It is no secret that Shoreditch has its finger firmly pressed on the play button of the London music scene. Establishments like recording-studio-cum-live-music-venue, The Strongrooms (Goon Dogs on Wed 23rd), and vintage-boutique-meets-classy-bar, Paper Dress (The Michael John McGlone Band on Sat 26th), are just a few of the premises hosting the localities eclectic sounds; from dreamy surf vibes and exotic African rhythms to edgy indie-rock and post-punk electrohouse. Beyond the frothy lattes, locally brewed beers and sprawling walls of street art, Shoreditch and the surrounding areas offer the musical reconnoitre more than a sweet tune or two. Check out our pick and mix of some of the best gigs coming up this month.
Underbelly of Hoxton Square presents Afla Sackey & Afrik Bawantu: 24th April
Located beneath the buzzing DJ bar Zigfrid Von Underbelly, Underbelly of Hoxton Square is the warmly lit and wood panelled womb of live music in East London. A distinct basement space conceived and executed by specialist bar and restaurant designer, Paul Daly; the spot gets its funk from hand-painted black-and-white ceilings that shelter a rambunctious collection of old school porn, pets and jungle paraphernalia. An institution of underground rhythms with a killer sound system, the venue has been blasting out experimental sounds for over a decade.
This April 24th sees Afla Sackey & Afrik Bawantu bring Ghanaian beats. The backing band combines strings, brass and traditional African drums with soulful wailing lead vocals to create irresistibly uptempo and tropical afro fusion. Supported by the wild and wonderful Guinean drum ensemble, Wuntanara, this is set to be a red hot shoulder shaker and no joke junk groover; luckily it’s on a Thursday and there’s 2-4-1 on mojitos upstairs.
Hoxton Bar and Kitchen presents The Tea Street Band: 25th April
With a subwoofer of epic decibel supremacy, Hoxton Bar and Kitchen has long cranked out treble and bass, with a history of amplifying new acts into prominence including the likes of White Lies, Example, Foals, Austra and Khushi. A great place to uncover stardom-destined bands and artists of all genres, this is one hangout you’ll find hard to leave, notwithstanding the sticky floor. A deliberately unfinished feel gives this warehouse venue an urban vibe that perfectly suits the area and the big individualistic crowds its gigs attract.
Rave till the drinks are gone, the sun’s come up and you’ve sung your heart out, because The Tea Street Band have the most endearing free Brit spirit and their raw psychedelic sound will open the horizon for your inner self too. The band’s refreshing take on 80s English techno rock n roll is gracing the stage this April 25th, as the legendary live music venue plays host to an electric guitar-riff spectacular – get ready for a charged Friday night full of head bopping and air ad-libs. Preluded by Welsh duo, Bloodflower, the support act is acclaimed by taste-makers like Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and promises to get the musical juices flowing first and fast. Don’t miss it.
The Old Blue Last present Little Matador: 28th April
Vice Magazine’s circular, sandy-bricked pub, The Old Blue Last, sits slap bang in the middle of Shoreditch Triangle, on the corner of Great Eastern Street and Curtain Road. Sometimes difficult to spot at night beyond the bulging queues, the venue is heaving with sweaty crowds, tip-tapping their feet on the distressed floor boards, with the familiar pubs scents of wood and leather deceiving the live music scene that lies within.
Described by NME as ‘East London’s most notorious venue’ and by The Guardian as ‘the cradle of British music’s future’, The Old Blue Last handpicks some of the best live acts music has to offer long before the industry’s cogs have clocked onto them. Monday 28th April will bring to light the talent of Little Matador, an indie band with a big sound. Banging bass lines are overlaid with the grit of the electric guitar and melodic undulations of frontman and Snow Patrol guitarist Nathan Connolly’s vocals, in a gig that will leave the crowd in a whirl of rock ballad motion.
The Macbeth presents Ich Bin Finn: 29th April
It would be a difficult task not to notice the blaringly blue walls of The Macbeth pub. A stone's throw away from Shoreditch, in Hoxton; it is conspicuously perched between the 99p shops and emerging cultural gems that Hoxton Street now has to offer. As visually striking as the venue is, the self proclaimed ‘haggard old party pub’ also has a live music reputation to match, with musical royalty such as Franz Ferdinand, Pete Doherty and Florence and the Machine performing there to name a very few.
To add to the knotches in its melodious belt, on Tuesday 29th April The Macbeth will be showcasing the powerpop-folkpunk ukelele delights of Ich Bin Finn. Don’t be fooled by those high-pitched Hawaiian strings, the band bring a new edge to the uke sound with the lead singer, who may or may not be the elusive Finn, warning unsuspecting audiences; “Do not be let our old videos fool you, we are not acoustic, were are a five-piece and we have been known to f*** your s*** up!” On that sweet note, watch out for eccentric shows featuring prancing hysterics and songs about coke, not the fizzy kind.