Rough Trade: A Shoreditch Institution

Shoreditch london

Over the years, Shoreditch has developed a reputation for playing home to the unique, the different and the cool.

Providing a platform for Rough Trade artists to show off their stuff, Rough Trade East is one of the best, smaller venues in Shoreditch and a proud part of its lineage of live music. And, best of all, it’s easy to get to from M Hotel, so there’s no reason not to make the trip!


The History

Rough Trade first came into existence as a low-fi promoter and record store, founded by Geoff Travis back in 1976. Rough Trade’s first store was in Kensington Park Road, and the focus back then was on the exploding punk scene and other outsider music.

Within a couple of years, Rough Trade had set up a distribution network with other independent record stores to help smaller, niche labels get their releases out into the wider world. By the early eighties, Rough Trade had developed into a serious record label and, subsequently, the shop arm of the business and the label arm split into two different entities.

Rough Trade, however, overstretched themselves and were in receivership by the early nineties. The year 2000 saw the company reformed and today it once again operates as both a record label for emerging artists and as a series of stores across the UK.

Rough Trade East

Functioning as both a venue and a music store, Rough Trade East is the place Rough Trade considers their ‘UK flagship’ and it’s easy to see why.

In the past, Rough Trade East has played host to a massive number of emerging and established artists, with groups like Blur and Queens of the Stone Age gracing the small stage. But it doesn’t matter that the stage is small or that the bands are more used to playing to tens of thousands rather than hundreds because Rough Trade East has an importance and a presence that attracts the biggest names.

But it’s also in the countless racks of records, CDs and books that you can feel the history behind Rough Trade. No matter how obscure the album or the book, it’s highly likely that Rough Trade East has it hidden away somewhere. And it’s that passion and dedication to music that makes the place special. And, if you’ve got aching feet from all that record browsing, Rough Trade East is only a 15-minute walk from M by Montcalm Spa.

How to Get There

Setting out from your hotel – perhaps after enjoying a spot of lunch at the M by Montcalm Restaurant – all you need to do is follow City Road all the way down to Old Street Tube Station and then hand a left onto Old Street. After a while, Old Street will merge with Great Eastern Street, and that means you’re on the right track.

Now all you need to do is follow Commercial Street, take another left onto Hanbury Street. Segue from there on to Dray Walk, and you’re there.