THE 2014 to 2016 ‘SAVE TIN PAN ALLEY’
CONSERVATIONISTS have launched a campaign for the National Trust to take over the former West End home of The Sex Pistols after leading archaeologists claimed that cartoons by Johnny Rotten which are preserved there are just as important to heritage as cave man art.
The Save Tin Pan Alley campaigners are to ask the Trust to add an outbuilding at 6 Denmark Street to its property portfolio, which includes the childhood homes of Paul McCartney and John Lennon in Liverpool. The campaigners argue that the building, where the Sex Pistols lived, rehearsed and made demo recordings for their first album, which gave birth to the worldwide punk rock phenomenon, is just as important to the nation’s musical heritage as The Beatles’ homes.
Film-maker and music activist Henry Scott-Irvine, creator of the Save Tin Pan Alley campaign, is backing calls for some sort of monument to be erected in Denmark Street, where Bowie hung out with his friend Marc Bolan before he and the T Rex idol became stars. “Denmark Street was where David worked at Southern Music Publishing originally, I believe, in 1965,” said Mr Scott-Irvine adding, “David had an American Second World War ambulance that he used to park in the street until the traffic wardens arrived at dawn. The popular story is that he slept in this and drove it to gigs. He did indeed hang out at the Gioconda Café there when he was in the band Lower Third and then known as Davie Jones.” http://www.londonweeklynews.co.uk/article.cfm…
‘Yet another blow to live music in the capital’
The 12 Bar Club closed on February 2nd 2016 following it’s switch from
Tin Pan Alley to Holloway Road, London
(Reported on the 5th of February)
Picture of the former 12 Bar Club Denmark St December 2014
by Jerry Tremaine Photography
The Westminster & Pimlico News
The Fulham Chronicle
The Kensington & Chelsea News
The London Weekly News
THE WEST END EXTRA – January 22nd 2016
Developer ‘100% committed’ to saving music street – but fears remain for the future of Tin Pan Alley
Published: 22 January, 2016
by ALINA POLIANSKAYA
FOR years, Tin Pan Alley has been the beloved haunt for many in the music world.
David Bowie found his first agent there, The Rolling Stones recorded music there and Adele has belted out tunes there. But campaigners are now asking whether music “can afford to stay in Denmark Street?”
Henry Scott-Irvine, a radio presenter who has been leading the Don’t Bin Tin Pan Alley campaign, has questioned whether the long-standing tenants of the famous street on the edge of London’s West End, including guitar shops, instrument repair shops and music producers, will be driven out by rent rises that are likely to come with development.
He said: “It is the only street of music in the world of its kind. I think by 2020 there will be no music left in Denmark Street. The music industry needs to come and help. This is now a game of developer chess and we can see all the moves.”
Development plans for Denmark Street will include new restaurants, flats and a hotel, but music businesses will still have first priority when it comes to leasing space.
As part of an agreement with Camden Council, Consolidated Developments must offer current tenants the opportunity to continue renting the space – and if they choose not to do so, it must be put on the market for six months, up for grabs for other music businesses. But if there are no takers, the retail space can then be rented to anyone. But as property values go up in the area with the arrival of Crossrail, Mr Scott-Irvine fears music businesses will not be able to afford to stay. After the iconic 12 Bar Club vacated its home last year, shutting down and moving to Holloway Road in Islington, the developers plan to open a new music venue. But many feel the history and atmosphere cannot be replicated.
A petition to preserve the heritage of Tin Pan Alley and the 12 Bar Club’s former building – including The Forge – has been signed by more than 30,000 people, with the likes of Engelbert Humperdinck and Pete Townshend from The Who among supporters. The petition calls for the street to be made into “a fully rejuvenated Music Mecca” which “would present itself as a beacon for British Musicians”.
Richard Metcalfe a property consultant for Consolidated Developments, said they were “100 per cent committed” to making sure “the music stays within the street”. He added that current tenants will be offered long leases without break clauses and although there would be “some disruption” they had “bent over backwards to keep the music business there.”
But Mr Scott-Irvine remains unconvinced. He said: “Before there were guitar makers, music production companies, agents, managers and publishers. Some have moved out and will never return, so when they say they are trying to keep the music in Denmark Street, they are lying.”
THE WEST END EXTRA – January 15th 2016
After Tin Pan Alley it’s Soho
and the theatres to be sold out
READING Phil Ryan’s letter (Developers in the alley, January 8) about the demise of Tin Pan Alley (Denmark Street) made me sad, nostalgic and angry – the area had a real buzz about it in days gone by. I remember recording music in the basement studio of Keith Prowse Music and getting a publishing deal. There were coffee bars and bars where you might meet fellow musicians or checking out instruments or see guitarists buying a new set of strings. I bought my first real pro mic there after spending a couple of unhurried hours trying them all out with the help of an expert assistant in studio recording gear. Now new luxury flats for the international mega rich and hotel. Doubt if the mega-rich will want to live there and just let the flats accumulate more unearned bucks for them. Wonder what the tourists will want to see when they come to London? No iconic places much left to crow about now the authorities and councils have sold out to the 1 per cent global rich. Perhaps sleazy Soho, but maybe that’s next along with the West End theatres.They know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Tavistock Mansions, London
THE GUARDIAN publishes Peter Watts excellent feature of January 7th
“The grubby end of Oxford Street is being tamed, but this isn’t regeneration, it is devastation” THE GUARDIAN – January 7th 2016
THE CAMDEN NEW JOURNAL publishes Phil Ryan’s wry letter of January 8th
“They (the Developers) have offered Camden Planning Department three MAGIC BEANS”
THE CAMDEN NEW JOURNAL of January 8th 2016
THE WEST END EXTRA of January 8th publishes film producer and ‘Save Soho’ campaigner Colin Vaines excellent feature – “The co-producer of Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, Colin Vaines, has blasted the disappearance of independent stores such as the Zest Pharmacy, branding it the “blandisation” of Soho” THE WEST END EXTRA of January 8th
BBC TV’s OXFORD STREET REVEALED – SERIES 2, EPISODE 8 – DENMARK STREET
BBC1 transmits the programme on December 2nd at 11am and BBC2 repeats it at 6.45am on the 3rd.This docu-soap series features Save TPA’s Henry Scott-Irvine followed by two so-called observational segments on the demise of Denmark Street’s ‘The 12 Bar Club’ and the two occupier-squatter evictions in the first week of February 2015 OXFORD STREET REVEALED – Series 2 Eps 8 – DENMARK STREET
GUITAR & BASS MAGAZINE of November 1st publishes a feature by Sid Bishop founder of the first dedicated guitar shop in Denmark Street Top Gear later to become known as Rockers and now Relentless the soft drink company’s music festival promotions HQ
The Denmark Street Traders Association finds solidarity for the first time since 1996 and holds Denmark Street Open Day from 10.am until 9pm on Saturday the 28th of November. The Street Party is held to promote the shops continued existence in the run up to Xmas 2015. The event was organised by the Head of the Street Trader’s Association, Crispin Weir, of Regent Sounds at 4 Denmark St, Councillor Sue Vincent of Camden Council, Paul Broadhurst of The GLA’s Music Taskforce and Busk London, and Nigel Elderton MD of Peer Music Group, member of The PRS Board and The Save TPA Committee; along with the noted support of Consolidated Developments – the Landlord- Freeholder-Developer of Tin Pan Alley DENMARK ST ‘OPEN DAY’ November 28th
Cats In Space produce this song and video Last Man Standing for the campaign in October
MUSIC MERCHANDISE REVIEW of October 1st publishes a full page feature by Phil Ryan
– ‘The Slow Death of Denmark Street’ MMR – October 1st
Terry Rawlings & Mike Chapman’s video Interview re Save Denmark’s St’s Progress
Hanoi Rocks’ former frontman Michael Monroe
comes to Denmark Street to support the campaign with a brilliant song written by bandmates Rich Jones and Steve Conte called
‘Dead Hearts On Denmark Street’
Thanks to London Live TV News for taking this Live with Henry Scott-Irvine of Save Tin Pan Alley’s Campaign at 1pm on Thursday 15th October and throughout the evening’s news bulletins.
