Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Another Nickel in the Machine

Another Nickel in the Machine is a great London blog, focusing on the musical history of various parts of the city, mixed up as it is with sex, scandal and politics. All the posts are well researched and lusciously illustrated with photographs.

On a South London tip, he has a great post about the Elephant and Castle, including the history of Teddy boys and girls and the link to early British rock'n'roll through Tommy Steele. He mentions that 'Just ten minutes walk away from 'The Elephant' on the Waterloo Road was a cafe called The Cave (so-called because it was under some railway arches). Three young musicians played there in a skiffle group called The Cavemen and named after the cafe. They were Lionel Bart, local boy Tommy Hicks and Mike Pratt. They'd all met at a party at a sort of pre-hippie Beatnik commune called The Yellow Door next to The Cave'. Hicks was soon to be renamed Tommy Steele and Lionel Bart went on the write Oliver. I would like to know more about the Cave and the Yellow Door.

There is also a post on Vauxhall and the Albert Embankment - into which he manages to weave the Angry Brigade, Jeffrey Archer and a remarkable Julie Driscoll song called Vauxhall to Lambeth Bridge.

The latter is another one for the South London Songs collection with lyrics including: 'I walked down by the Thames, Vauxhall to Lambeth Bridge... I look down into the lapping water that’s dark and black, When I look up I see a man standing all alone and he too is looking into the water that’s dark and black, What are you thinking of man, what are you searching for? I hope you find you answer, but I don’t think you'll find it there'.

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