But importantly, back in the 60s and 70s, London was the birthplace of rock and heavy metal music, with bands including Iron Maiden, The Clash, Led Zeppelin and The Sex Pistols all hailing from the hell raising capital.
Half a century later and there's still a select few watering holes that pay homage to all things leather and long-haired. Nothing will blow away the January blues quite like a night in one of these heavy metal bars.
Big Red is my boozer of choice, and I'm not even a heavy metal fan. This Holloway Road institution boasts a Tex-Mex food menu – think burgers, chili dogs, ribs and pulled pork – surly tattooed barmaids (who produce their own annual calendar; seriously), an epic jukebox and, wait for it, an AC/DC pinball machine. Punters can also indulge in a game of pool or table football, should they fancy.
A mecca for metal heads, the cramped and dingy Crobar (pictured above) is sandwiched in the tiny strip of shop fronts that runs between The Borderline and the corner of Charing Cross Road. Patrons are of the black-clad variety and piercing and tattoos abound and Bulleit (plus a mixer) is £3 all night from Monday to Thursday. Banging tunes (courtesy of a fine jukebox and the occasional live gig), cheap bourbon and rock ‘n' roll, as well as the longest happy ‘hour' in the city (from 4pm-9pm every day) – what's not to love?
Situated below the iconic Worlds End pub in Camden, The Underworld has been known as a landmark venue for their popular club nights for both signed and emerging bands. Conveniently located opposite Camden tube station, this venue has been graced by famous people such as Charles Dickens to modern-day icons. You can savour pulled pork sandwiches and smoked burnt ends before moving onto the club space downstairs. The Underworld has hosted great acts such as the Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
Slim Jim's Liquor Store, the popular American dive bar in Angel, resembles the set of the classic American film, Coyote Ugly. Think bare brick walls, red vinyl bar stools and neon signs. They have assembled an impressive list of whiskeys and liquors from all corners of the globe to help get your party started whilst music comes courtesy of their award-winning jukebox which can play classics from Led Zeppelin to Gun's N Roses. They have live musical performances on Saturday evenings. Also they famously offer free drinks to ladies who leave them their bras.
The unique heavy metal bar, Garlic and Shots has been drawing in the alternative crowds since 1992. Upstairs they play classic rock music, whilst the dungeonesque basement area plays blaring heavy metal music. Expect tattooed staff members and no attitude service from them. The bar offers 101 different flavoured vodka shots whilst no dishes here are served without garlic. Leather is very much the in-thing at this venue, so expect plenty of Goths and bikers to mingle with.
Main image courtesy of Flickr user MangakaMaiden Photography.
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