London's iconic music venues – Road.Travel

London's iconic music venues

Road Trip Route. Listen to music., Buy vintage vinyl., Sing your favorite songs..

The Sex Pistols, Iggy Pop and other giants of world music have been on these stages in their time. We can't promise that you'll see them there again, but you'll definitely join the history. And at the same time listen to good live music.

History and Culture, Arts and Creativity. From: London

ZIMA Guide.

Travel Itinerary and Road Trip Route

Day 1: Vinyl London

We suggest walking through the best music venues, vinyl shops, bars and listening to live music.

Cafe Oto

Kicking off a musical itinerary in east London. One of its gems, Café Oto, provides a haven for experimental new music that goes against the current mainstream. Seven days a week, you can enjoy an evening programme of adventurous live music here.

Rough Trade East

Another must-see place in East London is Rough Trade East music shop in Shoreditch. Founded by independent label Rough Trade (famous for signing one of the most important bands of the 80s - The Smiths) in the noughties, the store has become a point of attraction for all lovers of independent music.

Flashback Records

As long as we're talking about record shops (and without them the walk wouldn't be complete), it's impossible to ignore Flashback Records. Their very first store opened on the capital's Essex Road in 1991, and since then it hasn't stopped being a place of pilgrimage for music lovers - the owner was actively searching for rare records and wasn't afraid to pay for them fairly, so his collection was constantly replenished with first presses and unique editions.

100 Club

We move towards the centre and arrive at a historic venue for world music. The 100 Club is considered the oldest independent music venue in the world. On October 24, 1942, at 100 Oxford Street, the father of jazz drummer Victor Feldman rented the space from Mack's restaurant to provide his son and his band with a platform for jazz experimentation. Since then, they've occupied the building.

The Spice of Life

In the heart of neighbouring Soho's theatre district is the famous pub The Spice of Life, which has hosted Cat Stevens, Jamie Cullum and even Bob Dylan. The Backstage Bar is in the basement and plays host to quizzes, live jazz and blues every week from morning till night. There's no better place to soak up the atmosphere of bohemian London. If you're out for a daytime stroll, be sure to stop here for a bite to eat. If it's evening, you're here for the music!

Reckless Records

Another vinyl store that, of all the London ones, is considered to be the oldest. The first Reckless Records opened in Islington in 1983, and a year later the second took up a place of honour in Berwick Street - the so-called 'golden mile' of vinyl - where it outlived most of its neighbours. Famous for being on the cover of the album What's The Story Morning Glory by Oasis. Reckless Records specializes in used vinyl regardless of genre. Rock, soul, punk, jazz, reggae, blues, metal - you can find anything on the shelves, sometimes even first press and collector's editions. The prices are kept fair.

Sister Ray

Like any iconic vinyl store, Sister Ray has been next door to Reckless Records on Berwick Street since 1987. Its two floors are packed with records, and in addition to a good collection of second-hand vinyl, the guys order limited-edition records by contemporary artists.


Phonica Records, on the other hand, may not have such a sonorous backstory, but it does have a goal: to collect all electronic music. Where some painstakingly focus on jazz, Phonica generously shares all dance genres, from Latin and funk to techno and house - as long as the beat is catchy. The main focus is on modern electronic music, which is why the store is particularly favoured by local DJs.

Honest Jon's Records London

If you still have the energy, go to Portobello Road, where Honest Jon's Records opened in the 1980s. The Notting Hill area was then populated by poor migrants from Africa and the Caribbean, and they often dropped in to hear music and take their minds off street protests, racism and unemployment. John wanted to focus on jazz, but for the sake of his neighbours, he started looking for reggae, ska and folk tunes. A must-see for all musicians and music lovers. If you don't walk away with vinyl under your arm (which is unlikely), you're sure to feel the pulse of musical London.


Camden's legendary venue! A former gin warehouse that not without reason occupies its place of honour on the London music map. Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Ramones, The Clash, Blondie and many others have performed here. The Roundhouse has closed many times, but thanks to the support of the music community and the creation of The Roundhouse Trust the hall was able to maintain its cultural significance. It is now one of the city's main cultural centres.

The Boogaloo

The Boogaloo pub is the last point (which makes it worth sticking around for). I don't see it much different from any of the other pubs that London is so rich in. However, it is often frequented by Brit-pop and indie-rock stars. Fans of The Libertines, for whom The Boogaloo has become a favourite meeting point, will particularly love the place. They even held a reunion press conference there in 2010. Among other things, The Boogaloo has become the world's first pub with its own 24-hour radio station.