5 Of The Strangest Places To See Free Live Music In London
As Glastonbury Festival takes centre stage this weekend, you might think that nothing could be weirder than 177,000 revellers descending on Worthy Farm. Wrong. There are far odder places to enjoy live music – without the hefty Glasto ticket price. As this list of London’s guerilla hotspots will prove, farms in Somerset are so mainstream.
The Beatles made rooftop gigs iconic when they played their final show above 3 Savile Row. Since then, a variety of artists, ranging from U2 to Tribes, have performed in similar situations but rooftop gigs are still as exciting as ever. Next week, the likes of A*M*E, Kids In Glass Houses and Luminites will be performing on the roof of Liberty as part of free music festival, Carnaby Sound. Paul McCartney’s son James is also on the bill; is history repeating itself?
Few musicians can say that they’ve played Emirates Stadium, but even fewer can say they’ve rocked the Emirates Air Line. Bedford band Don Broco, rapper Lethal Bizzle and magician Magical Bones took to the sky this week to gig 90 metres above the Thames in a cable car. Due to the size of the ‘venue’, the ‘audience’ compromised just two lucky competition winners for each act. With such a small capacity, it’s not likely to become a regular occurrence but it’s an exciting fad nonetheless.
Train stations have long been a popular spot for buskers, but established acts sometimes make appearances too. Welsh opera star Katherine Jenkins notably went undercover to busk on the London Underground. However, not all famous musicians have to go incognito to perform on platforms. St. Pancras International has legitimised music on its concourse and even hosts its own annual festival, The Station Sessions, which has seen performances from the likes of Ed Sheeran, Bastille, Bo Bruce and Lawson (pictured above).
Believe it or not, it’s not just the Underground’s platforms that have experienced live music as performances have also taken place on the tubes themselves. Rock band The Others, noted for their spontaneous and unconventional performances, played the District and City Line in 2004 (photos here) with other bands following suit. The Others made a comeback appearance at Glastonbury this weekend so perhaps their notorious antics will return soon.
Large scale gatherings in Hyde Park may no longer make the news (unless a curfew is broken and the plugged is pulled on Bruce Springsteen, of course), but impromptu performances in public places still grab headlines. 30 Seconds To Mars took over the picturesque Soho Square when they played a spontaneous street gig. Buzznet’s very own Dora and Kate were there and wrote about their experience.
Where’s the strangest place that you’ve seen live music?