Thursday, September 18, 2014

Lewisham '77 photos by Chris Schwarz

I have mentioned the Deptford photographs of Chris Schwarz  (1948-2007) here before. The Albany has now created a digital archive of his work, Every Picture tells a Story. Lots of great images from the 1970s and 1980s, including some from the 'Battle of Lewisham'  in August 1977, when anti-fascists mobilised against a National Front march from New Cross to Lewisham (see detailed account here)

The first image shows the anti-NF crowd in New Cross Road. The speaker is standing near the Clifton Rise corner, the buildings opposite are on New Cross Road, including corner of Laurie Grove:

This shot shows New Cross Road looking up to bottom of Lewisham Way - building on left is Marquis of Granby pub:

Police in Lewisham town centre, where clashes continued at the end of the march. This was the first time police had used riot shields in Britain.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hatcham Liberal Club 1891: New Cross Meeting for Jailed Union Leader

From the Evening Express, 9 April 1891, a report of a public meeting held at the Hatcham Liberal Club, New Cross Road in support of Joseph Havelock Wilson (1859-1929), secretary of the Seamen and Firemen's Union. J H Wilson had been nominated as the Liberal parliamentary candidate for Deptford, but was unable to attend this meeting as he had been jailed for "unlawful assembly" after being arrested during a strike in Cardiff. The meeting was presided  over by Dr Richard M. Pankhurst, the Liberal Candidate for Rotherhithe (he was unsuccessful), founder of the Women's Franchise League with his wife Emmeline Pankhurst and father of suffragist militants Christabel and Sylvia. Richard Haldane MP, also there, was a Liberal then an Labour politician and one of the founders, with the Webbs, of the London School of Economics. Edward Grey MP was Liberal foreign secretary at the start of the First World War.

After release from prison, Wilson transferred his candidacy to Middlesborough where he was elected as an independent labour MP in 1892, though he later became a Liberal MP. 

(the Hatcham Liberal Club at this time was at Portland House, 202 New Cross Road, which I believe was more or less opposite what is now New Cross Gate station. Not sure when it moved to its later location on Queens Road)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Nunhead Fox

I like the wooden fox of Nunhead Green, placed there recently alongside the new children's play area. The sculpture is the work of artist/woodworkers Arthur de Mowbray, also responsible for the 'Camberwell Beauty' butterfly bench at Walworth Garden Farm.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

P J Harvey and Peter Tatchell at Goldsmiths

Polly Harvey and Peter Tatchell were amongst those awarded Honorary Degrees and Fellowships by Goldsmiths (University of London) in New Cross today, along with writer Neal Ascherson, architect Zaha Hadid, cartoonist Martin Rowson, and ex-Goldsmiths student and poet George Szirte.

Yes I know honorary degrees are a little bit cheesy, but love these people

Monday, September 08, 2014

Music Monday: Pigeon Heroes in Goldsmiths Music Studios

Pigeon Heroes are a South East London-based folkish band who I was lucky enough to catch at the Kit and Cutter event at the Albany earlier this year. They have just posted a video of them recording a new song 'People and Trees' in the recently opening Goldsmiths Music Studios in New Cross Road. So take a look if you wonder what it looks like inside - or if you just want to hear some sweet melodies.

Friday, September 05, 2014

99% Darkness

'99% Darkness' is a new novel by Jacob Stringer 'featuring South London evictions, Occupy, student protests, 15M, FARC guerrillas and dysfunctional relationships.'  With a strapline of 'You are fucked. They are fucked. We are fucked. Experience the fuckedness in London, Bogotá and Madrid' it sounds like it is in line with my current political mood.

 The novel is partly set in South London, here's a scene describing something I used to do a lot - putting the world to rights over a pint in the Prince Albert in Brixton's Coldharbour Lane:

'On the second night I cycled to meet Ahsan in Brixton. At London Bridge I looked up through the rain to see the Shard, now complete, an enormous lit pyramid splitting the sky.

