Sunday, December 19, 2004

Damaged Goods

The new Asda supermarket on the Old Kent Road occupies the site where two of the best albums of the late 1970s were recorded- 'Entertainment' by the Gang of Four and Ian Dury's 'New Boots and Panties'. The studio at 488 Old Kent Road was set up in the late 1960s as Maximum Sound Studios, and was used extensively by Manfred Mann. When Manfred bought it in the early 1970s, it was renamed The Workhouse. Others who recorded there included Motorhead, The Damned, This Heat, Squeeze and The Long Ryders, while Musical Youth's 1982 Number One 'Pass the Duchee' was mixed there. The studio was bought by Pete Waterman in the late 1980s, but burnt down soon afterwards (part of it surived as a rehearsal stuido).

Another building on the Asda site was the TV rental shop on the corner of Ossory Road. Squatted from October 2002 until its eviction by Asda/Walmart in January 2004, itt was the scene of the 'Reclaim the Future 2' party in February 2003, when 2000 people attended for an anti-war/anti-capitalist benefit with bands, DJs, films and workshops. It also served as the focus for the Dis-Asda campaign against the supermarket, the failure of which is now there for everyone to see.

1 comment:

CF said...

Also Malt Street (where the Asda is located) was a lively squatting community in the 80's and 90's, a short street of working class housing which was entirely squatted by then. It was the home of Bourbonese Qualk who I visited around 1990 there. At the end of '91, when I moved to London I was staying there for a bit while doing up my squat in Trafalgar Avenue, and later used the ground floor of one of the two houses squatted by BoQu as my "office", so it became effectively the first HQ of Praxis. Upstairs was their rehearsal room and studio, where some of the early Praxis stuff (by Metatron, and of course Qualk themselves) was recorded. I still used the downstairs after they moved the studio but less and less as I also moved to another part of South London. Eventually I was locked out, although I still had some stuff in there. I remember trying figure out how to get in - unable to find anyone who would let me, and not wishing to break the front window at this point, I decided to come back with reinforcements soon after. When I did, the whole street was demolished. I later learned that apparently the BBC used it as a film set and burned the house down. After this the buildings were demolished. A Dis-Asda indeed...