London's best Blues Bars and Clubs

My baby just left me... (the cow)

If you've got the blues then you could do with cheering up... so we should probably be directing you to go and see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Oxygen Freejumping and not to go and stare into the bottom of a shot glass in a blues bar.

But, they say misery loves company - and so why don't you go and have a good wallow whilst listening to some of the capital's best musical acts?

Chin up...




Ain't Nothin' But Blues Bar
20 Kingly Street W1B 5PZ
Region: Soho
Nearest Station: Oxford Circus (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Frequently voted Londoners' favourite blues bar, it's small, friendly and very, very loud - you don't come here to natter with your friends, but to check out the live bands who play every night of the week. Entry is free and the punters are blues lovers rather than passing by Carnaby Street shoppers. It's a refreshing antidote to the glammed-up neighbouring bars of Kingly Street and the surrounding tourist trappings.

  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
  • USERS 10/10
Polish Jazz Cafe Posk
238-246 King Street W6 0RF
Region: Hammersmith
Nearest Station: Ravenscourt Park (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: This monthly club has been going since the early noughties by popular demand. Quite literally, as each time the blues-addicted owners were ready to retire their followers protested, leading to new venues approaching them in an uncharacteristic role reversal. Their current home is their seventh, at Posk in Hammersmith, and they host British and international artists on the first Saturday of every month.

    Nell's Jazz and Blues
    3 North End Crescent W14 8TJ
    Region: West Kensington

    AIL Says: This is how blues is supposed to be experienced: up close and personally. This West London bar boasts a superb sound system and big names - Van Morrison and Ginger Baker have graced the stage with their presence. They often do matinee shows starting at 7pm. Note that tickets can be on the steep price, but as they say, you get what you pay for.

      The Blues Kitchen
      40 Acre Lane SW2 5SP
      Region: Brixton
      Nearest Station: Brixton (0.3 miles)

      AIL Says: One of London's hippest venues, it has sites in Brixton, Shoreditch and Camden. There's live music every night of the week and entry is usually free. The bar stocks a huge range of Bourbons and inkeeping with the theme there's a restaurant serving southern American favourites like BBQ meats and catfish jambalaya. Plus they open for brunch and lunch.

      • MEXICAN/TEX MEX
      Ronnie Scott's Club
      47 Frith Street W1D 4HT
      Region: Soho
      Nearest Station: Tottenham Court Road (0.2 miles)

      AIL Says: The world's most famous jazz and blues venue has been going strong since 1959. Get a table for dinner in front of the stage or stand by the bar with a dry martini. All the big names play here, from Miles Davis and George Melly in the past, to Marianne Faithful and Jose James more recently. Once a month they also host Ronnie Scott's Blues Explosion, where musicians play classics by BB King and Howlin' Wolf among many others.

      • EVENTS / NIGHTS
      • OUR REVIEW 7/10
      • USERS 9/10
      The Nightjar
      129 City Road EC1V 1JB
      Region: The City

      AIL Says: Inspired by Prohibition-era speakeasies, this glamorous basement bar stocks the biggest range of absinthe of any UK venue. Live blues bands play every night, but be aware it's seating only and gets very busy, so book ahead.

      • OUR REVIEW 7/10
      The 606 Jazz Club
      90 Lots Road SW10 0QD
      Region: Chelsea
      Nearest Station: Fulham Broadway (0.6 miles)

      AIL Says: Since the club's inception in 1976, the owners have held a strong belief in supporting the local music scene, so to this day they still only book homegrown artists. Their relaxed atmos, food and live music seven nights a week has been so popular that they had to move to a larger venue to accomodate their fans - hence their current home in Chelsea, and their rep as one of the busiest jazz and blues clubs in Europe.

      • EVENTS / NIGHTS
      • OUR REVIEW 7/10
      • USERS 6/10
      The Cabbage Patch
      67 London Road TW1 3SZ
      Region: Town Centre
      Nearest Station: Twickenham

      AIL Says: The Eel Pie Club has nothing to do with cockney grub, it's actually named after the famous Eel Pie Island which has hosted rock'n'roll legends like The Rolling Stones over the years. The club pays homage to this history by hosting international blues musicians, many of whom have played with famous bands like The Yardbirds and Deep Purple. It takes place at The Cabbage Patch pub in Twickenham.

      • USERS 5/10


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