“It looks like the headquarters of our future dystopian overlords,” I said as we 
sat down with our pints in the Albert. “Most of the office space has been taken by hedge funds,” replied Ahsan. “So the word ‘future’ is unnecessary: it is the headquarters of our current dystopian overlords.”

I shook the last raindrops from my head. “And how is London? How’s it been going while I’ve been gallivanting in Latin America?”

“Well you’ve probably seen the figures. The City is booming. Property is reinflating. Everyone else is living a depression. Not enough jobs, not enough hours, high rent, food prices up.”

“A normal day in dystopia.”

Ahsan nodded and suddenly looked serious. “It feels different than it used to. The politicians and the media are stirring up anti-immigrant feeling in a much more poisonous way. Disabled people are being thrown off benefits for the sake of statistics.” He lifted his pint. “And the beer’s expensive, the squats are gone, the poor are being thrown out the city. It feels like the people in charge have no limits to their actions.”

“You know how to cheer up a new arrival Ahsan.”

He grinned. “Come on, you love the feeling of doom.”

I shook my head. “I might love resisting the feeling of doom.”

“Same thing.”

Perhaps Ahsan was right, but neither the Boom London nor the Depression London were my London. My London changes only slowly, at a rate set by myself as I inscribe myself across it. I am not entirely defined by my resistance, however much I may choose to talk about it.


The Albert was becoming noisier by the minute and as we drank – the taste of English ale after so long! – our ability to stay focused on serious matters diminished. The Albert has always had a dynamic of increasing chaos as the night goes on. We drank more, I bumped into old friends, we gave ourselves up to the night'.

There's a launch for the novel tomorrow night (Saturday September 6th) at The Field, 385 Queens Road, New Cross SE14 5HD. 7:00 pm start - facebook event details here.

Brockley Ukulele Group back at Amersham Arms

Continuing their tradition of fine uke-themed flyers, Brockley Ukelele Group are back in action at the Amersham Arms  SE14 on Sunday 14th September 2014. 

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Tales from the Riverbank with London Dreamtime + Irish tales at South East London Folklore Society

Really enjoyed 'Faeries of the Minesweeper' on 22 August from London Dreamtime. A tale of the fairies in a mill at Deptford Creek from Vanessa Woolf was interspersed with songs from Nigel of Bermondsey; costumes and settings were designed by Lucy Williams. Starting out by St Pauls Church we wound our way to a railway arch by Crossfields Estate and then across the Creek to finish up on the Minesweeper Boat.

Vanessa and Nigel on the Minesweeper, sadly didn't manage to get a good picture of them
with the many twilight ducks flying over.

They are back in action on another boat on Sunday 21 September (3:30 pm - 5:00 pm) with 'A Trip down the Thames in Story and Song' on HMS President, the 1918 ship redecorated as Dazzle Ship London by  artist Tobias Rehberger.The event is sponsored by the Londonist and is part of this months's Totally Thames season of events on and around the river. HMS President is moored at  Victoria Embankment, London EC4Y 0HJ.

Nigel is also busy next Thursday 11 September (8 pm) - hosting South East London Folklore Society at the Old Kings Head in Borough High Street. Guest this time is Thomas McCarthy, the Irish Traveller, Folk Singer & Storyteller. He has a repertoire of over 200 traditional songs that he sings unaccompanied. He also has an extensive story repertoire from which he shall be drawing from at SELFS. Expect to meet fairies, hunchbacks, banshees, druids, Finn McCool and Cuchulain (Facebook event details)  I've caught Tom singing a few times, including at Kit & Cutter, and he's a great talent.

Thomas McCarthy

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

El Impenetrable at Peckham & Nunhead Free Film Festival

Lots of great stuff coming up at the Peckham and Nunhead Free Film Festival, which opens tomorrow. The full programme is here.

First night tomorrow (Thursday 4 September, 8pm) there's a free showing of El Impenetrable, 'a contemporary western where all characters are real'.

