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The best live music bars in Northampton

Posted by Toni Jenkins on July 14, 2017
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Live music in Northampton

Being away on business or having a short holiday means letting your hair down and exploring your surroundings, and you can’t properly get relaxed until you’ve seen what the local bars have to offer; whether its local brews and local bands, or continental wines and performers on a national tour, there’s something for everyone in the city.

The Lamplighter

Every city has a reliable pub. You know the one – good music with a variety of acts every week, great selection of beer and wine, and has been operating long enough that the guys behind the bar seem like an old friend the first time you meet them? That’s The Lamplighter in a nutshell. If you’re in town on a weekend, Saturday nights are when the DJs are in, Sundays offer roasts and local live bands, and Monday is Open Mic Night, so you might catch yourself a glimpse of a rising star! And if you feel like performing, you get a beer on the house.

The Malt Shovel Tavern

We’ve talked about this beloved Northampton tavern before, but that’s because it’s a fantastic piece of Northampton nightlife! The Malt Shovel has excellent weekly blues nights every Wednesday, with local bands and national acts that rip through fast paced 70s-inspired boogie blues or frantic blues-rock crossover sets that are frankly un-missable. While you’re at it, grab a craft ale or Belgium beer while you’re there – it’s what the Malt Shovel does best.

The Roadmender

This is the place to go if you’re hoping to catch contemporary national acts on tour – The Roadmender is one of Northampton’s best venues to catch national acts, and it benefits from a larger capacity than the pubs mentioned above (mainly as more of a purpose-built venue for intimate city shows) and sees its fair share of local acts as well as national performers, from NWA’s  DJ Yella playing tracks from Straight Outta Compton to The Jesus and Mary Chain, Trevor Nelson, and UFO. The calibre of musicianship that this building has seen is indescribable – so make sure you head here when you’re in the city to have an unforgettable night out.

The Picturedrome

Just a hair outside of the city is the PIcturedrome, but it’s worth the short ride to experience a piece of Northampton history. This venue was originally Northampton’s first purpose-built cinema, built in 1912, and as such it remains one of the Midland’s most unique venues. It’s an architectural wonder inside and out, and plays host to a number of musical acts throughout the year, with DJ sets, local bands, club nights and established national bands. There’s a bit of everything, catering for people of all musical tastes – and because of this, something tells us it’ll be around for a long time yet.

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