Islington’s rich pop history celebrated in new series of podcasts

15:42 13 August 2014

Joe Meek in his Holloway Road studio in 1966. Pic: David Peters

Joe Meek in his Holloway Road studio in 1966. Pic: David Peters


The rich history of popular music in Islington is celebrated in new series of podcasts.

The Rainbow Theatre shortly after it closed in 1981The Rainbow Theatre shortly after it closed in 1981

From the pioneering producer of Holloway Road, Joe Meek, to the Rainbow Theatre, in Isledon Road, Finsbury Park’s iconic 70s rock venue, the broadcasts are designed reconnect today’s music lovers with the area’s notable past.

The three episodes are the first in a series call London’s Calling from Music heritage UK which goes onto the explore London’s pop history as a whole.

James Ketchell, founder of Music Heritage UK, said: “If there are any lessons to be learned from London’s Calling it is to encourage local people to look at the amazing history hidden just around the corner.

“The series is also a warning for the modern music industry.

“While venues might appear secure they can still be very shaky, they can disappear overnight just like the Rainbow.”

Islington’s place in the musical history books is more than established.

The Rainbow Theatre’s stage was where rock god Jimi Hendrix burnt his first guitar, and by the 1970s was one of the capital’s most famous venues welcoming the likes of Queen and Genesis on a regular basis.

The second episode of London’s Calling explores a 1976 gig at the Screen on the Green, in Islington Green, Islington called the Midnight Special. Credited with launching the careers of punk legends the Sex Pistols and The Clash, the night marked the beginning of the Punk revolution in British music.

The podcast features interviews from staff working behind the scenes at the event nearly 40 years ago and numerous anecdotes of the night’s raucous crowds which would go on to define the punk era.

To hear the podcasts, click here





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