Ain't Nothin' But Blues Bar features in these AIL lists...
Best venues to hear live music This place does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s all blues and it’s allllll good. The tiny bar off Carnaby Street packs them in and knocks them out with some of the best RnB, soul, blues and bluegrass in London. The open mic on Sundays sees the stage shared between musicians whose talents verge on insane. See it, and then believe it.
London's best Blues Bars and Clubs 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.
"For lovers of any genre of music, The Blues Bar is a treat "
‘The best blues bar this side of the Atlantic’- a statement not to be taken lightly but judging by the lack of standing room in Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues it’s the truth. Tucked out of the way from Carnaby Street’s main attractions, the bar takes up residency around the corner on Kingly Street. A shop front exterior gives way to the narrow bar that funnels you towards the stage at the back where it all happens. Not to be concerning itself with aesthetics, the interior remains the same as it has for years- short bar, high stools and plenty of ledges. What’s of real importance is the music and there’s plenty of that with live bands seven nights a week from 5pm until late. Nights are usually headlined by a particular band with support all the way through till close but if you’re after something a little less conventional then the Sunday jam session that’s nothing short of legendary is the day for you. This may sound like hyperbole but witnessing some of the talent on stage will make an amateur guitarist weep- both with joy and the sorrow that they’ll never play so well. Having dried your tears you can always drown your sorrows with a drink and there’s a standard range of lager on draught and a selection of spirits. The food isn’t great but the nachos will suffice when a little something is needed.
For lovers of any genre of music, The Blues Bar is a treat that should be sampled with an atmosphere that matches the quality on show.
T.A.O reviewed Ain't Nothin' But Blues Bar on Mon 12 Sep 2011
"A welcome respite from the multitude of pretentious London hangouts"
Truly one of London’s lesser known gems, this bar provides welcome respite from the multitude of pretentious hangouts currently dominating London.
A venue for music lovers, a crowd of smiling faces packs itself in here every night to enjoy a live band. The whole bar plus the stage is pretty much the size of a large bedroom, so I have always made a point of leaping here straight after work in order to get a table, and the large queues on Friday and Saturday nights don’t move quickly. However the atmosphere is fantastic, the band will often have a drink with you after performing and the prices are very reasonable.
Entry is free during the week and before 9.30 at weekends, a very welcome touch for music lovers on a budget. This fact, together with the friendly staff and punters does make me despair slightly at the countless evenings where I’ve paid through the nose for a watered down cocktail on a leather sofa.
Don’t expect lush surroundings, this bar has been ‘lived in’ for a very long time, the toilet walls are covered in ubiquitous pub graffiti, and on one occasion I got the distinct impression my heels were making holes in the steps leading down to them. However one look at the happy people enjoying nothing but the blues is enough to make this venue well worth the visit.
Leila reviewed Ain't Nothin' But Blues Bar on Thu 24 Jul 2008
The Latest User Reviews of Ain't Nothin' But Blues Bar
While there is live music here almost every night, we always head down on Sundays for the 'open mic' jam sessions.
This is where you get to see some of the best blues guitarists freestyle all afternoon/evening. It's a great chance to see some proper musicianship up close but be warned, don't talk to loud during jamming or you might get severely hushed!
Calling all Girls!!! If you're single and hoping to hook up but hate the sleaze of the nightclub scene there are always loads of guys hoping to do the same. This is a fantastic bar with tonnes of atmosphere. If you love live music (especially blues, funk and jazz) then this place is perfect for you. It's small and very popular so be prepared to deal with crowds and expect to queue on Friday and Saturday nights. The M:F ratio is totally unbalanced; it definitely needs more girls to keep all the nice, young men company; so get down there!