For many, going to see live music involves a trip to a sweaty gig venue or a crowded club with little time for respite. Yet, for those times when you’d prefer to sit back, relax and immerse yourself in a cocoon of soothing sounds, Nottingham does have an answer. Tucked away behind the bright lights of Nottingham’s already thriving music scene nestles a selection of intimate cafes that will tickle your taste buds whilst showcasing some of Nottingham’s finest talent.
The Crocus Café in Lenton is undoubtedly one of Nottingham’s best kept secrets. Situated in the somewhat unexpected location of Lenton’s tower blocks, this unique café harmoniously fuses together the student and local populations. Volunteer-run and motivated by an ethical ethos, the Crocus boasts great music and food alike. Most Thursdays the café is host to live music, where between 2-6pm you can catch an eclectic range of genres. With performers playing anything from acoustic folk to funk and delicious main meals costing only £3.80, what’s not to love about this place!
If you’re looking to make an evening of it, then head down to the Alley Cafe Bar in Nottingham’s city centre. This vibrant café showcases a variety of local talent, with a highlight being ‘Jumpers for Goalposts’ every third Thursday of the month. This night is most aptly described as a musical extravaganza, with Nottingham’s Yeah I’ll Play It Later DJs spinning a selection of tunes, a live music act playing and a creative arts competition all occurring in the space of one fun-filled evening. Alongside this, the café regularly plays host to nights run by various independent record labels in Nottingham, such as Farm Yard and Arboretum records. A trip to the Alley Café is a must for all those looking for an exciting and at times hands on musical experience.
For more of a laid back musical affair, Lee Rosy’s Tearoom, located in Hockley, is ideal. Offering one of the biggest selections of tea known to man, this cosy café is much more than your average tea shop. Lee Rosy’s blends the genres of art, poetry and music for enchanting one-off nights and often plays host to artists from a wide variety of musical backgrounds. With a selection of mouth-watering cakes to whet your appetite, this café is great for those who adore music and cake alike.
Also look out for the Jam Cafe’s Open Mike night on Wednesday, with live music on Friday. Similarily, Mansfield road’s The Golden Fleece and Maze cater for both open mike nights and live bands in a pub friendly atmosphere. The Wax Bar, and The Malt Cross are also worth a look.