© Rob Greig

 
 
 
 

London’s top ten lesser-known rock legends

Posted at 1:30 pm, March 4, 2013 in Music & Nightlife

1. Dubz and Bizzle feel uncharitable Charlton, 2010

You’re N-Dubz, you’re at a charity football match at Charlton Athletic organised by The Sun and you spot Lethal Bizzle, who you’re currently beefing with. You note the earnest faces of charity workers. You spy the journos salivating at the prospect of some celeb muck raking. What do you do? Lead your ten-man entourage into the fray, screaming, ‘WE’RE GONNA FACKIN’ DOOO YOOUUUU!’, of course.

2. Bob Marley has a kickabout Battersea Park, 1970s

The reggae legend used to trek south of the river from his home in Camden to play footie in Battersea Park when he wasn’t on tour, with the Wailers team making it their home ground. The cancer which killed him was discovered after one of an opposing team trod on his toe during a match. They were music journalists.

3. Niall gets nutted Battersea Park, 2012

Pop cutie pie Niall Horan tore a ligament in his knee while being chased by a squirrel in the same park. He apparently shouted ‘Oi! Nice rodent!’ just before the attack, spookily an anagram of ‘One Direction’. Dan Brown, where are you?

4. John meets Yoko Indica Gallery, 1966

In the swinging ’60s, Indica gallerybookshop in St James’s was the place to be. John Lennon was a regular, and the moment he clapped eyes on Yoko Ono’s conceptual exhibition entitled ‘Unfinished Paintings and Objects’, one of the most significant love affairs in music history began… Or as some people like to see it, the beginning of the end of The Beatles began. Not us, though, we’re all about the love, man.

5. The saxman cometh Islip Street School, 1980

Few bands evoke London like Madness, and it was at this Kentish Town primary school that they shot the career defining ‘Baggy Trousers’ video, which includes the moment saxophonist Lee Thompson unexpectedly took off and flew above the rest of the band. Overnight, pop videos got 200 percent better.

6. Dylan goes ninja Belsize Park, 1962

One bitterly cold winter, British folk guru Martin Carthy and his wife decided they would chop up an old piano for firewood. Bob Dylan, who was popping round for tea, was most alarmed to see Carthy hacking away at the joanna with a samurai sword he’d been given for his birthday. Shocked by this scant respect for a musical instrument, Dylan was reassured it was just junk, at which point the sensitive troubadour asked, ‘Can I have a go?’

7. The Lizard King lands The Roundhouse, 1968

On September 6 and 7 1968 The Doors played their only ever UK gigs. The second night was celebrated as one of their best live shows, and was captured for Granada Television’s ‘The Doors Are Open’. The stellar performance of ‘Light My Fire’ was supposedly inspired by going round to Martin Carthy’s for tea.

8. The Virgin empire gets going Oxford St, 1971

Before Richard Branson was ‘that bloke in the broadband adverts’, he was ‘the bloke with the beard who owns Virgin Records’. He started it as a small mail-order business but when a postal strike, erm, struck, he decided to open the first Virgin Records shop. Customers were treated to comfy beanbags, free coffee, music papers and the chance to wig out to groovy sounds on headphones without the staff hustling them out. Beat that, iTunes!

9. Lewis gets lamped Piccadilly, 2009

A man queued for nearly five hours to punch ‘X Factor’s Leona Lewis in the side of the head while she was signing copies of her autobiography ‘Dreams’ in Waterstones, leaving her crying and distraught. Her next single was ‘Happy’, which included the line, ‘So what if it hurts me?’

10. Shane drops in for a drink Time Out Towers, 2008

Time Out editor Tim Arthur arrived at work at 6am one morning to find two homeless men sitting in the doorway of the building enjoying a tipple. On closer inspection he realised that one was none other than Shane MacGowan, erstwhile singer of The Pogues. ‘Shane, can I help you?’ he asked.

‘How do you know who I am?’

‘Because you’re Shane MacGowan.’ ‘Am I?’ MacGowan asked, getting to his feet.

‘I know this place, don’t I?’

‘It’s Time Out.’

‘Never heard of it. Yes I have. Am I here for an interview?’

‘Not that I know of.’ MacGowan and his pal then made their way to the kerb and hailed a cab to Camden, after borrowing a fiver for the fare.

Read more music news at timeout.com/music.

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