Ain't Nothin' But...

Bar / Blues Club / Live Music Venue
Ain't Nothin' But... Chaotic as a high-wired vocal scat and frenzied as a free-ballin' instrumental jam, Ain't Nothin' But… is a lively blues bar teeming with music purists paying homage to that good old-fashioned beat. London England 51.512775536327 -0.139504373073578
4.0 10
Ain't Nothin' But... - Bar | Blues Club | Live Music Venue in London.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Chaotic as a high-wired vocal scat and frenzied as a free-ballin’ instrumental jam, Ain’t Nothin’ But… is a lively blues bar teeming with music purists paying homage to that good old-fashioned beat. Although the venue... ... read full review

  • Tube:

    Bakerloo, Central, Victoria Lines: Oxford Circus

  • Phone:

    020 7287 0514

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    M–Th 5pm–1am, F 5pm–2:30am, Sa 3pm–2:30am, Su 3pm–midnight

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Ain't Nothin' But... Review

The Scene

Chaotic as a high-wired vocal scat and frenzied as a free-ballin' instrumental jam, Ain't Nothin' But… is a lively blues bar teeming with music purists paying homage to that good old-fashioned beat.

Chaotic as a high-wired vocal scat and frenzied as a free-ballin’ instrumental jam, Ain’t Nothin’ But… is a lively blues bar teeming with music purists paying homage to that good old-fashioned beat.

Although the venue may be dedicated to glorifying the blues, the crowd scoffs at mellow toe tapping and finger snapping, preferring to shake the rafters loose with enthusiastic foot stomping and downright painful hand clapping.

And far from being predictable somber-faced cool cats, the clientele tends toward young alternative types who seem to have slipped through the MTV cracks and happened upon their parents’ old vinyl collection.

A veritable time capsule of blues memorabilia, the joint features hanging instruments, walls lacquered in a collage of music manuscripts and caricatures of blues legends, and a tiny soapbox stage where nightly live acts belt out crowd-pleasing tunes to their almost cult-like following.

A landmark establishment where music reigns supreme, Ain’t Nothin’ But… is a must for music lovers on the prowl for a night of rambunctious soul.

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Tip from Jonah:

This chitlin’ circuit gets rowdier than Parchman Farm, so get in early to avoid the line – otherwise, the only blues you’ll be seeing are frostbitten fingers from standing out in the blistering cold.

  • Crowd

    Old-school hipsters, waifs, musos, and blues loyalists, 20s to 40s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Live blues nightly featuring both covers and originals.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Bar menu including nachos, toasted sandwiches, burgers, and mushroom stroganoff.

  • Prices

    Cover charge £5 after 8:30pm and £7 after 11pm F–Sa only. Nachos £7, sandwiches £6, burgers and entrees £7+. Beer £4–£5, wine £3.80–£6.50, cider £5, spirits £4, soda £1.60.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Grungy cool: tweed jackets, bowler hats, silk scarves, vests, elbow patches, snakeskin shoes.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Friday and Saturday nights for the biggest names and liveliest crowds. Monday for their jam band night.

  • Close By

    Mother Mash (26 Ganton Street) is ideal for a solid feast before jamming the rest of the night away.

Ain't Nothin' But... User Reviews

Average rating:
Cheap and Cool
Roberta F. Aug 26, 2013
Music lovers, here we are! If you are looking for something not too expensive but worth a visit in central... ain't no doubt, that's the place! Good vibe, perfect atmosphere and outstanding service (the guys are so fast even if crazy busy) Great bands exhibitions, I particularly loved the Thursdays, lighted by talented jazz sessions. People are cool, mostly old-school hipsters and musicians. It's the ideal place for a night out with someone who shares the music passion with you or a preparation for a night of fire with your friends. The only "flaw" was the card payment, they charge 1 pound or so for every transaction. If you are planning to go to Soho, you can't absolutely miss it.
A monday night MUST!
Muneira A. Apr 29, 2013
Week got off to a bad start? Already counting down the hours till the weekend? Then 'Ain't Nothing But...' is the place to go. Monday's "Jam Night" has become something of a ritual for my friends and I whenever we've all congregated back in London. Drinks are cheap, the atmosphere relaxed and fun, and the rotating musicians on the stage provide a great selection of tunes to get up and dance to. Although be warned, its a pretty small venue and by getting up and by dancing I would suggest more of a up and down bop.
It's great and "ain't nothing but..." right!
Emilia J. Mar 19, 2013
Aint nothing but... Right! Don't you remember Mr big in "sex and the city" making Carrie listening to blues. It's romantic and it's also very easy to be social in the enviroment of blues! We all know that times where better before since we keep on saying "the good old days". Bring yourself back in time and visit "Ain't nothing but.." to enjoy "good old times". It's not to expensive, actually it's the other way around, kind of cheap. Enjoy a burger, chat with your friends OR meat a new one. There will be others who also enjoy blues, a great burger and hanging out with friends. See, already have something in commen with the others!
Magic musical den in Soho
William C. Feb 25, 2013
This is the place to go for anyone who loves live music. While blues purists frequent its lowly lit interior, the Ain't Nothing But is more than welcoming to the causal listener or if you are just up for a fun night. Located in Soho, the small dark entrance promises little, but venture inside and you will be greeted with a wealth of good music, free-flowing drink and rocking crowd. Musicians hail from all across the globe, with frequent imports from the US adding to a strong stable of local performers. If you are lucky enough to claim a seat early on, the intimate surroundings quickly become a strength, with musicians literally on top of the crowd at times. Sunday open-mic days provide a chance to see a sorts of established and amateur performers, while during the week and on Saturday nights quality headline acts never disappoint. A good strategy is get in before the 8.30pm cover charge comes into effect. But be warned, once inside it is easy to lose track of time. Posters on the walls hark back to the glory days of blues music and after a couple of pints it is easy to feel at home. With a bar this size, conversation between strangers flows easily, only quieting down when Phil stands up to wale on his harmonicas. As the night progresses, expect the music and patrons to get more raucous, until you all spill out onto Kingly street in the wee hours of the morning wondering how exactly you managed to spend 8 hours in the same spot.
Jonesin' for the blues
Craig B. Dec 13, 2012
Homesick for some American style tunes and grub? This is the place to go. I went to Ain't Nothin' But... alone on a nippy autumn evening. When I entered I was a little peeved. I'd been told this was an honest to goodness blues bar, but it didn't seem like it at first glance. For one thing, everyone was British. Even the band. But when the vocalist suddenly put on a twang, I had to laugh. But everybody got up from their tables and truly started to dance--not tap their toes and nod approvingly (the traditional London dance) but actually dance. Even the older couples started swinging each other. It was a sight to behold and I was a little sad to have to leave and catch the last tube back.
Had a great time here
Jody P. Dec 5, 2012
This kind of bar is my idea of a good time. This place seems like a hole in the wall but it is actually pretty big inside and you definitely get the feeling you are in 1940's-50's Chicago right in the heart of the blues scene. This bar is loud and crowded but not so bad that you can't get yourself a cocktail. There is so much incredible music history in London. Although they weren't really at the heart of the jazz/blues movement, they know how to do a music bar. The food is nothing to write home about, but this is the kind of place that you go to drink, hang out, and listen to music. Would recommend!
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