Let’s kick things off in north London, at The Boogaloo, a pub near the Highgate station. Even though they have an impressive jukebox collection, this is the place to be if you like live music. Shane MacGowan from The Pogues has supposedly lived above the bar and people say he still comes to visit every now and then.
Our next spot is in Islington: The Garage has been rockin’ London’s music scene since 1993. The venue was originally built as a billiard hall. It quickly gained recognition for serving great pies and being a hiding place for local villains in the 1960s. Luckily it now also serves good music. The concert hall regularly hosts some of the greatest rock and metal bands. The lineup on their stage through the years is impressive: from Green Day, Muse, Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oasis and My Chemical Romance, to Radiohead and The Killers. Recently it has seen the likes of Harry Styles, Jack White, Mumford & Sons, and The Rifles. Here’s a highlight if you’re having second thoughts:
If the live event at The Garage doesn’t float your boat, take a walk to Slim Jim's Liquor Store. You can catch a happy hour between 5pm and 8pm from Tuesday to Friday. A good thing is that most of the events – even live performances – are free. You can see performances by up-and-coming artists like Lots Holloway and The Kanz, or pick your favorite track from a jukebox loaded with classics, from Led Zeppelin to Guns N' Roses. You’ll also notice hundreds of bras hanging from the ceiling. If you have one to donate, a drink is on the house. They also offer 2-for-1 cocktails, so no pressure.
London is a great place for loud guitars and fast drumming. It’s the birthplace of Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, and Rolling Stones, after all.
If you're thirsty for more, go to The Underworld, a world-renowned Rock club in Camden. On club nights, you can cut loose to Rock, Metal, and Alternative Rock hits. The audiences have also witnessed live shows by artists like Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, and Fall Out Boy. Metal bands like Exhorder, Kissin' Dynamite, Annihilator, Destroyer 666, and Majesty have also hit the stage there.
The night is young and if you want to mix it up a bit, there’s The Crobar down Hampstead Road. This Soho bar offers live music, though most of the time the jukebox is the DJ. Choose your jam and get wild. You'll love the happy hour from 4pm to 9pm if you get there early.
If you’re secretly a show maker, the next bar is really going to be up your alley. Not far from Crobar, you'll find The Roadhouse, known to be one of the best party places in London. After 10pm, you’ll pay around £5 for the entrance fee, but they also have special offers like 2-for-1 cocktails and beers. You can enjoy live music performances, take the crowd to the Paradise City with your interpretation on Rockaoke or, if you can’t hold a tune, compete in a Lip Sync Battle. Check their daily program to see what the night will bring.
If you’ve made it till the end, your Rock batteries are fully recharged. It's time to proudly retire the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” mantra and get some well-deserved rest.
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