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We pick nine of Kent’s best live music pubs, based on Google reviews

There’s nothing quite like spending your Friday night with a cold pint of beer and a brilliant pub band.

Kent certainly isn’t short of boozers so, to help you narrow it down, we’ve rounded up some of the best live music pubs around. We’ve picked nine pubs from around the county that are rated above four stars on Google Reviews, so you know you’re in for a good night out.

There are still plenty of pubs packing in punters across the county thanks to their live music line up
There are still plenty of pubs packing in punters across the county thanks to their live music line up

THE CHAMBERS, Folkestone

Since opening its doors in 1998, The Chambers has become one of Folkestone’s top spots for live music. The bar, which also serves up Mexican-inspired food, bespoke roasted fairtrade coffee and a number of local real ales, has a regular rotation of both free and ticketed gigs for visitors to enjoy. Recent live music events at The Chambers include the Roots, Culture and Afrobeats Weekender, the Famous Open Mic Night and Strictly 80s, as well as performances from bands such as the Self-Titled, Daddy Long Legs, Dobermann and Red Hot Riot.

Where: Radnor Chambers, Cheriton Place, Folkestone CT20 2BB

When: Tuesday to Thursday, 9am to 11pm, and Friday to Saturday, 9am to 1am

The live music industry is worth more than £1b to the UK economy
The live music industry is worth more than £1b to the UK economy

ELEPHANT AND CASTLE, Ramsgate

This punk rock venue is a proud community pub that certainly sticks to its roots. The pub, which is just a short walk from Ramsgate beach and harbour, hosts some of the best rock, metal and punk bands from around the county and beyond. If you have visited recently you might have caught the likes of The Paradox, Dread Messiah or Riskee and the Ridicule performing here. No matter when you pop in or which bands you see, one thing is for sure; you’re guaranteed a raucous, riotous night out.

Where: 8-10 Hereson Road, Ramsgate CT11 7DP

When: Sunday to Thursday, 11am to 11pm, and Friday to Saturday, 11am to 1am

The King's Head in Deal is right next to the beach
The King’s Head in Deal is right next to the beach

THE KINGS HEAD, Deal

This seafront pub has many strings to its bow. Not only is it a busy live music destination, particularly during the summer months when musicians can perform on the outdoor terrace, but The King’s Head in Deal is also a friendly bed-and-breakfast and restaurant. It’s also a regular haunt for sports fans, with all major football games being played in the pub, and has a great garden with beautiful views of the beach. The weekend is the best time to catch live music here, with the most recent performance from Ramsgate’s own Luke Burgess.

Where: 9 Beach Street, Deal CT14 7AH

When: Monday to Sunday, 8am to 10pm

The Lady Luck is known as one of Kent's top rock bars and is decorated with band posters and stickers. Picture: Google Street View
The Lady Luck is known as one of Kent’s top rock bars and is decorated with band posters and stickers. Picture: Google Street View

THE LADY LUCK, Canterbury

If it’s real rock ‘n’ roll you’re looking for, then look no further. The Lady Luck, located at the Westgate end of Canterbury high street, has become the top spot in the city for punks, rockers and metalheads. But don’t let the jukebox full of classic rock and rockabilly tunes fool you; the funky decor, cool, underground bands and menu of unique vegan and vegetarian options has made this popular with hipsters and old school fans alike. There’s live music almost every weekend, from Iron Maiden and The Prodigy tribute bands to up-and-coming artists, and gigs are even being announced for next year already.

Where: 18 St Peter’s Street, Canterbury CT1 2BQ

When: Monday to Thursday, 12pm to 1am, Friday to Saturday, 12pm to 2am, and Sundays 12pm to 11pm

The Market House is an award-winning Shepherd Neame pub in Maidstone
The Market House is an award-winning Shepherd Neame pub in Maidstone

THE MARKET HOUSE, Maidstone

If you stop off for a pint on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday at this county town pub, you are sure to catch a tune or two. The Market House has at least one, if not more, bands or artists performing almost every weekend evening, and the pub shares regular updates about new music on its Facebook page. Recent gigs have come from the likes of Kent-based artists, ranging from party band Beer Pressure to singer-songwriter Holly Henderson, with plenty more on the way. There’s also traditional pub food and Shepherd Neame drinks on offer.

