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Music Tips (24)

We will rock you

The Musical "We will rock you" is a mix between humour and the freedom to rock out!
From begin until to end you are caught in a word of music, dance and love.
Its better than each Movie and highly recommended.

Feb 18, 2014

St John’s, Smith Square

St John’s in Smith Square is a Baroque church dating back to 1728. It was damaged during the Second World War but has been restored and now serves as a concert venue. I have never been to a concert here, but I have often walked through the square, as I used to work in this area, and I love the way the church dominates and fills the square. If you have been walking through the quiet streets to the north it can come as something of a surprise to turn a corner and find this large church building among the terraced houses.

Concerts are held both at lunchtimes and in the evening, and prices can be very reasonable, especially for the former - £5 is not uncommon for a lunchtime concert, which for an hour’s entertainment in central London is something of a bargain! Evening events are more expensive but still not bad – expect to pay between £10 and £20. You can book in advance in person, by phone (see below) or online, or just turn up – I imagine at lunchtime especially that shouldn’t be a problem.

There is also a café serving light meals and lunches, which is also open in the evenings when there are performances, serving drinks and post-concert food. It looks very attractive but again I have to say I haven’t yet got round to trying it. One day soon, hopefully ...

toonsarah's Profile Photo
Mar 11, 2013

Free Lunchtime Concerts.

I stumbled upon these events by accident really, as when I was visiting the City churches I arrived in one church to find it filled with people and a organ concert had just started. So I found some brochures at the church and found out when other concerts were planned.

These events are organized by the City of London - Free Winter Concerts - to celebrate the arts in the City. Every week there is a concert in a church in the City.

The first two concerts I attended were in St. Anne´s Lutheran Church, such excellent concerts. There are free lunchtime concerts at St. Anne´s every Monday and Friday and the atmosphere is so relaxed and friendly, coffee is offered and one can bring lunch and drink the coffee during the concert.

The 4th concert I attended was at St. Sepulchre, which is also called the Musicians´ Church. There are sometimes free lunchtime concerts and also evening concerts with admission fee. There I listened to a fantastic concert with the Guildhall Jazz Singers and Band. That concert was organized by the City of London and was first class.

The City Concerts start at 13:05 and last for 50 minutes.

The Church concerts, which are not organized by the City, start at 13:10 and last for ca 40 minutes.

Highly recommended as a break from the hustle and bustle of the City.

Regina1965's Profile Photo
Feb 25, 2013


What is a London Busker? Well a busker is a street entertainer, usually to be found in the London Underground or pedestrian tunnels playing a guitar, harmonica or even bagpipes. Normally they have a box or some other means where passer bys can drop some small change. Some of them are very good, and who knows, some of them may be spotted some day and may be offered to play in pubs or other establishments. The girl in the photograph was merrily singing a Janis Joplin song at Piccadilly Underground when i passed by. Her voice was amazing and reminded me of the great lady herself!

Busking was at one time illegal on the London Underground but in 2003 they came up with an idea to organise the buskers and now 400 buskers have 3000 time slots available from London Underground who charge £30 for the license.

for more info try

davidjo's Profile Photo
Dec 03, 2012
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enjoy a free concert

At St Martins Field in the Church free concerts are performed at 1 pm every Mon,Tues, Fri but Thurs, Fri and Sat there are concerts at 7.30 pm which charge the normal ticket fee. Next door at Cafe in the Crypt has jazz every Wednesday at 8 pm.
There has been a church here since 1222 but was rebuilt in 1542 by Henry VIII, and eventually in 1606 it was not big enough for the parishioners so James I had it enlarged and has been repaired/renovated since then.

davidjo's Profile Photo
Nov 27, 2012

Don't judge by appearances.

Let's be honest here. Have a look at the photograph accompanying this tip and you will probably think I have gone mad and included a tip about a condemned building in imminent danger of being demolished for the public good. That is OK. If I didn't know better, I would agree with you. What you are actually looking at is the oldest surviving grand music hall in the world, Wilton's, which is situated in an almost invisible back alley in a not particularly salubrious area of the East end of London.

A little of the history supporting this claim is, I think, in order here. The very look of the place, even to this day, suggests it's origin as five terrace houses bought by one John Wilton and opened as a music hall in 1858. The music hall was an odd phenomenon of entertainment aimed primarily at the less well off and had a brief but important heyday of only about 50 years although some of them managed to struggle on until the mid 20th century. For non UK readers the terms vaudeville or burlesque may give some idea of the types of entertainment provided. Most London music halls were basically extensions to public houses (bars) where you either paid for entertainment in the bar or paid to go into a seperate entertainment room. Wilton's was one such. Food was often supplied as well. The inner East End of London, traditionally a poor working class area, had more than it's share of such establishments.

Wilton's only lasted a brief 22 years when the licence could not be renewed. It was then taken over and became another East End institution, a religious mission, in this case Methodist. It continued in this role until 1956 when it went sadly into decline. Fortunately it is now running again, although on a somewhat hand to mouth basis, and relies as much for use as a film set as a working venue for revenue. I know, for example, that there have been several heavy metal music videos filmed here. I know this as a rather large friend who does film extra work, was dressed up as some sort of "monster" here a few years ago!

