As London gets ripped apart at the seams in the woeful quest for cash – the spiritually poorman’s index of success – rats are always close. The music industry is full of such scabied beasts. But it is on the blood of musicians that they feed. It’s do or die in this city, baby, and in a wilful promotional act to invest in keeping the heartbeat of our host pumping, like a fresh baby, there’s a secret lil space in the basement of Oxford Street that’s opened up.
Whether the basement of Selfridges can be a subversive act, this city is about the mullah, and there’s been some cash thrown on the laser entry, and TEM-space which aims to make a mega HD 3D environment to whore around social media for infinitesimal.
But – music venues across the UK are under threat by increasing rates and no mandatory council encouragement of culture. An estimated 40% of London’s music venues have closed, and in response Selfridges will become a venue for a series of musical collaborations from 20 July – 18 October as part of its new campaign, Music Matters at Selfridges.
The iconic retailer, famous for introducing retail theatre and extraordinary shopping experiences to the UK, will host events and collaborations with musical talent across all its stores in London, Manchester, Birmingham and online during the three-month-long campaign.
Selfridges’ Oxford Street will provide a platform for new music artists, in the Ultralounge, the world’s first in-store live music venue. Superstar creatives Skepta and A$AP Rocky will open and close Music Matters at Selfridges with global exclusive fashion-based concepts.
Anti-nostalgia is key to burgeoning scenes, burning what’s been before.
Cold Lips would poise the Q that digital space has replaced the physical need.
But at the launch event for the Ultralounge, a panel hosted by Cerys Matthews discussed their own takes on the regen quandary…
Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) suggests “UK could learn from international strategies of housing development always providing [cultural venues]”
“Labels were the lunatics running the asylum, [when I started in acid house],” James Lavelle, “Everything I’ve come from is from those clubs.”
“We like you being here – the restaurant next door – whatever – once these places are gone hey are never coming back…” Jeff Horton, 100 Club,
“The people in charge see it as being money because buzzy places can’t stay indie…when we got involved with Converse and Fred perry, we said ‘No Laurels in the 100 Club logos, mate’ and they got it…the point is – the current government will actually kill what makes London special.”
“I see lovely old venues turning into flats…” Cerys Matthews.
The Ultralounge runs till October 2nd –
· 20th July: New Gen: 67, NOT3S, RENZ
· 27th July: ELVØR, CHARLIE CUNNINGHAM
· 3rd August: UNKLE
· 10th August: RAYE, MABEL
· 17th August: VESSELS, Ten Fé, BEN PIERCE DJ
· 24th August: SHURA, PIXX
· 31st August: JOE GODDARD, AMA LOU, DJ ED ROSTAND
· 7th September: LAST NIGHT IN PARIS, HARE SQUEAD
· 14th September: ZULI, EL 3ezba
New Music Nights:
· 26th July: Tom Walker / Majik / Tayla
· 9th August: Kudu Blue / Croox / Frank Gamble
· 23rd August: Mullally / Joy Crookes / Callum Pitt
· 6th September: Sam Wills, Cameron Bloomfield, MAAD
· 13th September: Yassassin / Nova Twins / Animal Sons