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Radio LBB: For the Love of Soho

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Curved Arrow and Mcasso's Oliver Jay prepares for Soho Music Month with a playlist paying homage to London's famous hedonistic underbelly

Radio LBB: For the Love of Soho

There is nowhere in the world quite like London's Soho.

It's perhaps the most musically diverse square mile on the planet, and considering Soho Music Month is just around the corner, I felt it would be fitting to pay homage to a place I've been lucky enough to get to know in recent years.

The history of the music is intrinsically linked to the hundreds of bars, clubs and studios that opened their doors to musicians and fans from all walks of life. From the Shim Sham Club (Ike Hatch) in the 1930s, to the places we know today - I've created a playlist just scratching the surface of London's famous hedonistic underbelly.

Many of the tracks included are from artists who have graced the most influential spaces in the area. Skiffle at the 2i's in the 1950s (The Vipers), the iconic Marquee club (Jimi Hendrix), Trident Studios on St. Anne's Court (David Bowie), the world famous Ronnie Scott's (Dizzy Gillespie / Zara MacFarlane), Regent Sounds Studios on Denmark Street (The Beatles), Rhythm & Blues at the Flamingo Club (Georgie Flame), Punk at the 100 Club (Siouxsie and the Banshees / Subway Sect), Calypso at the Jig's Club (Cyril Blake), and (Ain't Nothin' But) The Blues at the recently reopened Blues Bar on Kingly Street (Jerimiah Marques).

Other tracks are inspired by moments, scenes and movements in Soho - most prominently being the epicentre of London's LGBTQ+ scene for hundreds of years (George Michael / Grace Jones / Pet Shop Boys / Dina Carroll / The Kinks - Lola), the UK's home of Musical Theatre (Oliver! / Jersey Boys), Pulp's Bar Italia inspired by the after-hours culture at the Frith Street café, the 60s Mod scene (The Jam), Bhangra at the Wag Club (Yaar Mera Pyar), where Fela Kuti formed his first band Koola Lobitos (later renamed as Africa 70), and quite bizarrely Born Slippy Nuxx being written following Underworld's Karl Hyde ordering comedian Bill Bailey to get him a lager at the Ship on Wardour Street.

It's an eclectic mix for an eclectic part of the world - hope you can enjoy, and maybe stumble upon a piece of Soho history you hadn't heard before.

Oliver Jay is music supervisor at Curved Arrow / Deputy MD at Mcasso

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Mcasso, Tue, 29 Jun 2021 09:20:00 GMT