Friday, 26 June 2009

Black London Blues

There can't be too many LPs given over entirely to songs about London. There can't be too many blues LPs about London life. So Ram John Holder's Black London Blues is a very special record indeed. It's as rare as anything, and has yet to be salvaged, but if you use your imagination then you'll find a way to hear it.

Released on London independent Beacon (check out the Let's Copp A Groove collection on RPM)at the end of the '60s, it gives an insight into immigrant life in London, and indeed the life of many who were not well-off. Ram John would go on to become a much-loved actor, best known for his Porkpie character in the TV sitcom Desmond's, which also led to a spin-off series.

My personal favourite of the tracks on Black London Blues is Wimpy Bar Blues, which refers to the Edgware Road with a lovely account of Ram John whiling away the hours. It's easy to think of another song that mentions the Edgware Road and to imagine Kevin Rowland and his girl sitting at a nearby table holding hands ...

In the meantime we're heading south ...

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