Sweaty garage rock, snarling vintage synthesizers, pitch-bending guitars and grating electro pulses abound at I ♥ East London. This rhythmic night of live music held on the first Thursday of every month on Whitechapel Road, spreads the passionate message that East London is an exciting place to be for creative music.
Running the ground between beatmeisters manning the DJ booth and indie bands taking to the main stage, ♥ embraces all there is to love about local music. From the warehouse shouts of The Coolness or Daytona Lights and their lighter, breezy take on stress-free indie pop the night is a celebration of the eclectic vibrancy of the East London music scene.
As forward-thinking as organisers Eliminator Expo are with their eyes keenly fixed on up-coming bands and artists, they remind us not to forget our history. Their choice of venue – The Rhythm Factory – was also where The Libertines, Razorlight and the Others graced the walls with ear-screeching guitar chugs and cone-bending basslines.
Previous events were held with great success, thanks to a fresh selection of local acts including Remake ReModel, Mafia Lights, Edit/Select, Islington Boys and Waxhouse – all spread across a healthy mix of genres ranging from punk-ish afro-beat to pseudo –disco house-meets techno. A rather peculiar Japanese band also made an appearance, comprised of a trio of (supposedly) 17-year old girls, singing songs dedicated to sushi, farmers and vegetables.
The quality of ♥ continues to rise as the next event on December 2nd looks even more promising. It will be headlined by We Are Animal – an appropriate band name given their aggressive guitar toplines, filthy vocal cuts and youthful lyrics that anyone can relate to.
Another act to watch out for is Rosa Alchemica; too frequently imitated but rarely bettered, their brand of post-punk has darker origins. Their debut ‘3000 miles 3000 nights’ was recorded in an abandoned gay bar, pocked with glory holes in the bathrooms and a stage complete with bars at the front. It is angular, moody and surprisingly catchy.
Designed with the financially struggling student in mind, ♥ shuns ‘£15 capitalist cocktails’ for house mixers and bottles of Stella at £2.50 a pop; students only pay £4 for entry and musicians, of course, get in for free. For non-students, take advantage of the flyer scheme and enjoy the night for £5 instead paying £8 on the door.