LONDON LIVE TV NEWS WITH MICHAEL MONROE October 15th
The Change.org Save Tin Pan Alley Petition reaches 31,000 signatures
SIGN THE PETITION HERE
THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH’s ‘ST MEN’ – a 6 page feature by Mick Brown
– ‘Denmark Street the threatened birthplace of the British record industry’ … “ The Save Tin Pan Alley campaign was founded by Henry Scott-Irvine, a music-documentary producer and writer, and supported by a number of prominent music business figures, as well as the area’s former MP, Frank Dobson. Scott-Irvine is concerned that while the fabric of the street will be preserved, its “content and character” will change, and the upstairs premises where music publishers once wheeled and dealed could become “elitist flats for the millionaire classes”. He would like to see the street designated a “music zone”, with rents and rates at an affordable level. A proposal for zero rates for all music-related businesses on the street has been tabled by Sue Vincent, a councillor for the local authority, Camden.” SUNDAY TELEGRAPH MAGAZINE ‘ST MEN’ – AUTUMN
RAINDANCE FILM FESTIVAL PRESENTS
A FILM BY TALI CLARKE
‘A RIOT GOING ON’
THE LAST DAYS OF THE 12 BAR CLUB
SEPTEMBER 24th AT 8.30 VUE CINEMA PICCADILLY
JOCKS & NERDS the style magazine provides an 8 page photo spread (pages 119-196)
on Denmark St street in conjunction with Save TPA JOCKS & NERDS – August
MUSIC WEEK of August 5th publishes a full page spread by Coral Williamson stating that “The Save Denmark Street campaign proposes a 5 year plan” MUSIC WEEK
THE WEST END EXTRA of August 21st announces and reports that “Art exhibition by Jane Palm-Gold explores the cost of regeneration in Soho and Fitzrovia” WEST END EXTRA – August 21st
THE INDEPENDENT of August 23rd reports that “The Tragic Denmark Place Fire of 1980”, a feature by Simon Usborne, “Henry Scott-Irvine, the leader the Save Tin Pan Alley campaign, says that, where it is remembered, the fire is lumped in with anecdotes about the area’s insalubrious past to justify its gentrification. “It’s like the push to get rid of the gin houses of Hogarthian London, which these buildings replaced,” he says”.THE INDEPENDENT – August 23rd
THE CLEANERS FROM VENUS ‘Denmark St’ song for the campaign. Isn’t it great!?
SAVE TPA’S 2015 MEETINGS WITH
CAMDEN COUNCIL PLANNERS
LEADS TO LEGAL SUCCESSES IN
SAVING THE MUSIC
TIN PAN ALLEY
MEETING of JULY 21st AT CAMDEN TOWN HALL
We met with Camden Planning officers Alex Bushell, Kathryn Moran, Kate Gibbs, Stuart Minty, and their legal officer and discussed what properties are now legally protected in the street.The Planning Team all now claim that they have collectively secured music based businesses on the 2nd Floor of Denmark Street to be situated above the retail music shop units in the basement, ground floors and
first floors.This is indeed progress.
Music based business will have ‘special inflation only ‘Tin Pan Alley Uses’ leaseholder agreements to be linked to ‘The Tin Pan Alley Rental Agreements’ as cited within ‘Section 5’s Clause 1 of The 106 Agreements’. This too is now signed-off upon by both Camden Council Planning Departments and Consolidated Developments in July
Music businesses are urged to return to the street to help create a ‘Music Zone’. This continues to be championed by the campaign through music industry stakeholder groups and the media outlets. Interested music businesses and individuals can now get in touch with Richard Metcalfe at Consolidated Developments for the lease of units on Denmark Street via a link at the campaign website’s ‘contact’ page
The Section 106 Clause for “Fair Rents” as per “Tin Pan Alley’s (Music) Uses” cited in Section 5 Paragraph 1 states that “specialist retailers focusing on the sale making of musical instruments and other musical industry activities, including studios, artist management offices, music publishing houses and agents” be given priority and the right to stay in Tin Pan Alley. This key clause of the legally binding s106 Agreement was finally signed-off by Camden Council’s Planning Department and Consolidated Developments after three years of negotiation and considerable input from the campaign’s committee.
The campaign successfully secured clarification around Section 106’s Agreement to the planning application so that legal protection is guaranteed for ‘music offices’ on the 2nd floors and ‘music retail’ at 1st floor and at the ground/basement levels through the ‘s106’ deal between Camden Council’s Planning Departments and Consolidated Developments. However, owing to colour code ‘usage’ errors in the newly revamped architects’ plans, all of the ‘other’ diverse music-related businesses within Tin Pan Alley continue to remain threatened by potential lease termination; including the last remaining recording studio in the street, the drum school, the Alley Cat music venue, and the Luthier-repairer who is also the sole remaining guitar maker on the street.
Beyond 2018 rental agreements continue to remain vague, despite Camden Council’s assurances to the contrary. However, leases that are renewed with all of the music related business must now be offered for ‘three years’. Nevertheless, “8 week break clauses” are still be championed by the developer-landlord, thereby undermining the rest of the agreements.
The campaign instigated much of the content now agreed upon by the developers and the council in the S106 deal. It has been legally signed off on between Camden Council and Consolidated Developments – who had only wanted a “five line agreement originally”, according to Camden’s Planning Officers
The Section 106 Document can be found online at Camden Council’s pages. We did this. This will effect change and retain all of the music based businesses in the buildings at the ground floor, the basement level, and levels one and two above the shops, only. Meanwhile, these music shops remain open until redevelopments start. They are open seven days a week The Full List of the Guitar Shops resides here
ON JULY 23rd THE SAVE TPA CHAIRMAN
HENRY SCOTT-IRVINE SUGGESTS TO
BORIS JOHNSON AT THE MAYOR’S MUSIC DAY
THAT ‘TIN PAN ALLEY’ BECOME KNOWN AS ‘MUSIC HERITAGE ZONE’
Save TPA’s Henry meets Mayor Boris Johnson and tells him to make Denmark Street a ‘Music Heritage Zone’. Boris says that “it is a good idea in principal” and shakes hands on this particular suggestion. This moment is photographed here …
MUSIC INSTRUMENT PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE of July 23rd publishes an interview with the men behind the forthcoming documentary ‘The Demise of Denmark Street’ MIPRO July 23rd
SAVE TPA COMMITTEE MEETING of June 3rd’s at Portcullis House by Parliament with our new MP Sir Keir Starmer QC and board members of Camden Council, The PRS, PPL, The MU and Reclaim London New Labour MP Sir Keir Starmer QC invites the campaign’s committee back to Portcullis House by Parliament to discuss how he might lobby parliament on behalf of the campaign.On June 3rd The Save Tin Pan Alley Campaign met with Labour MP Frank Dobson’s successor, Sir Keir Starmer QC MP, to attend a planning discussion at Parliament’s Portcullis House for the second time in 2015. We’re seen alongside senior Planning & Regeneration officers from Camden Council in the photo above. After this meeting Ms Wheat told Save TPA’s Phil Ryan and Henry Scott-Irvine that Clause 5 of the newly created Section 106 Document between Camden Council & Consolidated Developments was worded thus due to our input through 2014 and 2015. This statement was witnessed by Stuart Minty of Camden and Paul Broadhurst of The GLA as we exited the building. We are also very grateful to Councillor Sue Vincent for her massive input to the Section 106 Agreements here too. Signed off later in July.
