Music is made around the world, but for many fans, British bands have always had a certain style and swagger that’s often imitated but rarely equalled.
From the Swinging Sixties to the Second Summer of Love in the late 80s and 90s britpop and drum n bass to today’s grime and EDM, there’s always a sound emanating from Britain that moves your body and stimulates your brain.
And while capital London has undoubtedly produced some outstanding acts, there are other cities around the nation whose musical heritage is just as deep and diverse.
If you’re a music fan planning a tuneful trip there in the future and could do with some tips, here are three legendary British music locations outside London.
Many music fans whose formative years fell in the late 80s and early 90s will claim that the greater Manchester area is actually Britain’s musical capital.
A bold statement indeed, but it’s arguably true when you consider that seminal and successful bands like The Stone Roses, The Smiths, Joy Division, New Order, Inspiral Carpets, James, Happy Mondays and more hail from here. The Norther Quarter is the cultural and creative heart of the city, but there are many other musical hotspots ̶ take a Manchester Music Tour to find out for yourself.
Glasgow is Scotland’s biggest city and it’s a creative hub which has produced some world-class bands over the years.
Art rock faves Franz Ferdinand emerged from the Glaswegian music scene, indie legends Belle & Sebastian, Primal Scream and Mogwai were born on the banks of the Clyde, and stadium rockers Simple Minds and synth-pop specialists Chvrches are Glaswegian too. Catch a gig at the iconic Barrowland Ballroom or a DJ set at muso pub Nice N Sleazy while you’re here.
If you regularly listen to drum n bass guru Roni Size, you might already know that he’s from Bristol, but this magnificent multicultural city has also produced the likes of Massive Attack, Portishead and Stanton Warriors.
While you’re in town you can catch major acts at venues like the O2 Academy but it’s also worth checking out smaller venues like The Exchange, The Fleece, No.1 Harbourside and The Old Market Academy.
There’s much more musical magic to be mined in the UK, and honourable mentions also go to Belfast, with acts like Van Morrison and Stiff Little Fingers, and Cardiff, home scene of acts like Catatonia, Manic Street Preachers and Super Furry Animals.
However, take in our three picks for starters and your UK music tour is off to a terrifically tuneful start!
Getting there and getting around
Check out comparison sites like Skyscanner and Kayak for the cheapest flights to the UK and if you want to travel independently, rent a car from UK car hire site Enjoy.
If you can book your transport and accommodation as early as possible, you can usually bag some early bird bargains.
Have we missed your favourite UK music city? Let us know in the comments section!