Thursday, July 31, 2008
The sublime Hobart Paving, arguably their best song, takes its name from a Croydon based company.
Their video for their 2005 song Side Streets was actually filmed in Croydon:
At their 2003 Xmas show (which I was lucky enough to attend) they gave out a CD with a track called 'Marcie Dreams of Deptford'.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Ok, so She-Bop has just moved from Camberwell to Bloomsbury but we’ve still got Death by Stereo (I’ve seen Lost Boys about 20 times myself), their first-Thursday-of-the-month night at the New Cross Inn, 323 New Cross Road, to enjoy. It's free and the attitude is brilliant:
'ROCK-N-RUIN' PLAY THEIR UNIQUE MIX OF 80s ROCK, 90s NOISE, FORGOTTEN POP CLASSICS, 70s PUNK, GIRLS WITH GUITARS, BOYS WITH ATTITUDE & EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN....WE PLAY MUSIC COZ ITS GOOD NOT BECAUSE ITS COOL
Who I'd like to meet:RIOTS GRRLS, PUNKS, MODS, ROCKERS, STUDENTS, LONERS, GEEKS, FREAKS, GAY, BI, STRAIGHT OR UNDECIDED, WE DONT CARE...ANYONE AS LONG AS YOU LOVE MUSIC & WANT TO HAVE A GOOD TIME!
Thursday 7th August has three bands on, all with girl singers:
Big Gun Baby
And thank the gods that be for MySpace so one doesn't have ot go through the painful and wanky process of having to describle what bands sound like anymore. Hurrah!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
devour MEAT DUNGEON's macabre electro-acoustic delicacies (myspace)
sing ONE MILLION HOUSES' digital odes to love and loss
jack to URLAUBSHITS (LIVE) on the dancefloor, from acid house to cosmic disco (blogspot)
and twist the wires of the chaotic GLITCH-A-SKETCH
plus AD HOC's rotating jukebox of early machine music, radiophonics and analogue classics (web)
We're also delighted to be offering FREE WRAY+NEPHEW RUM AND MIXER from 8pm to 10pm, or until the barrels run out, so drink your hearts out.
As always, free entry. How to get here... (Escape Bar, 214-216 Railton Road)
All for free. With free rum. Possibly the best offer I've had since the chance I had, back in May, to drink my own blood content in free wine next to the remains a dinosaur and a pickled shrew at the Grant Museum.
Monday, July 28, 2008
'RARE DOINGS AT CAMBERWELL: a short tour through Camberwel'ss radical and subversive history. A wild ramble through SE5's murky past, including a dubious cast - rowdy fairgoers, proletarian artists, rioting chartists, squatters, General strikers, feminist authors, mad fol, anti-fascists and the occasional transsexual trotskyist housing officer. Visit Camberwell Fair, banned by the local bourgeoisie in 1855; local asylums Camberwell and Peckham Houses; the Havil Street Workhouse; squatted centres at Dickie Dirts, the Labour Club and Warham Street. Upturned local stones, firsthand accounts and painstaking research: from the General Strike to Reclaim Bedlam; from the Camberwell Secular Society to the struggle against the BNP in the Elmington Estate. 'Rare Doings at Camberwell' is available from past tense for just £1.50 for 66 teeming pages, plus 50p postage and packing... Drop us a line with a cheque for £2 (payable to A. Hodson) to Past Tense, c/o 56a info Shop, 56 Crampton Street, London SE17 3AE'
The plans are being vigorously opposed by the New Cross Gate Trust (the successor to New Deal for Communities for New Cross), by local councillor Ian Page and an increasing number of local people. They argue that allowing the White Hart to become a striptease, lap and pole dancing venue will increase crime in the New Cross area, as well as making New Cross a destination for sex entertainment and prostitution.
More specifically they point out that the area immediately around the White Hart (including the traffic island and the area by the Barclays and Post Office cash points) has been identified by both NDC research and Transport for London as an existing crime ‘hotspot’. In 2007, New Cross was included in the Metropolitan Police’s ‘Challenging Wards Programme’ to tackle areas with the most serious crime issues, one of only eight wards out of 628 in London to be selected.