MUSIC WEEK of June 12th says ‘Save Our Music Cities’ and reports on a conference attended by PRS and PPL’s Jonathan Morrish’s of the Save TPA Committee who raised the matter at the annual international music industry conference MIDEM in Cannes, which was then reported.that “Henry Scott-Irvine founder of The Save Denmark St Campaign told Music Week that examples from other cities show how such areas can be protected, and he called for the street’s music shops to enjoy fixed rents and rate reforms,”If you let Denmark St go, you let the birthplace of British Music die!”
BBC 4’s How To Be Bohemian with Victoria Coren-Mitchell – Series 1 Episode 3 How To Be Bohemian – Episode 3 Transmitted on BBC 4 on June 25th features the last days of the occupied 12 Bar Club. Victoria finds the occupiers to be extremely genial.
GLAMWEAZEL produce this song The Ghosts Of Denmark St and video for the campaign
Save Tin Pan Alley’s meeting of May 20th at Seven Dials Club, Covent Garden with members of Camden Council, PRS, PPL, BASCA, UK Music, etc
THE LONDONIST feature of May 26th the Last Days Of The 12 Bar Club. Now a 45 minute documentary video entitled ‘A Riot of Our Own’ by Talia Clarke (shown at The Raindance Film Festival London on September 28th) LONDONIST feature of May 26th
THE MEETING OF THE SAVE TPA COMMITTEE
AND THE DEVELOPERS OF APRIL 2nd
Our meeting included PRS, PPL, MU, UK Music’s executives and Camden’s Councillor Sue Vincent and special guest Richard Metcalfe of Consolidated Developments. Seen also here on this BBC TV appearance on The Sunday Politics where he starred alongside Glen Matlock & Frank Dobson MP and Save TPA’s founder-chairman Henry Scott-Irvine.
We are delighted to hear the positive news from Consolidated Developments of their stated commitment to preserve the character of Denmark Street, the music shops, and the multiplicity of related music industry businesses above and below the music retail outlets.
They have told us of their passion to retain the unique character of the street and the surrounding areas. We are heartened to say that we will be working with them at their invitation to input our ideas, which have been put forward by leading music industry figures.
We are further looking forward to involving the Mayor’s office and in particular The GLA’s Paul Broadhurst, and Councillor Sue Vincent in helping to preserve this iconic London landmark.Henry Scott-Irvine – Campaign founder-organiser
Save TPA Committee Meeting of April 16th with members of Camden Council Planning Dept, Songlink, PRS, The MU, etc
Click on the photo to enlarge it and play the page’s gallery
THE WESTMINSTER & PIMLICO NEWSPAPER and THE LONDON WEEKLY NEWS of April 23rd reports about “a Roof-Top Rock Protest by The Bermondsey Joyriders to Save Tin Pan Alley. Further Beatles-style rooftop protests are planned!” reports Geoff Baker. “The authorities, including the mayor’s office and Camden Council are becoming increasingly concerned at the huge protest against the development and it is very heartening for the campaign that the powers are now questioning whether a music wasteland is what London really wants”
THE GUARDIAN of April 25th more postcards from The Guardian in praise of the developer’s beautiful insinuations upon our great city – courtesy of The Boris Johnson fan club – and the developers, who of course all have our collective interests at heart, don’t they? Isn’t London beautiful in their wake? Click to view more insinuations in the name of profit at the expense of London. Sense of humour required, unless you are a property developer, where none is required due to an inherent sense of humour bypass at birth
THE GUARDIAN – April 25th
THE LONDON WEEKLY NEWS of March 5th carries a half page photo feature – also featured in The Westminster & Pimlico News, Kensington & Chelsea News, and Fulham Newspapers – regarding Save TPA’s new Chairman the Right Honourable Frank Dobson, Labour MP for Holborn & St Pancras and his kind offer to become Honorary Chairman LWN Newspaper – March 5th
TIME OUT magazine of March 10th featured the campaign in its Save London Special 16 Groups to Save Our City – TIME OUT – March 10th
BRITISH MUSIC PUBLISHING RALLIES TO ‘SAVE DENMARK STREET’ ON MARCH 12th
The following politicians and music industry publisher-executives attended a productive Save Denmark Street campaign meeting at Soho’s Groucho Club on March 12
Paul Broadhurst – THE GLA’s Music Office
The Right Honourable Frank Dobson MP – Chairman (apologies for absence)
Nigel Elderton – MD Peer Music Group & PRS Board
Staurt Hornall – MD of Hornall Bros Publishing & PRS Board
James Ketchell – Music Heritage UK
Billy McLennan – Editor Camden New Journal
Jonathan Morrish – PPL
Simon Platz – MD Bucks Onwards Music & PRS
Phil Ryan – Co-founder of the 12 Bar Club 1994-1996 and The Big Issue
Henry Scott-Irvine – journalist, broadcaster, producer
David Stark – MD Songlink
Councillor Sue Vincent – Camden Councillor for St Giles, Covent Garden, Holborn
THE TIMES Magazine of March 21st has a feature by Caitlin Moran who says, “How much of historic, eccentric, transgressive London can you replace with apartments for foreign investors before people stop wanting to come here anymore?’ asks Caitlin Moran in her brilliantly astute take on London’s continued losses to the new enemy within, namely, the Property Developer whom few can trust to keep to any semblance of promise beyond their very own goals to the detriment of the populace
THE TIMES – March 21
NME’s Leonie Cooper reported on February 2nd that “Frank Turner played a surprise set at London’s squatted 12 Bar Club earlier this evening” NME – February 2
THE LONDON EVENING STANDARD of February 4th reported that singer-songwriter “Frank Turner and other musicians played impromptu gigs in support of squatters occupying closed Soho bar …” STANDARD – February 4th
THE LONDON EVENING STANDARD of February 5th reported that “Bailiffs moved in to evict a group of squatters from a famous music venue in Soho which closed for redevelopment last month. The group, around 15 to 20 people calling themselves ‘Bohemians for Soho’, have occupied 12Bar in Denmark Street for nearly a fortnight. One man was arrested and remains in custody at a north London police station. Live footage streamed by Occupy London shows police breaking down a wooden door as the protesters attempt to stop them entering with barricades” STANDARD – February 5th
LONDON24 of February 5th reported that Squatters at Denmark Street music venue the 12 Bar Club were evicted by police and bailiffs today, in what may be the end of their fight to save the site LONDON24 – February 5
THE GUARDIAN’s John Harris writes a full page feature on February 6th regarding
“The Lament For The Death Of Bohemian London!” … Plans for new restaurants, shops and a hotel – and more – mean that this heritage is supposedly under threat, although Camden borough council insists it will vigilantly protect both Denmark Street’s history and what remains of its music-based economy. The landlords and developers in charge (Consolidated) are at pains to emphasise the same things – as proved, they say, by their plans for an 800-capacity music venue”
SAVE Tin Pan Alley says Camden’s planning submission and Charcoalblue’s online feature at http://www.charcoalblue.com/index.php/projects/being-built/st-giles-circus-london.html of December 2013 describe this so-called ‘music venue’ contradictorily as “an 800 seat multi-purpose Event Gallery, which will accommodate as broad a programme of events as possible, targeting the media, fashion, exhibition and conferencing markets. The Urban Gallery, the Event Gallery”
