Story by Julie H.
The influence of British music on artists throughout the world is undeniable, with many of rock and roll’s most legendary acts hailing from the UK. Every town boasts its own music landmarks as a result, whether you’re into Punk, Mod, Madchester, Britpop, Indie, or Glam Rock.
Abbey Road Studios, London
Any music fan’s tour of the UK will have to start in Swinging London. Upon touching down at Heathrow, one of the most iconic sites to visit is the famous crossing where the Beatles posed for their Abbey Road album cover. You can also see Abbey Road Studios, where the Fab Four recorded some of their most famous songs.
Heddon Street, London
Pose, pout, and recreate another famous album cover on tiny Heddon Street in London, near Piccadilly Circus just off of Regent Street. This is where David Bowie is pictured as Ziggy Stardust on the cover of “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” album way back in 1972.
Salford Lads Club and The Hacienda, Manchester
The background for the cover of 1986 Smiths’ album “The Queen is Dead,” the Salford Lads Club in Manchester also counts Allan Clarke and Graham Nash of The Hollies as former members. You can visit the Smiths Room located inside to sneak a peek at all types of memorabilia. The Manchester music scene of the 1980′s and 1990′s is legendary, with Joy Division, New Order, The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, and The Charlatans all hailing from this northern city. Stroll by what used to be the famous nightclub The Hacienda on Whitworth Street, where many of these bands cut their teeth. If you’re staying longer in Manchester, Old Trafford is just down the road, click here for Manchester United events.
Spillers Records, Cardiff
Officially the world’s oldest record store, Spillers was established in 1894 by Henry Spiller. Originally selling gramophones, they are now located on Morgan Arcade and specialize in a staggering collection of independent CD’s and vinyl to tempt any music nerd.
Eel Pie Island, Twickenham
A tiny island with a fascinating music history, Eel Pie Island hosted a major blues and jazz venue back in the 1960′s. The Eel Pie Hotel was originally a glamorous ballroom, but opened its doors to a sultrier sound when it hosted some rocking blues nights later in the decade. The likes of The Rolling Stones, The Who, Cyril Davies, David Bowie, and The Yardbirds all played here. Pete Townshend owned the adjacent Eel Pie Studios on the mainland, which were a venue for many pop and rock recordings, including the Cocteau Twins.
The Zodiac, Oxford
The Oxford music scene has produced some international heavy-hitters, including Radiohead, Supergrass, Ride, Swervedriver, and Foals. One of the epicentres of this music scene from 1995 to 2007 was the Zodiac, notable for being the location of Radiohead’s “Creep” video. It was also where The Strokes were first signed in the UK, in addition to hosting live music from a bevy of bands such as Coldplay and REM. Although it’s now officially the O2 Academy Oxford, many local residents still call it “the Zodiac” and visitors can still rock out inside.