Thursday 13 August 2009

Somers Town

"You ask what's going down in Somers Town. I'm wearing my joker's crown in Somers Town ... " Out of one of the secret exits from Euston Station. Cross Eversholt St. Down Doric Way. Over Chalton Street. Enter the area known as Somers Town. The Jasmine Minks' Somers Town, along with Ghost Of A Young Man and Cold Heart, three Adam Sanderson songs recorded at the same time, oh god if only I had a pound for the number of times I played those songs. What was going down in Somers Town? Adam: "In the 80's Somers Town was a very run down area with high unemployment. The population was very mixed, with a large number of Irish, West Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi families living in the council housing. It bordered the very affluent Camden Town to the north. Much of the council properties were squatted by New Zealand skinheads, students from the nearby Slade Art School, strippers who worked in Soho, members of bands, dope heads, thieves, rent boys, dealers, would be actors and toffs slumming it, including a Viscount. The local pub was frequented by a mix of well knowns, including local members of Madness, Culture Club, Tim Roth, Tenpole Tudor and sometimes Vic Godard, who I think was living up by the Roundhouse at the time. Prostitutes from nearby Kings Cross used to come in for a drink while they were resting. There was always either a party or a fight going on somewhere. I lived there for a year and a half. One day someone poured a flammable liquid into the roof space of my block and lit it. The whole block burned down. I was able to enter my flat while embers dripped from the ceiling and grab one thing, which was my black Rickenbacker guitar. I lost my 1963 Vox AC30, all my physical possesions and my interest in living there."


  1. Flowered Up, baggy wannabees and producer of an absolute classic single in Weekender came from Somers Town.

  2. And I notice the whole of the Weekender film is on YouTube ...

  3. I lived in Somers Town from about '82 until '86 or so and it was, well, a riot. I'd like to share more stories of my time there but it's all a bit of a blur, which is probably a good thing ;-)

    1. hey come along to our somers town history club - we did a thing on Squatting - see

  4. The day of that fire ( I lived on the first floor with rest of my band The Sea Dogs) we had the cast of Dempsey and Makepeace on a coach eating lunch outside the block, literally just watching us trying to get our stuff out of the flats...
    One of the New Zealand skinheads (Bill) actually played keyboards in Microdisney for a bit...