Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Prince, Ali, Maxi, Marley Murals

New Prince mural in Camberwell on Daneville Road next to GX Gallery:

Maxi Priest on shutters of Goldstar Office Furniture, Honor Oak Park, SE23:

Bob Marley by Brockley Station, painted last year by Dale Grimshaw to replace nearby Marley street art on demolished building.

Of these three singers only Maxi has a strong local connection - born and raised in Lewisham, he went to Roger Manwood School in Brockley Rise and  started out with Saxon sound system. Marley played a few times in Peckham, and I guess Prince did play at the 02 in Greenwich so that will have to do for his South London credentials!

Update 3 July 2016:

The Prince mural in Camberwell, by Artful Dodger, now features Muhammad Ali:

Monday, May 23, 2016

Music Monday: Ricky Chohan, Brockley's up & coming Punjabi pop star

So I was having my hair cut at the great KR Barber Station in Brockley last week and I met this guy in there for the same reason as me, talking excitedly about the fact that Dillian Whyte had just posted a clip featuring the boxer listening to his song.


I asked him about it and he told me that his name is Ricky Chohan. He works at an estate agent in Brockley Road and is maybe not a fully fledged pop star yet. But his new track 'Do Akhiyaan' ('two eyes') has a high quality video (plainly not filmed in Lewisham!) that has been viewed more than 300,000 times in its first few weeks. So watch this space...

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Save Lewisham Libraries demo today

There's a demonstration today (Saturday May 21st) to opposed proposed cuts to Lewisham Libraries. As part of a £1 million cut to the libraries budget, Lewisham Council is proposing to remove staff from four local libraries - Catford, Forest Hil, Manor House and Torridon Road. The council hopes that these libraries will then be run by local volunteer organisations.
While this may be possible, the evidence from previous experience is that what remains, despite the best efforts of volunteers, is a diminished service with reduced opening hours and a declining stock of old books.
The demonstration today assembles at 12 noon in Limes Grove next to Lewisham Library and then marches to the town hall for a rally with speakers. Unison members in Lewisham libraries will be striking today to join the protest

The Save Lewisham Libraries stall at the recent London Radical Bookfair,
held at Goldsmiths on May7 2016


Friday, May 20, 2016

Alison Goldfrapp & Idris Elba at the Rivoli

Yet more Rivoli Ballroom action.  Alison Goldfrapp held her 50th birthday party at the Crofton Park ballroom this week. Not too many photos around of this private event, but seemingly there were plenty of balloons...

photo by @misshoney333

Brockley Central noticed that the Rivoli also features briefly in the video for Dance Off by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis - yes that is Idris Elba in SE4.

Elton John was spotted using the facilities at the Rose (previously the Hobgoblin) in New Cross Road this week. 

Elton in The Rose - full story at Newsshopper

 Been a while since he was spotted in the Rivoli, but he did shoot the  video for his 1983 song 'I guess that's why they call it the blues' there.

Elton John in Rivoli Ballroom

Monday, May 16, 2016

Celebrity street art in Deptford and Hackney

 Deptford High Street has some famous visitors' albeit only in 2D representations.
Jim Hendrix (I think):
Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia meet John Lennon and Yoko Ono:

Nothing quite as grand as the Frida Kahlo mural I saw last week by Hackney Wick station:

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Dora Project: Nazi terror in Germany & SE London

Last weekend coming up for the Dora Project at Peckham Platform (in Peckham Square by the library). A very interesting exhibition  that 'combines art, WW2 London and early rocket engineering' it has been put together by artist Françoise Dupré in collaboration with Rebecca Snow. Essentially it documents and displays the links between the Nazi V2 programme - which entailed slave labour in a concentration camp and the death of thousands in rocket attacks - and later US and Russian space exploration. In particular, after the second world war Nazi rocket engineers played a key role in the Apollo programme:
'DORA PROJECT connects two sites of terror: London and Mittelbau-Dora Nazi Concentration Camp in Central Germany. V2 rockets were assembled by slave labourers in an underground factory in Mittelbau-Dora where more than 20,000 inmates died. Between September 1944 and March 1945, V2 attacks on London killed around 2500 Londoners and destroyed homes and families'.

Mapping the connections between slave labour and rocket attacks

Wernher von Braun, architect of both the V2 rocket and the Apollo programme

Commemorating SE London victims - a list of V2 attacks in Lewisham

As this exhibition combines my local history interests and my previous time in the Association of Autonomous Astronauts, it couldn't have been more me. Dora Project closes on 15 May

Monday, May 09, 2016

SE14's secret sanctuary for garden creatures

Somewhere in SE14 there is a hidden pond where gnomes, rabbits and other creatures sit next to a waterfall.  These poor things had been cast aside and abandoned, but have now found a new home at this South East London sanctuary.
If you want to find it, you will need to look beyond this barrier at Lewisham's Reuse and Recycling Centre, Landmann Way, SE14 (off Surrey Canal Road)




Tuesday, May 03, 2016

May Day 2016: Jack in the Green in Deptford and Greenwich

Another May Day, another procession through the streets of Deptford and Greenwich with the Fowlers Troop, featuring the Deptford Jack in the Green.
As in previous years it all started at the Dog and  Bell pub  in Deptford, before heading eastward down to the Cutty Sark, Greenwich Park and various pubs.
Of course the area is changing, as it always has, some old pubs and bars have been and gone, others have sprung up in new riverside developments. In a way this procession represents something of a beating of the bounds, the enveloping of new spaces within a story of an older South East London (the current Jack in the Green dates back to the early 1980s, reviving a tradition recorded at the start of the 20th century). So on Sunday for instance, the procession visited the new Sail Loft pub overlooking the Thames between Deptford and Greenwich town centre.