Monday, 14 December 2009

Portobello Road ... take three

"People raising hands to bid. Taking off the top and seeing what's been hid. Wrapping paper on the ground. Screaming children showing off the things they've found ..." sings Billy Nicholls in his Portobello Road. I think I'm right in saying Billy was actually from the area (well, White City ...) which seems unusual for someone who's written a song about the market. The song comes from his Immediate LP Would You Believe, a record that for all the usual reasons vanished from the radar on its release but gradually acquired a cult following. Now it's rightfully regarded as a classic piece of pop psychedelia with some lovely lush arrangements. It includes another wonderful London song in London Social Degree, which the astute will know the lovely Dana Gillespie did a great cover version of on her fantastic Foolish Seasons set. And here's Billy with a familiar voice in the background ...


  1. I love what you're doing.

    Had a quick trawl through the South East London posts and didn't see this...

    But, then maybe I didn't see it because it IS pretty dreadful. Still, Joe Brown, Sid James, the Thames and the excellent line "the 'appy laughin' razor-slashed faces of the people I love"!

  2. Dreadful? Sacrilege Boz! A work of art that is. Did feature it a while back ... who could resist it? Thanks for the kind comments!