True to it's history, there is a bar here called the Mahogony Bar, reflecting the origins of the place. Even if you are not going for a show, it is an OK place for a drink, if just to soak up the atmosphere. I must confess I have not seen a show here, a situation I intend to rectify soon, but I have seen the interior, many years ago, and it really is breathtaking.

Wilton's is one of those generally undiscovered places that only locals really know about. I was tempted to put it into the "off the beaten path" section, and it is certainly worthy of that title as it is a real pain to find, but I hope my directions are useful. If you do have a little spare time in London, go and have a look.

planxty's Profile Photo
Nov 15, 2010

Lively Piano Bar

More fun than your average visit to a London pub, and less crazy than some of the other nightlife options out there, the Show Off! Piano Bar at Cafe Koha is perfect for locals looking for something a little different or visitors who want to cap off a day of sightseeing hanging out with London showtune lovers. Cafe Koha is a nice bar with great drinks and food, but on Show Off! nights they have an MC and piano accompanist (and sometimes special guests from the West End theater scene). People get up and sing songs (especially Broadway show tunes, but pop songs as well), and it's okay if you're not a pro - the audience is warm and friendly. There's nothing like a good showtune sing-a-long to raise the spirits! Get more info at

Jul 21, 2010

Attend a Lunchtime Concert

At St. Margaret's Church, next to Westminster Abbey.

Offered on Mondays - free of charge, but there is the collection box for visiting the church, to which I contributed since I did stick around after the concert and looked at the church.

The concert I attended was a pianist and a violinist and both were excellent.

It's a nice way to take a break from all the standing, relax, and enjoy the music.

Sunshine64's Profile Photo
Nov 08, 2009
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"My Current Home"
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"Maybe it's Because I'm A Londoner...."
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"Gor Blimey guv''r having a larf......"
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"Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner ..."
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Phantom of the Opera

About a week before my husband and me were to leave for our London holiday, a friend suggested going to see a musical. So I got online and started looking for tickets. I'm a big fan of Phantom and really wanted to see it - but they were mostly sold out online. Then I was told to wait till I got there and go to the Half Price theatre ticket booths in Leicester square where I would find returns of the day.... so that's what we did.

Leicester square is FULL of these ticket booths and we just popped from one to the other to see what the best deal we could find was. Most were sold out except for 2 tickets in the Royal Circle for about £69 each ticket. They were definitely not half price...and definitely not cheap...but it was our only chance to see it.... so we bought them.

We made our way to Her Majesty's theatre that evening and settled down for the show....and what a show that was. The set was amazing, the costumes too and especially the actors/singers. Amazing voices that sent chills down your spine and gave you gooseflesh!

I definitely recommend watching this musical if you have the time....and do pay to get good seats (not in the top gallery) as otherwise you'll miss some parts where actors go high up almost near the ceiling!


oRi_5's Profile Photo
Jul 20, 2009

Visit a Mela.

I must admit that until I moved to London some years ago, I had no idea what a mela was. It is basically an Asian festival, typically including music, dancing, food and drink stalls and sometimes a funfair.

they are generally held in the summer months when there is, supposedly, a chance of better weather. the best places in london are the East End, traditionally an area where Asian immigrants settled, and also Southall in West London, another area with a large Asian population.

The area I live in is predominantly Bangladeshi, and this was reflected in the line-up. a lady called simply Mumtaz was the headline act, and, although a middle aged lady, she was greeted with a reception normally reserved for young pop stars. Although I am certainly no expert on Bengali music, she did seem very good.

In an area that is literally world famous for Asian restaurants (Brick Lane) the food was also of an exceptionally high standard.

Obviously, as there are so many of them, I have not included specific addresses or contact details, it is a matter of checking when and where they are being held.

Hopefully, the photos give you an idea of what you can expect.

planxty's Profile Photo
May 27, 2009

Dancing tango in London

A fantastic tango school: Tango in Action. Traditional tango de salon and a friendly atmosphere.

For milongas, look up on a search engine for NEGRACHA, THE CRYPT, TANGOLOGY, CORRIENTES, THE WELSH CENTRE.
They are all central London regular milongas. Negracha is the most popular one, held every Friday until 3am.

Dancing: mostly tango de salon, Tangology are the ones who do more Tango Nuevo.

There's usually way more ladies then gentlemen and it can be quite hard to break into the scene so dress well and dare to invite.

SophieTango's Profile Photo
Feb 07, 2008

Rock 'n' Roll Museum

Located in the basement of the Hard Rock Cafe is a treasure vault of Rock 'n' Roll
memorabilia. From the "Flying V" Gibson guitar belonging to Jimi Hendrix, to
John Lennon's hand written lyrics of "Imagine".
Very cool indeed!

artbybec's Profile Photo
Oct 24, 2007

Things To Do in London

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Lambeth Palace

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Getting to London


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