Aint Nothin But Blues Bar information

Ain't Nothin But Blues Bar features regular live music performances with an eclectic range of blues and rock from across the globe.

Ranked #50 of 225 clubs in London

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Opening Hours
Opening Hours

17:00 - 01:00


17:00 - 01:00


17:00 - 01:00


17:00 - 01:00


17:00 - 02:00


15:00 - 02:00


15:00 - 23:30

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What did you think of Aint Nothin But Blues Bar?

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Aint Nothin But Blues Bar reviews

By Andrew M.

I've been going to the Ain't Nothin But Blues Bar on and off for the ten years I have worked in London and Saturday just gone was the best of the lot. We got in there before 7 and got a seat practically on the stage with the band. It was a brilliant band, great jamming even before they started.

I can't believe that people are moaning about the £5 fee after 9 and smokey atmosphere. It's a Blues bar? Go to All Bar One if you don't like it! Ain't Nothin But Blues Bar is highly recommended, wherever you're from in the world.

By Dee J.

Absolutely! When I first visited the bar (about 12 years ago) it was a really good place to hear live blues but now its just terrible. Why do ppl go into a music bar, sit in front of the stage and then shout at each other all evening? I asked a group of suits to keep it down so we could hear but they were so drunk and so agressive, I gave up - its horrible and ruins it for everyone else. Why don't the staff do something about it? Music lovers should stay away!

By Joas S.

No doubt, a place where you can find great musicians working together, playing great music, first class blues, but the staff including the manager, are absolutely terrible, they are extremely rude, don't give a damn about the customers, rude, rude, rude. I am extremely regret to try this place. There are many others places in London where you can find great blues, with the same musicians that play at Aint Nothin But Blues Bar, but with much friendly and welcomely staff. There is nothing worth than go out to have fun and find yourself in a place where you get treated as garbage.

By Chris F.

Bar staff in here definitely have some McCains oven frys on their shoulders, although have never been rude to me personally. I did witness one individual flat refuse to serve a group of business men and women after they took too long to list out all the drinks they wanted (it was a large group), which I found incredible. If you manage to get a seat (go early) this is a great bar, with quality live good as any I've found in London. I just wish the place was bigger. More seats, with a Dancefloor.

By Carolina M.

I’m a big Blues fan so decided to check this place out. I had read really negative reviews online about the owner, the bar staff and the high prices. Me and my friend went along on a Friday night, got there around midnight. We had to wait in a small queue for around 15 minutes. The owner was standing outside letting people in. We were charged £7 each to get in, which if you go out in central London you’ll know that the average to get in to a club or a bar with performers is around £10-£15. The owner was very polite and nothing but nice (and cute!). We were served within 2 minutes from walking through the door. The cost of drinks is exactly what you can expect to pay at any other bar in central London. It was quite full when I walked in, the place was kinda of small I thought omg, we’ve just paid to get in, bought drinks and I can’t even move in this place. Anyway we pushed through the crowd and got some seats. Conclusion: the band was amazing, the atmosphere was amazing, and there is a real good mixture of people. I had a great night! I would absolutely go back there. And if you’re a real Blues fan then you will enjoy it.

By Emma P.

Having read all the other reviews I can only wonder where they were? They certainly weren't at the Blues bar that I know and love! I've spent a lot of time and money in a variety of London bars, generally over priced, full of (insert very English insult here) people who couldn't have a good time if it punched them in the head. However, Ain't Nothin the complete opposite. You get a huge variety of people in there from local business men to tourists from many different age groups and this mix makes for a great atmosphere. Of course the most important thing is the music and said music tends to be top quality Blues. The regular bands doing the London circuit are supplemented well with acts from all over the country which means you are rarely, if ever, disappointed. Yes, it does get noisy, but what bar doesn't? I've rarely been to a gig in a pub in England where it doesn't...not everyone is into their music enough to want to just listen, most people want to have a drink with some live music thrown in. But that's one of the highlights of it, it doesn't matter what kind of person you are! One thing I will say is that not all the bar staff are as friendly as they could be and the drinks are expensive. But then you are in central London and frankly if you go to any of the other bars in that area they are the same or worse and you don't get live music. It does take a while to get a drink, but if you smile nicely and make eye contact you will get served. Same as anywhere else. If you want a quiet drink and some chilled out acoustic music try early on a Tuesday - you'll get to see some of the best musicians/ singers and really hear them. The Jam sessions are also awesome and a great place to see and hear a variety of different styles of Blues. I can only hope that anyone reading this decides to give it a try, it truly is a gem of a find and worth going into with an open heart and an open mind! I'm not sure I can drink anywhere else now...

By Paul C.

Aint Nothin But Blues Bar gives blues a bad name - pricey drinks, useless bar staff, and trip through a musical museum. Someone should tell them that the blues has moved on. Don't waste your time.