“Viewed from a certain angle, then, the 12 Bar protesters might look like rent-a-mob opportunists. There again, to understand that (in the light of the above in blue) they might have a point, one need only think of those dread modern words “regeneration” and “redevelopment”, and the proposed future of cities in both Britain and the wider world. What is planned for St Giles could conceivably happen in any number of places, and beyond its musical elements, would seem equally appalling – not least, something called Outernet, a complex of buildings and giant screens that will apparently “put the heart and soul back into St Giles” by allowing us to “interact with the brands we love in exciting new ways.” John Harris THE GUARDIAN – February 6th
WEST END EXTRA of February 6th carried a full page spread by Caroline Mortimer “Squatters living in the 12 Bar Club were forced out by the police yesterday (Thursday February 5th) ending two weeks of occupation. Around 25 police officers raided the property (at 26 Denmark St) and removed 15 squatters who had taken over the venue to protest at the closure of music venues in the street” The occurrence was captured on video for posterity for exposure in two networked BBC TV series; namely Oxford Street – Series 2 Episode 8 Oxford St Series 2 Eps 8 on Denmark St Transmitted on BBC 1 December 2nd at 7am and 11am 2015 and How To Be Bohemian with Victoria Coren-Mitchell – Series 1 Episode 3 How To Be Bohemian – Episode 3 Transmitted on BBC 4 on June 25 2015
THE LONDON EVENING STANDARD of February 6th offered up a feature by Matt Watts which reeked of a PR driven spin, allegedly placed on behalf of Consolidated to contradict the so-called press features of late regarding the negative effects of regeneration in the St Giles WC2H area. Headlined as “A pioneering deal to keep music alive in London’s Tin Pan Alley” Richard Metcalfe of Consolidated maintained that “We have always wanted to keep music in the street … No Londoner would ever want to see it disappear”. In a piece that mimicked and paid lip service to all of the information given by Save TPA’s Henry Scott-Irvine to Geoff Baker some three weeks earlier in The London Weekly News it seemed that – despite Four Communications (Consolidated’s PR company’s) letter to Save TPA in January, which was to the contrary – both the developers and the campaigners were finally singing from the same song sheet at last. But how long would this last?
LWN & Affiliated Papers – January 15th
PARLIAMENT Frank Dobson MP invites the campaign to Parliament on February 11th. Former Cabinet Minister and Labour MP for Denmark St the Right Honourable Frank Dobson MP invites the campaign committee to a meeting at Parliament’s Portcullis House where he kindly offers to preside as the Chairman of Save Denmark St up until his retirement at the end of April 2015. Executives from the music publishing fraternity rally to support the campaign and join the campaign committee.
‘SAVE TIN PAN ALLEY’ GOES TO PARLIAMENT ON FEBRUARY 11th
THE MORNING STAR reported on Saturday February 14th that “Riot Police violently evicted housing activists yesterday who had squatted a former cult bar in London’s Soho‚ “smashing” through the back door. Footage of the eviction was streamed live from inside the bar by members of Occupy London, showing people shouting as a door is kicked in. A man’s voice cries:“There’s people attached to the door — you are going to kill someone if you do that. You really don’t want to kill people who are trying to save Soho. Wait for court tomorrow morning, then you can assess if you can kill us or not?!” … Bohemians For Soho took over 26 Denmark Street in late January after the bar shut down due to a joint Crossrail and Consolidated Developments regeneration project. Since then activists have battled eviction attempts, attended court hearings and endured harassment from unidentified security staff. Despite this, the evenings at the squat were filled with music and entertainment events, including a supporting performance by folk musician Frank Turner.”
wrote Joana Ramiro THE MORNING STAR
FRANK DOBSON MP offered to preside as the chairman of Save Denmark St – up until his retirement in April – when he will then make it his ‘exclusive’ role, acting pro actively on behalf of The Save Tin Pan Alley Campaign. This is a huge step in the right direction. With much happening behind the scenes right now and a former Labour cabinet minister of Frank Dobson’s stature on side, this is an immense move forward in the quest to make Denmark St a Music Mecca once again.
Amid fears of only token gestures nodding towards the music industry from property developers Consolidated, a very proactive meeting took place in parliament on the afternoon of Wednesday February 11th when The Save Denmark St Campaign was joined by Camden MP Frank Dobson, three core members of Camden Council – including local Camden Councillor Sue Vincent – David Webster from the Musician’s Union, Paul Broadhurst from The GLA’s Music division, David Stark from Songlink, along with key executives from the world of music publishing, to include Jonathan Morrish from PPL, and music biz ‘legal eagle’ Phil Ryan co-founder of The Big Issue and Denmark Street’s internationally renowned venue The ‘former’ 12 Bar Club (1992-2015 RIP).
The Right Honourable Frank Dobson MP is the MP for Holborn in The London Borough Of Camden (and former Labour Minister For Health). Our new Deputy Chairperson, Councillor Sue Vincent of the St Giles & Covent Garden ward of The London Borough Of Camden. We now also have core executives and chairman from PPL, MCPS, PRS, MPA, MU, Peer Music Group, Bucks Music Group, Onwards Music Group, Music Sales, Hornall Bothers and Songlink,as a part of our team.
The fact that such music publishers are sympathetic to maintaining Tin Pan Alley as a ‘music mecca’ is particularly pertinent given that it is the home of British song writing, taking its name from the New York street of the very same name where the legendary Brill Building spawned so many magnificent American hits.
THE LONDON EVENING STANDARDS’s Nick Curtis provided a double page spread in the pull-out feature ‘Homes & Property’ on February 18th. He wrote that “Sexless Soho and the sanitisation of Tin Pan Alley: London’s quirky districts face change. As one quirky London district has its naughty bits covered by smart flats, plush hotels and chain restaurants, is Tin Pan Alley the next to face ‘cleansing’? With the developer-landlord Mr Kirschell citing drug abusers and prostitution as a means for cleansing and upgrading it seemed that all of the well-worn cliché’s for regeneration were being trotted out once more without any mention of the Save TPA campaign. But then consider the context. The ‘Homes & Property’ section of L.E.S. So who pays for most of the paper’s bills via property advertising, one might enquire …? Property Developers and Estate Agents. We rest our case.
STANDARD – February 6th – HOMES & PROPERTY
NME of January 3rd carries a double page colour spread by Leonie Cooper: “Down The Pan” reporting that “with the closure of The 12 bar Club it’s crunch time for the birthplace of the British Music Industry!”
