Here’s the latest Marky Monday video with all you need to know about the Red Room gig on Friday 20th July 2018.
“Separated by a wall and 200 years are the homes of two musicians who chose London and changed music” reads the pamphlet presented to us as we walk into the back entrance of 25 Brook Street,Mayfair. Central London. Its’s true, George Fredric Handel, the Baroque composer, took up residence at the building in 1723 and Jimi Hendrix moved into 23 Brook Street in 1968. Though by that time, Handel wasn’t living next door!
The first two floors are made up of a number of rooms filled with Handel memorabilia. A composition room with books of manuscript exampling different works from Handel’s life and time in London. His bedroom, adorned with paintings (he was apparently an avid collector) with a luxurious bed better made than mine has ever been! My favourite part though was the concert room, which houses a Harpsichord. An early keyboard instrument and ancestor of the Piano, the harpsichord has small plectrums which pick the strings instead of hammers. They were always beautifully painted and this one was no exception. It’s got a very distinctive sound with the potential to sound very jolly and bright on the top notes and dark and haunting with low chords.
Up a set of creaky and uneven stairs, you’re then transported from the 1700’s to the Swinging 60’s of London. A fair sized flat which Jimi Hendrix and his girlfriend called home in the late 60’s. It’s now covered in pictures, quotes and video screens. There are lists of Hendrix’s personal LP collection (Which included some Handel!) and the dates of a lot of Jimi’s tour dates. There was even a piece of a guitar which Jimi had smashed up at the end of a gig (pictured above). Rock n Roll! Through a doorway was our second bedroom of the day. A faithful recreation of a fairly messy (that’s more like it!) Jimi’s room. Complete with a low double bed, old rotary telephones, record player, old 60’s rugs and countless ashtrays filled with cigarette butts. We then boarded a real old London Routemaster bus from 1965 which drove us towards West London whilst blasting Hendrix all the way. On the way we passed his last registered address and the Hotel in where he died!
We finished the tour at The Troubadour, a historic venue in Earls’s court where we were treated to a set of Jimi Hendrix songs virtuosically performed by Kaleb McKane. One helluva guitarist!
I’m inspired by all different kinds of music, and love hearing about music from all around he world. My manager and friend Adrian introduced me to the Swedish band The Ark. A band with quite an extensive and productive career. They were founded in 1991, but it would be the best part of ten years before they found both a stable line up and any recording success. Between 2000 and 2011 they released six albums and became a very accomplished live band, playing in front of huge crowds headlining in Sweden and supporting The Darkness on their 2006 UK tour. Adrian, however tells me of a time he got to see them perform to a mainly Swedish crowd in a small venue in Camden (see photo).
I think The Arc are a great example of a great band. The songs are both melodic and punchy. Check out “Clamour For Glamour” for an excellent rock track you’ll be humming for days. The production on their records is clear and their lead singer, Ola Salo is an example of a wonderful showman. Other songs I like are “A Virgin Like You” a cynical, almost cabaret-rock song which will have you bopping in your seat merrily. Their biggest hit “Calleth you, Cometh I” is an epic stadium-esque song is an admission of love despite time that has passed. There is also a beautiful version online of Ola singing it slowed down with a string orchestra. Check them out!