With ticket prices soaring for most mainstream acts, it wouldn’t be so shocking if more of us were turning to our local music venues for a new experience that won’t break the bank.
Arguably, you can even get a lot more out of a more intimate experience. Get up close and personal with the band; it will be better than viewing through binoculars from the back of a 7ft guy in front of you. In a smaller venue, going to get a drink won’t mean you miss half the show, and you can show appreciation for a less well-known act or discover someone new.
If you’re looking for a new music experience, there are plenty of venues across the UK that can deliver. Please take a look at our top picks for the best music venues in the country.
King Tut’s, Glasgow
King Tut’s, or to use its Christened name, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, is a cozy little underground(?) venue that has housed some of the biggest and best talents throughout its 31-year-long lifetime. Take the stairs to the entrance, go through the front bar and take the stairs that lead to the auditorium; the walls are stamped with the names of past acts until you reach the stage.
Once opened, one of its first acts was Britpop moguls, Blur, and names like Travis, Snow Patrol, Gomez, Kasabian, MCR, Mumford and Sons, The 1975, Hozier, and Lewis Capaldi have all managed to get their name added to the decorated stairs.
As you can see from that list, King Tut’s has a reputation for being one of the first stages to host the aforementioned significant names. Not only will you gain a new experience by visiting, but you could discover an act that will be on everyone’s lips next year.
The Macbeth, London
Stepping into The Macbeth feels like stepping, as the name implies, into a Shakespeare play. Focusing on art and music, The Macbeth is decorated with paintings of yesteryear. The venue has been standing for over 100 years, and legend has it that Charles Dickens was a regular there.
But Dickens isn’t the only celebrity worth visiting for; the Macbeth has hosted talents such as The XX, Professor Green, Florence and the Machine, Paloma Faith, Pete Doherty, and Bombay Bicycle Club.
Green Door Store, Brighton
If you are tired of the famous pier or the gambling scene and dare to venture underneath Brighton Railway Station, you will come across the 200-capacity Green Door Store. Since its opening in 2011, the venue has quickly gained a reputation for having a taste for new DIY artists and helping them on their feet.
It has a dedicated mission, hosting as many as ten events a week; the floor is always buzzing with creative activity and music. It has become known as a punk venue, though not necessarily due to the music, but for its ideals. The forum has been described as “unapologetic, sometimes controversial” with its choices of acts and “entirely independent,” and if that doesn’t scream punk, we don’t know what will.
Heebie Jeebies, Liverpool
Known as “Heebies” to its regulars, Heebie Jeebies is a young venue that started by hosting a time-honored music genre: jazz. If hearing “Let It Be” coming from every Liverpool pub door has become akin to your child playing Frozen’s Let It Go for the 20th time today, this can make for a nice change of pace.
Recently, the venue has expanded into offering DIY artists a place to hone their craft as a stepping stone to bigger venues. For the rest of us, it has established itself a reputation for being the place where you stop quickly for a drink and end up making life-long friends in the bathrooms.
The bar décor is what you’d expect from a jazz bar, with leather booths and low lights in the intimate environment offered.
Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff
Starved of rock music, Cardiff was finally granted a rock venue in 2006 when a popular club night named “Fuel” gained its own home on Wombay Street. The dedication to rock history is plain to see in everything from its walls covered in concert posters to its memorabilia littering the venue.
But it seems everyone is welcome in Fuel Rock Club, with the general manager having expressed that they “strive to be inclusive” and that visitors shouldn’t worry about not being dressed right but enjoy the night.
It seems Fuel’s reputation precedes itself, with big rock names across the globe all recommending that it is the place to be when in Cardiff. Fuel has been on the tip of the tongues of Iron Maiden, Kiss, Bullet for My Valentine, Funeral for a Friend and Napalm Death. With recommendations like that, how can you turn them down?