One difficulty for opponents is that the powers of Councils to refuse this kind of license have been restricted by the Licensing Act 2003 – whether local people and/or councillors object on principle to having a lapdancing club in their area is immaterial unless they can clearly demonstrate that the specific application will have a negative impact on one or more of the four licensing objectives: Crime & disorder, public safety, prevention of public nuisance, protection of children from harm.
One thing in the opposition’s favour however is that Lewisham Council has previously designated the New Cross Corridor – the area along New Cross Road – as a Cumulative Impact Zone (CIZ) due to the higher levels of crime in the area. This means that it should be for the licensee (in this case the landlord of The White Hart) to prove that the proposed variation would not add to the problems in the area rather than leaving it to the objectors to prove that it will.
My personal view...
My own pro-feminism was influenced by hanging out with women who paint bombed porn shops in their spare time and took a straightforward Andrea Dworkin position that pornography (including sex shows) equals violence against women.
Later I have known feminist sex workers who take a different view. They have convinced me that not everybody who works in the sex industry is a passive victim of male violence and that some of the legal measures against it can actually put women working in the sex industry in greater danger (e.g. by forcing them underground)
Despite this I am still clear that lap dancing clubs are there specifically to attract the kind of bloke who thinks that women exist solely for their sexual gratification, and having more of these blokes hanging round in New Cross Gate is bound to have an impact in terms of increasing harassment of women walking by. What’s more pissed up punters of this type will be a honey pot for street robbery, which again will increase the risk for other people having to pass by this area at night. Lets be clear what’s being proposed is not some post-feminist burlesque performance art but the sleaziest kind of strip joint.
I have some sympathy for the landlord of The White Hart, Ken Linwood, who has told the South London Press that the pub risks closure. The pub is a historic landmark on this ancient road junction (see pictures at Notes from The Island) and it would be a great shame if it had to close. But the fact is if it becomes a lap dancing joint it will in effect have closed as a pub in the sense of a public space where men and women can go and have a quiet drink without being harassed. The pub is not very busy at present and needs doing up – but there must be another way of making it a more popular place for local people to go.
If you want to put across your views on these proposals you will need to write to the Licensing Team at Lewisham Council by 30th July 2008 (that’s tomorrow). Their address is Licensing Team - Laurence House, 2nd Floor Laurence House, 1 Catford Road, Catford SE6 4RU (Tel: 020 8314 6400) Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The application is due to be heard on 14 August (although there is a possibility that the date may change).
See also result of application
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Placebo formed locally, with lead singer and Goldsmiths student Brian Molko living at one time in Drakefell Road. He later recalled as one of his most treasured memories ‘the night I did a gig in a small pub in Deptford called Round the Bend, because that was the first night [band member] Stefan came round to see me play guitar, and at the end of the it he said, 'lets start a band'.’ Round the Bend is now the Harp, at the corner of New King Street and Creek Road. This is their first first single ‘Nancy Boy’from 1996.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
According to Stuart Feather's account, they 'appeared by invitation at Goldsmith College Gay Soc to give a Pre-Disco talk. They were dressed for the occasion in their best Disco Diva Drag. Whilst enjoying a pre-talk drink they were attacked by Group 4 Total Security and badly beaten up whilst Lewisham police were called and told by the same security guards that Bethnal Rouge had come to the disco to cause trouble. One queen needed hospital treatment; another who was head butted lost two front teeth. One was arrested and later that night thrown through a glass door in the police station. The rest escaped'.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
In 1934 Milligan got a job at Stones' Engineering in Deptford (Arklow Road) and later worked at Chislehurst Laundry. After being sacked from a tobacconist for stealing cigarettes he worked as a labourer at Woolwich Arsenal.
Meanwhile he had won a crooning contest at the Lady Florence Institute in Deptford, come second in a talent show at Lewisham Hippodrome and sung at St Cyprians Church Hall in Brockley and Ladywell swimming baths. He taught himself the ukulele, bass and trumpet and guitar ("My mother bought my first guitar for eighteen shillings from Len Stiles’ shop in Lewisham High Street") and took music classes at Goldsmiths in New Cross. He played with local dance bands including the New Era Rhythm Boys and Tommy Brettell's New Ritz Revels (pictured, Spike on right) in South London dance halls.
