London’s Denmark Street – aka Tin Pan Alley – the epicentre of the capital’s music heritage, currently under threat from developers – is to be immortalised in a new documentary.
Henry Scott-Irvine, Chairman-Founder of the SAVE DENMARK STREET CAMPAIGN, has been in touch with Vive Le Rock to update us on current events and the upcoming film.
“Save Denmark Street as a campaign has had some significant successes. We have gained upgraded Historic England status at three addresses. 6 Denmark St – where the Sex Pistols lived, rehearsed and recorded their early demos in the out building to the rear – is now ‘Grade 2 Star’ listed since March 22nd 2016. Notably, Hipgnosis the album sleeve design company for albums by Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin was also based at 6 in the main listed building. Next door at 7 is also protected to ‘Grade 2 Star’ and 26 the former 12 Bar Club has seen The Old Forge (or Smithy) stage moved, while a new 200 standing-room-only venue is built beneath it. This will reside above an ‘Event Gallery’ or multipurpose underground 2000 capacity venue if old Denmark St north can withstand all the digging under it, because Crossrail itself also goes beneath both venues.
“Meanwhile, the music shops and some music spaces above now have new protections granted under an ‘S106 Deal’ that we influenced. This was signed-off between Camden Planning Depts. and Consolidated Developments in July 2015 and extended in July 2016. So we are now calling for the Street to become a ‘Music Heritage Zone’, but thus far both Camden Council and The GLA’s Music Officers have been resistant to this idea, which we will continue to tout for vociferously.
“Tin Pan Alley Tales – The Film is a documentary project currently in pre-production. The film will be a chronology of this unique street, spanning some 300 yards and some 300 years. Presented as an urban Canterbury Tales our 75 minute film will be told by approximately 12 key characters that have had an historic association with Denmark Street. Expect exclusive untold tales pertaining to David Bowie, The Small Faces, Marc Bolan, Black Sabbath, The Rolling Stones, The Sex Pistols, amid secret histories outside of music but from within the street itself. These ‘Tin Pan Alley Tales’ will feature alongside those key characters who’ve either lived or worked in Britain’s only music street.
“Denmark Street is formed of some 28 addresses and was affectionately known as Tin Pan Alley – the home of British music publishing and song writing from 1911 until 1991. It was originally named after its Manhattan counterpart. Since then it has continued to be a home of 2 venues, 11 music shops, guitar makers, guitar repairers, rehearsal spaces, agents, producers, studios, and production companies.
“Since we started running the ‘Save Tin Pan Alley Campaign’ the true ‘unsung heroes’ of Tin Pan Alley – the musicians, the technicians and the people behind-the-scenes – have come out of the woodwork, out of history and out of retirement to approach us. People that would be very hard to find in any other circumstance have literally come forward from across the globe. They’re saying, “We want to be in your film!” And we have them here now. They’re ‘Ready, Willing, and Able’. And so are we, but we need your donations!
For more on the campaign visit http://tinpanalleytales.co.uk/