live music bars

Leeds is home to a vibrant music scene, and these 15 bars are at the heart of it all. From Sela Bar’s live performances and craft beer to Sandinista’s punk-inspired atmosphere, music lovers will find their perfect spot in this city.

What are the top music-centric bars in Leeds?

Discover the top music-centric bars in Leeds, where live tunes and vibrant atmospheres are paramount:
1. Sela Bar – Eclectic live performances and craft beer.
2. Sandinista – Punk-inspired with indie and soul beats.
3. Santiago – Rock and metal sanctuary with live bands.
4. Mojo – ‘Music for the People’ with classic rock and soul.
5. Oporto – Intimate gigs with local talent.
6. The 212 Cafe & Bar – House, electronica, and funk vibe.
7. Smokestack – R ‘n’ B centric spot with legendary nights.
8. Verve – Merrion Street’s live music and ‘Rum ’n’ Rock’ Thursdays.
9. Wax Bar – Vinyl tunes and creative cocktails.
10. Outlaws Yacht Club – Eclectic mixes and laid-back days.
11. Howl – Dive bar for alternative music lovers.
12. The Shed Bar – Authentic rock experiences.
13. Doghouse – Cozy by day, musical by night.
14. HELLO Music Lounge – Karaoke booths and a chic lounge.
15. Verve – Merrion Street’s live music and ‘Rum ’n’ Rock’ Thursdays.

Leeds, a city pulsating with cultural vibrancy and a dynamic nightlife, is home to a myriad of bars where music isn’t just background noise—it’s the heart and soul of the establishment. The following list celebrates the top 15 Leeds bars that offer an auditory feast for music aficionados and casual listeners alike.

An Ode to Melodies: Sela Bar

Nestled in the heart of the city, Sela Bar is a haven for those who appreciate the finer things in life: craft beer, mouth-watering pizza, and the pulse of live music. “It’s a place where the music is as important as the menu,” patrons often remark as they step into this underground locale that’s full of character. With live performances scheduled weekly, including the much-loved Sela Funk House Band, it’s the hotspot for those seeking a tuneful night. Sela Bar’s collection of beers and cocktails pairs perfectly with the eclectic musical acts that grace its stage.

Visit Sela Bar

The Clash of Flavors and Sounds: Sandinista

Sandinista is where the rebellious spirit of music meets the zest of fine spirits. Inspired by the iconic punk band The Clash, it’s a bar that’s steeped in rock ‘n’ roll history and continues to attract an eclectic crowd. “We’re about music, we’re about fun,” says the staff, highlighting their commitment to keeping the dance floor alive. With a wide selection of beers, rums, and cocktails, Sandinista encourages you to lose yourself in the rhythms of indie and soul, as you’re transported back to the era of jukebox heroes.

Discover Sandinista

A Rock Haven in the City: Santiago

For the lovers of rock and metal, Santiago stands out as an unapologetic champion of the genres. Regular live band performances and a soundtrack featuring giants like Metallica make this bar a paradise for those who wear their hearts—and their music—on their sleeves. “Santiago is where you’ll find a kinship if whiskey and riffs are what you seek,” says a regular. It’s the go-to spot for after-show gatherings and serendipitous encounters with fellow music enthusiasts.

Rock out at Santiago

Mojo: ‘Music for the People’

Since its inception, Mojo has been a stalwart of the Leeds music scene, exuding a timeless charm. Its mantra, ‘Music for the People’, encapsulates its ethos perfectly. The bar is a collage of classic rock, soul, and indie anthems that keep the patrons grooving all night long. “It’s where the music never stops,” says a frequent visitor, praising Mojo’s retro decor that celebrates musical legends. From handcrafted cocktails to spontaneous dance-offs, this bar promises a night etched in memory.

Experience Mojo

The Indie Icon: Oporto

Over two decades old and still at the pinnacle of Leeds’ nightlife, Oporto is a testament to the magnetic pull of live music. With its intimate gig room, it has become a sanctuary for local talent and a potential launchpad for future stars. “You come for the music, stay for the atmosphere,” is a common sentiment among those who frequent Oporto, entranced by its premium spirits and craft beers.

Step into Oporto

A Sonic Journey: The 212 Cafe & Bar

With an ambiance that channels the spirit of New York’s legendary clubs, The 212 Cafe & Bar serves up a symphony of house, electronica, and funk. Its inclusive vibe and superior sound system make it an appealing choice for those in search of a dance music haven. “The 212 is more than a bar—it’s a community,” shares a regular who looks forward to the vegan delicacies by day and the pulsating beats by night.