After serving in the army in World War Two, Milligan moved in with his parents for a while at 3 Leathwell Road, Deptford, before leaving South London and finding fame through the Goon Show on radio.
So does he deserve a statue? I guess that depends on your view of statues and who should be commemorated. I don't think the decision should be made on the basis of politics, but it would be dishonest to pass over the fact that some of his comedy was incredibly racist. He appeared blacked-up as a 'pakistani' in the TV series Curry and Chips (1969) and his books feature many Jewish and Asian jokes. In a 1975 interview he declared 'I'm sorry that you can't call people niggers anymore. Or wogs'. Not that this stopped Prince Charles from being a fan who invited him to the 1981 Royal Wedding.
Sources include: Spike Milligan: the biography by Humphrey Carpenter (2003).
"Absolutely fantastic rocksteady/Jamaican ska band The Delegators are playing at Cafe Crema, Thurs 31st of this month.
Monday, July 21, 2008
The lengthily-named 'Purple Stripes, Blue Jeans & The Occasional Converse' kicked off proceedings with a version of The Coral's 'Dreaming of You'. Admittedly not a South London song, but as the band - made up of Year 6 students at Edmund Waller Primary School - are the future sound of New Cross we let them off.
Brockley Ukulele Group made their public debut with a set including The Only Living Boy in New Cross (originally by Carter USM), Up the Junction (Squeeze), At the Bottom of Everything (Bright Eyes), Anyone Else but You (Moldy Peaches), Rawhide and Hotel Yorba (White Stripes). The first two are bona fide South London classics, the last one has the connection that the band did play at the Rivoli Ballroom in Brockley.
There was more Uke action from Jude Cowan Montague, who performed a couple of South London songs written especially for the occasion, one about William Blake's Peckham Rye vision of angels and one - Doodlebug Alley - about German rocket attacks on the area in the Second World War.
Next up were two bands from the Quaggy delta. Little Devils played a good bluesy set of original material, with plenty of River Thames references. The male and female voices worked really well together.
Singer songwriters Nathan Persad and Ceri James both have albums out on Mile High Music and sang a couple of their own songs each. Nathan mentioned that he used to go to school opposite the venue at Haberdashers' Aske's before playing his I Love Deptford and Nunhead-checking Ivydale.
Ceri played his Deptford Broadway and another track of his new album, Start and Begin.
I (Neil Transpontine) rounded off the proceedings with a mandolin and my Greenwich Park song, Snow Hill.
The Rambling Sailor
I am a sailor stout and bold,
Long time I have ploughed the ocean
To fight for my king and country too,
For honour and promotion.
I said: "Brother sailors I will bid you adieu.
I will go no more to the seas with you,
I will travel the country through and through,
And still be a rambling sailor."
When I came to Greenwich town
There were lasses plenty!
I boldly stepped up to one
To court her for her beauty.
I said: "My dear, be of good cheer.
I will not leave, you need not fear,
I will travel the country through and through,
And still be a rambling sailor."
When I came to Woolwich town,
There were lasses plenty.
I boldly stepped up to one
To court her for her money.
I said: "My dear, what do you choose?
There's ale and wine and rum punch too,
Besides a pair of new silk shoes
To travel with a rambling sailor."
When I awoke all in the morn
I left my love a-sleeping.
I left her for an hour or two
Whilst I go courting some other;
But if she stays till I return
She may stay there till the day of doom.
I'll court some other girl in her room,
And still be a rambling sailor.
And if you want to know my name,
My name it is young Johnson.
I have got a commission from the king
To court all girls that are handsome.