THE ECONOMIST of January 3rd reports “So Long Soho!” and reminds the UK that “The Who’s Pete Townshend suggested that Denmark Street should become a Heritage Zone”. Parallels are drawn with San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury and bohemian areas in Paris resisting development to encourage heritage tourism.THE ECONOMIST – January 3rd
THE BLOW MONKEYS write The Lions Of Charing Cross especially for our campaign
CLASSIC POP MAGAZINE reviews The Blow Monkeys song and interviews Dr Robert
CLASSIC POP MAGAZINE – January 5th
THE CAROUSER reports on on January 5th that “Tin Pan Alley Is Heading For The Tin Can”
THE SAVE TPA campaign invites Camden Councillor Sue Vincent to join a newly formed Save Tin Pan Alley committee alongside the GLA’s Music Taskforce Officer, Paul Broadhurst, who also becomes an active member. Big Issue Magazine co-founder musician and businessman Phil Ryan becomes the campaign’s Deputy Chairman and liaison man, while Board Members of music industry bodies BASCA, The MU, PPL, PRS, The MCPS, The MPA, Music Heritage UK, UK Music, Crowdshed, We Are Like Minds, and Songlink all become regular committee attendees and campaign policy makers.
THE ISLINGTON TRIBUNE of January 9th has ALINA POLIANSKAYA reports that the 12 Bar Club will move in with Phibbers Bar in the Holloway Road. “The music venue that hosted Adele and The Libertines is set for move from Tin Pan Alley to Holloway Road. Henry Scott-Irvine, who has been leading the Save Denmark Street campaign, said that, although he is pleased that the 12 Bar Club has secured a venue, he wished it could have been more central. He said: “London is losing its heart. It is a shame the 12 Bar Club could not find a venue in central London. Holloway Road is an area full of football supporters and people on their way home from work. It is not the heart. But the Buffalo Bar closed recently so hopefully the people who used to go there will go to Phibbers instead”
ISLINGTON TRIBUNE – January 9th
WEST END EXTRA of January 9th announces that “The 12 Bar Club is to move to a new venue in Islington. Andy Lowe, who manages the legendary music spot, said despite the “headache” of only having one month’s notice to relocate, the move to Holloway will be a “wonderful opportunity”. Henry Scott-Irvine, who has been leading the Save Denmark Street campaign, is pleased that the building at 26 Denmark Street has been given Grade II-listed status with description, by English Heritage, which will protect it from change. But the pool room, which was added on to the building in the 1990s and which Mr Scott-Irvine fears may be holding up the forge at the back of the building, will be destroyed. Mr Scott-Irvine said that although he is pleased that the 12 Bar Club has secured a venue, he wished it could have been more central.” WEST END EXTRA – January 9th
Former Sex Pistol Glen Matlock, Frank Dobson MP, and Henry Scott-Irvine appear on
BBC TV’s The Sunday Politics BBC TV’s The Sunday Politics – January 11th
LOUDER THAN WAR – THE LAST NIGHT OF THE 12 BAR CLUB – LONDON 14/15 JANUARY – Save Tin Pan Alley’s Henry Scott-Irvine reports that “Every word in the above song has a double edge. These are the actual last few moments of the venue caught on a smart phone, capturing the essence and mirth of The 12 Bar’s closing minutes. The 12 Bar Club in Tin Pan Alley closed its doors last night at 4am on Thursday the 15th of January with crowds of people literally hanging from the ancient Forge’s oak beams and rafters, while listening to an hour of captivating headliner torch songs from Vince McCann.Vince originally opened the venue on its début night when it was known as The Forge back in 1992. He has been an integral part of the club ever since. Last night he sang ballads from likes of Don Mclean, Johnny Cash, and Townes Van Zandt, alongside standards such as You Are My Sunshine, Goodnight Irene, and Boney Fingers” – Video by Gemma of The 12 Bar
LOUDER THAN WAR – January 15th
THE LONDON WEEKLY NEWS and WESTMINSTER & PIMLICO TODAY of January 15th
“After a conversation with Henry Scott-Irvine of ‘Save Denmark Street’ by Geoff Baker
“London’s historic of Denmark Street could be saved from development at the 11th hour
by a revolutionary rescue plan to make it the music version of The Stock Exchange.
Broadcaster-journalist Henry Scott-Irvine has devised a scheme for a Band Aid-style rescue with rock stars, record companies and music businesses moving in – and the developers like the sound of it. Under Mr Scott-Irvine’s plan the rock and pop heritage site would not only keep all of its historic shops and features but it would expand to become even more of a music Mecca than it was in the Sixties. His plan would turn what is now a tourist trap and guitarists’ shrine into a thriving ‘rock exchange’, a London centre for the music industry in the same way that the Temple is the key district for the legal profession and The City is for banking” … Read more here LWN & Affiliated Papers – January 15th
THE GUARDIAN January 20th Marc Burrows reports on “Why London’s music scene has been rocked by the death of Denmark Street .From the 50s to the present day, Tin Pan Alley played host to the NME and Melody Maker, the Sex Pistols and the Stones. However, the recent closure of 12 Bar Club and Enterprise rehearsal studios marks the end of one of London’s musical meccas”
THE GUARDIAN – January 20th
VICE Magazine of January 22nd reported that “on Tuesday 2oth a group of protesters calling themselves ‘The Bohemians 4 Soho’ started squatting the Grade II listed building, both in a bid to save it from demolition and to inspire others to unite to save Soho” (and Denmark St in St Giles WC2). “After reading their manifesto – ‘Without culture, society cannot exist’ – Vice interviewed them … We’re here to remind people that they don’t just have to accept things. It’s about time that we drew a line in the sand and said ‘no’. If, when our time here is done, there are more signatures on that petition, a stronger sense of community cohesion over this, and people taking action, that’s our job done”
VICE – January 22nd
Save TPA’s Henry Scott-Irvine is invited inside the 12 Bar Club on January 22nd when it becomes ‘occupied’ for just over two weeks by ‘The Bohemians For Soho’
THE LONDON EVENING STANDARD of January 24th reports that “Squatters occupy a Soho bar where Adele made her UK debut” STANDARD – January 24th
The Drift Report ‘Occupy at the 12 Bar’ January 25th
NME’s Newsdesk announces on January 26th that “London’s 12 Bar Club has been re-opened by squatters. Creation Records founder Alan McGee’s latest signing Alias Kid planned to perform an acoustic set at the bar this afternoon” NME 26th – January 2014
TIME OUT of January 27th carries a full page feature with the headline “Soho Bohos take over Tin Pan Alley … so when the 12 Bar Club on Denmark St held its last ever rock ‘n’ roll shindig last week one group of activists decided that enough was enough and occupied the building in a bid to fight what they call ‘the cultural and social cleansing’ of the area”
THE INDEPENDENT of January 28th saw Christopher Hooton write this piece celebrating the very life blood that music has continued to exude in recent times within the confines of Tin Pan Alley : “I have great affection for Denmark Street. In its music shops I bought my first pair of drumsticks. In Enterprise Studios (now defunct) I practised with my first band. In A True Love parlour (now defunct) I got my first tattoo. It is entwined in my history and an integral part of rock & roll’s, serving as a musical mecca since the 1960s attracting acts like David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and many more. Adele and Jeff Buckley started out in 12 Bar. Jamie T and The Libertines performed under its century old beams. It’s also a good place for a young band to get a gig without having to pay-to-play or guarantee a certain number of attendees, a pretty rare thing in London these days. It is sad then, that people are considering it already dead. It’s not a relic or a museum of musical history but a living, breathing district, with its many music shops working (very hard) to continue to turn a profit in an age where you can buy a guitar FX pedal online and have it arrive the same day. Before their closure, Enterprise’s 12 rehearsal rooms were nearly always booked out and 12 Bar was packed to the rafters”
THE INDEPENDENT – January 28th
WEST END EXTRA of January 30th reports that the
“Tin Pan Alley squatters are given their marching orders as a court grants an eviction order”
WEST END EXTRA – January 30th
MUSIC WEEK of January 30th carries a feature “Save Our Venues!” reporting that “The 12 Bar Club is the latest in a line of Music Venues across the country to be negatively affected by redevelopment plans or neighbouring residential buildings”
Henry Scott-Irvine at 12 Bar Club January 31st
GIGWISE of December 12th “LONDON LOSES ANOTHER GREAT VENUE AS THE 12 BAR CLUB IS SET TO CLOSE” GIGWISE – December 12th
LOUDER THAN WAR of the December 12th reported that “If the bankers were not bad enough what about the property developers? The closure of the 12 Bar underlines this creeping trend that combines greed and the bland monoculture of the modern UK where a bland coffee chain or yet another concrete block rabbit hutch hotel takes precedence over the very culture that people want to visit the UK for. It seems utterly bizarre that property developers can just hoover up OUR city centres and impose their ugly developments and dull culture wherever they want.” says writer-journalist and front man
John Robb of Goldblade and The Membranes LOUDER THAN WAR – December 12th
NME reported on December 12th that “Live music venue the 12 Bar Club in London’s Denmark Street will shut its doors permanently in January 2015. Henry Scott-Irvine, organiser for campaign group Save Denmark St told NME that the historic venue will close on January 16, 2015. Scott-Irvine said: “It is with some regret that today The Save Denmark Street Campaign have to announce that the current team running the venue known as the 12 Bar Club will have to vacate the premises on January 16, 2015 as the landowner-property developer Consolidated have served their leaseholder-freeholder ‘break clause’ of 30 days’ notice, thereby terminating the current lease in perpetuity.”
