Best Gigs in East London


Monday 10 – Wednesday 12 September 

Clean Presents: So Young Festival

Back for its third year, the indie music showcase takes over Birthdays for three consecutive nights with the latest and greatest in emerging artists. There’s a secret headliner each night, plus a slew of familiar and not-so familiar bands, some of whom have appeared in these very music pages. Among them: Lice, Fur and Krush Puppies. The fun kicks off each night at 7pm and runs till midnight. Arrive early and grab yourself a spot.
33-35 Stoke Newington Road, London N16 8BJ  
020 7923 1680 


WEDNESDAY 12 September

Gruff Rhys with the London Contemporary Orchestra 
















The Super Furry Animals frontman and multi-instrumentalist brings his latest work to the Barbican, awash with strings and horns. Babelsberg was originally recorded two years ago, then dusted off with composer Stephen McNeff and the National Orchestra of Wales. Rhys himself cites the Tower of Babel as a key inspiration. This fifth solo outing adds to the artist’s multi-layered oeuvre and is well worth the admission price alone. Stars 7.30pm sharp.
Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS
020 7638 4141


THURSDAY 13 September












The bold ‘n’ ballsy singer describes himself as a “socially conscious artist unafraid of delivering genre-bending protest songs.” Check out his work on YouTube, which unashamedly draws on 1990s influences such as Marilyn Manson, and you’ll get the idea. Like many great artists, Dominic Harrison hails from the North (it must be something in the water) and, we imagine, wears his Doncaster roots proudly on his sleeve. And why not? We dig his energy and his swagger, and so will you.
The Garage
20-22 Highbury Corner, London N5 1RD
020 7619 6720 / 0844 847 1678


Joan Armatrading

LONDON – FEBRUARY 01: Joan Armatrading poses with a guitar at the Born To Rock Exhibition at Harrods on February 1, 2007 in London, England. Guitars worth tens of millions of pounds were delivered by armoured security to the store and make up part of the Born To Rock Exhibition. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)









The perfect pressie for Mum or Dad (or both). Always the consummate performer, Ms Armatrading has been captivating audiences for over 40 years (46, to be precise). Expect to hear classics Drop the Pilot, Willow, Me Myself I and the timeless Love and Affection, alongside fresh material recorded in 2018. Born in Saint Kitts, raised in the West Midlands, Armatrading’s mum famously swapped her two prams for a guitar in a pawn shop and the rest, as they say, is history. Well worth experiencing this bona fide legend, live, in an ideal performance space. Starts 7.30pm sharp.
Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS
020 7638 4141

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