With my false heart and flattering tongue
I court all girls both old and young;
I court them all and marry none,
And still be a rambling sailor.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
On Wednesday a meeting was held on Blackheath, near to the Princess Sophia's estate, pursuant to announcement, for the purpose (according to the placards) of considering the propriety of petitioning Parliament against three measures now before the house - namely, the Registration for Ireland Bill, the Commons Enclosure Bill, and the Twelve Hours' Factory Bill. A van was used as a platform, on which there were some half dozen speakers, of which Mr. Feargus O'Connor was the chief. The chair having been taken at 7 o'clock, Mr. M'Donell proposed a resolution and the adoption of a petition based upon the principles of the Charter, but more especially praying that the Registration for Ireland Bill, as proposed by Lord Eliot, might not pass into a law, as the provisions of the bill were calculated to curtail the privileges which ought to be enjoyed by the community at large.
Mr O'Connor addressed the meeting at great length, and dwelt very forcibly upon the hardships endured by factory women and children, and called upon those assembled to use their best endeavours in relieving that unfortunate class of labourers from the yoke which they laboured under. The speaker then referred to the other subjects set down for discussion, and contended that the only effectual remedy for the evil was making the Charter the law of the land. Another resolution and a second petition were afterwards moved and adopted, which, however, varied little in principle from the first, and some time after sunset, the meeting dispersed.
(The Times, May 17 1844)
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
This was only one of three occasions in just over a hundred a years in which rebel armies headed down from Blackheath to Deptford Bridge on their way to London. Unlike the Cornish rebels, the other two succeeded in reaching the City.
1381 saw the Peasants Revolt against a new poll tax. Tens of thousands of rebels from Kent set up camp at Blackheath where they were addressed by the radical preacher John Ball who argued that all things should be held ‘in common’. They passed through Deptford on their way to destroy prisons and kill the Archbishop of Canterbury before the rebellion was crushed, with the deaths of thousands of rebels. Wat Tyler was killed by Sir William Walworth, Lord Mayor of London.
Tyler was from Kent, but it is unclear where exactly. Interestingly, the 18th century radical Tom Paine maintained that ‘The person known by the name of Wat Tyler, whose proper name was Walter, and a tiler by trade, lived at Deptford. The gatherer of the poll tax, on coming to his house, demanded tax for one of his daughters, whom Tyler declared was under the age of fifteen. The tax-gatherer insisted on satisfying himself, and began an indecent examination of the girl, which, enraging the father, he struck him with a hammer that brought him to the ground, and was the cause of his death. This circumstance served to bring the discontent to an issue’ (Rights of Man, 1791). Similar stories are told about Dartford, and there doesn’t seem to be any real evidence for Tyler coming from Deptford – but the latter was certainly part of Kent, not London, at the time.
In 1450, Jack Cade led the Kentish rising, with grievances again including the excessive taxation of the common people. As in 1381, they established a camp at Blackheath before moving their headquarters to the White Hart in Borough High Street, Southwark. After a bloody battle on a burning London Bridge, the rising was defeated. Cade was later killed and his head displayed on London Bridge
A cave in Maidenstone Hill, Greenwich was apparently once known as Jack Cade’s Cavern. Wat Tyler is commemorated in the name Wat Tyler Road, next to Blackheath. And there is a plaque commemorating the Cornish rising on the wall of Greenwich Park, by the Blackheath Gate.
See also John Ball on Blackheath
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Michael, a regular Transpontine correspondent, has been researching this and come up with some more details. The main gasworks were where the gas tanks still stand today on the Old Kent Road, with the headquarters of the South Metropolitan Gas Company at709a Old Kent Road.
The Central Strike Committee had their HQ at 87 Old Kent Road (according to the South London Record), evicted by the police in early January. The Times reported: 'Yesterday the following poster, in very large type was displayed in the window of the coffee-house in Old Kent road, to which the Central Strike Committee have now transferred their headquarters: "The Battering-ram Brigade in London. Eviction of the Gas Workers' Strike Committee by the police. In consequence of the above the Central Strike Committee-room is removed to 671, Old Kent-road. Jan 7, 1890." The committee appear to be very bitter about the way in which the police arrangements have been carried out, and still further irritation was felt by them yesterday because two policemen were specially stationed outside the premises where they meet" (The Times Jan 9th 1890).
The Greenwich branch of the gasworkers' union, formed during the strike, met at the Three Cups coffee tavern in Greenwich.