'In El Impenetrable (Dir Daniele Incalcaterra & Fausta Quattrini, 2012, Argentina/France, 95 mins), director Incalcaterra inherits 5,000 acres of land in one of the most remote areas of the world: the Paraguayan Chaco, a harsh, sparsely populated environment where landowners and their thugs run the show. An unwanted gift from his long deceased father, Daniele decides to give back this land to the indigenous people who have always lived in this territory. But his neighbours - oil companies, transgenic soybean and livestock farmers who clear the forest and do not like intruders, do not seem very supportive of this idea'.

Read more about the film here. It will be screened in its original language (Italian/Spanish), with subtitles in English.

 At the Back Room Cinema of The Montpelier pub, 43 Choumert Road, London SE15 4AR.

New Cross in Time Out

If you haven't picked up this week's Time Out London, look out for its 'Great bits of London' feature on New Cross with its strapline of 'creativity, cheap thrills and chicken shops in the south-east student belt'. Written by Goldsmiths student Andy Hill it accurately characterises local pubs/bars New Cross House, New Cross Inn, Hobgoblin, LP Bar and Amersham Arms. Foodwise Cummin Up, London Particular and Chinwag get a mention, with a recommendation too of a walk to the top of Telegraph Hill to look over London. Other readers recommend Smokey Jerky, No 178, Little Nan's, Birdie Num Num's, the Royal Albert and the Venue - 'you're not a south-easterner if you haven't had the Big V experience'. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

South London marches on Westminster - John Henry Mackay on the World Metropolis in 1880s

John Henry Mackay (1864-1933) was a Scottish-born, German-raised individualist anarchist. His novel, 'The Anarchists: A Picture of Civilization at the Close of the Nineteenth Century' was written in German and published in English translation by Benjamin Tucker in Boston in 1891.

The novel draws on the author's time in London in 1887, and includes some great descriptions of the city. It opens with the author crossing from Waterloo on what must have been the Hungerford bridge:

'In the Heart of the World-Metropolis:  A wet, cold October evening was beginning to lower upon London. It was the October of the same year in which, not five months before, had been inaugurated those ridiculous celebrations which gave the year 1887 the name of the “Jubilee Year,” — celebrations of the fiftieth anniversary of the rule of a woman who allows herself to be called “Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, and Empress of India.” On this evening — the last of the week — a man coming from the direction of Waterloo Station was wending his way to the railroad bridge of Charing Cross through labyrinthine, narrow, and almost deserted streets. When, as if fatigued from an extended walk, he had slowly ascended the wooden steps that lead to the narrow walk for pedestrians running beside the tracks on the bridge, and had gone about as far as the middle of the river, he stepped into one of the round recesses fronting the water and remained standing there for a short time, while he allowed the crowd behind him to push on. Rather from habit than genuine fatigue, he stopped and looked down the Thames. As he had but seldom been on “the other side of the Thames,” notwithstanding his already three years’ sojourn in London, he never failed, on crossing one of the bridges, to enjoy afresh the magnificent view that London affords from them.

It was still just light enough for him to recognize, as far as Waterloo Bridge to his right, the dark masses of warehouses, and on the mirror of the Thames at his feet, the rows of broad-bellied freight boats and rafts coupled together, though already the lights of the evening were everywhere blazing into the dark, yawning chaos of this immense city. The two rows of lanterns on Waterloo Bridge stretched away like parallel lines, and each of the lanterns cast its sharp, glittering light, deep and long, into the dark, trembling tide, while to the left, in a terrace-shaped ascent, the countless little flames which illumine the Embankments, and the Strand with its surroundings, every evening, were beginning to flash'
John Henry Mackay

The novel includes an account of the 'Bloody Sunday' demonstration in Trafalgar Square in November 1887. The demonstration against 'coercion in Ireland' and unemployment ended in violent clashes which resulted in the death of Deptford's William Curner (buried in Brockley Cemetery). Mackay reports the arrival of the South London contingent across Westminster Bridge:

'Before him stood an English acquaintance. His collar was torn, his hat soiled. He was in a state of the greatest excitement. After a few hasty questions back and forth, he said that the long procession from the south had also been dispersed...

