George Peckings standing behind the counter at Peckings Records

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Tour recognises black music history in H&F

A tour commemorating the trailblazers of black musical history has been set-up in Hammersmith & Fulham to recognise the local people and places that formed our culture.

From Bob Marley to Labi Siffre, from the former Palais to the Odeon, all via the UK’s first importer of Jamaican ska music, the borough has been central to the history of black music in the UK.

Hammersmith & Fulham black music history trail logo

“We want to recognise the people, the places and the music which have told the story of the black British experience over generations in the borough,” said Cllr Sue Fennimore, Deputy Leader of H&F Council.

“Now we want to add your memories and musical moments to our trail – to help it grow, and share those moments in history with the wider world.”

The tour, launched to mark Black History Month 2019, takes in a number of key musical history sites in the borough. And those who follow it around the streets can be led by an online tour guide, complete with the sounds that created the legends.

  • Visit the Shepherds Bush birthplace of Labi Siffre and consider the role his lyrics to (Something Inside) So Strong played in the downfall of Apartheid in South Africa.
  • See the Hammersmith venue where Bob Marley played his most influential six-gig residence, as well as the recording studio where he laid down tracks for album Exodus, on his way to becoming one of the icons of the 20th Century.
  • Browse through the latest imports, and local releases, at the first business ever to import the music of the Caribbean to the UK – still going strong in Shepherds Bush almost 70 years later.
  • Check-out the places where some of the most important live concert recordings in music history were made – from Public Enemy, to Toots and the Maytals, to Thin Lizzy.

“Black history is obviously about far more than just music,” added Cllr Fennimore. “But through these stories we hope to reflect the way black culture from, and on, these streets helped irreversibly change so many aspects of the history and culture of the world.”

The tour is open to anyone, any time of day, and is a work in progress – the intention is for it to grow, as people submit their own stories about the black music heroes and venues of the borough.

Join the black music history trail

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