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Thursday, 21st Aug 2014
Pictured above, “Amy Winehouse” by Horace Panter
The Amy Winehouse Foundation has recently launched a new and innovative project, targeted towards young people from the Borough of Camden that aspire to work in the music industry. The Foundation strives to help young people in need, already giving support to many young people through various schemes and programmes.
Camden Music Works – supported by the Amy Winehouse Foundation - sees 10 young people aged 18-24 who are not in full-time employment, education or training, embark on a 6-week long scheme designed to provide individuals with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to gain a successful career in the music world.
The scheme has partnered with iconic labels and companies such as Camden Lock Market Ltd, Tower 47, MTV, Island Records and Black Butter Records - home of Fred Perry Sub-Culture alumni Clean Bandit, Gorgon City, Bi-Polar Sunshine and Joel Compass.
With this project, The Amy Winehouse Foundation hopes to open barriers for individuals by gaining the right experience to increase their chances of beginning a career in an industry they are passionate about.
Camden is an area of London that has strong links with the music. Going back to the mid-60’s, a disused railway yard was turned into a counter-culture landmark - the infamous Camden Roundhouse – still very much a relevant music venue today.
Over the course of a decade, the Roundhouse became a significant venue for UK underground music events, as well as staging some of the most experimental, controversial and memorable performances of the 60’s. Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, The Clash, and the Sex Pistols are just some of the acts who performed there.
The following decade saw a number of new venues spring up, including several that continue to this day. “Dingwells” (1973), “The Music Machine” (aka Camden Palace) (1977) and the “Electric Ballroom” (1978).
Meanwhile, pubs like “The Falcon”, “Dublin Castle”, “Monarch” and “The Hawley Arms” also began putting on gigs. Amy Winehouse herself was a regular at both the Monarch and the Hawley Arms, where she often performed or played DJ sets. These venues and their openness to music continued to cultivate and diversify the Camden underground music scene.
New audiences were flocking to Camden with the likes of “The Underworld” - a predominantly punk, metal and hard-rock venue and the “Jazz Café” (1990), which was one of Amy’s favourite venues to perform in. Her love for Jazz and Soul were prominent in her music, influenced by Dinah Washington and Thelonious Monk.
In the 70s and 80s, Camden Lock Market was a mecca for subcultural clothing. From Punk to New Romantics, Mod to Skinhead, Camden immediately stood out from other London markets for its eclectic personality that ran counter to mainstream fashion. The stalls have expanded and diversified with time and still provide some of the most individual clothing Britain has to offer.
Camden’s deep music and counter culture heritage make it a natural fit to cement Amy’s legacy and nurture a new generation of musicians. Especially, as the area was so close to Amy’s heart.
Thanks to Horace Panter – www.horacepanterart.com
View our new season Amy Winehouse Foundation collaboration online here > http://bit.ly/1nHklTW
Friday, 4th Jul 2014
Britain dominated the world of lawn tennis in the mid 1930s. For three years, Fred Perry was the undisputed world number one, winning a string of major titles and a hat-trick of Wimbledon titles through 1934-1936.
Today, Fred Perry holds an iconic status. With his victories embedded in history along with his incredibly successful sportswear brand, his legacy is immensely influential to this day.
Born Frederick John Perry on 18 May, 1909, in Stockport. His father Sam was a cotton spinner who worked for the local Co-operative Party, and was summoned to London to work full-time at the party HQ. Fred attended Ealing County School, London and it was there that he was introduced to the world of table tennis.
Fred practiced the game every night and in 1928, he had won the world championship. At which point, he retired from the sport to concentrate on his new obsession – lawn tennis.
He had discovered the game whilst on a family holiday in Eastbourne four years earlier. Stumbling upon a local tournament, he was curious to who the cars parked near the courts belonged to; the spectators or the players? When his father replied ‘the players’, Fred declared that he would become one himself. At the time, tennis belonged to the upper classes, and this was an audacious statement from a working class boy from Stockport.
Fred began training under one Pop Summers, who insisted that he master the art of returning the ball early. It was the only stroke Fred practiced for months. Finally, it integrated into his natural game play and began to devastate his opponents.
Fred Perry’s domination of British tennis began in 1933. He helped lead the Great Britain team to victory over France in the Davis Cup, the first victory in 21 years. The following year he won the Australian Open.
It was 1934 when Perry got his first Wimbledon title. Triumphing over Australian Jack Crawford in the men’s singles, he still faced many who saw him as “not one of us”. Journalists watching him defeat Crawford commented on the “strange lack of excitement” among spectators. Fred’s elation at taking the title turned to anger when he overheard a Wimbledon committee member talking to Crawford after the match, exclaiming, “This is one day when the best man didn’t win”.
Despite the social prejudice, Fred Perry went on to have his name inscribed on three consecutive Wimbledon titles, as well as major singles trophies in France, United States and Australia. Suffocated by the stifling class system and prejudice, within the English lawn tennis association, Fred left Britain to help form the professional tennis circuit in America. Leaving British tennis with a void it struggled to fill for many decades.
The 80 Year Signature Collection, was released on the 6th July, 80 years to the day that Fred Perry first triumphed at Wimbledon. See it online here.
Tuesday, 1st Apr 2014
A unique season of films opens at the BFI this Friday, celebrating the rise of DIY films that emerged as an aftershock of the punk movement. Focusing on work from the early 80s, This is Now includes a selection of rare Super8 and 16mm films, many of which have been out of circulation for 30 years. Fred Perry collaborator Don Letts will be showcasing some of his original Super8 footage of British punk bands, including The Slits and Public Image Limited on Saturday 12th April.
Other featured filmmakers include the artist Grayson Perry and pop video directors Sophie Muller and Tim Pope. By producing independent VHS tapes, the filmmakers managed to bypass censors and create a cheap yet impactive new medium. Many artists became friends, developing new techniques and styles whilst squatting in flats together and enjoying the post-punk club scene. The BFI will host a salon discussion on the 14th April, with many of the filmmakers in attendance to talk through their work.
Find out more on the BFI website.
This is Now - Film and Video After Punk will run from the 4th - 17th April.