Today I have a great article from guest blogger Marcela about the English music scene. I'm a big fan of seeing shows when I get to London, so I really enjoyed her fun post. She gives some great tips on where to see some good music. Enjoy!
When most people think of English music, they immediately think of the Beatles. While the Beatles will forever be an unforgettable band, England is a country with quite a long musical tradition, and there’s more to know than just “Hey Jude.”
In modern times, England is quite the bustling music scene, though certain parts of the country have always been popular destinations for musicians and music fans alike. Whether you want to see an intimate club gig or a huge arena-style concert, England has something for every music lover.
Almost everybody knows the cover of the Beatles’ Abbey Road album, and for good reason. If you’re in England and you’re a music lover, visiting the real Abbey Road is pretty much a rite of passage.
Abbey Road is located on St. John’s Wood in London, and the nearby tourist traps should let you know when you’re close. Don’t forget to snap a picture to take back home with you. If you don’t want the cheesy “crossing-the-street” picture, find the Abbey Road plaque on the actual building that’s still intact and take your picture there.
While you’re doing your Beatles tour, make sure you check out the place where they performed their last show. At the time – January 30, 1969 – the Beatles had office space for Apple at 3 Savile Row. They performed their last show ever on the roof right there, which was filmed and released as part of Let It Be.
Want to Catch a Live Band?
If you’re interested in checking out the live music scene in England, it should be pointed out that almost all of that is focused in London. It’s been that way for some time, and while you might catch a gig outside of the city limits, it’s a lot easier to find good live music in London than anywhere else.
Talking to locals, you’ll find that everybody has their own favorite venue; however, you would be hard-pressed to ask five locals about their favorite venues and not hear about The Windmill in Brixton, The Half Moon in Putney and The Old Blue East, just a couple of blocks from the Shoreditch tube stop.
If you’re looking for a bigger show, check out the calendar at the O2 Academy Brixton. Shows don’t happen there every night, but the venue usually hosts well-known mid-level touring acts from all over the world.
Don’t forget to check out The Marquee Club on Charing Cross Road either. It’s where The Rolling Stones played their first show in 1962.
Depending on the time of year, you can also check out music festivals like the popular Glastonbury Festival.
Royal Opera House
If you’re interested in checking out some of the finest classical music or ballet that England has to offer, you absolutely must get tickets to a show at The Royal Opera House. The Royal Opera House may not be the oldest venue in England, or even London, but it’s widely regarded as one of the best.
You’ll also be able to get a ticket in most cases. The Royal Opera House is located in the Covent Garden area, but tickets can be purchased all over the city. Buy in advance whenever possible.
Whether you’re interested in rock-and-roll history or seeing a performance of Swan Lake, England has something to offer pretty much every night of the week. When visiting England, pick up a guidebook to learn more about music venues, and don’t be afraid to ask locals about more hidden places worth checking out.
Marcela De Vivo is a writer, music enthusiast and business owner who works with Arena to educate others about the history of music. She loves traveling around the world with her family to discover other cultures, music and food! Follow her on Pinterest today.