A new interactive walking tour of London’s iconic Carnaby Street has been created to reveal its hidden musical heritage. Starting in September, the Carnaby Echoes project, the brainchild of artist Lucy Harrison, looks at the vibrant behind-the-scenes history of this fashion favourite.
Carnaby Echoes takes visitors, via a walking tour app and specially commissioned commemorative plaques, through the streets surrounding Carnaby Street, detailing everything from the 1913 opening of Jazz club Murray’s on Beak Street, right through to the present day, with the street having seen impromptu performances by Kanye West at Deal Real’s record shop and street performances from Professor Green.
The project focuses on how music is connected to the buildings there and contributors who have shared their memories with the artist include 1980s pop and fashion icon, Boy George, and The Who’s axeman, Pete Townshend.
Carnaby Street has inspired music styles in the capital, including jazz, reggae, rhythm and blues, rock and hip hop through the years; and has seen generations of highly regarded musicians and their fans flock to feel part of the scene. Music legends, from Tom Jones through to the Small Faces, and onto the Sex Pistols and The Jam, have graced these streets. Although many won’t have had the pleasure of strolling down the road alongside a cheetah like Tom Jones did! It also remains one of London’s hippest shopping and dining destination after ten decades of trend setting.
So if you have been inspired to live your life like a rock star when you stay in London; here are our top 5 London hotels to help you do just that.
1. The Savoy
This is the hotel to stay in for a sprinkling of stardust from real rock royalty. Folk and rock legend, Bob Dylan, loved the hotel so much he actually filmed his famous Subterranean Homesick Blues video in the nearby alley. Recently Welsh singing superstar Tom Jones stayed there for a stint while he was filming The Voice for the BBC.
Guitar hero, Jimi Hendrix, used The Cumberland as a bolt-hole in 1970 to escape from the rigours of touring, including his famous appearance at the Isle of White festival. Such is the connection between the two, the hotel created a special Jimi Hendrix suite in 2010 to mark the 40th anniversary of the rock legends death.
Bringing us bang up-to-date is songstress Rihanna, who has stayed at The Corinthia during her concert appearances in the capital. Despite staying in luxury surroundings the Caribbean cutie has shown her more down-to-earth side during her London stays, by travelling to and from her sell-out gigs by tube!
This five-star hotel near Hyde Park has been home to the likes of singers, Christina Aguilera and Lily Allen, along with rapper and film star, Will Smith.
When One Direction are in town you can be sure that the “Directioners'” will know exactly where they are staying at. They recently held the wrap party for the premiere of their on-tour documentary film; “This Is Us” at the hotel.
Essential Carnaby Echoes information
Where is it?: The exhibition is in 20 Foubert’s Place, London W1.
When is it on?: It runs from September 5 to October 20 in 2013.
What can I expect?:Free entry and free headphones for each visitor. The exhibition will show archive material related to many of the locations including original clothing from The Foundry store, club signs and vintage vinyl. Visitors will be able to pick up a free copy of a limited edition publication and listen to music relating to the project via two bespoke retro listening booths. Films will also be screened on a daily basis.
Getting there: Nearest tube is Oxford Circus
Get the App:
Download the free app via carnabyechoes.com, the App Store or Google play for Android phones from September 2.