Many streets in London have a place in popular culture. Baker Street, Regent Street, and… Electric Avenue?
The Electric Avenue referred to by the British musician Eddy Grant in his 1982 single by the same name is located in the South London borough of Lambeth, specifically the Brixton neighborhood. Notably, this road was the first market street in the world to be lit by electricity in the late 1800s—hence its name.
The song’s subject matter has little to do with the street itself though, instead referring to the 1981 riots that took place in the neighborhood, brought on by growing racial tensions between police and the local black community. Grant had performed at a nearby theater in years prior and thought the street name would make for a good song title.
Today, Electric Avenue is a pedestrian street in the heart of Brixton’s shopping district. At night, a multicolored neon sign hangs over the street, alerting passersby to its existence. If it wasn’t for the sign, you might miss it if you blinked.
Know Before You Go
Electric Avenue runs between Brixton Road and Atlantic Road, intersecting Brixton Road a short distance south of the Brixton Underground station.