Feel the rhythm at 212

Soulful Nights at Smokestack

In search of soul? Smokestack is your destination. As one of the few R ‘n’ B centric spots in Leeds, it’s become a pilgrimage site for those craving the genre’s rich melodies. “Saturday nights at Smokestack are legendary,” fans of the venue will tell you, referring to the Rootdown event that never fails to fill the dance floor. With its New Orleans-inspired decor and cocktail menu, Smokestack promises a soulful escape into music.

Dive into Smokestack

Verve: The Merrion Street Star

Located amidst the lively Merrion Street, Verve opens its doors to an exuberant world where music reigns supreme. Offering live events multiple nights a week, including their ‘Rum ’n’ Rock’ Thursdays, Verve knows how to kickstart a musical celebration. “There’s no party like a Verve party,” say the regulars, who can’t resist the allure of rock tunes and irresistible drink specials.

Join the party at Verve

Wax Bar: Vinyl Vibes and Craft Cocktails

Just steps away from Sela Bar lies its sister venue, Wax Bar—a dream destination for vinyl enthusiasts and cocktail aficionados. “Wax Bar is where music and mixology merge,” describe patrons who relish the creative cocktails and throwback tunes. Its charming atmosphere, replete with music-themed decor, makes it a perfect stop on your Leeds bar crawl.

Check out Wax Bar

The Eclectic Outlaws Yacht Club

Outlaws Yacht Club is an establishment that defies categorization. By day, a laid-back hangout with vintage board games and coffee; by night, a lively space where DJs spin eclectic mixes. “Outlaws is where different worlds collide,” notes a local, highlighting the unique blend of daytime relaxation and nighttime revelry.

Explore Outlaws Yacht Club

The Roaring Howl

At Howl, the vibe is raw, the music is loud, and the drinks are honest. It’s a dive bar that celebrates the alternative scene with gusto. “Howl is where we unleash our inner rock star,” say its patrons, who also look forward to the popular Tuesday music quiz. If you’re passionate about rock or just want to enjoy a night of no-frills fun, Howl is your sanctuary.

Unleash at Howl

Time Travel at The Shed Bar

The Shed Bar transports you to the heart of New York’s rock scene with its under-the-railway-arch location and vintage charm. “The Shed is about authentic rock experiences,” regulars will tell you, praising its excellent acoustics and commitment to music. It’s a place to discover new whiskey labels while being enveloped in the best rock tunes.

Rock at The Shed

Doghouse: A Musical Discovery

By day, Doghouse is a cozy spot for a quick bite; by night, it transforms into an unsung hero of Leeds’ music scene. Upstairs, you’ll find a lineup of eclectic music nights and emerging local acts performing for an appreciative crowd. “Doghouse is where music finds a home,” say the enthusiasts, who treasure its blend of daytime calm and nocturnal excitement.

Enter the Doghouse

HELLO Music Lounge: The House of Fu’s Melodic Upper Level

For those who seek a more private musical experience, HELLO Music Lounge at House of Fu offers cozy karaoke booths and a chic music lounge. “It’s a slice of musical heaven,” visitors say, reflecting on the curated playlists and live DJ sets. Whether you’re there to belt out your favorites in a booth or unwind to the sounds of jazz and funk, HELLO Music Lounge delivers a sophisticated audio adventure.

Say HELLO to great music

In conclusion, Leeds’ bars provide an eclectic soundtrack for every palate and preference. These establishments are more than mere watering holes; they are cultural hubs where music and camaraderie flow in equal measure. Whether you prefer the strum of a guitar, the soulful wail of the blues, or the irresistible pulse of a dance beat, Leeds’ bars have crafted an environment where music and merriment are inextricably intertwined.

  • Leeds is home to 15 bars that are at the heart of the city’s vibrant music scene.
  • These bars offer a range of musical genres, from punk and rock to indie and soul.
  • Each bar has its own unique atmosphere and live performances, catering to music lovers of all kinds.
  • Some bars, like Sela Bar and Sandinista, have a strong focus on craft beer and offer a punk-inspired atmosphere.
  • Leeds’ bars are not just places to grab a drink, but cultural hubs where music and camaraderie are celebrated.

By george