Rock ’n’ rail: the East London Line choo-choo cha boogies through Dalston, the Ditch and New Cross

FEW railways have caught the public imagination in modern times like the East London Line. The public were slow to wake up to it when it opened in spring last year, but once they caught on, they took it to their hearts.
It struck such a chord with Amanda Lwin and Carolina Garcia that they created the Sound Tracks Festival. The end-of-summer one-day whistlestop party will include even an, uhm, on line stage, with free shows by what are described as “upcoming acts” (translation: they might need the gig).
Claiming that the Ell “joins up places with rich musical identities” to help “urban explorers and fans of new music to discover new sounds and places”, Lwin and Garcia have devised a series of shows near three stations on the line, one in the north, one in the centre and one in the south.
Café Oto (above) in Dalston, Concrete in Shoreditch and the Amersham Arms in New Cross will put on pay-ticket gigs. Sound Tracks events will also be held in Dalston Eastern Curve Garden and the New Cross Inn, 323 New Cross Road, SE14 6AS.
Best known band performing is probably dance innovator Fantastic Mr Fox.
Who’s funding all this fun? Amanda Lwin insists that the festival is utterly independent: not a penny of sponsorship, she tells Loving Dalston, adding: “London is the best city in the world for seeing live music”, and music in East London in particular is “thriving”.
Lwin is attracted to “stories within cities” — she’s already thinking about setting up another Sound Tracks Festival, when the Ell links with other lines to make possible an overground-rail circle of London, probably next year.
* Sound Tracks Festival: Cafe Oto, 18-22 Ashwin St E8 3DL, Concrete Space, lower ground floor, 56 Shoreditch High St E1 6JJ, and Amersham Arms, 388 New Cross Rd SE14 6TY, Sat 17 Sep 2011, 7pm-late. Entry to all venues by wristband £8.50 in advance (£12.50 once Early Bird tickets are gone). Some associated events free: details on Sound Tracks Festival website.

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