NME – Deccember 12th
HUFFINGTON POST of December 15th James Ketchell – Chief Executive and Founder of Music Heritage UK and an active Save Tin Pan Alley Committee Member says “The Property Developers’ Hold Over London – Enough Is Enough!” in this perspicacious Huffington piece
HUFFINGTON POST – December 15th
Pete Townshend of The Who in THE TIMES on Monday December 15th (excerpt)
“To use this essential rail service as an excuse to change the funky and hearty face of the Soho streets is wrong. The developers say they are not demolishing Denmark Street, but it seems the street is being redeveloped. Shop space is being vastly reduced, and the rents will surely go up. I’d hate to think Denmark St – London’s Tin Pan Alley – might be lost to redevelopment. These unique music shops could be priced out of existence in the wake of Crossrail. In the sixties I bought fuzz boxes and strings for my guitars from Macari’s guitar shop in Denmark Street. The Who did a backing vocal rehearsal with Shel Talmy in Denmark Street at Regent Sounds in 1964. I used to shop at the Drum Store when living in nearby Wardour Street, Soho. Boris Johnson and Camden Council please make Denmark Street a Heritage Zone. Otherwise a massive chunk of rock music history will be lost forever. Progress is important, but so are the local landmarks of our great city.” Pete Townshend (Abridged version syndicated to 80 global news markets, including Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and HOLLYWOOD.COM – DECEMBER 15th – PETE TOWNSHEND STEPS UP A FIGHT TO SAVE LONDON’s MUSIC HISTORY
THE LONDON EVENING STANDARD of Tuesday the 16th of December has esteemed former Times leader writer Simon Jenkins providing a full page feature, which states that “Tin Pan Alley has a great history, but the music has died? It’s inevitable that the once great home of London’s music scene will have to change with the times … The remaining buildings in the area are pathetic fragments of a disappearing urban form, the street. Denmark Street from the south looks like a Pinewood film set, cowering beneath the garish cliffs of Central Saint Giles. London planning has lost the art of street design — witness the slab blocks Boris Johnson wants for Mount Pleasant in Clerkenwell … Saving Denmark Street might now seem pointless, except that if it goes what hope for the rest of northern Soho? … “ (In direct response to Pete Townshend in THE TIMES the day before)
STANDARD – December 16th
THE LONDON EVENING STANDARD of Wednesday the 17th of December
Richard Godwin:”We lose the future if we will let the music die in Denmark Street” … A 32-second YouTube clip is all that remains of Adele’s first London gig. It’s 2006 and she’s singing Painting Pictures, accompanying herself on guitar. The sound quality is poor but there’s no mistaking the Tottenham soul in her voice, husky with Marlboro Lights and teenage regret. “Go and see her live while she’s still playing intimate venues” advises one commenter. “You won’t get the chance once her debut album is released. It was shot at the 12 Bar Club on Denmark Street — recently described as a “dirty and neglected back alley” by Orms (the architects for and on behalf of ) the developer. It will soon be demolished to help bring 3,000 square metres of retail space to the Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station. There will be a Renzo Piano tower overlooking it. There will be a “cultural space” of some kind. But there won’t be another 12 Bar….” (In direct response to Simon Jenkins in THE LONDON EVENING STANDARD the day before) STANDARD – December 17th
Tin Pan Alley’s legendary 12 Bar Club is to close!
MUSIC INSTRUMENT PROFESSIONAL of Thursday December 18th reports that “the 12 Bar Club to close in wake of Denmark Street redevelopment. Earlier this year, a Change.org petition was launched to save the 12 Bar Club, garnering more than 19,000 signatures from the likes of Glen Matlock, Mick Avory and Pete Townshend.” MIPRO – December 18th
WEST END EXTRA of Friday December 19th 2014 announces that …
“The 12 Bar Club is told to ‘get out!’
… This music venue in the West End’s Tin Pan Alley will close next month as developers take over the building. The team behind the 12 Bar Club in Denmark Street have been told by landlords Consolidated Developments that they must vacate the premises by January 16 … On Facebook, the 12 Bar organisers said: “We are very sad to announce that The 12 Bar Club has been given notice to vacate Denmark Street by the middle of January.”
EXTRA – December 19th
22,000 signatures reached following a spot on BBC Radio 4’s ‘PM at 5pm’ on BBC Radio 4 yesterday December 22nd
www.thebluemonet.com of December 31st saw esteemed music journalist and former presenter of BBC TV’s The Old Grey Whistle Test (1971-1972) and feature writer at the Melody Maker (in the 1970’s) Richard Williams’ lament for the demise of Denmark St in his blog noted that “The 12-Bar opened in 1994 in premises built in 1635 for use as stables; its audiences have witnessed performances by Bert Jansch, Joanna Newsom, Jeff Buckley, Robyn Hitchcock, K.T. Tunstall, Seasick Steve and many others. Among its last gigs, on January 7, will be the “minimum R&B” of the The Fallen Leaves. Rose Morris (the music instrument retailer) amazingly, is still at No 10 and, being on the south side, might even be around to celebrate the centenary of its arrival in the street in 2019. I don’t suppose it matters much that the current proprietors of the restaurant next door, now called La Giaconda, can’t spell their own history (Gioconda) In his very interesting blog, The Great Wen, Peter Watts spoke in August to the developer, Lawrence Kirschel of Consolidated Development, who made nice noises about respecting the street’s traditions, but whose plans for a performance space and for erecting statues of famous Tin Pan Alley names do not encourage optimism. I think I’d rather Denmark Street disappeared altogether — following another of Kirschel’s properties, the Marquee Club on Wardour Street, into oblivion — than be transformed into a miniature theme park”
Richard Williams blog – December 31st
CAMDEN NEW JOURNAL‘s Comment page of November 6th responded to The Save TPA’s suggestion of ‘Rate Exemption and Rent Controls for Tin Pan Alley here. “Campaigners who want to save Denmark Street from the developers would like Camden Council or Boris Johnson to waive business rates for retailers to keep costs down. But exemptions can only be enforced by the government. However, such a bold policy is anathema to all our parties. Neither the Conservatives nor the Liberal Democrats are interested in rent controls or exemption of business rates. Labour showed interest in such a policy, but appear to have run away from it. Mr Pitkeathley (Leader of Camden Council) understandably, was upset by the loss of a Camden High Street project to a developer. But it will take hard lobbying and a lot of politicking to change government policy, and until that bears fruit we can continue to expect to see the same chain-dominated high streets we have today”writes Allan Ledward http://www.camdennewjournal.com/new-journal-comment-government-must-step-save-our-high-streets CAMDEN NEW JOURNAL – November 6th
“Give the street protected status!” says Engelbert
to Toby Sadler on ITV’s 6 O’Clock News bulletin on November 12th
Richard Metcalfe of Consolidated Developments invites Save TPA’s Henry Scott-Irvine and Alastair Choat to meet the structural engineers and the architects on November 19th at 4-6pm
The One Show shot in Tin Pan Alley on November 12th with Engelbert Humperdinck airs on BBC 1 on November 19th with Jools Holland joining in
THE WEST END EXTRA of November 14th and 21st November Engelbert Humperdinck spoke up for Denmark Street during his appearance on the BBC’s One Show “This is one street that must be saved!”, says Engelbert, while pleading with planners to “keep the music playing.” Henry Scott-Irvine, who has been organising the campaign, said: “He saw our campaign and wanted to come down and lend his support. “He used to spend time here in the 1960s and wants to preserve the legacy.”
