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Louder than Hell: London’s Best Metal Bars

The life of a metaller is one with few compromises. No way can you put up with a bar playing Rihanna for irony’s sake, you need a place where you can kick back, nail shots and go nuts to Sepultura.

Just about every town in these United Kingdom’s has a metal bar of note, and as you’d expect London has plenty of places that caters for the hard rock crowd. From goth-friendly pubs like the Devonshire Arms to the more denim and leather places like the Underworld, almost every sub-culture is catered for in this great metropolis of ours.

Listed below is a few of my personal favourites. They’re mostly in North London for some reason (I’ve never heard of a metal bar south of the river, but they have to exist right?) and when I’m talking about metal, I’m talking about bands like Municipal Waste, Motorhead, Necrosis and Pantera – if you’re idea of a metal bar is somewhere pumping out wall to wall Evanescence then Camden should have you pretty covered.

Crobar – Soho

Crobar – Soho

As far as proper rock bars go in London, the Crobar is the one that sets the standard.  Located right next to the Borderline, it’s a place where whiskey, Motorhead, red lighting and skulls all mix together into a hard rocking party almost every time I’ve visited.

Although it’s considered a little bit too ‘mainstream’ for the Lamb of God crowd, it is open to 3AM every night, meaning that it’s perfect for that cheeky mid-week stop out.

Big Red – Holloway

Big Red – Holloway

Like your best mate at college, The Big Red is big, dumb, a little geeky but really, really fun. Feeling as if slice of 80s LA has been lifted in the air and plonked straight in the middle of Upper Holloway, this easy-going and student friendly bar is a total blast, and they do all sorts of weirdly named shots to smooth the party along nicely (one of them is even called Whore’s Abortion or something)

With a jukebox that is pretty much all Metallica, Megadeath and Killing Joke, and some pretty killer nachos, this pub has  everything you could ever want for a Saturday night piss up.

Intrepid Fox – Tottenham Court Road

Intrepid Fox - Tottenham Court Road

Without a shadow of a doubt, The Intrepid Fox is one of the most hard partying bars in all of London. I was there for a mates’ birthday a couple of years back, and someone dived on the pool table, ate the chalk and bit the end of a pool cue. In any normal bar, it would have kicked off there and then with everyone ultimately being thrown out, but in the Fox, nobody batted an eyelid.

Garlic and Shots – Soho

Garlic and Shots – Soho

A strange little bar with a kitchen that serves garlic heavy meals and just about every type of vodka you can ever imagine behind the bar, Garlic and Shots is a proper Jekyll and Hyde sort of place.

Don’t be put off by the crowds of tourists that pack out this place each and every night, due to it’s super clever layout, if you dodge straight through the restaurant bit and head downstairs, there’s a cool little bar which pumps out mega loud metal all night long and serves up pretty lethal ‘blood’ shots made from spicey tomato juice and over-proof vodka.

Aces and Eights Saloon Bar – Tufnell Park

Aces and Eights Saloon Bar – Tufnell Park

People bandy around the term hidden gem quite a lot when their talking about bars in London, but in Aces and Eights’ case, the term more than applies.

Tucked away in Tufnell Park, which is about as far away from the tourist crowd as you can get, this 50’s themed rock ‘n’ roll bar looks like an American biker bar and serves up a diet of cocktails, beers and hard pounding rock for anyone brave enough to venture past Kentish Town on the Northern Line.


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