Life in London

 

Music is part of London’s very DNA: the clubs, pubs, bedrooms, and even the streets themselves. From The Rolling Stones of the 60s, Sex Pistols and punk in the 70s to today’s thriving grime and rap scenes with Stormzy and Mercury Prize winner, Dave, London caters to everyone’s tastes.

London Hip-Hop and Grime artist, Kwazi Cort shows us his 5 STAPLE spaces of the South-West London Music Scene.

A music city in every sense, London is globally recognised as the centre of the UK’s music business with major labels, promoters, agents, managers, publishers and tech giants, such as Spotify and Google basing headquarters in the City.

Download our London City Guide (PDF)

London is an unrivalled environment in which to experience other cultures, in everything from fashion to food to film. Few other places in the world can rival London’s ability to travel a few stops on the Underground but change your surroundings completely.

It’s often remarked that London is more a collection of villages than a coherent city; a collision of different communities. Spend any amount of time within the vibrancy of Brixton or the counterculture of Hackney and it’s incredible to realise that you’re just a few miles away from the glass towers and suits of Canary Wharf or townhouses and mansions of Kensington. But best of all is when all these varied peoples come together, hemmed in and sharing each other’s presence as the house lights dim at Brixton Academy or XOYO.

But, don’t just take our word for it. Hear from Anika, our Vocals, Professional Musicianship student, and her three tips for living in London.

Rough Trade East
Brick Lane

One of London’s premier independent record stores.

The O2 Arena
Greenwich Peninsula

London’s largest venue, regularly welcoming the world’s biggest performers.

Pop Brixton
Brixton

One of South London’s most exciting creative hubs, with food, music, design and retail at its heart.

Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club
Soho

One of the longest established and most respected jazz and blues venues in the world.

Abbey Road Studios
St John's Wood

A world-famous tourist hotspot and cultural touchstone for music fans.


“There’s a seemingly endless list of exciting adventures to go on and countless opportunities to be heard as an artist.”.
Selina Frimpong-Ansah, Vocals

When it comes to music in the capital city, anything goes. It doesn’t matter if you’re a hip hop head, a jazz fiend or an all-out tech metal fan, this City’s inclusive music scene literally has something for everyone. 

A music city in every sense, London is globally recognised as the centre of the UK’s music business with major labels, promoters, agents, managers, publishers and tech giants such as Spotify and Google basing their headquarters in the City.

Nightlife

With a legendary club scene, intimate acoustic showcases, late-night jam sessions and a kaleidoscopic range of gigs happening all over London on any given night, you can be sure to find a musical fix to suit your tastes. Try Soho for the 100 Club or Camden for The Jazz Café, Camden Assembly, The Dublin Castle, KOKO and Dingwalls. These are all must-visit places.


“What’s amazing about being a musician in London is that there is a piece of history everywhere you perform.”
Hazel Smith, Songwriting

London Music Festivals

London and its surrounding areas are known for hosting some of the biggest and best music festivals each year. These include the likes of Lovebox, Wireless Festival, Reading Festival, Hyde Park’s British Summer Time, Barn On The Farm and Hidden River – all of which BIMM London has professional links with. 

Not only do these provide a wealth of work experience, networking and performance opportunities for students and alumni, but they also pull big-name artists into the City each year, further fuelling its thriving music scene.  

British Summer Time (BST)
July

A significant date in London’s festival calendar, BST 2020 features performances from big name headliners like Pearl Jam, Taylor Swift and Little Mix.

Camden Rocks
June

As the city’s most rock ‘n’ roll borough, Camden is home to a multitude of small, medium and large music venues, making it the perfect location for this annual celebration of indie, rock, punk and metal.

You’re quite literally spoilt for choice for places to eat and drink in London.

A few of our student’s favourite places include Farmacy Kitchen in Westbourne Grove, Purezza in Camden, Phở and Pizzeria Santa Maria, which is just a short hop away from our campus in Fulham. 

Around the corner from BIMM London is Whole Foods Market, which has all manner of quick and tasty options to suit any dietary requirements. And of course, our college even has its very own cafe, so you can grab a quick bite to eat between lectures without even leaving home turf.   

