Now being a bit of a geek and spending a number of years in London and actually attending shows in many of the venues in book one and now it would seem volume two I love books like this and can’t get enough of them and their history. When a book of this nature is done well (like this) I tend to blitz it and then play some of the records by some of the bands I saw in these venues and it’s a great source of conversation with friends who have shared experiences. My only complaint is this (not that it’s much of a complaint) I’d have loved to have seen some pictured of bands playing in mentioned venues as well as the ticket stubs and adverts and Tesco hoardings that have since replaced these meccas of dreams.
London is such a vast tapestry of entertainment and historical places and memories books like this are essential artifacts to coexist alongside our fragile memories that need poking now and again as forgotten places and times exist in the creases of our minds. From this volume, Paul digs deeper into the magnificent city and all it had to offer to pop culture over the last sixty-plus years.
Here’s an idea for expansion on the books thus far. Delve deeper into the country and offer up a volume on the North West, Scotland, Wales, Bristol, Birmingham. The reach is limitless but I bet the research is intense. Scratching every surface of the capital city is some feat.
Its an easy read to be fair some great ticket reproductions and famous nights as well as some surprising facts and showing off some really obscure venues outside of the obvious Marquee clubs, Batcave, Palais, Astoria’s, George Robeys and Royal Standards. Paul the author of ‘Derelict London’ and ‘London’s Lost Rivers’ (Random House) doesn’t just stick to one genre he covers the whole gambit of Rock, Punk, Jazz and beyond. Whilst it’s a cool thing to have on a coffee table it’s a great pick-up with your cornflakes on when you’re in the little boy’s room. If you’re on a bus or tube it’ll pass the time for sure.
It’s one of a handful of books that should and would please everyone old and young for very different reasons. As London gets gentrified we need these historical documents to remember when the place was indeed hip and swinging and this book does the Jewson lot. Congrats to Paul and Damaged Goods for letting a second volume come out. Great stuff. Now get those pre-orders in before these are as gone as the venues contained within.