Where to Find Folk Music in London

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Unlike other modern scenes, folk music never really died a death in London, ceaselessly bubbling under the surface against the tide of trend. You might have to go out searching for it, but it's out there, no question. Anyways, we searched so you don't have to. Here's where to - and how to - find folk in the capital:


Irish Cultural Centre

5 Black S Road, Hammersmith W6 9DT

Based in Hammersmith, the Irish Cultural Centre now holds a huge range of talent, now even displaying the newest in Irish hip-hop. But, between the bars, you'll be able to find some of the city's best exports in Irish folk music, and all the diversity within.

Explore ancient Irish folk, with modern bands playing through the Roud folk index, as well as Ceili nights for the more adventurous. Be it traditional or modern folk, the Irish Culture Centre is the spot for Irish folk. You may be lucky and explore some other modern Irish music if you stick around long enough. 

See what's up next here


Aces and Eights Saloon Bar

156 - 158 Fortess Road, Tufnell Park, NW5 2HP

This neighbourhood pub in Tufnell Park offers much, from classic rock bands, handmade pizza, and local craft beer, but it is their folk nights which stand out on the calendar. 

Down in the basement room is where you'll find the stage, where they host comedy nights as well as live bands and DJs. Originally, the basement was the strongroom for nearby Barclays Bank, but has now morphed into a stylish speakeasy. 

Aces and Eights may just be the perfect ambience for folk nights, steeped in a vague historicism, with grand drapes and low lighting to feel like a watering hole of old. 

See upcoming events here


The Oval Tavern

131 Oval Road, Croydon, CR0 6BR

Probably the best pub in the area, The Oval Tavern keeps the charms of the old English locals, while offering special live music events that keeps the venue lively. 

Like an old-fashioned local, the pub holds semi-regular folk events, with Dave Sears playing a free folk night at the end of the month.

It may not be always folk, and there may not always be live music, but The Oval Tavern is certainly one to watch for their owners and managers have an obvious love and passion for live performance.

See more here


Ruskin House

23 Coombe Road, Croydon CR0 1BD ·

Yet another feature from Croydon (I swear this never happens, two Croydon recommendations in a row), Ruskin House is one of the best folk venues in the country, hosting nights organised by the Croydon Folk Club, Ruskin Folk & Blues Club and Ruskin Jazz Club.

Ruskin House has been home to many a progressive movement: it is currently the headquarters of the Communist Party of Britain, as well as the home Croydon's Labour, Trade Union and Co-operative movements. A social club with a large hall, the spot has had many tenants over the years.

Now, it is home to regular live music, especially nights put together by the Croydon Folk and Blues Club who take over the space every Sunday from 8. An old-school joint, they have only just started to use amplification, and their website looks like it was made during the height of MySpace. The right amount of rustic for a folk night. 

The best part is that these nights also function as open mic nights, where musicians of all skill levels are invited to play. You might even see me fumbling on the stage down there.