“We gathered at Rotherhithe: the radical and other societies and clubs of Rotherhithe, Bermondsey, etc., met on our way the Peckham Radical Club, the associations of Camberwell and Walworth, and in Westminster Bridge Road also those of St. Georges — it was an enormous procession, with numerous banners, music bands, adorned with green, accompanied by an endless mass of people on both sides, which in the best of order crossed the entirely vacant bridge of Westminster.

“As was agreed, we were to meet with the procession from Lambeth and Battersea in Bridge Street at Parliament House. Then we were to march in a straight line from south to north, up Whitehall, to this place. Just imagine: a single great procession of imposing length, representing the entire south of London, the entire section of the city on the other side of the Thames — from Woolwich and Greenwich to Battersea and Wandworth! ...

“But our two processions had not joined each other, we had not reached Parliament Street, when the battle began. I was pretty far in the front ranks. Ah, the brutes, galloping on their horses into our ranks, breaking and tearing our flags, knocking down whatever comes in their way!”

“It was fortunate you did not get farther,” Auban interrupted him, “for I have heard that the Life Guards were held in reserve in Whitehall. I am surprised that they are not yet here, for the situation is getting more serious.”

“But we defended ourselves,” exclaimed the other, “with my loaded cane I gave one —”'

Bloody Sunday 1887

As with much writing from that time there is a very strong sense of a class-based division between East and West London, with areas like Deptford and Rotherhithe treated as part of the former. Mackay writes in a chapter entitled 'The Empire of Hunger':

'The East End of London is the hell of poverty. Like an enormous, black, motionless, giant kraken, the poverty of London lies there in lurking silence and encircles with its mighty tentacles the life and the wealth of the city and of the West End: those on the left side extending over the Thames and embracing the entire Embankment on the other side — Rotherhithe, Deptford, Peckham, Camberwell, Lambeth, the other London, the South separated by the Thames; those on the right side stealing round the northern limits of the city in thinner threads. They join each other where Battersea runs into Chelsea and Brompton across the Thames...

The East End is a world in itself, separated from the West as the servant is separated from his master. Now and then one hears about it, but only as of something far off, somewhat as one hears about a foreign land inhabited by other people with other manners and customs...'

The final chapter sees its main character reflecting again on London, this time from London Bridge:

'Two immense human streams surged across London Bridge; back and forth rolled, rattling and resounding, two unbroken lines of vehicles. The black waters of the Thames flowed lazily. Auban stood against the railing of the bridge, and, facing the east, contemplated the grand picture which presented itself: Everywhere, on both sides of the stream, towers, pillars, chimney-stacks, church steeples rose above the sea of houses... But beneath him a forest of masts, poles, sails... On the left Billingsgate, the great, famous fish-market of London... Farther, where the four towers rise, the dark, dismal structure of the Tower. With a reddish glare the setting sun, the pale, weary sun of London, lay on its windows a few minutes; then also its light was suddenly extinguished, and a gray twilight drew its streaks around the dark masses of the warehouses, the giant bodies of the ships, the pillars of the bridge...

By the clock on the  Adelaide Buildings it was already seven, but still the task of unloading the great ocean steamer at Auban’s feet was not yet completed. Long lines of strong men carried boxes and bales over wavering wooden bridges to the shore. Their foreheads, heads, and necks protected against the crushing pressure of their heavy burdens by strangely shaped cushions, they looked like oxen in the yoke as they staggered along under their weight...

A strange feeling crept over Auban. Such was London, immense London, which covers seven hundred miles with its five millions of human beings; such was London, where a man was born every fifth minute, where one died every eighth... Such was London, which grew and grew, and already immeasurable, seemed to aspire to the infinite...Immense city! Sphinx-like, it stretched on both sides of the river, and the clouds of smoke, vapor, noise it belched forth, lay like veils over its panting body...

