This question might seem obvious for many of you.
We all know London is birth land to many bands, musicians and musical movements. But do you know exactly where to go to experience that musical energy that gravitates around the city?
We’ll tell you exactly where.
One of the great things of London is that you can find amazing deals in second hand records, almost everywhere every day.
Iconic record stores and basement gems, London is a huge shopping paradise and we can tell you the exact addresses to go and fill your bag with your favourite albums.
With a bargain box out the front door and a variety of new and second hand vinyls and cds, Flashback Records also hosts little concerts evenings in its basement with free beer (if you are early).
50 Essex Road / N1 8LR
My personal favourite, on the cozy and lovely Curch Street, Lucky Seven is a 2 story store with books and records from floor to ceiling. With squeaky stairs and, posters on the walls, the smell of old paper and the advice of expert clerks.
127 Stoke Newington Church Street, Stoke Newington / N16 0UH
Rough Trade East
For brand new records and books, head East for one of the Rough Trade branches. Great coffee, daily musical events (many of which are free) and any album you are looking for. Many bands play their whole new album on the store’s small stage before it reaches the high street. You can get in by pre-ordering the album. Check their website for upcoming events.
Brick Lane / E1 6QL
London has definitely a scene for everyone.
One of the most loved music venues is The Royal Albert Hall, where you can not only attend to very popular concerts but you can also experience the best operas of all times.
Kensington Gore / SW7 2AP
Shepherd’s Bush O2 Empire, is another mythic venue, with big names playing almost every night. Just a few from the May program: Japandroids, Sheryl Crow, The Kills, and PVRIS.
O2 Empire has another branch in Brixton called Brixton Academy, just as popular as SB.
Shepherd’s Bush Green / W12 8TT
211 Stockwell Road / SW9 9SL
Another unmissable place is The Lexington, holding rock, techno and other styles parties every week, and hosting live gigs almost every day, from indie local bands, to big names. Not long ago Travis played a small gig there in front of just a few hundred people.
The pub also hosts a weekly music quiz with prices by Rough Trade which is a looot of fun. But beware this is pro level (My team always won the consolation prize for worst performance)
Also check it out on Sundays for their famous Sunday Roast and afternoon live music.
96-98 Pentonville Road / N1 9JB
Another indie favourite is The Shacklewell Arms, organizers of the yearly festival in Victoria Park Field Day, they host small gigs regularly (pop, punk, and in-betweens) and every now and then they have a big surprise for their regulars. Things like an Arcade Fire dj set or a secret concert by Lady Gaga.
71 Shacklewell Lane / E8 2EB
Sometimes, if you go to the right place, you can feel you are actually inside the imaginary world of music. London has been scenario for many album covers through history, and you can still spot the exact corners where these famous photos have been taken.
Let’s see some examples:
DAVID BOWIE, Ziggy Stardust
The cover photo by Brian Ward in 1972, was taken in a dead end street in central London, very close to Carnaby Street. The phone booth from the back of the album cover has been replaced by a new one. You can find it in the spot.
23 Heddon Street
OASIS, What’s the Story, Morning Glory?
This one is very recognizable by only walking down the streets of Soho. The photo was taken by Michael Spencer Jones on Berwick Street, a street featuring several popular record shops you can still visit today. The area looks almost exactly the same as in 1995, except some stores have changed.
Approximately 34 Berwick Street outside Sister Ray records. The time I passed by, the record shop had this album on their window. Maybe they still do.
PINK FLOYD, Animals
The album cover is a photograph of Battersea Power Station which is not functioning any more. You can still see it and it looks exactly the same.
Not long ago the venue has been used to host different events such as outdoor cinemas in the summer. It is thought to be remodelled to feature some kind of mall… Let’s hope at least the façade stays there as it is.
Stay tuned to keep reading interesting facts about the Music world and don’t forget to try our music app. You can find it for free in Google play for Android here.