Sunday, October 14, 2007

Shoreditch is dead, long live New Cross?

On the back of publicity about the re-launched Amersham Arms, there's been a proliferation of articles in the London papers talking up the area. A piece in Time Out this week declared 'Shoreditch is dead, long live New Cross'. Meanwhile, the Standard declared that 'Something hip is happening in New Cross', printing a picture of Sophie and Ian from Rubbish & Nasty as well as bigging up the Amersham Arms.

The discovery of New Cross is a hardy perennial that seems to crop up on a recurring cycle. A few years ago the Standard published a two page spread on New Cross called 'Welcome to the New Hoxton' (9 July 2004). Around the same time, there was all the music press interest in the 'New Cross scene'. An article in NME (27 October 2005) declared that 'there are a hundred bands, fanzines, DJs and micro-labels doing exciting, inspiring stuff'.

We like to see some acknowledgement that there is life in South East London, but at the same time we don't really want to become the new anywhere else especially if its means the life being squeezed out of the area by rising rents and prices.

It is noteable that some of the 'scene' landmarks mentioned in the 2004 Standard article have already vanished. Moonbow Jakes, described as the 'New Cross artists' hang out and cafe' has closed, while the Temporary Contemporary gallery in the Seagar Distillery was displaced to make way for the Distillery development.

There's a great quote from Ian McQuaid in the latest Standard article: 'The scene is thriving, they say, partly because it is difficult to get to, meaning that locals are forced to stay local. "It is very insular here," says McQuaid. "They're about to shut the East London line for five years to build the extension. By the time they come back we'll all have sprouted claws and wings."'

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here's the "Welcome to the new Hoxton" article.