Lights after lights began to flash and mingled the warmth of their glow with the dampness of the fog. Their reddish reflections trembled through the twilight. London Bridge thundered and resounded under the burdens it bore. Thus day after day, week after week, year after year, raged that mighty life which never grew tired. The beatings of its heart grew ever more feverish, the deeds of its arms ever mightier, the plans of its brain ever bolder. When would it reach the summit of its aspirations? When would it rest?'

Monday, August 25, 2014

World War One: the first local deaths

Thousands of people from the Lewisham area were killed in the First World War. If you want to get an idea of the sheer scale of the devastation have a look at the Commonwealth Graves Commission site. It includes a fairly comprehensive list of casualties from both world wars and on their 'Find War Dead' page you can search under name or put in the name of a place or street under 'additional information'. If you live in a road that's more than a 100 years old you are fairly guaranteed to find out that someone who once lived nearby to your home died (many of the CWGC records include details of next of kin, with address listed).

Although Britain officially entered the war on 4 August 1914, the first encounter between British and German forces did not take place until the Battle of Mons in Belgium on 23rd August 1914.  And on that first day of fighting one hundred years ago at least four people with local family connections were killed:

- Richard King (aged 35), Royal Scots Fusiliers - the brother of Mrs. A. Gallon, 10 Hales St, Deptford.

- J A Sharpe (aged 36), East Surrey Regiment - husband of Elizabeth Ward (Formerly Sharpe), of 1 Royal Naval Place, Amersham Vale, New Cross

-  Albert  Edward Burstow (20),  Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), son of Mr. And Mrs. E. R. Burstow, of 3, Hanlon St., Grove St., Deptford.

Deptford-born Burstow was a ‘Rivet Carrier’ by trade and enlisted
into the Army on the 28th January 1913 at New Cross.
He was killed in the village of Tertr (source).

- A. Rogers (26), Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), son of George And Sarah Ann Rogers, of Lewisham; Husband Of Margaret Rogers, of 89, Hazlebury Rd., Fulham.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Can't Kill What's Inside

Next Saturday 30 August, London-based Polish anti-fascists Dywizjon 161 (Division 161) are putting on a gig at the New Cross Inn. 'Can't Kill What's Inside' features :

- 210 - 'antifascist hardcore from Russia' - ;

PERMA WAR - punk from London -

Tickets: £6 at the door, all money raised going towards PARTIZAN MINSK FC.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Deptford Nestival

Deptford Nestival - five days/nights of free music at the Birds Nest, Church Street SE8 - starts tomorrow, Thursday 23rd August. I had a quick glance down the line up and spotted highlights including Elephants and Castles on Thursday and Kate Tempest on Monday 27th.

Faeries of the Minesweeper

Planning to go to this on Friday 22 August, London Dreamtime in collaboration with designer Lucy Williams present 'Faeries of the Minesweeper'- 'music and supernatural tales of ships, waters and the beautiful Others' in Deptford Creek where the Minesweeper is moored. Email to reserve a place.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Divided by Race, United in War and Peace

On Friday 19th September (7:30 pm) there's a screening of ‘Divided by Race, United in War and Peace’ at St Catherine’s Church, Pepys Road, Telegraph Hill, SE14 5TY. Tickets are £5 / £3 (including snacks) and can be booked at

'Divided by Race, United in War and Peace is a warm and life-affirming film, directed by Marc Wadsworth.   The film examines race relations in Britain during and after the Second World War and is a timely reminder of the contribution by overseas troops to the war effort.   Telegraph Hill Ward Community Weekend runs from Sept 19-21 and the film will be screened at St Catherine’s Church, Pepys Road, SE14 5TY as part of the weekend of events. At the core of Divided by Race, United in War and Peace are the testimonies of 13 surviving veterans, West Indian and African young men and women who volunteered to join the war effort and soon afterwards returned to live in Britain.   They risked their lives to serve under the British flag in times of war, then faced a second battle – their right to remain under that flag, as British citizens.   Until now their stories have not been properly heard'.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Feast of Nuestra Senora del Cisne in Nunhead

Came across this procession in Kimberley Avenue, Nunhead this afternoon, with several hundred people marching behind an image of the Virgin Mary, saying prayers and and throwing rose petals over the statue.