An interesting strand of this history is the role of coffee houses - you see they weren't invented by Starbucks! In this period, there was a strong overlap between the trade union and socialist movements and the temperance movement - as a result of which many meetings of the former were held in coffee houses rather than pubs.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Nathan Persad has recently release an album on Mile High Records - we have mentioned his Deptford and Nunhead songs here before.
Jude Cowan Montague is a singer of dramatic songs and is working on a new South London special for this event. Finally, there's Apopsi.
All this plus the already confirmed Ceri James, Little Devils, Brockley Ukulele Group, Quaggy River Boys and Neil Transpontine.
The event is scheduled to take place from 2 pm to around 4:00 pm next to the park in Cafe Orange, Kitto Road, SE14. Admission free.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Sunday, July 06, 2008
The corner where they stand by a shop is at the junction of Brook Drive and Hayles Street.
I love Dexys, and had the pleasure of shaking Kevin Rowland by the hand when he was DJing at How Does it Feel? in Brixton last year.
Saturday, July 05, 2008
That Petrol Emotion were a great band in their own right ( I saw them once at Kilburn Irish Youth Festival), more overtly political than The Undertones and musically more daring.
Here they are from 1987 on The Tube performing Big Decision. I always assumed that the line 'You'd rather sail the ocean, Than make a big decision' referred to the Falklands War and the Irish conflict, i.e. the big decision was British withdrawal from N.Ireland. The song mentions plastic bullets, which at that point were frequently being used by British forces in Belfast and Derry.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
RUR is Rediscovered Urban Rituals (including David Aylward) who helped put on the fine Deptford Jack in the Green procession in 2006. They are also involved this Saturday in the Alternative Village Fete outside the National Theatre on the South Bank.
A woman has been knifed to death in South London's fifth murder in five days. Dee Willis, 28, from Peckham, died after suffering a single stab wound to the upper body. Cops were called to Bellenden Road, Peckham at 11.10pm yesterday (Tuesday) after reports of someone being attacked in the street. Paramedics were called and the victim was rushed to Kings College Hospital for treatment but she was pronounced dead just after midnight. A murder inquiry has been launched and Bellenden Road remained cordoned off this morning while forensic investigators examine the scene. Detectives are keeping an open mind over the motive. It is the latest in a string of murders across South London.
On Monday night Tunisian national Hamouda Bessad, 34, was stabbed in the chest several times near the L.A.N exchange and internet cafe on Old Kent Road.
On Sunday, firefighters discovered the remains of two men during a flat-fire in Sterling Gardens, New Cross. Cops believe the men were killed before the blaze started.
The day before that, the body of John Howell, 24, was found on the Milford Towers estate, Catford. Eugene Sinclair, 31, of Milford Towers has been charged with his murder.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
As mentioned before Transpontine is sponsoring an afternoon acoustic music event as part of Hillaballoo, themed around South London Songs. Local singers and musicians will be doing short sets, with all of them agreeing to sing at least one song that mentions a South London location. Confirmed to take part so far are:
- Ceri James - talented local singer/songwriter with his first album due to be released later this week.
- Little Devils - New Cross rhythm & blues
- Brockley Ukulele Group - after several months strumming in Cafe Brocca, BUG makes its eagerly anticipated public debut!
- Quaggy River Boys.
- and... er... Neil Transpontine.
The event is scheduled to take place from 2 p m to around 3:30 pm next to the park in Cafe Orange, Kitto Road, SE14 (subject to confirmation of music license). Admission will be free.
We could probably still squeeze in a couple more acts, so do get in touch if you're interested (you can use the email at top of blog or leave your details in the comments section).
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Meanwhile Slightly Lost in the World seems to have not only ceased posting but deleted the entire blog - the end of that particular gay cyclist perspective on Brockley life.
I can understand the sense of getting sick of it all and wanting to wipe away what you've written, especially if you've exposed more of yourself than you're comfortable with. But generally I hope that even if people decide to stop blogging they leave what they've written in the past up there - as a sometime historian I appreciate how useful these first hand primary sources might be to future historians trying to understand what people are doing and thinking today. Anyway, I am sure that everything any of us have ever written online is cached somewhere - maybe it's an illusion that we can ever really delete anything.