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Enjoy music in London

Published: Monday 2nd of August 2010

If you are a keen music lover, you will find there are plenty of things to see and do in London.

Indeed, the capital of the UK has been a hotbed of musical creation, innovation and performance for centuries, hosting many of the world's leading luminaries and famous names.

So if you are planning a trip to the city, why not time it so it coincides with some of the great shows being staged in London's most iconic and historic music venues?

The Hammersmith Apollo is one such location. A traditional British theatre, it evokes memories of how gigs used to be before artists became a little dot on a distant stage.

While it is teeming with history and atmosphere, it retains its cutting edge as it still hosts the very latest hit musicians.

Of course, larger gigs do have certain advantages. They can feel like a true event, as tens of thousands of people gather for the same purpose.

And venues such as the O2 Arena in Greenwich only host the biggest names, such as Sir Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi and even Led Zeppelin.

So you can be sure that a night in here will feature classic music performed by true living legends of music.

Another hub of musical activity in London is Wembley, as two of the most prestigious venues in the whole country stand right next door to each other.

Wembley Arena has long been established as an essential addition to the touring itinerary of major artists.

It recently underwent a refurbishment, so visitors to London can now enjoy a fully revamped venue fit for the 21st century.

And of course, its neighbour - Wembley Stadium - has also been done up in recent years.

In musical circles, it will always be best remembered for staging Live Aid, where the likes of Status Quo, Queen and U2 came together to help raise money for the Ethiopian famine victims.

Since then, it has hosted other extravaganzas such as Live Earth and the Princess Diana tribute concert, as well as shows by acts including Foo Fighters, Oasis, Green Day and Muse.

Even if you are not actually attending a gig during your stay in London, you can still get close to the artists who have played here - or at least their handprints.

Arena Square contains the Square of Fame - which is rapidly becoming a landmark of the city in its own right.

Stars such as Sir Cliff Richard, Francis Rossi, Kylie Minogue and Dolly Parton have left an imprint of their hands, giving visitors a chance to see Wembley's unparalleled musical heritage in a brand new way.

Of course, you might be interested in genres other than rock and pop. While this type of music has been heard in the Royal Albert Hall, this legendary venue is perhaps best known for hosting classical music concerts.

Events such as the BBC Proms are staged at this 8,000-capacity venue, which is perhaps one of the most recognisable music venues in the whole world.

Jazz fans, meanwhile, might be drawn towards Ronnie Scott's in Soho, a world-famous jazz establishment that has hosted many major names in the genre, including Sonny Rollins and Bill Evans.

It is fair to say that you are spoiled for choice if you want to enjoy music in London, as we haven't even been able to flag up places such as the Barfly, Brixton Academy, London Astoria and the Shepherd's Bush Empire yet.

Research the gig listings and you can enjoy a veritable feast of music all over the city.

There is something that will suit all tastes.

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