Without music, life would b flat; so check out the best places in Hong Kong to catch live music and bands.
Hong Kong is resilient and lively – so, it’s only fitting that the music scene would be the same. Dedicated are those who keep the homes of both local and international live musicians safe from the city’s relentless trials, and talented are those who perform their heart out for our enjoyment every night. There’s no shortage of places to go in Hong Kong for after work drinks or a weekend booze cruise, so why not couple your tipple with some smooth sounds and banging beats? Choose from our guide to the best live music nights and venues in Hong Kong:
1563 at the East
Named after a common Canto-pop chord progression, 1563 is a live house and restaurant in Hopewell Centre with awesome acoustics. Welcoming both local and international talents, it hosts performances almost every day with a programme of open mic nights, dinner & music pairings, and genre spotlight shows. Check its website for the monthly entertainment calendar as there’s always new surprises!
1563 at the East, 6/F Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, www.1563.com.hk
A new Asian smokehouse concept brought to you by the same mavericks behind ultra-cool spots Bound by Hillywood and CRFT PIT, you won’t regret visiting Aux. It has a performance stage set up for live shows that will really bring the heat. Right now it’s got live DJ sets on weekends starting from 10pm so swing by for chill vibes!
Aux, Basement, 152 Austin Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/aux.hk
BB Jazz Lounge
Iconic LKF music venue, Orange Peel, has rebranded itself into an opulent members-only jazz club, BB Jazz Lounge, which offers top notch service and indulgent nibbles while you relax to some of the best jazz artists in the industry. Be sure to book a table in advance as it fills up even on weeknights!
BB Jazz Lounge, 2/F, Ho Lee Commercial Building, 38-44 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong, www.bbjazzlounge.com
Blue Butcher & Meat Specialist
Cure your post work blues at Blue’s fantastic “Vintages & Vocals” night every Tuesday at Blue, where selected bottles of wine are 50% off and live music is brought to you by long-standing singer, Iris Pascual. Make sure to come back for its sumptuous brunch and more live music on the weekends.
Blue Butcher & Meat Specialist, G/F, 108 Hollywood Rd, Central, Hong Kong, www.bluebutcher.com
Dada Bar and Lounge
A stone’s throw away from the bustling Knutsford Terrace is the whimsical Dada Bar and Lounge. Although popular with locals and expats alike, it’s definitely still a hidden gem – its performers are different every night, with acoustic pop one day and classical tunes the next. We’ve also been told that it does the best mojitos in town.
Dada Bar and Lounge, 2/F, The Luxe Manor, 39 Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, www.dadalounge.com.hk
Fishsteria Seafood Place
Break out the seashell bra; Fishsteria Seafood Place not only serves up fresh and sustainable seafood, but it also hosts a Mermaid’s Night on the first Thursday of every month. Treat yourself to $10 oysters and refreshing $50 cocktails, and kick back to live jazz all night.
Fishsteria Seafood Place, G/F & 1/F, 111 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, www.fishsteria.hk
Travel through time in style at Foxglove, a hidden speakeasy disguised as a bespoke umbrella shop on Duddell Street. New York City’s Prohibition era may be the theme in this luxurious bar, but there’s no need to hide your love for a good time with personalised cocktails wheeled to your table via vintage push carts and an excellent nightly lineup of live jazz and Latin from Tuesday to Saturday.
Foxglove, G/F, 6 Duddell Street/18 Ice House Street, Central, Hong Kong, www.foxglovehk.com
The Fringe Club is Hong Kong’s historical artist hub, encouraging freedom of expression since 1983. It’s home to a variety of cultural events, and you can almost always find us at its atmospheric live music nights. With a range of local and international acts of all different genres, there’s something for everyone. Check out the full event schedule for the upcoming months here.
Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong, www.hkfringeclub.com/en
Stop by Gecko, an artsy whiskey bar tucked away in the heart of SoHo, for live jazz in a cosy and intimate environment. It fills up quickly after the band takes the stage at around 9pm, so we recommend going during happy hour to snag the perfect spot and some $42 drinks. Its location isn’t the only thing that’s obscure – it’s also one of the only bars in Hong Kong that serves absinthe.
Gecko, LG/F, Ezra Lane, Lower Hollywood Road, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/geckoclubhk
Grappa’s is an Italian restaurant by day and an established live music venue by night. A staple in the local music scene, you’ll find everything here from jazz to rock and even live comedy! Grappa’s has hosted some big names – OK GO and Imogen Heap, to start. Pair your night with its homemade traditional pizzas and pastas for a guaranteed good time.
Grappa’s Cellar, Jardine House, 1 Connaught Place, Central, Hong Kong, www.elgrande.com.hk/restaurant/grappas-cellar
Sitting on top of HMV’s flagship store in Causeway Bay is HMV Kafe, a restaurant that’s fully equipped with a state-of-the-art sound and lights system. A massive supporter of local artists, it frequently hosts all-day live performances with the aim of helping to revitalise interest in Cantopop. Its fusion menu is ridiculously affordable, too.
HMV Kafe, 4/F, 22-36 Paterson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, www.hmvkafe.com
MOM Live House
MOM Live house was born in support out of the tumultuous existence of indie stalwart Hidden Agenda. The live house’s acoustics have been tried and tested by local rappers and internationally-renowned rock outfits alike, and it regularly hosts live music nights organised by local indie bands. Keep an eye out for gigs here, as MOM definitely needs more recognition.
