Monday, February 29, 2016

Norman Jay at Bussey

Norman Jay is one of my all time favourite DJs, with deep roots in soul, disco and funk, through to soulful house and beyond. I've had some memorable nights and days dancing to him, most notably at his Good Times sound system at Notting Hill Carnival. I still miss his Sunday radio shows on BBC London, there are some tracks he used to play that whenever I hear them I immediately think 'Norman Jay'. In fact just now I was listening to 'Les Fleurs' by Minnie Riperton and I thought, oh that reminds me I must do a post about Norman playing in Peckham.

Yes, he's playing at South London Soul Train at the Bussey Building on Saturday April 2nd - the perfect DJ for this great club. Of course I should be going but... I'm running a half marathon the next morning. You all go ahead and enjoy yourselves.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Telegraph Hill Festival 2016

It's the 22nd annual  Telegraph Hill Festival next month, with more than 120 events taking place from 5 – 20 March 2016 at various venues in the New Cross/Brockley border zone.  You can check out the full programme here, but for now here's a few of the events that caught my ere.

'Painting & Sound Improvised Performance – audio - visual action - interaction. First meeting of reknowned painter and performer Pauline Amos and English experimental improvising musicians Mark Browne and Richard Sanderson.

PAULINE AMOS - (painting and sounds) Pauline Amos is an internationally renowned artist. She has collaborated with William Orbit, Poppy Jackson and dancer Anna-mi Fredriksson amongst others. She says of her work: “The paintings are documents and a recording of an event that happened - the action, the performance, the life, the improvised and impulsive moment is the work.” Her work is dramatic, her subjects: the female body, feminism, war, global politics, the environment, women, sex and relationships – the human condition.  She has featured on YouTube and bill boards around the UK using her naked painted body to promote democracy.

British improvising musicians Mark Browne (saxophones and collected objects and Richard Sanderson (amplified melodeon and small instruments) have been playing together off and on for some 20 years, including in the quartet Fraction and the trio Browne/Thompson/Sanderson - creating instant and constantly changing music from instruments, objects and debris described as probing, adventurous, and uniquely textured exploration, haunting and fascinating. Together with Amos they will craft a totally immersive show.

This unique collaboration is presented as part of the Telegraph Hill Festival. The evening will include a discussion with Pauline Amos of her work. Admission £5 on the door.
Photos at The Hill Station Cafe

At the Montague Arms on Saturday 19 March, band My Midlife Crisis will be backing various singers having a go at songs from the golden age of punk. As they didn't have any Crass songs on the list, I have gone for 'Boys don't cry'.

Prefab Walking Tour -  Saturday 12 March 12 noon-1.00pm 'Meet at Brockley Station exit, Mantle Road Free but donation to museum funds gratefully received This moderate walk visits post war prefab locations past and present, derelict and inhabited. Finishing at the Ivy House, London’s first community-owned pub. Booking essential, email'

Saint Patrick’s Day (17 March) 8.00pm-11.00pm Skehan’s, Kitto Road (Free) 'Skehans is proud to invite you along for bowl of our delicious Irish Stew with soda bread (while stocks last and daytime only). From 9pm The Clarkes will rock the joint in their customary style'

Monday, February 22, 2016

Horniman Merman on QI

The  curious'Merman' figure from the Horniman Museum in Forest Hilll featured in a recent episode of QI, with Stephen Fry and guests including Sara Pascoe, Josh Widdicombe, Phill Jupitus and Alan Davies discussing this strange beast.

As Fry mentions, recent testing has confirmed that the figure was made from fish body parts supplemented with wood and papier mache. During the programme, both Davies and Pascoe mention visiting the Horniman, with Pascoe saying that she lives nearby.

Sara Pascoe, Phil Jupitus and the Horniman Merman.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Rave at the Crypt - St Paul's Deptford 1988-1991

As mentioned here before, the crypt of St Pauls Church in Deptford was extensively used for gigs and parties in the 1980s and 1990s. From the great phatmedia rave flyer archive, here's a couple more to prompt your memories. 

