some big names in the music world to pick their favourite places to enjoy live performances in the capital, with Florence and the Machine singing the praises of the low key venue, Old Blue Last in Shoreditch.[/pullquote_right]

Time Out London today reveals its first annual list of London’s Top 20 Live Music Venues, as voted for by Londoners on timeout.com/london. Union Chapel in Islington topped the poll, beating the likes of the Royal Albert Hall and the O2.  The new Top 20 is revealed online and as part of a special edition of Time Out London magazine, released this week.

The Grade II listed church Union Chapel, famed for its stunning gothic setting, was voted London’s number one. Still a working church, music fans are not served alcohol at gigs, but this does not dampen enthusiasm for the venue as the spiritual home of music in North London. While it made its name hosting acoustic nights and occasional jazz shows, the Union Chapel has since become a magnet for the thinking bands and their fans, particularly as part of the rightly lauded Little Noise Sessions for Mencap.

A surprise second place entry was Cecil Sharp House in Camden, a contrasting venue as the home of the English Folk and Dance Society. Only three votes separated these top two venues. Cecil Sharp House has recently played host to acts like Goldfrapp and Sigur Ros, but the roster is usually packed with barn dances and folk performances in a bid to ‘preserve and promote English folk dances in their traditional forms.’

Go to timeout.com/london or pick up this week’s edition of the magazine for the full Top 20 and to find out which venues are most likely to host the likes of Example, Graham Coxon and Wretch 32 in the audience – as well as on stage.

Top 10 London Best Live Music Venue, as voted for by readers of Time Out:

1.     Union Chapel

2.     Cecil Sharp House

3.     The Windmill

4.     The Lexington

5.     Brixton Academy

6.     Koko

7.     Royal Albert Hall

8.     The Vortex Jazz Club

9.     Roundhouse

10.   Alexandra Palace

Tim Arthur, Editor-in-Chief of Time Out London, said, “The results of our Time Out London poll reveal just how diverse the capital’s music scene is. Union Chapel is one of the most beautiful settings to enjoy live music in London and has a totally unique atmosphere. It’s great to see Cecil Sharp House scoring so highly, riding on the wave of the folk music revival currently sweeping the country.”

Time Out London asked their 250k+ Facebook and Twitter followers to nominate their favourite venues for live music in the capital. This list was combined with top picks from Time Out’s music team, to compile a shortlist of 25. This shortlist was then put to the public vote on the Time Out London website, to create the final Top 20.

The full list of the 20 ‘Best Live Music Venues’ in London is available from Tuesday on timeout.com/london, where you can also book tickets to gigs across the capital, or in this week’s issue of Time Out London magazine.


Chris "MUG5" Maguire is a multimedia futurist that specializes in all things multimedia. From Record Production to Film Making Chris has worked with hi-end clients the world over. Chris is the Editor in Chief of both KingLoaf.com & Altsounds.com