Sex, pubs & rock’n’roll – King’s Cross has it all, and so much more … from a fish-&-chip shop once bugged by MI5 to London’s most enduring radical bookshop. Inside the main line station, there’s the magic of platform 9¾ … and just outside, the every bit as magical Keystone Crescent. The locality has a lighthouse, a Welsh tabernacle where services are now conducted in Amharic, social housing with a fairy-tale feel, a canal-side well built to store huge blocks of Norwegian ice, and a cruising club based in a water point which once supplied steam trains.

The area has been repeatedly re-branded ever since the 1820s, when the cinder heaps of Battlebridge were given the more … More

London is in a state of constant transformation, layer upon layer built up over centuries of destruction and reconstruction. There is so much change all around us that we scarcely notice it, but among the areas now vanished and forgotten are some of the city’s most famous, and infamous, neighbourhoods.

  Vanished City takes us to ten areas, well-known in their day,which have disappeared from the A-Z. Each chapter tells … More

Penny Pepper has led an extraordinary life. She is a writer. Poet. Punk. Pioneer. Activist. And she also happens to be disabled. In her absorbing memoir, which spans the mid-80s up until the millennium, Penny paints a picture of life, love, sex, music, success, failure and misadventures in the UK punk scene of the late 20th century. Craving freedom from the poor Chiltern Hill council estate where she grew up, Penny dreams of moving to London, of writing, of finding her way in the North London music scene.

She doesn’t have what others take for granted; she is disabled. And she sets out with just her raw, burgeoning … More

Spike the Gypsy is a man for all seasons, that is, except for August Bank Holiday weekends. He arrives in London from Kingston, Jamaica at the beginning of the 1950’s & lives in a slum tenement owned by the infamous landlord Peter Rachman at St Stephens Gardens in Ladbroke Grove. The Gypsy knows people from all over London: musicians from jazz clubs, high class society women, politicians for whom he performs small services, drug dealers and whores. He scrapes a living by selling marijuana, shoplifting, cat burglary and intermittent bouts of gambling.

Other prominent characters are the journalist Betty Hayes, who works on the Tottenham & Wood Green Journal; an ingenuous adolescent named Frank … More

Another new release due tomorrow. ” The impact of global capital & foreign investment on local communities is being felt in major cities across the world. Since the 2012 Olympics was awarded to the British capital, East London has been at the heart of the largest & most all-encompassing top-down urban regeneration strategy in civic history. At the centre of this has been the local government, Newham Council, & their daring proposal: an “Arc of Opportunity” for developers to transform 1,412 hectares of Newham.”

This proposal was outlined in a short film, London’s Regeneration Supernova, and shown to foreign developers and businesses at the … More

Born OTD in 1948, Kenney Jones. As drummer with the Small Faces, Faces & later The Who, Kenney Jones’ unique sense of rhythm was the heartbeat that powered three of the most influential rock bands of all time. Beginning in London’s post-war East End, Kenney’s story takes us through the birth of the Mod revolution, the mind-bending days of the late-1960s and the raucous excesses of the 70s & 80s.

In a career spanning six decades, Kenney was at the epicentre of many of the most exciting moments in music … More

No London neighbourhood more resembles the restless downstream tide of the Thames than the ragged square mile of Soho. Ask the people who live there, like Christine Yardley, drag queen by night & grey-suited accountant by day; or Len Gates, self-appointed Soho historian & bore; or Jenny Wise, former starlet & now resident lush in the New Kismet club…

  Down into this human rabbit warren one evening slips Alex Singer, a student from Leeds in pursuit of his … More