MOM Live House, B39, Seven Seas Shopping Centre, 117-121 Kings Road, North Point, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/momlivehouse
Ned Kelly’s Last Stand
Old but gold, Ned Kelly’s Last Stand is (according to legend) Hong Kong’s oldest bar and current bandleader Colin Aitchison reckons the best part of being here is that you never know who’s going to come through the doors. It’s only had three resident bands since its opening – all masters of combining music and comedy, all well loved by the multicultural crowd that frequents the bar. Don’t miss out.
Ned Kelly’s Last Stand, 11A, Ashley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Looking for a place to unwind in SoHo? Head to Peel Fresco. It may not look like much from the outside, but once you step inside you can find live music of a variety of genres here almost every night. It also hosts open-mic nights for those of you wanting to showcase your own talents.
Peel Fresco, 49 Peel Street, Soho, Central, Hong Kong, www.peel-fresco.com
A Sassy favourite, Rummin’ Tings is the perfect bar to spice up your night. This Caribbean inspired bar has all the right vibes with its eclectic ‘modern shack’ decor, extensive range of rums and comforting Caribbean-style street food. Stop by on a Sunday for its live acoustic session to end your weekend on a high.
Rummin’ Tings, G/F, 28 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, www.rummintings.hk
We adore Salon 10 for its secluded location above the chaos of LKF. The mix of vintage knick knacks and cosy but luxurious furniture gives this bar a hipster edge, and the good music comes hand in hand with good people. It regularly hosts Live Jazz and Latin nights on Wednesdays and Thursdays, bringing the city’s best live jazz musicians together. Eclectic electro nights and underground Latin takeovers are also on the bill here, so throw on your dancing shoes.
Salon 10, 10 Arbuthnot Road, Central, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/SalonNumber10
Hidden behind closed doors inside LKF favourite PLAY, Studio is a sophisticated late night lounge offering two live music programs. LIVE features its house performers during weeknights and lounge music on Sunday nights. Its revamped LATE program on Fridays and Saturdays is perfect for partying the night away with genres like house and funk.
Studio, 1/F, On Hing Building, On Hing Terrace, Central, Hong Kong, www.studioclub.asia
The 50’s is perfect for a night out with your family. The friendly staff will make sure you and your loved ones are properly wined and dined for that special occasion, taking special requests like preparing birthday cakes for your celebration. Just fancy a bite and some live music? Its in-house band, The Magic Touch, plays hits from the 50’s to the 90’s every Monday to Saturday, from 8:30pm onwards.
The 50’s Bar & Restaurant, 9/F, QRE Plaza, 202 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, www.thefifties.com.hk
This Town Needs
Reborn from the ashes of Hidden Agenda and renamed This Town Needs, the long suffering live house may have finally caught a break from constant shutdown at its new location in Yau Tong. Hailed champions of the local underground music scene, TTN now puts on live gigs of all genres and even farmers markets for its staunchly loyal fans. It even collaborates with local craft breweries so you can sip on TTN-exclusive beers while taking a break from head banging.
This Town Needs, 1/F, Ocean One, 6 Shung Shun Street, Yau Tong, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/thistownneeds
The Music Room at Potato Head Hong Kong
Potato Head wowed us all with its delectable Indonesian cuisine, but its Music Room is truly one of a kind. Not only is the not-so-hidden enclosure filled to the brim with every recording put to vinyl ever, but every week a unique range of music nights are hosted by local and international DJs. You’ll find everything from disco, world music, and Balearic beats, to 90s house and more being played in this chic space. A must-visit for vinyl lovers and audiophiles.
The Music Room at Potato Head Hong Kong, 100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.ptthead.com/restaurants-and-bars-in-hong-kong/events-in-hong-kong
The Pawn Botanicals Bar
Housed in a restored slice of colonial history, The Pawn is always coming up with creative events, our favourite being the ‘Great Gatsby Wednesdays’. It’s the perfect opportunity to add a bit of glamour to your week – not only can you enjoy a classy musical act in a beautiful setting, but you can also get you hair and make-up done after dancing up a sweat. Cocktails, music and a hair and make-up sesh? It’s the recipe for the perfect night out.
The Pawn Botanicals Bar, 1/F, 62 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, www.thepawn.com.hk
Another classic spot for live music is The Wanch in Wan Chai. If you’ve had one too many beers and fancy a good dance, this is the perfect little bar to squeeze in to! Super casual, relaxed and a whole lot of fun, The Wanch has live music every night of the week and there’s never a cover charge.
The Wanch, 54 Jaffe Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, www.thewanch.hk
It’s a little shop, but not of horrors. Visage One is an intimate one-man barbershop that transforms into a secretive live music connoisseur’s hive every Saturday night. Its carefully curated parties have garnered a dedicated band of regulars, but newcomers are always welcome to join and mingle at its simple bar with whiskey, beer, and wine.
Visage One, LG/F, Po Lung Building, 93 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally written by Lauren Yee and published on 23 August, 2016 and was updated by Ines Fung on 3 September, 2018.
Featured image via Unsplash. Image #1 courtesy of 1563 at the East via Facebook, image #2 courtesy of BB Jazz Lounge via Facebook, image #3 courtesy of Foxglove via Facebook, image #4 courtesy of Gecko via Facebook, image #5 courtesy of MOM Livehouse via Facebook, image #6 via Pexels, image #7 courtesy of The Pawn Botanicals Bar via Facebook