Rough Trade East

Shopping , Music and entertainment Brick Lane
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(6 user reviews)
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Like its sister store in W11, the East End addition to the RT stable welcomes live performers of pretty much every persuasion and boasts not only more space and a café, but also – far more importantly – a purpose-built stage, with standing room in front sensibly factored into the planning. Gigs happen early in the evening (usually 7pm) and admission is more often than not free (with a pre-collected wristband) or free with purchase of the new album by whoever's playing. Sets are shorter than a regular gig and there can be long queues for bigger named acts, but then, who wouldn't queue to see free sets from the diverse likes of Blur, Marianne Faithful and Vampire Weekend?

Venue name: Rough Trade East
Contact:
Address: Brick Lane
London
E1 6QL
Opening hours: 8am-9pm Mon-Thu; 8am-8pm Fri; 10am-8pm Sat; 11am-7pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Aldgate East/Shoreditch High St Overground
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Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|6
1 person listening
Violet M
Tastemaker

Rough Trade East resides in the heart of hipster-land, on Brick-lane in Shoreditch. Despite it's hipster-y hipster-ness, it's actually a really cool spot, so don't let that put you off. 


Decked from wall to wall with CDS and vinlys, the shop boasts one of the best, most eclectic variety of records. It's got a bit of everything. A true selling point are the events Rough Trade East put on from small live shows, record-signings and meet&greets. I happened here for the show & signing of James Vincent McMorrow, which is going down in the top 3 of my favorite shows in my life. While that's mostly due to how impressive McMorrow is as a performer, I think Rough Trade East is also due some credit. 


The stage, which looks make-shift, cramped and a little bit like it's going to fall apart, allows the audience to be right up close with the performer. Also, I felt it was due to the setting that I only saw 3 iphones out taking videos, snapchats, instagrams the entire performance. There was one polaroid (could you be more hipster)?! But I loved it. 


Loved that the crowd was there to actually watch the performance, loved that it was respectful - no pushing, no chains of people trying to squeeze their way to the front. I truly felt that this was owed to Rough Trade East, which seems to have some magical aura, where the people who visit the shop and consequently, attend the events they put on, are there, purely, for the music. 

Ben
Tastemaker

Justly world-famous, Rough Trade East is a mecca for music fans and from experience, it's incredibly easy to blow a fortune here.  There's a small cafe, knowledgeable staff, a wide-range of music covering pretty much every sub-genre imaginable and regular free/pre-order bonus gigs - some of the worlds newest and finest appear.  Struggling to think of a better music store in London.

Cookie Monster
moderatorStaff WriterTastemaker

Fantastic place if you're into music. You can easily while away the hours here.

Diana T
Tastemaker

You walk in and you feel a bit of an east London vibe, music playing in the background, a cafe in the front, then books and of course all the rows of cds and vinyls. The staff is really nice when you approach them and the infamous photobooth is great for a tangible memory. They throw events and free gigs quite often, and there are always people sitting drinking their coffee working away at the front. I try not to go in there too often because I end up broke after every visit. It is definitely one of those places where you could stay for hours and not get bored (if you're a music fan). 

Jaclyn
Staff Writer

Free Gigs!

That’s one of the best things about Rough Trade East.

The walls are adorned with handprints and signed records from some of the greats who have performed there over the years.

They also happen to have an insanely large collection of CDs and vinyl from independent artists spanning all genres. The album of the month club is a great way to discover new music – sometimes it’s rubbish, most of the time it’s great. But you can always go and exchange your latest album for something you’d prefer if you're not a fan.

The staff are helpful and clearly care a LOT about what they do, which is a refreshing change from the usual too-cool-to-care attitude that prevails in the rest of Shoreditch hipster-ville.

Oh and they sell cans of Beavertown Gamma Ray there too, so you can enjoy a world class act while drinking a world class beer. Yes!