4 Venues In London For Every Music Lover | Verve Magazine
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March 15, 2017

4 Venues In London For Every Music Lover

Text by Sadaf Shaikh

If you’re a melophile, the illustrious history of these music haunts will give you goosebumps…


Inaugurated on Boxing Day in 1890, the venue first operated as a vaudeville house where Charlie Chaplin practised before he shot to fame in later years. In the 70s, it was turned into a live music venue and went by the name The Music Machine, before undergoing yet another name change in 1983 to The Camden Palace. It was relaunched in the late 80s as an indie club and finally rebranded as Koko in 2004. Although the club is known for its indie, alternative (pop, rock)  performances, it has now opened its doors to popular genres like hip hop and trance.

Claim to fame: It’s where Madonna played her first London gig and Coldplay held their star-studded X & Y album launch.

Brixton Academy

Having been in existence for almost a century now, Brixton Academy is one of the most authentic rock venues in London. It can accommodate up to 5000 people and the raked standing arrangement ensures that each person gets a good view of the stage. While programmers invite certain pop acts to grace the venue, metal, indie and alt-rock continue to rule the house as far as genres go.

Claim to fame: Hosted the Sex Pistols’ reunion gig in September 2007 as well as The Smiths’ last ever gig in December 1986.

 The Forum

As one of London’s leading theatre-sized venues, The Forum is a beautiful art deco building that hosted some of the industry’s biggest names since becoming a live venue in the 1980s. It has seen some of music’s heavyweights like Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, KISS and The Killers take to the stage and has also been used as a backdrop for several movies and commercials.

Claim to fame: Amy Winehouse’s husky crooning was frequently heard at The Forum. Noel Gallagher also drew in huge crowds before The Oasis split in 2009.


Constructed in 1846, Roundhouse has an eminent past, including a stint as a liquor warehouse. It earned the status of an illustrious music venue in the 60s and 70s, hosting an impressive roster of rock legends. It was renovated and relaunched in 2006 as a modern arts and mixed-media performance space and regularly sees acts by the likes of Foo Fighters and Paul Weller.

Claim to fame: The venue is known for having been graced by Jimi Hendrix and The Doors on multiple occasions and staging the avant-garde theatrical revue ‘Oh Calcutta’.

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