By Peter C.

If you want pricey drinks, lousy barmen, and an open mic session full of performers who should stick to playing in their front room, this is the place for you.

By Peter C.

Terrible staff; rude and useless (especially one tall dreadlock dude, probably USA, and a grade one a**sehole). Avoid this place. It's not as good as it thinks it is.

By Sylvia S.

Great music and though you sometimes have to wait a bit at the bar, it's not too much of a problem. However, there doesn't seem to be any management there at night, with the result that some customers get ridiculously noisy and you struggle to hear the performance properly. There's far too much chatting, yelling etc going on. If you're not there for the performances, leave and let music-lovers enjoy the bands and solo performers without your racket going on next to them! Management - do something about this please. I know a lot of music lovers who'd love this place, but they won't be keen on going if they're going to have to put up with yelling twenty-somethings as well.

By Adeline T.

Went on Saturday and stayed for 3 whole hours from 5pm. it was abit of a jam session with each performer doing 2 songs. and it was a regular performer's birthday so there was a couple of band performances. pretty good music throughout, everyone is enthusiastic about the subject even if there were a few off-keys. i didn't bother buying a drink as the queue at the bar looked long, and people seem to take a very long time getting served. cosy atmosphere, and a place you can go on your own. will definitely be dropping in again soon.

By Krystal H.

Also forgot to mention that we were ignored for 20 minutes at the bar while he served everyone else around us - who arrived AFTER we did...

By Krystal H.

This bar is a London gem. Great atmosphere and music with a really friendly crowd. One BIG minus was one extremely rude member of the bar staff who had minimal customer service skills. What a buzz kill. don't expect basic manners from the staff here, but the music is awesome.

By Nesta A.

Couldn't agree more, all you have said is totally TRUE. Could be a cool place with different manager. What was the owner thinking when he gave the job to people like him??

By Nesta A.

Last night went in with a friend, 5£ each to get in. Finally managed to order, 1 pint and 1 corona, the corona was not cold at all, not the first time because I have been there many times with a group of blues lovers friends, but this time I decide to kindly ask for a colder beer. The lady at the bar went down to her knees and got me a much colder bear from the back of the fridge and after told me that I had to be charged again. I refuse to do so and the "manager"? stepped in (dark long hair with glasses) to ask what the problem was. He toke the cold corona (already opened) from the lady's hand and said that he could only give me a glass with ice adding a crude and somehow racist "welcome to England mate" like if is a normal habit in England to drink a beer with ice or to be so rude with regular paying customers. We left soon after and outside there was the "manager"? smoking. I told him that after 10 years in Uk I cannot accept to be treated like that and that from a business point of view is not a good idea to loose paying customers over 1 warm beer, and what does he says?........"It's your choice". So that's my choice..........we always go there and spend good money, sometimes is a big group of us drinking till late, but not anymore, me and all the rest of us will never go in that place again, the blues Kitchen in Camden is a much bigger, better and cordial place and it cost £3 to get in after 11pm, not up to £7 like at the blues bar. Ok it's my choice, but forced from an idiot incompetent that could do any job..... but please don't let him stay in contact with the pubblic, he is a disgrace.

By Niall Martin K.

Sorry dude but if yer queuing then that is because the bar is full.

It may seem like the staff are not organised but actually they don't come to take money until people leave as its a "one out one in" system so why stand in the cold when they do not have to.

You stood outside for 20 mins because it took that long for people to leave so you can get in. Nothing personal.

You should get there early if you don't want to stand in line. No one gets treated special. First come, first served strictly.

I know this because I am familiar with the bar for quite a few years and play there from time to time.Peace.

By Keith A.

Spent 2 x evenings here in July. The first evening was a local guy (Nial) and another simply jammin!

Excellent! The second evening was with Kind David's Trio Royale!

The place was packed, the atmosphere friendly and the band were superb (cos i love double bass!)

Difficult to see sometimes, but it's a blues bar, not the Royal Albert Hall.

My only criticism was the price of drinks!Recommended.

By Kevin H.

I used to work at Aint Nothin But... and the staff there never drink behind the bar.

It seems they only get bad reviews from people who expect special treatment, and don't get it.

The policy was always to treat everyone the same.As you can see from this sites review, and the regular queues outside, this place is one of the most popular in London, and the most friendly.

So, dont be out off by a few mean spirited people who could'nt get what they wanted... Try it for yourself.

By Carla A.

i like music and i thought let's go here with my boy-friend for a night of blues....well, i had my blues....what a disaster!

nice music, ok staff, except for one barman. i didn't know it was ok to be drunk while working in a bar?

