A Music Lover’s Guide to the UK
Any music lover knows that the UK has contributed its fair share in the grand scheme of music history. With internationally acclaimed acts coming from both big and small British towns, it’s hard to choose which place to visit if you’re looking to soak up a bit of historic heritage. Whether you love rock, punk, or classical music, you won’t have to look far to find something cool in these influential towns.
We've got English schools in some of the coolest places in the UK, each steeped in it's own unique musical significance. Take a look:
There is no denying that London is a city rich in music history, but one neighborhood in particular in stands out among the rest: Camden Town. Home to artists like Amy Winehouse, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, and Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody, Camden is a center of creativity and musical heritage. Residents and visitors alike flock to the many world-famous music venues like the Dublin Castle, which has hosted bands such as Madness (their music video for “My Girl” was filmed inside the venue), and the Electric Ballroom, which has been around for over 70 years and has played host to the likes of The Clash, U2, and The Smiths. Just a 10-minute tube ride from our English school in Covent Garden, Camden Town a must-see for music lovers!
Ask anyone what Liverpool is most famous for and you’ll probably get the same response no matter who you’re talking to: The Beatles. One of the most well-known bands in the world, The Beatles formed in Liverpool in 1960 and carved a path for Rock and Roll, described in Rolling Stones magazine as “artists who broke through the constraints of their time period to come up with something that was unique and original.” If you take a walk around the city, you will be hard-pressed not to see some reference to the band, from statues around town to John Lennon Airport. And you can still go to one of their most played venues, The Caravan Club, where they performed over 300 times! Did you know that many people use the music of The Beatles to help them learn English?
Manchester, the 3rd largest city in the UK, has a huge musical history, and in recent decades has produced some of the UK’s most iconic bands, including Oasis, The Smiths, The Stone Roses, Take That, and The Chemical Brothers. Manchester also has a wide selection of live venues. Want to go see Radio 6’s Craig Charles preform live? Why not head down to the Band On The Wall in the city center, or to the historic Albert Hall, claimed to be one of the most atmospheric music venues in the UK. If you want to check out some major bands, you can book tickets for the O2 Apollo to see the likes of Elbow (also from Manchester), the Stranglers, and many more.
This beautiful seaside town is not just famous for it’s rides and iconic pier, but it’s also known for being the birthplace of the popular English band, the Kooks. Brighton is home to a very lively music scene, with famous venues such as the Prince Albert – with its iconic Banksy graffiti – the Green Door Store, The Old Market, and the infamous Brighton Music Hall. With regular gigs and events on every night, it’s a great place to discover up-and-coming bands. (Oh and they are filming the X-factor there in 2017, if that’s your thing). Brighton is easy to get to from most major UK cities, and is always a popular day trip for our students.
If you’re looking to experience a bit of local and undiscovered music, then head up to Edinburgh during the summer for the Fringe Festival. Spanning over 25 days, the whole city becomes a stage, with musicians performing on streets, in cafés, pubs, restaurants, churches, and pretty much any space available. In 2015, there were 50,459 performances in 313 venues. Our English school in Edinburgh even has a special program just for those interested in learning English during the Fringe Festival. No matter what type of live performance you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it in this creative city.
The UK is full of exciting and historical locations, many of which have defined the music we know and love today. How many of these places have you visited and how many are you still eager to see? Let us know in the comment section! Want to know more about how you can study English in the fabulous UK? Contact one of our advisors for more information.