Mary's House in November 1988 promised '100% pure house sounds' with 'DJ Merran and Graham Meacham'

Insanity Promotions' Hallelujah was a fortnightly event starting in August 1991, with DJs including Andy Nichols, Scott Smith, Danny Monk with forthcoming guests Steve Lee and 'Andy Weatherall (unconfirmed)'. Wonder if he ever made it? In those pre-internet days, membership was available from promoter Alan Main at an address in Lenville Way SE16 - that's on the now demolished Bonamy Estate:

See previously:

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Friends of Fordham Park SE14

It's the annual general meeting tonight (Wednesday 10th February) of the Friends of Fordham Park, from 7 pm to 8 pm in the Moonshot Centre in the park. If you want to get involved in caring for this oasis off the New Cross Road, come along.

Fordham Park is not one of those London  parks that are leftover fragments from when it was 'all fields round here'. Go back a hundred years to the 1916 Ordnance Survey map and you see not a green space but tightly packed urban streets, demolished in the post-WW2 period. Angus Street and Achilles Street are still there, at the north and south ends of the park, but in between no trace remains of Snead Street and Vance Street.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

'The raiders left behind a black silk mask' - IRA attacks in Catford, Blackheath & Tooting 1921

During the Irish war of independence (1919-1921) there were armed attacks in London linked to the conflict, in the lead up to the truce agreed in July 1921 that paved the way for independence for most of Ireland. Here's a report of a series of attacks in May of that year in South London, from The Times (16 May 1921).

On Saturday May 14th 1921 'Between 10 o'clock and midnight', 'a series of outrages, believed by the police to be the work of Sinn Fein agents in this country, took place in Outer London. They were all the work of armed parties of men, and in the majority of cases there was proof that the incidents had a direct connexion with the troubles in Ireland..

Two masked men tried to force their way in to the residence of Mr Charles F Duffield, a double fronted house, 141 Wellmeadow Road, Catford, standing in the heart of the St Germans estate. As the result of the attack, Mr Duffield, aged 61, is in Lewisham Hospital with a bullet through both thighs, and his wife, Edith Mary Duffield, has a bullet wound through each wrist... The raiders left behind a black silk mask, a bicycle pump and a heavy revolver with four live cartridges in it'.(The Times speculates that this was a case of mistaken identity as the Duffield did not appear to have any connections to Ireland).

141 Wellmeadow Road SE6 - now the London Stage School,
scene of  a non-fatal shooting in 1921
Four armed men attempted to force their way in to a house in 'Halstow Road, Westcombe Park, Blackheath, at the house of an officer in the Royal Irish Constabulary, who is at present serving in Ireland'

'At Tooting an attack was made by a number of armed men on a house in Coverton Road, occupied by Mr William Dawner, whose son is in the RIC. The knocked at the door, and when it was opened, drew revolvers and forced their way inside. When they were inside, they produced bottles of petrol, which they poured over the floors of various rooms. They then set fire to the place'

Monday, February 08, 2016

Half Nelson - Rock'n'Roll & Wrestling at the Amersham Arms

Half Nelson is back at The Amersham Arms in New Cross this Saturday 13th February, with a night of wrestling and rock'n'roll. The last event there in October was one of the best nights I've had out locally for ages, very funny but with some serious acrobatics thrown in, and the house band in Mexican wrestling masks playing theme tunes for the fighters. This time there's additional music from Dracula Legs, plus DJ until 3am.

Advance tickets £8 or £10 on the night. Book here.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Hilly Fields Wassail

Wassailing is an old custom of drinking to the health of  fruit trees to ensure a good harvest, most commonly associated with cider apples producing trees in the West Country. Tomorrow (Sunday 7th February) there's a Hilly Fields Wassail with music and refreshments at the orchard by the park's stone circle. It starts at 4 pm, but if you can help with orchard maintenance come along from 2 pm

Organised by the Friends of Hilly Fields with Transition Brockley.

