A MUSICAL HISTORY OF STRATFORD

The East Bank development at Stratford Waterfront is to be the new home of BBC Music from 2023. This means it will be the new base for the BBC Symphony Orchestra, chorus and BBC singers. BBC Introducing, Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3 and 6 music will also regularly broadcast from the facilities. To mark the occasion, we’ve had a look at some of Stratford’s most notable music moments.

Penny Lane

The Beatles’ song about a Liverpool Street that Paul McCartney often frequented in his youth appeared as a double A-Side with Strawberry Fields in 1967. And throughout the video, you can spot the recognisable green buses of Liverpool. However, keep your eyes peeled for the shots of John Lennon walking on his own and you’ll spy a number of red London buses in the background. These parts of the video were actually filmed on Stratford’s own Angel Lane. 

David Bowie

Stratford was the location for the music video for David Bowie’s song Underground, which was best known as the soundtrack for his film Labyrinth. Filming also took place here for the Dancing in the Street music video with Mick Jagger.

Cart and Horses

Did you know that Iron Maiden are supposedly West Ham fans? Did you also know that before they made it big, they played some of their earliest gigs at the Cart and Horses pub in Stratford? Early gigs included songs like Iron Maiden, Prowler, Wrathchild and Transylvania.

Purple Haze

The Upper Cut Club was only open for 12 months in Stratford’s neighbouring Forest Gate but in that short time it hosted some of music’s biggest names. The Jimi Hendrix Experience played there on Boxing Day, 1966. And from his dressing room, Jimi Hendrix penned his hit Purple Haze.

A Visual Journey...

Moments like these have been acknowledged in the new hoarding at IQL's Endeavour Square. We’ve pulled together local stories – big and small, past, present and future – to create a collision of ideas and colour. Take a look at it to understand more about Stratford’s past and present.