added: 10 Sep 2013 // by: Music-News.com Newsdesk
In September 2013, Carnaby, London W1 will unveil hidden layers of music heritage via a series of plaques on key buildings in a new commission by artist Lucy Harrison. Carnaby Echoes will also include a walking tour app and an exhibition. It is the first time that London will have such a high number of commemorative plaques at one time in one area.
Carnaby Echoes traces the vibrant music history from the opening of Jazz club Murray's on Beak Street in 1913 through to the present day. Lucy has bought people who worked in the music connected buildings where history was made, back to the places as they are now to talk about their memories. Contributors include Boy George, Pete Townshend, Mark Ellen, Lloyd Coxsone and Dynamo. These memories and stories can be accessed on carnabyechoes.com or by downloading the audio walking tour app which will guide visitors around the plaque locations.
Over the past century Carnaby has been the home and inspiration of many music styles, including jazz, reggae, rhythm and blues, rock and hip hop. From the nightclubs to the shops, and the record companies to the magazines, Carnaby has attracted generations of highly regarded musicians and their fans.
The innovative walking tour app bring these stories, sounds and performances vividly back to life for audiences as they activate the content whilst walking around Carnaby, treading the same footsteps as those trodden by a hundred years of music pioneers.
An exhibition at 20 Foubert's Place will present the project in-depth and will show archive material related to many of the locations including original clothing from The Foundry store, club signs and vintage vinyl. Visitors will be able to pick up a free copy of a limited edition publication and listen to music relating to the project via two bespoke retro listening booths. Films will be screened on a daily basis.
No shopping street in the world can boast a real connection with music and popular culture quite like Carnaby Street. Music and fashion have walked hand in hand ever since the young entrepreneur John Stephen opened his first boutique called 'His Clothes' in 1958. It became a mecca for the new Mods, seriously into their sharp threads. By 1964 Lord John had opened, and owner Warren Gold found himself dressing the young John Lennon, Brian Jones and Mick Jagger. However, although many people associate Carnaby Street with this era, the project shows how vibrant the place was at other times through the century.
Carnaby Echoes reveals that along with the fashion scene in the 60s, a new sound was drawing musicians to the street. The Roaring Twenties club opened in a Carnaby Street basement (now Ben Sherman), playing R&B and reggae, records which were imported from America and Jamaica. In his interview with Lucy, legendary Jamaican DJ Count Suckle recounted 'Georgie Fame was there, the Animals, the Who,. the Rolling Stones'. As The Who founder Pete Townshend, another famous Carnaby Street 'face,' has been quoted: 'The place played Blue Beat stuff through huge speakers, and young men in desert boots and short macs with pork pie hats danced, rocking on their heels back and forth.' These huge speakers at the Roaring Twenties were among the first ever reggae sound systems set up in the UK, and Count Suckle - along with Duke Vin - has been credited with bringing ska to the UK.
In the 1980s, club nights included Batcave and Mud Club at The Foubert's Club, and iconic magazines NME and Smash Hits opening their offices. More recently, there have been live performances on the streets such as Kanye West's surprise appearance at one of the open mic nights in Deal Real record shop and street performances by Professor Green.
EXHIBITION ' 20 Foubert's Place, London W1. 5 September ' 20 October 2013. Free entry and free headphones for each visitor.
APP ' Download the free app via carnabyechoes.com, the App Store or Google play for Android phones from 2 September.
www.carnaby.co.uk @CarnabyLondon #CarnabyEchoes
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