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Portland Arms: Good place to see live bands
One of the best addresses for live music in Cambridge, it usually becomes pretty full on weekends. The place is divided into two zones, one with the music stage and one which resembles more a classic pub. For some events, you will have to pay an entry fee to see the band(s). I went twice there, once just for a beer and on another day to see some bands as part of a music festival. The atmosphere was always lively and friendly. There is also a food menu (note that the kitchen has limited opening times) which looks pretty good. Unfortunately, I can't say very much about it. Definitively the heart of the entertainment area at Chesterton Road and a place you should consider, if you like an evening with a band playing live at the stage. Check their website for actual gigs.
Dress Code: None
The Grapes: Pub with frequent live music events
Probably not the place for a nice and quiet evening. This a real worker's pub which is pretty quiet during the week, except for the one or other frequent costumer and craftsmen finishing a pint after a hard day of work. The pub is large, so that it does not look only pretty quiet, but also pretty empty. No hard guess that football matches are a big thing here and some more people in the pub are expected for high-class matches. The menu looks good – small but with enough pub grubs for the evening. Unfortunately, I can't say much about the quality as I just ordered drinks every time. As a beer drinkers' pub, the choice of lagers and ales is good with frequent changing guest ales and beer-related activities like “Meet the Brewer”. During the weekend, you will see another kind of “Grapes”. Then, bands are playing in this pub and it becomes really full. The audience is usually also the rougher style, but nothing to worry about. I always felt myself well in this place!
Even as this pub is not on the usual tourist routes, it's a good place to look out for a concert on Friday or Saturday evening!
Dress Code: Don't even think about wearing tie & suit....
The Junction: Up the Junction
Best night club in Cambridge because it has a variety of music. Bit hard to get to though. Check out www.junction.co.uk for listings and address.
Dress Code: Depends on the night would normally help to look quite neat.
The Junction: Want to hear some live music?
After several months of being closed for rebuild and refurbishment, the Junction has now re-opened for business. It's well known locally as a great place for club nights (dancing) and as a live music venue. Check the website for what's coming up.
It's a little bit out of town, but still walkable from the centre. While it was closed a big new leisure development (cinema + bowling + restaurants) opened next door - so it's no longer stuck on it's own as it used to be.
Corn Exchange - Live Music: Corn Exchange - Live Music Venue
I've been here a few times over the years to see live music including Manic Street Preachers, Gary Numan, OMD and Carter USM. As well as pop music, the Corn Exchange also has shows from stand-up comedians, hypnotists, musicals, tribute bands and more classical shows like ochestras.
It's a nice venue and it's a good night out when full.
Dress Code: Really depends what you are going to see. For details on forthcoming shows and ticket prices, check their website.
The Portland Arms: Live Music, Nice Atmosphere
The Portland Arms, just outside of the center, is worth the walk if there's interesting music going on in the back room. There is a folk and acoustic night on Fridays. It's usually good, and the cover is not usually too bad. Otherwise, its still a nice pub, decorated with traditional English pub decor (ie., horrid carpets).
The Cambridge Corn Exchange: A Cambridge music venue
The Corn Exchange in Cambridge has long ceased to have anything to do with selling corn, and is now one of the city's larger venues for music of all different kinds, both pop and classical. We don't get the biggest acts here usually, but there's normally something worth seeing most months.
Check the website to see what's on; you can book online, too.
The Junction: The Junction - nightclub, theatre
I know this place from when I first went at 15 (and faked my ID). It's a well known place that is mainly known as a club for dancing. 70s/80s nights (Boogie Wonderland) is what I went to, but there are drum and bass, R 'N' B, rock, dance, etc, nights.
Prices range from 4.50 GBP - 10 GBP. Cheaper if you buy beforehand.
Also has theatre acts, and comedy.
Dress Code: Depends on the night, but mostly casual. 70s/80s, a lot of people dress up in the gear.
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