By Simon S.

went there last weekend, when this guy was standing behind a small window looking at his potential customers, but could not be bothered to come outside in the cold.when he eventually came out, i realised why. probably just back from a holiday, given his sunburn, very rude, and told us to pay or get lost. sorry for the band, which i would have loved to see, but i'd rather get lost than support idiots like this guy! shame that such a potentially cool place is ruined by fake characters like him...

By Louise S.

I tried this bar last Friday and was bitterly disappointed. The Manager of this bar is the most rude arrogant man I've ever met who seems to be inconvenienced by having customers there. The staff are extremely disorganised (making several people queue outside in the cold for 20 minutes purely because they couldn't be bothered to organise anyone to take the money at the door - and despite half our party being in there already!) and you'll queue outside for ages waiting for someone to come out so that there is space for you - only for the bouncer to let his mates in whilst you wait longer. The manager was so rude, my friends and I (10 of us) actually left and went elsewhere. The beer is poor and the wine is dreadful. There are better bars in London where customers are wanted.

By Jafar H.

Aint Nothin But The Blues Bar is London’s effortlessly authentic answer to the blues bars of Memphis, showcasing great live music every night for free. This is probably the most happening place in town, outside of the trendy Hoxton scene.

The Venue
Situated on Kingly Street, directly behind Hamleys, Aint Nothin But The Blues Bar is a three minute walk from Oxford Circus tube, although you’ll probably be getting the night bus home as most evenings go on beyond midnight. The surrounding area of Carnaby is a lively place with many bars and clubs to choose from, but by 9pm some of the longest queues can be found just outside here - even on a Monday night - so make sure you arrive early. Prices are typical of the West End but with free entry before 8.30pm and an excellent standard of live music every night you won’t feel too down about spending your money here.

With its wooden flooring and old photos of blues masters hanging on the wall there is a vintage feel about the place, and the warm hiss of old vinyl records playing the blues provides a very intimate and cosy atmosphere between the band’s sets. The tables are packed in tightly and the stage is stupidly small, but they always manage to fit a drum kit and several guitarists on there night after night.

The Atmosphere
An evening at Aint Nothin But The Blues Bar, whatever day of the week, is always a high-spirited affair with great live music that quickly gets everyone dancing. It’s not uncommon to start socialising with complete strangers thanks to the limited seating and the fact that the clientele is largely made up of international students and young professionals looking to meet new people.

The bar can get extremely full and difficult to move around in but this never seems to dampen the good mood, except when staff members politely ask people to stop dancing on the tables.

The Music
Considering the music on offer is nearly a century old, you would think that this would be the OAPs’ alternative to bingo night. Fortunately, the Blues has become cool again and at Aint Nothin But The Blues Bar you can see why. The music merges freedom with raw emotion and encourages listeners to let loose after a hard day of work.

Regular blues jam nights take place where audience members are invited to take to the stage and play the blues. Sometimes there are guest appearances from prominent blues artists such as Ian Siegal, and it's rumoured that even Amy Winehouse put her name down for a blues jam, but made a quick exit when her name was called to take the stage. From classic blues rock trios to ‘50s Chicago blues all the variants of this historic genre of music can be heard here. There are even big bands with horns and keyboards, all miraculously fitting on the minute stage at the back.

The Food
The food is what you would expect: nachos and other simple finger bites for under £5. However, they do serve hot meals and, for such a small bar, it’s difficult to comprehend where they conjure up a cooked beef stroganoff from. They also do a decent Thai green curry and, considering most of the customers at Aint Nothin But The Blues Bar are not here for a meal, the food looks impressive and is reasonably priced at around £8.

The Drink
Aint Nothin But The Blues Bar doesn’t specialise in beer, although they do have some of the more popular lagers on tap such as Stella Artois and Carlsberg, as well as a beer choice that includes Adnams bitter.

They do, however, have a wide selection of whiskey and wine available, which might explain why sobriety can rarely be seen by the time the band has finished their second set. From Jack Daniels and Jim Beam to Makers Mark and Wild Turkey, whiskey is in abundance here with prices averaging £3.50. Nonetheless, the crowd are always in a merry mood as blues and booze seems to be a natural combination.

The Last Word
Depending on how long you stay, Aint Nothin But The Blues Bar is one of the best places in London for a quiet, relaxing drink or a wild evening of live music and dancing.

By S.

I worked at Aint Nothin But Blues Bar in 2001 and 2002 and I loved it. They had great music every night, always a good atmosphere and a real mix of ages and people. The best nights are Monday, as there is no cover charge, and you can bring your own instrument if you want to jam.

Go early if you don't want to be stood on by the crowds on Friday and Saturdays. The staff at Aint Nothin But Blues Bar were cool then but I don't know now.

By J.

