Why Britain’s Pubs Are New Music’s Last Hope

Music and British pubs go hand-in-hand. Pub playlists are just as much a staple on pub menus as the quintessential pub grub. Whether you’re a karaoke queen, live music aficionado or middle-of-the-road background music lover, research shows that music creates a better atmosphere in pubs. But as well as providing much-loved background music, Britain’s pubs are preserving the small intimate venues so vital to upcoming artists. It’s a much-needed outlet for music acts in every genre. But more than that, music brings people together. Whether you’re hotly debating the answers for the music round of a pub quiz, sharing your live act anecdotes or fondly remembering the jukebox era – music is at the heart of every pub experience.

@danedeaner on Unsplash

Venues for live acts

With larger venues closing in increasing numbers, music acts new to the scene are choosing their local pubs to debut their music. The thrill of seeing a hot new act on the rise to stardom in such an intimate venue can never be matched. Pubs such as The Shacklewell Arms in Dalston regularly host themed music nights. As well as drawing eclectic crowds, pubs hosting live acts become a mecca for music lovers. Bonding with your fellow gig-goers over your favourite cask ales and musical influences is as much a part of the night as the gig itself.

A stepping stone to stardom

Many musicians start their careers in their local, so many pubs have a musical claim to fame. Big-hitting stars such as The Clash and The Stranglers started out on pub stages. Pared back acoustic sounds were on the menu and the small crowds and intimate settings give bands the chance to perfect their sound before taking on larger venues. British inns were the birthplace of pub rock with The Grand pub in Leigh-on-Sea and The Hope and Anchor in Islington being key venues. Without pubs to provide a training ground for new acts, the authentic live sound these small venues foster could become a thing of the past.

Whether you’re tapping your foot to some well-known beats or hearing a track for the first time in a pub, you’re carrying on the musical legacy Britain’s inns have created. Without pub rock, punk rock may never have been created. Supporting these key small venues gives many acts their chance of a big break. Next time you’re staying at a pub or inn be sure to check out their playlist and musical history, you may uncover the next big thing.

Written by Cassie Steele