WEST END EXTRA – November 14th & WEST END EXTRA – November 21st
THE LONDON CABBIES’ BLOG of 25 November writes a feature in support of the Save TPA Campaign http://www.cabbieblog.com/tin-pan-alley/
Amanda Peck – Head of Planning at The London Borough of Camden – unexpectedly resigns on November 30th, having previously told the campaign that she would be moving to “a different department within Camden council.” By the end of the month she is gone from Camden for good.
UNCUT of October 1st. Peter Watts provides a full magazine spread about “The battle to save Tin Pan Alley. the Crucible of British rock” … “This where British pop music began … it is such a significant part of our heritage says Henry Scott-Irvine”
KENSINGTON, CHELSEA & WESTMINSTER TODAY provides a full page spread by Max Feldman: “Tin Pan Alley Faces The Can”
THE GEORGIAN GROUP re-appraise and photograph every single aspect of 26 Denmark St (the 12 Bar Club) at the invitation of Save Tin Pan Alley Campaign. The full re-assessment leads to an upgraded ‘Grade 2 English Heritage Listing – With Full Description’, which is then fully re-instated by English Heritage. The interior of The Forge and the former bar area of the 12 Bar Club becomes fully protected from interior demolition as a result of this. Until Save TPA brought in The Georgian Group there was neither an ‘interior description’ nor protection of the said ‘interior’ from impending redevelopment.
THE GLIMMER OF HOPE Denmark Street Music Festival of October 26th features 15 bands on stage to include Little Barrie of Primal Scream, The Family McCoy (featuring former members of The James Taylor Quartet and Simply Red) alongside many bands emanating from the street’s music shops.The opening is televised for transmission on The BBC’s 6 ’O’clock News as reported by Alice Salfield who interviews campaign founder Henry Scott-Irvine. Promoters Alastair Choat and Save TPA’s Henry Scott-Irvine secured sponsorship from Relentless the soft drinks company who currently lease a building in the street. The entire event was videotaped by 6568 Films and three full performances made it to Youtube.
Alice Salfield reports for the BBC 1’s 6 O’Clock News of October 26th at ‘The Glimmer of Hope Festival’ Denmark Street with campaigner Henry Scott-Irvine and shop owner Anthony Macari
‘Glimmer of Hope Festival’
Howard & Clack
The Bermondsey Joyriders
Noel McKoy & The Family McKoy
The November Five
Felix Holt & The Radical
The Choir Of St Giles-In-Fields
WEST END END EXTRA of October 31st carries a full page spread on the Glimmer of Hope Street festival where 15 bands were “Playing for tax exemptions in Tin Pan Alley. Campaigner Henry Scott-Irvine said ‘the rates are already huge and they are likely to increase …’ It is (already) overpriced and overvalued here’ in Tin Pan Alley”
THE LONDON EVENING STANDARD of Friday September 12th Arts correspondent Louise Jury is the first journalist to tell London about the campaign’s “fight to ‘save’ Tin Pan Alley” and Ms Jury reports that the petition has reached 11,000 signatures.
THE WEST END EXTRA and THE CAMDEN NEW JOURNAL are the first London papers to indicate on behalf of the campaign that the internationally famous 12 Bar Club at 26 Denmark St is under imminent threat of closure. The venue’s leaseholders are continually “unavailable for comment”.
CLASSIC ROCK MAGAZINE of September 1st is the first national magazine to tell its readers that the 12 Bar Club at 26 Denmark St is under threat of closure following the campaign’s approaches to the monthly ‘zine.
A MEETING WITH CONSOLIDATED on September 17th saw the campaign’s Henry Scott-Irvine and Gary Lammin who are are invited to a four hour meeting with Consolidated Developments’ Richard Metcalfe and Lawrence Kirschell at their HQ in Soho.
The campaign enters into a dialogue with Richard Parrish at English Heritage citing its genuine concern for the preservation of The 12 Bar Club at 26, wondering if it’s Grade 2 protection is indeed sufficient, while also notably citing concerns for the 18th century Forge, to the rear, which houses the venue’s stage. The campaign also expresses its further concern regarding the former Sex Pistols’ rehearsal space and accommodation to the rear of 6 Denmark St, which had not been listed for conservation, despite the main front building being listed to Grade 2. An official approach is made
to list the outbuilding asap.
THE GREAT WEN of August 26th sees notable UNCUT MAGAZINE and GUARDIAN journalist Peter Watt’s ask , “Denmark Street and regeneration: slow death or triumphant rebirth?” The campaign’s Henry Scott-Irvine endeavours to answer some of the public’s responses to Peter’s excellent piece THE GREAT WEN – A BLOG by PETER WATTS
The Petition reaches 10,000 signatories. This enables the campaign’s Henry Scott-Irvine to enter into official dialogue with Camden Council’s Head of Planning, Amanda Peck. (A 10,000 signature criteria is set by Camden Council, before one gets access to The Planning Dept)
MUSIC INSTRUMENT PROFESSIONAL of June 12th carries a full page feature by campaign founder Henry Scott-Irvine citing concerns for Tin Pan Alley’s retail outlets and the potential ‘Disneyfication’ of the street in the wake of it being turned into chain shops, pop-up shops, luxury flats and boutique hotels. MIPRO – June 12th
MOJO MAGAZINE of June 13th takes up the story with a full page enquiring, “Is Denmark Street, London’s ‘Music Alley’, Under Threat?” MOJO – June 13th
Music journalist John Robb at www.LouderThanWar.com also champions the campaign with considerable aplomb across the media and later at Goldblade concerts.
