All that Thomas Horace Whitmer wants to do with the rest of his life is satta on Shacklewell Green. Born in the village of the shackled well in 1950 and living along the busy Pentonville Road in Islington for more than 40 years,Tom still visits the old village green on a regular basis, thinking hard & smoking furiously.

Fictional characters mingle with real people in this novel as Thomas Horace Whitmer, writer and proofreader for the music weekly … 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 & whores. He scrapes a living by selling marijuana, shoplifting, cat burglary & 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 Stokes, who lives in Dalston, in Hackney; & a middle-aged man called Marvin Cohen, the owner of a second hand record shop in Lower Cut, Waterloo.

Their lives intertwine with that of the Gypsy.  Spanning more than 60 years, the book discusses the London riots that … More

Born OTD in 1932, Jamaican record producer who was influential in the development of ska and reggae in the 1950s, 60s & beyond. Clement Seymour “Sir Coxsone” Dodd. In 1959 he founded a record company called World Disc. In 1962 he produced the Jazz record “I cover the waterfront” on the Port-O-Jam label, two of the musicians who played on the album, Roland Alphonso & Don Drummond became founding members of the Skatalites one year later. In 1963 he opened Studio One on Brentford Road, Kingston. It was the first black-owned recording studio in Jamaica. He held regular Sunday evening auditions in search of new talent, and it was here that Dodd auditioned Bob Marley, singing as a part of The Wailers.

“The rivalries between the sound systems, especially Prince Buster and Coxsone Dodd, was to produce many records, quite apart from … 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