The 10 best Leeds bars and cafes to enjoy live music

Live music in Leeds
Live music in Leeds
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At these music loving Leeds venues, live performances are part of the DNA, so you can enjoy a drink or two while you take in some top entertainment.

Brudenell Social Club

It may be an unassuming, former working man’s club, but the Brudenell has welcomed some highly acclaimed artists through its doors over the years, and has become a beloved venue on the city’s music scene.

Leeds legends the Kaiser Chiefs and The Pigeon Detectives have both played secret gigs here, and with a jam-packed list of events, you’ll always find something new and exciting to keep you entertained while supping a few pints.

Visit: 33 Queen’s Road, LS6 1NY – brudenellsocialclub.co.uk

The Wardrobe

As well as being a popular food and drink venue, The Wardrobe is also a thriving events space where you’ll find a regular offering of live music, comedy and club nights held in their intimate basement venue.

The events space is consistently busy, so you won’t be short of entertainment throughout the week, and there’s a wide range of craft and draught beers, gins and wines to keep you well fuelled throughout the night.

Visit: 6 St Peter’s Square, Quarry Hill, LS9 8AH – thewardrobe.co.uk

Oporto

Tucked away on Call Lane, this rustic and cosy bar prides itself on its quality drinks, live entertainment and lively atmosphere.

The venue hosts both weekly and monthly gigs, brought to you by Dead Young Records, and their Gaslight Club (which takes over the bar every Monday) is particularly well attended.

Visit: 33 Call Lane, LS1 7BT – oportobar.co.uk

Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen

With three floors and a 200 capacity events space at its heart, Belgrave Music Hall is fast becoming one of the city’s busiest live music venues, where you can expect to catch the very best up and coming local talent.

Alongside its diverse musical offering, it also plays host to comedy nights, film screenings and art exhibitions, and there’s a delicious menu of street food, cask ales and premium craft beers to enjoy while you watch.

Visit: 1-1A Cross Belgrave Street, LS2 8JP – belgravemusichall.com

Smokestack

With its mood lighting, exposed brick walls and cosy booth seating, this funky bar provides an atmospheric space to enjoy both a drink and a dance.

The venue is well known for its superb offering of funk, soul, jazz and blues, and the calendar is always brimming with events, from a diverse selection of live singers and bands, to guest DJ takeovers and ticketed events.

Visit: 159A Lower Briggate, LS1 6LY – smokestackleeds.co.uk

Nation of Shopkeepers

Trendy and relaxed, with an eclectic interior and impressive outdoor courtyard, Nation of Shopkeepers is a venue which can be enjoyed come rain or shine.

Boasting a great selection of beers, wines and cocktails, along with a mouth-watering menu of burgers, it’s a great spot for a casual get-together, with the added bonus of having live music on site as well.

Visit: 26-27 Cookridge Street, LS2 3AG – anationofshopkeepers.com

Verve

It’s been a staple on the Leeds bar scene for the past decade and while it is a popular venue to grab a refreshing cocktail or two, Verve is perhaps best known for its music offering.

Hosting a range of live music and comedy events for free five nights a week, there’s something on the programme to suit every taste.

Visit: 16 Merrion Street, LS1 6PQ – verveleeds.co.uk

Sela Bar

The stage may be small, but the atmosphere is certainly alive and kicking at this cool bar and pizzeria, where you can catch some of the region’s most talented musicians.

Local funk band, The New Mastersounds, are regular visitors on the stage, alongside reggae band, Mojah. And if you want a bit of variety, head down on a Tuesday for their Big Band Jam.

Visit: 20 New Briggate, LS1 6NU – selabar.com

Headrow House

Much like its sister venue, Belgrave Music Hall, Headrow House spans across multiple floors and boasts a grand beer hall, contemporary grill restaurant, rooftop bar and terrace, and a lively gig venue on the first floor.

Here you can enjoy a variety of superb food, drink and music, all under one roof.

Visit: Bramleys Yard, The Headrow, LS1 6PU

Café Lento

While it isn’t strictly a bar, this quirky café in the heart of Headingley rivals many of the city’s boozers for its offering of live entertainment.

From acoustic nights and folk bands, to jazz nights and Cuban sounds, the events are anything but mainstream, making it the perfect place to head if you’re keen to discover something different and new.

Visit: 21A North Lane, LS6 3HW – cafelento.co.uk

Paula Dillon, President of Leeds Chamber Commerce.

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