Apparently it was a procession of Ecuadorians from St Thomas the Apostle Roman Catholic Church in Evelina Road SE15 to mark the Feast of Nuestra Senora del Cisne (Our Lady of the Swan), a major religious festival in Ecuador to commemorate the supposed appearance of the Virgin Mary in the town of Loja in southern Ecuador in the late 16th century.

Service sheet from the Mass/procession -
'Es Maria la blanca paloma, que ha venido a Londres a traer la paz. En el centro de una blanca nube, se vino volando desde Ecuador'  ('Mary is the white dove, who has come to London, to bring peace. In the centre of a white cloud, she came flying from Ecuador')

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Lost Pet Folk Art

Lost and found pet posters from around New Cross/Nunhead this summer. I have airbrushed the phone numbers on the basis that the people who designed these fine art works might not want their numbers all over the internet.

'Check your sheds or basements this dangerous animal is on the loose'

'small ginger cat, short tail, should answer to his name'

'Lost Beauty.... We will bake a cake for you'

'Kitten found on Erlanger Road'

'The welfare of these rabbits are very important to us'

OK not a pet poster, but cool image of a cat from The Miller pub, SE1

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

White Stag in Deptford

Sightings of the 'Lewisham Natureman' white stag coming in thick and fast. Following last week's Catford appearance, Caroline H. has sent in this photo taken 'on Deptford church street. It;s near the Birds Nest pub at the bottom of Creekside, on the same side of the road as the Crossfields estate'.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

White Stag back in Catford

The 'Lewisham Natureman' white stag has been spotted again. Neil D., who took this photo, noticed this one last week on Adenmore Road, the 'Ravensbourne culvert approaching Catford Bridge Station - looking down as the river runs under the road'.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Peckham Black Womens Group 1985

From Bishopsgate Institute on facebook, a 1985 flyer for a Peckham Black Womens Group 'Black Womens Open Day' at the St Giles Centre in Benhill Road, Camberwell. Line up included 'Asian Women's Dance plus dub poetry and song by Lioness Chant'.

Peckham Black Women's Group later opened Peckham Black Women's Centre at 69 Bellenden Road, SE15. It closed in around 1990 following funding cuts.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Telephone Box Library

It's taken me a while to get round to posting these photos of the telephone box library on Loampit Hill SE13 (near to the junction with Tyrwhitt Road). Essentially it's a book swap - people are invited to come along and choose a book and leave one behind.

There's some lovely remarks in the comments book. I agree that as someone says, libraries are the 'the heart of civilisation'. In fact why do we stop at just having libraries for books  - why not have libraries for all those other things (most things) that we only use once or twice and don't really need to all have as own separate possessions? Tool libraries, maybe even clothes libraries...

All in all a good idea, though my experience of other book swap schemes is that there is a built in entropic tendency for quality to decline over time unless somebody is actively weeding out the books that nobody really wants. What tends to happen is that people take the interesting books and leave behind less interesting ones - eventually Jeffrey Archer and '50 Shades of Grey' take over as surely as bindweed on a neglected allotment. So please help out by taking down some good books and maybe taking out your share of the rubbish.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Flixation in Forest Hill

Coming up at the Hob in Forest Hill next Friday, the return of Flixation, a night of short films and movies.