Blur once recorded a version of The Wassailing Song and gave it away as a limited edition 7 inch single to the 500 people at a 1992 gig at the Hibernian Club in Fulham. If you have a copy they sell for around £300.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Experimental music night at Vinyl Deptford

This Saturday February 6th there's a night of experimental/improv music at Vinyl Deptford, the record shop and coffee bar at 4 Tanners Hill,London, SE8:

'a chance to to hear some rarely heard international musicians...
Bernadette Zeilinger - (AT - recorders)
Diego Mune - (AR - guitars)
+ from Berlin
Miriam Seiberstadt- (saxes)
Lisa Simpson- (sewing machine)
Sue Lynch (sax, flute, clarinet)
Richard Sanderson (melodeon and amplification)
Adam Bohman (amplified objects, strings and debris)
Adrian Northover (saxes)

Entry by donation'

How Does it Feel to be Loved back at Montague Arms

Indie pop/soul club How Does it Feel to be Loved? is back at the Montague Arms tomorrow night (Saturday February 6th), scene of its packed New Year's Eve party recently:

'We're doing a series of one-off nights at venues in south London for the early part of 2016, and the first of these is at the Montague Arms in Peckham on Saturday February 6th. We've had two storming New Year's Eve parties at the Monty, and we're excited to come back for a regular HDIF. The Monty was one of south east London's most characterful pubs, famed as a live venue and eccentric hostelry, until it closed in 2011 - it reopened in 2014, and has lost none of its former charm. The pub itself has a good sized stage and dancefloor in one third, and then the bar and seating takes up the rest, so there's no pesky bar queues getting in the way of the dancing. Our night on the 6th will start at 9pm and finish at 2am, with a guest DJ TBA.

How Does It Feel To Be Loved?
Saturday February 6th
The Montague Arms, 289 Queen's Rd, London SE14 2PA, map of the venue here

We play:

The Smiths * The Supremes * The Go-Betweens * Dusty Springfield * Belle & Sebastian * Love * Tammi Terrell * Aztec Camera * The Ronettes * Orange Juice * Beach Boys * The Temptations * Velvet Underground * Felt * The Shangri-Las * Primal Scream * Otis Redding * The Field Mice * Dexys Midnight Runners * Camera Obscura * The Four Tops * Melba Moore * The Orchids'

Advance tickets here: (£4 members, £6 everybody else)

Montague Arms, 31 December 2015

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

International football stickers on South London streets

Some football stickers spotted on my rounds today, mostly in vicinity of Millwall FC. Every sticker tells a story...

'No one likes us we don't care' is well known as the Millwall cry, but what about Sham Army? The latter refers to followers of punk band Sham 69, also mentioned on sticker. The band took their name in the late 1970s though from a fragment of graffiti in Surrey referring to non-league Walton & Hersham FC. Never had them down as a Millwall band, though one later version of the band (without original singer Jimmy Pursey, fronted by Tim Scargill) did do a charity CD that rewrote Sham's 'Hersham Boys' as 'Millwall Boys' ('drink up your beers and make some noise'):

Millwall Sham Army sticker, Ilderton Road SE15

Getting into the world of international football fandom, this lamp post, also on Ilderton Road, has a sticker from Millwall FC's Italian Crew (Italian Lions' fans). Above it is a Spanish sticker which says 'Bukaneros presenta La Familia Podrida'. Bukaneros are the Ultras of Rayo Vallecano de Madrid. La Familia Podrida means the corrupt family, but the initials spell out LFP: Liga de Fútbol Profesional, the Spanish football league.

On another lamp post in same road  a Millwall on Tour sticker comes above one saying 'Ultras contro el racismo' (Ultras against racism), another Spanish slogan, think this may be another Bukaneros sticker, they are famously anti-racist.

Another club whose fans are associated with militant anti-fascism is Hamburg team St Pauli. This sticker from Queens Road SE15 is from St Pauli London fans.

Of course not all European ultras are on the left of the political spectrum. This sticker, spotted in Hyson Road SE15 says FC  DK with the letters gathered around a neo-nazi symbol. I believe this refers to Ukrainian team Dynamo Kiev, some of whose fans are on the extreme right. Last year the club were sanctioned after a racist attack during a game against Chelsea

See previously

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Lucky Man at the Rivoli

Stan Lee's Lucky Man is the latest TV/film production to feature the Rivoli Ballroom in Crofton Park as a location. For the purposes of the Sky One show, it is transformed into the Pleasure Palace pole dancing club visited by detective James Nesbitt.

The whole show foregrounds London, Nesbitt always seems to be driving across a bridge and Bermondsey Street and Southwark Park are due to feature in the series among other Transpontine settings.