The campaign is launched on May 7th by Henry Scott-Irvine following a spoken word night at the 12 Bar. By the end of the month, two Facebook pages are created: one for the 12 Bar Club (created by Dave Renegade) and one for Tin Pan Alley (created by Diane Greene) a website called http://savetpa.tk is template designed by Matthew Gaffen for and on behalf of the campaign, while an online petition is launched through Change.org by solicitor Debbie North and by rock musician Matthew Gaffen in order to lobby Camden Council to, “Preserve the heritage and integrity of Denmark Street, Tin Pan Alley and in particular the 12 Bar Club and to give the area the same special conservation status as Hatton Garden and Savile Row … Campaigners are asking for street to become special Music Business/Heritage Zone with rate exemptions for music related businesses”.
NME of May 13th reports that “Frank Turner has added his support to a petition seeking special conservation status for the Tin Pan Alley area of London … The street is home to a number of guitar shops as well as the Grade II listed 12 Bar Club music venue, where artists such as Jamie T started out, and which has hosted gigs from Jeff Buckley, The Libertines, Joanna Newsom and more. The venue was built in 1635 and originally used as a stable.” This feature kick started the entire campaign NME – May 13th
LOUDER THAN WAR John Robb said this on May 14th, “Denmark Street is under threat and we are part of group trying to do everything possible to stop that happening by raising awareness and petitioning Camden Council and English Heritage. Please share on your page that would help greatly to spread the word.” This feature kick started the entire campaign LOUDER THAN WAR – May 14th
THE WEST END EXTRA of May 23rd runs the first full page newspaper feature about the campaign’s desire “to save Tin Pan Alley from being turned into a theme park … Researcher and radio presenter Henry Scott-Irvine launched a petition last month, urging English Heritage and Camden Council to “preserve the heritage and integrity of Denmark Street …The Save Tin Pan Alley petition reads: “It is a unique place, with Grade II listing, and steeped in a history that should be preserved and maintained for future generations. Too many of London’s historical venues have been lost to developers or big businesses.” Mr Scott-Irvine (of the Save TPA campaign) said there should be “no more Disneyfication of London” or “another tacky Trocadero”. WEST END EXTRA – May 23rd
THE ARCHITECTS’ JOURNAL of January 15th 2013. Merlin Fulcher reports that “Orms Architects has submitted plans for an 800-seat underground venue behind London’s world famous music hotspot Denmark Street .Orms also reveals plans for an 800 capacity underground arena behind Centre Point.” This is the first feature to furnish the wider public with such information THE ARCHITECTS’ JOURNAL – January 15th 2013
The London Borough of Camden’s Planning Department headed by Ms Amanda Peck pass Consolidated Developments plans for the redevelopment of Denmark Place, Denmark Street, and St Giles High Street. Most of London sadly remains blissfully unaware of all that is about to take place in the wake of Crossrail until the advent of The Save Denmark St Campaign some 5 months later.
CHARCOALBLUE “have been appointed to provide specialist venue design services to Consolidated Group as they develop the NOW building, which lies at the heart of the site. The NOW building will be the London home of Outernet, a radical new technology-driven marketing, entertainment and information service housed in a super-flexible, digitally-enabled streetscape wrapped around the main exit from the new Tottenham Court Crossrail Station and spreading into Soho both through and beneath one city block. The development will also feature an 800 seat multi-purpose Event Gallery which will accommodate as broad a programme of events as possible, targeting the media, fashion, exhibition and conferencing markets.The Urban Gallery and the Event Gallery – LED screen technology and stage lighting, stage engineering and audiovisual systems are currently being designed by Charcoalblue”
The highlighted area blows the ever popular myth of a ‘new’ Rock Venue to replace The Astoria, The LA2, The Metro Club and The 12 Bar Club. No surprises there then! Charcoalblue also announce the huge new ‘Now Building’ and the ‘Outernet’ in December 2013
‘Charcoalblue also developed the site-wide Management Plan required as part of the planning process’
SAVE TPA’s PLEA TO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY WORLDWIDE
We are asking the music industry’s key figures to join us asap and that includes rock stars whose lives began in the street. You know who you all are. Actions speak louder than a few words on Twitter.
Let’s make Denmark Street a Music Mecca once again, filling every floor on both sides of the street. Let’s not allow Tin Pan Alley to become yet more anonymous ‘buy-to-leave’ flats and hotels, whether as a pretend hybrid of ‘Chateau Marmont’/Chateau Denmark Street or otherwise.
With demolition work starting in Denmark Place and St Giles High Street any day now, the demise of Denmark Street remains very much in the balance with further ‘Stage 2’ and ‘Stage 3’ Planning Amendment Applications due to head towards Ed Watson and Alex Bushell at Camden Council fairly soon. We will be monitoring and lobbying here.
Why should we save this street? This is why …
‘TIN PAN ALLEY’ – THE HOME OF BRITISH SONG WRITING & MUSIC PUBLISHING
Denmark St was always the home of British music publishing. International hits as diverse as Lambeth Walk (from the West End musical Me & My Gal) Lily Marlene (the English lyrics for Marlene Dietrich’s song) You’ve Gotta Pick A Pocket Or Two (from the Oscar winning musical Oliver) I’d like To Teach The World To Sing (the Coca Cola theme tune) Something’s Gotten A Hold Of My Heart (Gene Pitney, Marc Almond, Nick Cave) Fixing A Hole (The Beatles) Your Song (Elton John) and Paranoid (Black Sabbath) all began their life in Denmark St.
DENMARK STREET – THE BIRTHPLACE OF BRITISH ROCK ‘N’ ROLL
British Rock ‘n’ Roll began there, too, with manager Larry Parnes “Shilling & Pence” signing and naming Tommy Steele, Billy Fury and Marty Wilde in the street; the guitar shops followed at retail level, while the managers continued to reside there above the shops, including Larry Page (The Kinks) and Malcolm McLaren (The Sex Pistols) to name but two.
THE HOME OF LEGENDARY STRING ARRANGERS
Famous Denmark St arrangers such as Mike Leander penned the strings for Marianne Faithful’s version of the Jagger/Richards song As Tears Go By while Del Newman later provided orchestral arrangements for songs on Elton John’s seminal album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.
Come on folks join the 31,000 SIGN THE PETITION
The (full) Save Denmark Street Campaign Committee formed in January 2015
Paul Broadhurst – Music Officer, The Greater London Authority
Frank Dobson retired MP – Holborn & St Pancras
Nigel Elderton – MD Peer Music Group
Andrew Ellis – We Are Like Minds
Stuart Hornall – MD Hornall Brothers Publishing
Tom Kiehl – UK Music
James Ketchell – Music Heritage UK
Daniel Moore – BASCA
Jonathan Morrish – PPL
Sarah Osborn – retired Chief Exec. Music Publishers Assoc
Simon Platz – MD Bucks & Onwards Music Publishing
Phil Ryan – Co-founder of The 12 Bar and the Big Issue
Henry Scott-Irvine – Broadcaster, journalist, producer
David Stark – Songlink & PRS Board
Sir Keir Starmer MP QC – Holborn & St Pancras
George Turner – Reclaim London
Councillor Sue Vincent – Camden Council – St Giles-Holborn ward
Dave Webster – The Musicians Union
SUPPORT FROM THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF ‘THE MUSIC PUBLISHER’S ASSOCIATION
“Nigel Elderton kindly highlighted to me your current campaign to save Denmark Street. I’m pleased to say the MPA will be signing the petition and would like to offer our assistance in supporting the work you, Nigel and the team are doing. So this is a short note to introduce myself and let you know that we’ll be encouraging our members to sign the petition directly to. If there’s anything further that we can do though please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Thanks and best wishes”
Music Publishers Association