Well I love this place. Ain't Nothin But Blues Bar is the best bar in the whole of London. But one of the bar men is a moody and rude bugger! He upset me once and two of my friends for no reason and we go there pretty sporadically. Its like when you ask him for a drink it's as if you're asking him if you can pee in his shoes!

I've been going to Ain't Nothin But Blues Bar on and off for two years and the staff are really lovely but that dude just comes across very moody and pretty rude.

By P.

I couldn't help myself replying to a previous review posted, when I was in Aint Nothin But Blues Bar it was completely packed and I had a lovely evening. Even though Aint Nothin but Blues Bar has very decent prices but obviously they can't cater for a free ride. I spent £18 (incl. entrance fee) for a perfect night in a perfect ambiance with a perfect band. Well done Aint Nothin But Blues Bar!

By F.

I fell in love with Ain't Nothin But Blues Bar from the first moment I stepped through the door! The atmosphere is fantastic and the music always of a phenomenal standard. I personally think that they should be charging as much as Ronnie Scott's for most of their visiting musician gigs.

The clientele at Ain't Nothin But Blues Bar are generally pretty cool. I think the staff are charming and have tremendous patience. I imagine that they are only ever rude to those pretentious people that deserve it. So if you belong in that category (ie some of the previous reviewers), don't go to Ain't Nothin But Blues Bar. This is a unique and wonderful place. Congratulations for creating the perfect night out!

By T.

Ain't Nothin But Blues Bar is one of the best bars in London, not to mention the fact that they have really, really good music. I have been going there for just over a year now and I consider it to be my West End local.

Although I must admit it is not for the faint hearted, or for the prudes in the world! You will get pushed and shoved, but you know what, everyone in Ain't Nothin But Blues Bar is humble and easygoing and it's not a big deal. After all we are all humans!

Anyway, I love it, it's a great place to hang out. Very, very cool!

By R.

Ain't Nothin But Blues Bar is ace. I left Leeds last month and my favourite haunt was MOJO. Ain't Nothin But Blues Bar has really filled a gap. Don't expect more than the name suggests. This ain't no eatery or (s)wanky bar.

By D.

I have been going to Ain't Nothin But Blues Bar for years and often take friends from out of town as you are guaranteed a good night out.

The music, and that is the most important thing here, is always of high quality. I don't think I have ever left Ain't Nothin But Blues Bar sober and have found the staff nothing but friendly and helpful.

If you want a corporate bar and corporate service levels then go to an All Bar One, if you want a good night out with friendly people then you could do a lot worse than checking out this bar.

By D.

I have been visiting Ain't Nothin But Blues Bar for the past four years and as a big fan of the blues it is without question my favorite night out in London.

If you arive at the bar early enough to get a seat I recommend ordering a bowl of chilli from the vat kept in the corner. It's not cheap but will set you up for a long sweaty night of top notch authentic blues and boogie.

The music at Ain't Nothin But Blues Bar is always fantastic. The regular house bands all know how to get the joint rocking and on occassion I have been fortunate to see such legends as George 'Mojo' Buford and Big Pete Pearson there, as well as the best of new British talent like Ian Siegel and Paul Lamb.

For the record I have never experienced any problems with the staff. Most are friendly and all are characters.

If you love the blues and are in London you can't afford to miss Ain't Nothin But Blues Bar.

By D.

I was at Ain't Nothin But Blues Bar the other night and have been coming here for a couple of weeks but the night was runined by a bar member who was very rude to me and my friends simply becuase the chair one of us was using was in a bad place. This is a nice, atmospheric bar and the staff I have met before are great but this one guy with long hair came across like an idiot and upset my freinds who were there for the first time and decided they don't want to come back. There's always one idiot who ruins it. This bar is the perfect answer to a glut of boring chain bars and restaurants and I have had some fun times since I started going. Great music, great atmosphere - but there's one prat who was not professional and had no idea how to make any customers feel welcome!

By D.

Ain't Nothin But is something of a rarity in London, a popular, happening bar, that is not full of twats. True, it might not look like too much and it might be so small that to call it bijou would be generous, but the music and the vibe make this place a gem in Central London.

By M.

I've been to this great little bar so many times I've lost count! We have tried other places but eventually end up here because in my opinion nothing can beat it!! No matter what night of the week, there is always wonderful live Blues music and a party atmosphere.

At weekends it can be very crowded but the place is ALWAYS literally rocking by the end of the night. On weekdays it's a great place to go to chill and listen to some real music after a hard day. I have never found the staff to be rude at all but actually always very patient and quick to serve you.

Ok maybe food isn't always available but do you really go there to eat??? I'd advise going to a good restaurant before hand and then you can go there after to have a party! I love this place.

By Z.

I really enjoyed Ain't Nothin But Blues Bar. The people, drink and, of course, the music were great. Absolutely a must.

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