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Wednesday, 22nd Oct 2014
As night falls, London’s Soho district becomes alive and exciting, all dark narrow streets and neon lights.
Our recently launched Soho Neon by Fred Perry collection takes direct influence from the streets, history and neon signs of Soho.
As the long-time nightlife hub of Central London, Soho has always been a spot for subcultures to gather and entwine.
One night, we took to the streets ourselves to discover the area that inspired the collection…
Bar Italia. Long-time favourite Mod hang-out and Soho destination, marked by the iconic Bar Italia neon clock sign. Find out more about the origins of the Bar Italia clock, and many other Soho neon signs HERE
Find your nearest Fred Perry Authentic Store.
Thanks to Bar Italia Soho
Thursday, 16th Oct 2014
Tuesday, 9th Sep 2014
Pictured, the Crown Sweater, part of our Bella Freud X Fred Perry collaboration
We recently launched our AW14 Blank Canvas collaboration with British knitwear designer Bella Freud for our Laurel Wreath Women’s Collection. With the Bella Freud X Fred Perry collection heavily influenced by reggae and dancehall music we recently met up with Gio Di Stasio - DJ and promoter of East London-based Reggae, Rocksteady and Ska night “One Stop” to find out more about the scene that gave inspiration to the collection.
Gio Di Stasio pictured above DJing at “One Stop”
Originally from Rome – Italy, Gio initially got into reggae music through the Italian Mod scene - he heard Reggae, Rocksteady and Ska played alongside R&B, Soul and 60s and started to investigate further – “It started me off buying records. The scene wasn’t always huge back home, so everybody would come together on the Mod scene and it helped me to discover different music”.
Moving over to London in 2004, Gio discovered a broader scene with more variety compared to what he was used to – “London is a huge city, with so much history behind it. The Caribbean community moving over to England in the 1960’s meant a much wider scope for access to reggae music. Not just in London – but in places like Birmingham and the North too. Meeting and talking to people you discover new music and things, my record collection started to grow”.
Gio soon started to DJ on and off in Italy from the late 90’s to through the early 00’s, guesting at nights but never quite establishing a regular night.
Over the last few years he has come back to DJing in London, and soon started to look for venues to start a night of his own – “It can be tough to get venues to take new nights on at first. The weekends are the busiest time, and Friday and Saturday nights are when venues want guaranteed crowd pleasers to make sure they are busy.”
Ridley Road is a famous market street located right in the centre of East London’s Dalston area. Ridley Road Market has strong roots within the East London West Indian community, famous for selling exotic produce from around the world. Ridley Road Market Bar located right in the middle of Ridley Road seemed like an ideal venue to approach with the possibility of starting a Reggae, Rocksteady and Ska night says Gio – “I always lived in Dalston since I moved to London in 2004, and it’s amazing how the area I live in has both today, and in the past a very strong connection with reggae music.
Back in the 60’s Ridley Road Market had a large West Indian population and record shops were very popular in the area as well. “Muzik City”, one of the first record stores in London was originally located on Ridley Road – “Muzik City” had direct links to the prolific reggae label “Trojan Records”. There was also a “Roy Shirley’s” shop on Birkbeck Road, “The R&B Record Shop” (owned by Rita and Benny King) in nearby Stamford Hill, “The Four Aces Club” on Dalston Lane and many other places where music (reggae in particular) were a key aspect of life.
For me being Italian - and therefore coming from a different background - it seems amazing to be able to run my own night in London, a night which is now getting recognition from people that have being doing these things for a long time”.
Gio was soon offered the choice between a Thursdays or a Sunday night slot at Ridley Road Market Bar. Choosing Sunday’s “One Stop” was soon born, and runs every second Sunday – “So far it’s going really well. We’ve been going nearly a year now and the night seems to get bigger every time. Reggae nights aren’t all about the dancing, it’s more about the music and the atmosphere, and I think “One Stop” has a really good atmosphere about it.
Running the night takes a lot of effort too, as I do everything by myself - all promotion, the design for flyers, planning everything - but there’s nothing as rewarding as seeing people coming down to my night and having fun, truly appreciating the energy and passion that I put into it”.
Every month has a different guest DJ from inside the community – Sammy D played most recently. Gio says “running a night can be really competitive. London is a huge city with so much choice. I’m really pleased “One Stop” has had a good run so far. Ideally I’d like to it run for many years, becoming a regular fixture on the scene”.
We asked Gio for his Top 5 favourite records to DJ, a task he didn’t find easy – “I don’t really have a top 5 as such as I like loads of tunes and always try to discover new ones - I like to say that the best tunes are the ones I don’t have yet.
Some tunes that I always enjoy playing are:
The Viceroys – Promises
Delroy Wilson – Somebody has stolen
Don Drummond – Smiling
The Paragons – Memories by the score
The Kingstonians – Put down your fire
Thanks to Gio and http://www.camillacandidadonzella.it/ for images
See the Bella Freud X Fred Perry collaboration online HERE