Flixation has its roots in the 1990s/noughties DIY underground film scene in London. It was formed in in December 2006 by Caroline Kennedy (former Exploding Cinema), Clive Shaw (former MyEyesMyEyes) and Duncan Reekie (former Werewolf). There's a great archive of old Flixation and Exploding Cinema flyers on facebook. Here's a few of them:

Exploding Cinema at the Albany, Deptford, November 2006

Exploding Cinema at Hatcham Social Club, New Cross, December 2005

Exploding Cinema, Climate for Change, Union St, SE1, November 2007
(benefit for Mindsweeper boat on Deptford Creek)

2006 event in Peckham Car Park

Exploding Cinema at now demolished Area 10, Peckham, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Long Blondes in New Cross 2004

Is it really ten years since the Angular New Cross summer of 2004? Well, yes obviously, but it doesn't seem that long ago that the music press was full of tales of the 'New Cross Scene' (like this one from the NME in May 2004), and then locally-based label Angular Recording Corporation was getting some of the best new bands of the period to play early gigs at the Paradise Bar in New Cross (now the Royal Albert) - Art Brut, Bloc Party, The Violets, The Swear, Vichy Government... good times.

Angular was was founded by two ex-Goldsmiths students - Joe Margetts (who I recall used to work at Toads Mouth Too in Brockley, now the Gantry) and Joe Daniel (who played with The Violets, as well as with the Klaxons for a while). As described at 'As you are', 'Their first release was ‘The New Cross’ compilation album, featuring the first recorded appearances from future stars Bloc Party and the Rough Trade re-released Art Brut track ‘Formed A Band’. This album of local talent went on to win ‘Compilation of the Year 2004’ in NME, and spawn the media hyped ‘New Cross Scene’.. th e label continued to grow, releasing debut singles and EPs by The Long Blondes, Klaxons, The Violets, The Lodger, and These New Puritans. Joe D also found time to coin the joke genre ‘New Rave’ while in Deptford library with Klaxons songwriter Jamie Reynolds'. And of course there was the trig point on Hilly Fields that they christened ARC001.

The Long Blondes hailed from Sheffield,  with their first London gig  being an Angular night at the Windmill in Brixton on 4 June 2004 (supporting The Rakes and The Boyfriends) and their second at the Paradise Bar on Saturday June 12, where Angular were launching their second compilation, 'Rip off your labels'. A quick search of my hard drive, and here's an actual archive email:

From: "angularrecords"  Sent: Monday, June 07, 2004 5:07 PM

Subject: [Angular Mailing List] Thanks !

Thanks to all of you who came to 'London Triangulation : An Angular Festival' last week. It was much fun, and a great success... The Angular Fun does not end there. It is the launch party for the next Angular compilation on this Saturday at the Paradise bar in New Cross. Four bands will be playing your your delight: luxembourg, The Long Blondes, The Fucks, and Mark Sampson, and there is a strong possibility of an angular cake and party bags being given away! 

So yes, I was there, and it was good. And the other night I stumbled across footage from that very night on youtube. Here they are playing an early, fairly shambolic version of what was to be their first, great single - Giddy Stratospheres.

The band split up in 2008, with one of their last gigs back in New Cross a the Amersham Arms (Darryl 853 was there)

The Long Blondes at the Paradise Bar in June 2004
-the stage backed on to what is now the front wall of the Royal Albert

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Kidbrooke Stag

Yet another sighting of the famous 'Lewisham Natureman' white stag - spotted off Kidbrooke Park Road near Old Post Office lane (thanks to Peter for sending photo)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The World Cup in South London

As the World Cup comes to an end, here's some pictures from around South London over the last month.

The Artmongers mural on Deptford High Street redecorated in Argentinian and German colours for today's final,
by artist Patricio Forrester, who is Argentinian 

Watching the world cup at Tomi's restaurant in Deptford High Street, on night Nigeria played Iran
(photo posted by DJ Tim Westwood on Instagram)

Brazilian and Colombian flags at Restaurante Santafereno in Brixton

Brazil fans at the Coronet at Elephant and Castle
(photo by James Doleman on twitter)

Colombian fans celebrate at the Elephant and Castle after their team beat Uruguay
(photo by Instailka)

England flag at 2 Sisters Tandoori in Nunhead

French flag in Kitto Road SE14

German flag on New Cross Road

England and Italian flags in Brockley Grove

Ghana fans at the Castle Tavern in Woolwich
(see 853's report on this)