Review: Hackney’s finest get their Turkish groove on as Altın Gün rock EartH

An eclectic crowd in East London were rocked by the new masters of Anatolian psychedelic pop, Altın Gün, on Friday night.

From the euphoric reactions of the sell-out crowd at EartH, the long-awaited return (three years!) of the band to the British capital, fully loaded with their trademark synthesizers, mouth organ, maracas and unmistakable wah-wah guitar, was well worth it.

Altın Gün’s super-funky interpretation of Turkish folk, rock and vintage pop, which sits deep in the country’s regional roots and cultural corners, has brought the music to a widely diverse global audience. That diversity was in full show here in Hackney on Friday night.

The band kicked off with a re-imagining of the lesser known Rakıya Su Katamam(‘I can’t dilute my Raki’ – check out the 1980s original by Riza Silahlipoda). The pace didn’t let up from there.

Altın Gün performed new tracks interspersed with fan favourites, including; Goca Dunya, Cips Kola Kilit, Vay Dünya, Anlatmam Derdimi, Yüce Dağ Basinda and my all-time favourite, Altın Gün’s rendition of Ordunun Dereleri.

From the first song to the last, frontwoman was mesmerising with her infectious energy and vocals, including her gorgeous delivery of Zülfü Livaneli’s classic Leylim Ley.

Altın Gün front woman Merve Dasedemir at EartH, 27 May 2022. Photo © Sonya Karafistan / T-VINE


Leylim Ley’s lyrics are from a poem by Sabahattin Ali’s short story “Ses” (1937), which was set to music by Livaneli back in 1975. It was quickly adopted by Turkiye’s revolutionaries and progressives, and has been covered by many artists since, including Ibrahim Tatlises, whose arabesque recording led it to be seen more as a song of romance. Whatever the audience’s interpretation of Altın Gün’s version, it evoked a rapturous response from them.

As the evening reached towards its conclusion, the crowd’s raucous demand for an encore was rewarded with a hi-octane rendition of Neşe Karaböcek’s Yali Yali. You had to see it to believe it, as Hackney’s finest got their Turkish groove on for this grand finale.

Altın Gün at EartH, 27 May 2022. Photo © Sonya Karafistan / T-VINE


A shout out to the warm-up, a one man electronic phenomena: Michael Georgian. His performance was truly a marvel to behold.

Turkish music doesn’t come much funkier this and the crowd savoured every moment. If you haven’t managed to see Altın Gün live yet, catch them where you can.