Sunday, 2 May 2010
"Down the way from the Tottenham Court Road. Just round the corner from old Soho. There’s a place where the publishers go. If you don't know which way to go, just open your ears and follow your nose. 'Cos the street is shakin' from the tapping of toes. You can hear that music play anytime on any day. Every rhythm, every way ..." sings Ray Davies at the start of Denmark Street, from The Kinks' Lola vs The Powerman set, one of their criminally under-celebrated '70s collections. I'm sure there are many reasons for it but Ray's songs from that time were often about the pop process. Denmark Street in many ways was central to the old pop industry as the UK's tin pan alley, home to many publishers and haunt of many more aspiring songwriters, singers and musicians. This Pathe-News film from 1951 captures the spirit of the street nicely through a rather rose-coloured lens, but I like this period where things are almost caught in limbo between the dance bands and rock 'n' roll.