entertainment music

Best gigs in East London


Monday 28 January

Heavy Lungs

Bristol’s breakout punk stars have the Live Nation machine behind them for this headline gig at the Seabright. Tickets are priced accordingly (at almost £10) but if that seems excessive, check out the lads’ latest online, then get down there quick smart. Their debut album drops February 7th, following up on last year’s Abstract Thoughts EP. There’s a number of great ‘n’ gutsy punk bands on the circuit now – and this lot are at the very top of the pile.
Sebright Arms
31-35 Coate Street, London E2 9AG
020 7729 0937 


Jazz Alloy

If you’ve missed the current crop of jazz stars whipping up a storm in the east, get yourself down to Vortex in Gillett Square for some seriously fine times. Tonight sees legendary sax player Steve Williamson (of Jazz Warriors fame) team up with Swedish folkie Emilia Amper on key harp and vocals, with Marque Gilmore on drums. Hosted by the award-winning vocalist Emilia Martensson. Tickets £15. Booking advised.
Vortex Jazz Club
11 Gillett Square, London, N16 8AZ


Tuesday 29 January


The last of the Last’s new year Hello 2019 showcases sees the mighty Laurel Arnell-Cullen headline with that exceptional, visceral voice (and that Les Paul guitar). The London-based, Southampton-born songsmith is going great guns – she’s just announced her first tour of Australia in May. At the Last, she will be ably supported by Margate’s Art School Girlfriend (who tour the UK in April). Lucy Lu and Ellie Bleach round out the night’s line-up. Doors 7pm. Entry is free.
The Old Blue Last
38 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3ES
020 7739 7033 


Christine Bovill’s Paris

Back for another mini-season at Wilton’s (till February 2) is the Glaswegian chanteuse who sings French songs like nobody. Famed for her hugely popular show Piaf, here the lady’s taking us back to the golden era of French song. Expect to hear gems and nuggets from the songbooks of Jacques Brel, Edit Piaf, Barbara, Juliet Greco, Charles Azanavour and more. Critics have raved about Bovill’s vocal dexterity and chutzpah on stage – and you will, too.
1 Graces Alley, London E1 8JB 
020 7702 2789  


Tuesday 29 January & 30 Wednesday

Americana Showcase

Well, here’s something: a great swathe of artists – 50, all up – playing across five venues, over two nights – and just one wristband required to see them all. Doors open at 5pm, with the music expected to last till 11pm. Tickets are priced at just under £30. The gig crawl starts here, but also takes in Moth Club, Paper Dress Vintage, Empire Bar and Night Tales. Artists include Wild Ponies, The Hanging Stars, Caleb Caudle, Martha L Healy and 46 more. Who needs long haul when you can enjoy it all right here in Hackney?
1a Amhurst Road, London E8 1LL.
020 3553 4831 


Wednesday 30 January

Alice Jemima

She was famously spotted by Radio 1 DJ and Bestival co-founder Rob Da Bank, then snapped up by the man’s Sunday Best label. Since then, the songstress has put out her excellent 2017 self-titled debut album, to great acclaim – and rightly so. Now 22, the Devon native took the alternative route early, heading to Glastonbury as a curious teenager and was smitten with the music bug. Recording material on Garageband at home led to a self-funded EP in 2012. A three-million-streaming cover of Blackstreet’s No Diggity followed in 2014. Catch her in this intimate space while you can.
Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen
2-4 Hoxton Square, London N1 6NU
020 7613 0709


Wednesday 30 January 30 & Thursday 31 January


The East End grime pioneer headlines two back-to-back nights in neighbouring N1 for the believers and curious out there. At 34, he’s already achieved plaudits galore, from Radio 1 to The Guardian, plus he’s got a new album – the much-anticipated sequel to Ghetto Gospel – to share with the assembled throng. Expect both nights to be busy, bustling and full of comment. Over the last 10 years, grime has become widely recognised as London’s most contemporary and vital cultural export. Hear it from the master here. This stuff is real.
Islington Assembly Hall
Upper Street, London N1 2UD
020 7527 8900


Thursday 31 January

Cloud Nothings

Ten years on and still going strong, what frontman Dylan Baldi first designed as a solo effort has taken on a life all its own. Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio – home to many a fine music-soaked soul – Cloud Nothings are anything but. Check out a decade of sonic wonders online to get a feel of what makes this indie-rock outfit tick. That they’re playing in such a marvellous venue only makes it all the more sweeter.
11-17 Stoke Newington Rd
Stoke Newington, London N16 8BH
020 7422 7505


Friday 1 February

… And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead

The cult favourites from Austin, Texas return to celebrate 20 years (yikes!) of their seminal long-player, Madonna. Expect a fair smattering, too, drawn from their eight other albums as the lads crank it up to 11 for one glorious night of indie rock gold. Long-timers Conrad Keely (now based in, erm, Cambodia) and Jason Reece – who famously swap instruments throughout the show – will be joined by ‘wingmen’ Autry Fulbright II and Jamie Miller on bass and drums/guitar respectively. Power and volume are assured.
The Garage
20-22 Highbury Corner, London N5 1RD
020 7619 6720 / 0844 847 1678


Sunday 3 February

Zanzibar Aliens

The indie-rock outfit from Lisbon with the eye-catching name hit the George running with a pile of fine pop tunes in their wake. There’s a lovely rich melodic vibe going on, whether it’s mining Sabbath (with early cut Losing My Mind) and Zeppelin (the current I am the Usa) or veering lighter and jazzier (with Rejoice). They’ve cut three albums in little over three years – an impressive feat in itself – so expect a nice spread of stuff. They’re refreshingly tricky to pigeon hole, this lot.
The George Tavern
373 Commercial Road, London E1 0LA 
020 7790 7335 

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