Where: 30 Earl Street, Maidstone ME14 1PS

When: Monday to Thursday, 12pm to 11am, Friday to Saturday, 12pm to 2pm, and Sundays 12pm to 11pm

The Market Inn is a regular spot for some of the county's best-known pub bands. Picture: Tony Flashman
The Market Inn is a regular spot for some of the county’s best-known pub bands. Picture: Tony Flashman

THE MARKET INN, Faversham

This traditional boozer has been a community hub in Faversham for decades. From football and rugby players pouring in after the weekend games to folks enjoying sunny afternoons in the beer garden, the Market Inn has always been one of the town’s well-known watering holes. However, over the years it has also morphed into a live music venue on weekends. While the pub doesn’t exactly have an online presence – no social media pages or a proper website to speak of – to keep up with its gigs, popular local bands such as Hullabaloo and the Curb Pilots can often be found here so it’s worth swinging by to see who’s playing.

Where: 42 East Street, Faversham ME13 8AT

When: Tuesday to Friday, 12pm to 11pm, Saturday 12pm to 12am, Sunday 12pm to 7pm and Monday 12pm to 6pm

The Pearson's Arms is a great place to grab a cocktail in Whitstable
The Pearson’s Arms is a great place to grab a cocktail in Whitstable

THE PEARSON’S ARMS, Whitstable

The much-loved seaside town of Whitstable has become a thriving arts and culture destination. Part of that culture is live music, which can be found at many places across the town – including the Pearson’s Arms. The pub, just a stone’s throw from the beach, has live music twice a week. There is also a resident DJ on Friday nights, for those who want to dance their way into the weekend. Along with some great music, visitors can also enjoy a hearty pub menu of seasonal dishes and special monthly cocktails.

Where: Horsebridge Road, Whitstable CT5 1BT

When: Monday to Saturday, 12pm to 11pm, and Sundays, 12pm to 9pm

Mexican-themed bar Poco Loco offers a varied programme of live entertainment
Mexican-themed bar Poco Loco offers a varied programme of live entertainment

POCO LOCO, Chatham

It’s more of a Mexican-inspired tapas bar than a traditional Kentish pub, but it’s hard to talk about live music in Kent without mentioning Poco Loco. Found in the Intra area of Medway, perfectly nestled between Chatham and Rochester, this cosy bar is known for its live entertainment, from monthly drag cabaret nights to live rock bands. This year the venue has put on a number of sold-out gigs and music festivals, and still has performances from artists such as Millie Manders and The Shutup and Funke and The Two Tone Baby left to go. Plus, there’s a tasty menu of tacos and tapas to tuck into while you wait for the bands to begin.

Where: 58-60 High Street, Chatham ME4 4DS

When: Sunday to Thursday, 12.30pm to 11pm, and Friday to Saturday, 12.30pm to 2am.

THE PUNCH AND JUDY, Tonbridge

The open mic night is a staple of any live music pub, and the Punch and Judy in Tonbridge is no different. There used to be more gigs here prior to the pandemic and the pub seems to turn more of its attention to promoting football matches these days, but bands still visit from time to time. However, it’s still worth stopping off for the open mic nights, which are a great way to showcase local talent and discover unheard artists, and are certainly not to be sniffed at. There’s also a karaoke night, if you fancy some entertainment but aren’t too fussed about how it sounds.

Where: 11 St Stephen’s Street, Tonbridge TN9 2AB

When: Sunday to Thursday, 12pm to 11pm, and Friday to Saturday, 12pm to 12am


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