London is known for offering a plethora of options when it comes to the bustling world of retail.

Places like Oxford Street, Shepherd’s Bush and Stratford offer quintessential tourist shopping locations such as the Westfield shopping mall, which is one of the largest in Europe.

Music retailers can be found throughout the City, with large and independent instrument shops being easy to find in places like the famed tin pan alley, Denmark Street and a wealth of vinyl shops at your fingertips. With so many options available, a quick search online should reveal the best place to get your local music fix. 

If you want independent clothing shops or more of a ‘hipster vibe’ then try heading East and South to some of London’s other cultural hotspots like Brixton, Shoreditch and Peckham. You’ll find a world of quirky, urban, art and clothing boutiques to explore.

For those looking for a break from the busy streets and urban lifestyle of London town, there are lots of green spaces to escape to, many of which are just a short hop away on the tube. Just around the corner from the college, you’ll find Eel Brook Common, Normand Park and South Park, Fulham

Whilst further afield you can easily find green escapes in the form of Battersea Park, Hyde Park and Holland Park with its Japanese Kyoto Garden. And to the South East, the beautifully picturesque Richmond Park, which is famously home to hundreds of deer! 

It’s easy to forget that there’s stunning countryside just a short train or car journey on London’s outskirts, such as the Surrey Hills (an area of outstanding natural beauty), Kent (aka the Garden Of England) and to the north, the wide-open spaces of Essex and East Anglia.

Bike

Cycling is a great way to get around London.

Many of our students choose to commute via this mode of transport as BIMM London is equipped with off-street bicycle storage. 

Most of central London is very well serviced by bicycle lanes and you can rent a Santander Cycle – a great value mode of transport accessed via a smartphone app – throughout the city.

Bus

  • Fulham Broadway is well serviced by buses. Nearby Clapham and Wandsworth (both popular areas for student accommodation) are serviced by the 295 (towards Ladbroke Grove) and the 28 (towards Kensal Rise). 
  • Hammersmith can be accessed most easily by the 391 (towards Sands End), the 295 (towards Clapham Junction) and the 211 (towards Waterloo). 
  • Putney/ Parsons Green is serviced by the 414 (towards Maida Hill), the 14 (towards Warren Street) and the 424 (towards Craven Cottage). For Southfields, as above then connecting bus route: 39 (from Clapham Junction). 
  • Shepherds Bush is serviced by the 295 (towards Clapham Junction. West Kensington is serviced by the 28 (towards Wandsworth) and the 391 (towards Sands End). 
  • Acton / Ealing – Acton (from Acton Central Overground) 207 / 607 to Shepherds Bush – change for – 295 (towards Clapham Junction)

We strongly recommend that you apply for a Student Oyster card at the start of the new academic year to save 30% against the price of adult rate Travelcards and Bus and Tram passes. 

Taxi

London is well serviced by Hackney carriages (Black Cabs), UBER and other minicab companies. Always make sure to pre-book your taxi from a fully licenced taxi firm.

Tube

The London Underground (aka the Tube) connects the vast majority of London. As with buses, we strongly recommend applying for an Oyster card at the start of the academic year for savings of up to 30%. 

  • Clapham/Wandsworth – Overground northbound to West Brompton.
  • Hammersmith – District Line or Piccadilly Line to Earls Court, change to District Line to Fulham Broadway. 
  • Putney/Parsons Green – District Line to Fulham Broadway.
  • Putney/Southfields – District Line to Fulham Broadway. 
  • Shepherds Bush – Overground southbound to West Brompton. 
  • West Kensington – District Line to Fulham Broadway, change at Earls Court. 
  • Acton/Ealing – Overground to Willesden Junction change for – Overground southbound to West Brompton.

Plane

For those travelling to London by plane, the two closest airports are London Heathrow and London Gatwick. Both airports are well serviced by taxi and train for 24/7 connections.

Any Questions?

For any questions regarding London student life or if you’d like more information on how to apply to BIMM Institute London please contact our Admissions Team on 0844 2 646 666 or email [email protected].

 

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British and Irish Modern Music Institute