If you’re looking for a rollicking night of live tunes, ice-cold booze and opportunities to rub shoulders with fellow music lovers, you’re certainly in the right city. Singapore is home to a stalwart community of veteran musicians, budding local bands and soulful singers, many of whom showcase their talents at various live music bars and venues.
Whether you’re into the soulful strains of blues, the complex harmonies of jazz or infectious pop melodies, there’s bound to be a venue on this list that’ll get you grooving along to the music that you love.
Take a walk down Haji Lane and keep your eyes peeled for this cosy bar and café. As its name suggests, Going Om is inspired by the spirit of the Himalayan mountains, and is a sanctuary from the bustle of the city. The word ‘Om’ refers to a sacred sound that has its roots in Hinduism, and which is also chanted in Buddhist, Jain and Hindu mantra.
Feel-good vibes abound at this establishment, with live music performances that tend to spill out onto the streets on busy nights. The establishment’s motley crew of talented local buskers tend to play acoustics sets, covering Top 40s, pop classics and soft rock numbers.
Music lovers interested to explore New Age spirituality should also check out the range of services offered at the establishment, which include tarot card-reading, yoga and meditation classes.
Going Om. 63 Haji Lane, Singapore 189256. +65 6396 3592.
Tue-Thu & Sun noon-midnight; Fri & Sat noon-1am.
Hood Bar & Music
One of Singapore’s most popular live music venues, Hood Bar & Music has been providing local bands and aspiring musicians a performing platform since 2009. With its funky décor, unpretentious ambience and stellar line-up of resident musicians, this watering hole is a great place for visitors hoping to hang out with local musicians and music lovers.
The bar’s regular bands play everything from Cantopop (Cantonese pop music) to acoustic renditions of Top 40s hits, with a focus on crowd-pleasing tunes and classic covers.
Lovers of bilingual modern pop and classic jams should drop by on weekend nights to catch Prince Band in action. Alternatively, for those who prefer light "loungey" settings, we have a stripped down acoustic version of Prince Band every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday to serenade your night away!
Bugis+. 201 Victoria Street, Singapore 188067. +65 6221 8846.
Mon-Thu & Sun 5.30pm-1am; Fri & Sat 5.30pm-3am.
Timbre @ The Substation
A much-beloved platform for local bands and aspiring young acts, Timbre @ The Substation is the flagship live music venue of the Timbre Group, and is widely recognised as the home for Singaporean musicians.
Located right next to the lush greenery of Fort Canning Park, this open-air venue provides a casual, laid-back space for those looking to enjoy live music, indulge in an ice-cold beer and grab some delicious bar nosh.
The bar’s resident bands are all excellent musicians, but we personally recommend visiting on either a Friday or Saturday night to catch 53A in action. One of Singapore’s most established cover bands, this six-piece group has been playing the local music circuit for 15 years, and is known for its pitch perfect covers of genre classics, spanning rock, punk, jazz and Top 40s hits.
This local music haven has recently gone through extensive renovation, and now boasts an upgraded stage, sound and lighting systems. Drop by for an enhanced live music experience, and feel free to text your song requests to Timbre’s number (or do it old-school by scribbling it on a napkin).
Timbre @ The Substation. 45 Armenian Street, Singapore 179936. +65 6338 8030.
Mon-Thu 5pm-1am; Fri 5pm-2am; Sat 6pm-2am.
The Mad Men Attic Bar
Nestled amidst the soaring skyscrapers of Singapore’s Central Business District, The Mad Men Attic Bar is a bustling bar that channels all the exuberant energy of the Lion City’s main commercial hub.
With its urban-inspired décor, graffiti-decked walls and rotating line-up of live DJs and local cover bands, this venue is a great space for those who get energised by great vibes and opportunities to socialise.
Those looking for a high-energy live set should visit on Wednesday nights, when local band Shirlyn + The UnXpected rocks the stage. This legendary act boasts an unbelievably wide repertoire of covers, so don’t be shy about making a song request.
The Mad Men Attic Bar. 11 North Canal Road #03-02 (Attic Level), Singapore 048824. +65 6222 3529.
Mon-Wed 5pm-1am; Thu 5pm-2am; Fri 5pm- 3am; Sat 6pm-3am.