Top 10 Music Venues in West Midlands UK

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The West Midlands, UK boasting the origins of rock legends Led Zeppellin, Black Sabbath and Slade, hosts a variety of small and large music venues. Here are ten top suggestions to go and let your hair down:

The LG Arena

The most famous is undoubtedly the LG Arena, based just outside the UK’s second city, Birmingham and claiming to be the UK’s No1 Venue. Located near Birmingham Airport it is easy to get to from anywhere in the UK, Europe and beyond.

Live entertainment is key to the LG Arena, their first concert being performed by none other than rock band Queen. The LG Arena can seat 100,000 eager music fans. The brand new dressing rooms were recently opened by none other than Birmingham’s own Black Sabbath!

The LG Arena - photo by LoudrocksurferPhoto (Loudrocksurfer on


Not to be confused with the LG Arena, but also owned by the NEC group, the NIA (National Indoor Arena) claims an extensive variety of entertainment and music and has played host to big named artists such as Oasis and Destiny’s Child. It also hosts musical spectacles such as ‘The Lord of The Dance’ and is located near the popular Broad St in Birmingham.

The NIA Arena - photo by Jay HarwoodPhoto (Jay Harwood –

The Robin 2

Based in Bilston, Wolverhampton, The Robin 2 is a great place to see a variety of both tributes and live acts. Tributes include Etta James, Kate Bush and Bon Jovi, while live acts include Adriana & The Rose and ‘2013 Guitarist and Female Vocalist of The Year’ Chantel McGregor.

The tagline of the Robin 2 is ‘The Midlands premier 700 capacity live concert venue’. A twist the Robin 2 has introduced is a 24 track live recording facility. They also offer jamming sessions to guitarists on occasion.

The Robin 2 Bilston - photo by Gordon GriffithsPhoto (Gordon Griffiths –

Eddies Rock Bar

In 2006 there was a tragic fire of legendary rock club Eddies. After many temporary locations to reunite devastated rock fans, Eddies has now found its new permanent home in Gough St. Birmingham and is rising like a phoenix from the flames! Now officially known as Eddies Rock Club, the venue has three rooms which dedicates each night to all types of alternative music. The staff genuinely care about their customers and host live gigs. Band that have previously graced Eddie’s doors include All About Eve, Smashing Pumpkins and Gothika.

Eddie's Rock Bar Logo

The River Rooms

Located a stone’s throw away from Stourbridge Town and High Street, on Mill Race Lane, The River Rooms currently host premier tribute bands on Friday and Saturday nights. With a Resident DJ playing both before and after the band/artist the crowd really gets into the spirit in this intimate venue.

The first Thursday of every month is open stage night which welcomes bands, solo artists and jammers of all abilities. Forthcoming tribute acts include Pink (Miss Understood) and famous Led Zeppelin tribute, Fred Zeppelin. Original artists that have also appeared at The River Rooms include Chumbawamba, Buzzcocks and Eliza Doolittle.


The Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

For a more luxurious venue, the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre is recommended. The theatre comfortably seats 1200 people and having opened its doors back in 1894, has a great deal of atmosphere and history. Although it is mainly recognized for its pantomimes and musicals such as ‘Grease’ it is worth keeping an eye open for one off concerts such as Joan Armatrading.

The theatre is located in Lichfield St, which is the heart of the entertainment quarter. It is in easy walking distance of the Rail, Metro and newly refurbished Bus station and is ideal if you wish to bring a touch of glamour and sophistication to your night out.

The Wolverhampton Grand Theatre - photo by Shenk and TrishPhoto (Shenk and Trish –

Birmingham Symphony Hall

Officially opened by Queen Elizabeth in 1991, and considered one of the finest concert venues in the world, Symphony Hall seats over 2000 and is recommended if you like your music venue on the sophisticated side. Located near the NIA, it is known for its excellent acoustics.

It has a reverberation chamber behind the stage and extending high along the side which adds 50% to the halls volume. It presents a variety of music including jazz, world, folk, rock and pop. Bands and artists performing at Symphony Hall include Fairport Convention and Tori Amos and there are occasional free to attend gigs performed in the bar.

Birmingham Symphony Hall - photo by Graham TaylorPhoto (Graham Taylor – 

Scruffy Murphy’s

For an intimate, raw rock experience Scruffy Murphy’s is recommended and is classed as Birmingham’s Best Rock Pub. Located in Dale End, Birmingham, they welcome both signed and unsigned bands. Members of bands such as metal giants Napalm Death have been known to pop in for a pint.

The Basement Bar has a capacity of 100 people and is the usual venue for gigs, although very recently The Upstairs Bar is becoming more popular for gigs (with the exception of Saturdays), having a larger capacity of 250.

Scruffy Murphy's - photo by Betty LongbottomPhoto (Betty Longbottom –

The O2 Academy

Formerly known as ‘The Hummingbird’ and located in Bristol St, Birmingham, the 02 Academy has been recently refurbished and hosts all genres of live music with its full capacity of 3859, split between 3 rooms which can be in use simultaneously.

Artists set to perform at the O2 include hip-hop’s Angel Haze, ‘coolest looking band coming out of Birmingham’ Radio Charmers and acoustic guitar virtuoso Newton Faulkner.

O2 Academy - photo by LoudrocksurferPhoto (Loudrocksurfer on

The Civic Hall

Wolverhampton Civic Hall is a Grade II listed building, located centrally in North St and has been vital to the success of live music for over 70 years. It is part of a complex which also includes the Wulfrun Hall and the compact Slade Rooms.

Interesting exclusive facts to the Civic are that Nirvana performed song ‘All Apologies’ for the very first time back in 1991; and Morrisey promised free admission to his first solo performance for anyone wearing a Smiths T Shirt, enticing 20,000 eager fans back in the late ‘80s!

Live DVDs and videos have also been filmed at The Civic, including Mott the Hoople and McFly. The Civic has a 3000 capacity with the Wulfun Hall having a 1134 capacity and The Slade Rooms 550.

Forthcoming bands appearing at The Civic include Gipsy Kings and Steel Panther. Acts to have performed recently at The Wulfun Hall include punk legends The Damned and Adam Ant.

The Civic Hall Wolverhampton - photo by Gordn GriffithsPhoto (Gordon Griffiths –

There are many more great live venues in the West Midlands but these in my opinion and experience are some of the very best!

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