1. Travel

City by City UK Nightclub Guide

Where to Find the Best Live Music and Hottest DJs in Europe

By

University towns and cities offer some of the best Live Music clubs in the UK. Everything from avant garde and experimental to heavy metal, punk, jazz, or folk. And the indie band scene is very lively all over the UK. Most UK cities have big concert venues for touring bands. University towns also usually have an Academy venue as well as university based or Student Union clubs. Here are some of the cool, smaller scale clubs and venues to find hip live music of all kinds around the UK.

Cambridge: Man on the Moon

This live music venue and is hidden away in the back room of a local Cambridge Pub. But what a back room. It's an air-conditioned, soundproofed music venue with a fully equipped stage. Loads of live events are always listed on their online gigs page. They have late night club nights with DJs as well. Expect a really eclectic mix - punk, ska, rockabilly, psychobilly (honest) and all the rest.
Essentials
  • Address: 2 Norfolk Street, Cambridge CB1 2LF
  • Phone: +44 (0)1223 474144
  • Website

Cambridge: The Junction

The Junction is a big, mixed arts venue aimed at the under 30 crowd. There are usually a variety of events going on there at once, including live music - especially indie and new music, clubs, comedy, theatre and dance. If it matters to you, check on what's doing for teenagers and adults. The venue lists events for under 16s, 16+, 18+ or All.
Essentials
  • Address: Clifton Way, Cambridge, CB1 7GX
  • Phone: +44 (0) 1223 578 000
  • Website

Cardiff: Clwb Ifor Bach

Don't worry if you can't say it. English speakers call this Cardiff Live Music venue The Welsh Club. It started out as a place to promote the Welsh language but after the success of several Welsh bands - Furry Animals, Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci and Catatonia to name a few - it's morphed into a more eclectic sort of place. Located on a narrow alley near Cardiff Castle, it's multi-storied, with live music and club nights usually overlapping.They're always on the lookout for something new so check out the website for how to submit your own demo.
Essentials
  • Address: 11 Womanby Street, Cardiff, CF10 1BR
  • Phone: +44 (0)292 023 2199
  • Website

Dundee: Live@Fat Sam's

Fat Sam's has been around for about 25 years and is very popular with students and those under 30. The emphasis is on dance music and there's a full schedule of events at the Live Music venue as well as regular club nights and comedy nights. The aim is a good night out at affordable prices and student discounts are available - so carry your student union card with you if you drop in.
Essentials
  • Address: 31 South Ward Road, Dundee, DD1 1PU
  • Phone: 01382 228181
  • Website

Glasgow: Barrowlands

This is a screaming big rock and pop venue with standing room for 1,900. It's been voted one of Europe's best "small" venues by bands (who read like list from a music encyclopaedia of the last two years) and fans. Officially, its the Barrowland Ballroom - with a great big, blowsy neon sign to prove it, and it is part of Glasgow's cool and authentic market district known as The Barras. There's always something going on and you can make a day of doing the market before spending the night head banging.
Essentials
  • Address: 244 Gallowgatem Glasgow G4 OTS
  • Phone: +44 (0)141 552 4601
  • Website

Glasgow: King Tut's Wah Wah Hut

This Glasgow Live Music venue, with a name borrowed from a 1980s New York club, is a must see for music lovers visiting Glasgow. Known as the first place in Scotland to see some of the world's hottest new bands, there is something going at at King Tut's every day. You're as likely to see a band from Omaha as you are to see one from Glasgow, London, Buenos Aires or Cuba. The styles are all over the place - pop, rock, hip hop, jazz, punk, new wave, you name it. If you are really into new music and you miss King Tut's while you are in Glasgow, don't tell your friends.
Essentials
  • Address: 272A St. Vincent Street, Glasgow G2 5RL
  • Phone: +44 (0)141 221 5279.
  • Website

Leeds: The New Roscoe

This is one of Leeds venerable Live Music pubs, having lived through several different incarnations. The pub, in the center of Leeds, presents blues, country, rock, tribute bands, touring bands and local up and comers. There's good beer and okay pub grub plus free entry to all bands on Friday, Saturday and Sunday lunchtime.
Essentials
  • Address: Bristol Street, Sheepscar, Leeds
  • Phone: +44 (0)113 246 0778
  • Website

Leeds: The Cockpit

The Cockpit is one of Leeds top spots for hot Live Music and clubbing. There are three stages and they are all in action most nights. Bands are drawn from the local scene, throughout the UK and all over the world. Acts like the Kaiser Chiefs and Amy Winehouse are likely to be scheduled alongside a relative unknown from Yorkshire, a California hip hop band, a girl singer from New Zealand and a bunch of decadent rockers from Chicago. Club nights follow live acts on Tuesday through Saturday.
Essentials
  • Address:Swinegate, Leeds LS1 4AG
  • Phone: +44 (0)113 244 1573
  • Website

Liverpool: The Cavern Club

The Cavern Club may be internationally famous because of the Beatles, but, decades on, it's still one of the best places to get up close to some of the UK's hottest new bands. Liverpool has its huge Echo Arena for the big touring acts, but the Cavern Club's more intimate space puts the audience right into the music. A variety of events are staged here.
Essentials
  • Address 10 Mathew Street,Liverpool L2 6RE
  • Phone:+44 (0)151 236 1965
  • Website

Liverpool: Alma de Cuba

And now for something completely different. Salsa, Samba, Latino fans head for this fab place - a combination bar, restaurant and live music venue. It occupies a huge converted Catholic church and the decor is right out of Baz Luhrman's Moulin Rouge (The Latino Director's Cut). A mix of Cuban, Hispanic and Latin American influences, they do Salsa Classes Tuesdays, Live Latin nights on Wednesday and Thursday and a Gospel Choir with Sunday brunch. Weekends are a Carnival, complete with Brazilian samba dancers. If you can't go, visit their super website and dance in your chair.
Essentials
  • Address: St Peter's Church, Seel St, Liverpool, L1 4BH
  • Phone: +44 (0)151 702 7394
  • Website

Nottingham: The Bodega Social Club

Despite it's name, this isn't a Latino or Salsa joint, but a lively Live Music and club venue with something going on all the time. Expect a mix of local bands and touring acts, with a big student contingent in the audience. This is a grownup venue, operating a strict 18+ age restriction for all gigs.
Essentials
  • Address: 23 Pelham Street, Nottingham NG1 2ED
  • Phone: +44 (0)115 9505078
  • Website

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.