Entertainment • September 2014

Now hear this: five unexpected music meccas

To continue our #BestSummerEver series, The Club tracks down five emerging music scenes that are worth seeking out on your travels


Tallinn, Estonia

Natalie Mets, executive director, The Baltic Scene (@thebalticscene)
Tallinn’s burgeoning music scene offers something for everyone. Jazz lovers should visit during Jazzkaar (13 September–2 November) – or head to Philly Joe’s for live music. Stars of the local underground scene include Firejosé, Tommy Cash and Faun Racket, but big industry names such as Patti Smith and Bonobo perform at Nordea Kontserdimaj. And there’s Tallinn Music Week (actually a long weekend) in March showcasing exciting local and regional talent, from folk and rock to classical and electronic music.


Johannesburg, South Africa

Eddy De Clercq, Flemish-Dutch DJ (@SoulSafariBlog)
Listen out for Mzansi house, a hybrid of African house music – the youngest and most exciting new style of music in South Africa, which I first witnessed in the streets of Johannesburg’s hipster hub, Melville. The venues change as regularly as the weather, but the music and nightlife in this bohemian student neighbourhood are always thriving. Check out Mzansi’s best DJs, Black Motion, or ask a local for an insider’s checklist of the weekly parties.


Houston, Texas

Fat Tony, rapper (@fattonyrap)
New York, Miami or Atlanta might come to mind when you think of American hip hop, but Houston has been one of the most influential cities recently. We’re known for pioneering independent rap music thanks to labels like Rap-A-Lot, and dark, deeply introspective artists such as Scarface (pictured, right) and Z-Ro. I’d also argue that Houston is the world’s freestyle capital. Even Houstonians who have never bought a rap record have freestyled or ‘flowed’ with friends for a laugh. Our slang, sound, subject matter and style all come from an environment that is unique to the Houston experience.


Tel Aviv, Israel

James McMahon, editor, Kerrang! (@jamesjammcmahon)
Israel has spawned a small but intensely productive underground metal scene. Head to the aptly named Rock Bar in Tel Aviv, which features bands throughout the week. Kerrang!’s pick of the pile are progressive metallers Orphaned Land. Using traditional Israeli and Jewish instruments and influences, they’re totally unique, offering a perfect distillation of everything the Israeli metal scene offers. 


Lagos, Nigeria

Audu Maikori, founder and CEO of music label Chocolate City (@Audu)
Afro hip hop has evolved from an underground movement in Lagos to gaining international acclaim in the space of five years – largely due to the way artists have embraced local music and fused it with international-influenced genres. The best places to catch performances include Bogobiri House in Ikoyi, Afropolitan Vibes at Freedom Park on Lagos Island and The New Afrika Shrine (pictured) in Ikeja, run by the children of the late Afrobeat icon Fela Kuti.

Have you found an unexpected destination for live music on your travels?
Share your pictures on Instagram using #BestSummerEver and tag @British_Airways for a chance to win flights to one of BA’s favourite summer destinations

This article has been tagged Destination, Culture