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Music venues in east London

Discover six of the best places for live music, drinks and clubbing in east London

Among the hipsters and chicken shops, east London is home to some great gig venues. Whether you're a newbie to the area or simply up for something different, check out our round-up the six best east London live music spots.

Six great gig venues in east London


Venue says: Selected drinks £3 until 7pm every day. Lucky Chip now serving upstairs!

33-35 Stoke Newington Rd, Dalston, N16 8BJ

The one for... hipsters hanging with the hotly-tipped.

Since its launch in May this basement den has established itself as the first port for those who are big on the blogs. Booking uber-cool electronicists, scuzzy lo-fi bands and bedroom producers finally finding their way out the house, Birthdays swerve is defiantly left-of-centre and an excellent addition to the Dalston strip.

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Stoke Newington

The Waiting Room

175 Stoke Newington High St, (below The Three Crowns), London, N16 0LH

The one for…
beats and bleeps.

This smart little venue, underneath the pleasant Three Crowns pub, used to be known as The Drop. It was relaunched by the team behind the Lock Tavern and The Shacklewell Arms in March 2012 as a forward-thinking electronic music venue with a mix of club nights and live shows from innovators including Daniel Avery, Four Tet and NZCA/Lines. And - bonus - it's not a shithole. Gigs are cheap, or sometimes free.

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Stoke Newington

Shacklewell Arms

71 Shacklewell Lane, London, E8 2EB

The one for... casual coolness.

While Birthdays is shiny and new, the Shacklewell is a gloriously scruffy alternative. It may lack Dyson Airblades in the loo, but this boozer-cum-venue has a relaxed vibe with a booking policy to die for. Everyone from The Horrors to Skrillex has played there, and the annual Nail The Cross two-dayer is a cauldron for acts on the grow.

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Power Lunches Arts Café

446 Kingsland Road, E8 4AE

The one for... getting freaky, dude.

You’ll see a fair few beards and top-knots at Power Lunches, but if you can’t do the Hackney wildman look fear not: this black-and-white bar/cafe offers a warm welcome, a bite to eat and a packed gig calendar to anyone with a penchant for the heavy and psychedelic.

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The Victoria (Dalston)

451 Queensbridge Rd, Dalston, London, E8 3AS

The one for... artists and aging locals alike.

There are two popular East End Victorias, so make sure you stumble into the Dalston one (as opposed to Mile End). At this one you can sidle up for pool alongside old men tucking into a fish and Jollof rice supper, then, through the door at the back, catch trendy punk and indie acts.

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Hysteria (Formerly The Junction)

578 Kingsland Rd, London, E8 4AH

The one for... decadence – and dinner.

Alias, 'Hipsteria’, but don’t let that put you off. This venue, formerly The Junction Room, reopened in January as a comfy-but-elegant live music bar. Most customers descend to the recently opened ‘dungeon’ for appealingly sleazy club nights, but stick around upstairs for cutting-edge bands and tasty pizza.

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