There are niches, and then there are niches within niches within niches and while Paul Talling’s London’s Lost Music Venues would sit more than comfortably in one of the more fringe niches of the aforementioned gathering of the niches, it’s also a historical overview of the cultural and musical yesterdays of a city that’s rapidly being consumed by, and lost to, gentrification and “development”.
London’s Lost Music Venues is a photographic, and narrative, love letter to the clubs, bars and buildings, and the bands and artists who played them, that made London the centre of a thriving underground, and mainstream, twentieth century cultural explosion. Every venue is given the space it so richly deserves and its history noted and explored in this informative, and surprisingly compulsive, tome that illustrates just how much we’ve lost and continue to lose in the name of progress and ill-gotten gain and profit.
And if Talling’s book can make a grumpy old curmudgeon like me, who’ll happily tell you how much he dislikes London, get all misty eyed about the clubs and pubs of yesteryear where he saw far too many bands do their respective things, then you know there’s much more than meets the eye to this homage to the much missed hosts of yesteryears scene. Welcome to history… Tim Cundle