Save Denmark Street
Music Heritage UK is proud to be supporting the campaign to save Denmark Street, also known as London's "Tin Pan Alley".
London's Denmark Street should require no introduction. The street became known for housing numerous music publishers, which is why the street is known as Britain's "Tin Pan Alley", before being replaced in the 1960s with music shops and independent recording studios.
Denmark Street was home to Regent Sounds Studio which saw recording sessions by the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Mott the Hoople, and Black Sabbath. Meanwhile musicians like The Small Faces, David Bowie and Marc Bolan socialised at the Gioconda Cafe and Elton John got his first job in music on the street. The Sex Pistols lived in a flat above a studio where they recorded their first songs/demos at Number 6. In 2011, graffitti by the Sex Pistols was rediscovered on site.
In 1994, 12 Bar Club opened its doors and became a popular new music and punk venue, as well as a legendary late night alternative venue in the centre of London. Two years later Consolidated Developments bought up property on and around the north side of the street.
The arrival of Crossrail and a new train station at Tottenham Court Road led to the destruction of the Astoria, LA2 and Metro Club, three iconic London venues and alternative landmarks which closed in 2009. Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone agreed that a new venue would be built nearby to replace the Astoria.
In 2013, Consolidated Developments' plans to redevelop the north side area were approved by Camden Council. These plans include a new mid-sized music venue and work on the Denmark Street buildings. Crucially, Camden ensures that the retail and commercial units be restricted to "Tin Pan Alley" uses only.
In 2014, the 12 Bar Club are given notice and move to a new building on Holloway Road in January 2015, as building work towards the rear of the north side of Denmark Street starts.
The Save Denmark Street campaign is now focused on attracting as many music businesses back to the street as possible, while urging the council to recognise the special nature of the street and its businesses with rate exemptions. The campaign is also focusing on ensuring Camden Council do not accept subsequent Planning Amendment Applications which might potentially water down the planning protection for this special street. The Campaign would like to see Denmark Street's special status formerly recognised as a music or heritage zone.
Put simply... if we let Denmark Street die then there's not much hope for the rest of the country's popular music heritage.
Full news and updates can be found on Henry Scott-Irvine's dedicated campaign site.
December 2016 - Tin Pan Alley Tales crowdfunding campaign ends raising more than £22,000 towards film's costs. Campaign Founder Henry Scott-Irvine is heavily featured in Guardian article on future of Denmark Street, as is Amy Lame, London's new Night Tsar.
Autumn 2016 - Tin Pan Alley Tales (the film, see below) is crowdfunding at Phundee.com. Get involved and show your support! Rewards include mentions in the film, exclusive gigs and film screenings, badges and t-shirts.
July 2016 - Henry Scott-Irvine announces plans for Tin Pan Alley Tales, a crowdfunded film documenting the history of the street in ten characters who lived and worked in the Street. Trailer below and interview with Henry on our blog.
May 2016 - Campaign shares fears over plans to move Grade II listed Forge and shares photos showing building site neglect. Read more.
March 2016 - Historic England grant number 6/7 Denmark Street Grade II* listed status (which includes the historic Sex Pistols graffiti) after behind the scenes work by campaign leader Henry Scott-Irvine. Read more on our blog.
February 2016 - Relocated 12 Bar Club in Holloway Road closes as landlords Enterprise Inns revoke their lease.
November 2015 - Denmark Street Day Out Street Party to take place on Saturday 28th November. Details in their facebook event.
November 2015 - Cats in Space release new song, 'Last Man Standing' whose video heavily features Denmark Street.
October 2015 - Michael Monroe (formerly of Hanoi Rocks) joins the campaign on the same week the Mayor of London launches rescue plan for live music venues in the Street. The report calls on the creation of 'music zones' across the capital, mirroring the campaign's calls for Denmark Street's special status to be formerly recognised.
August 2015 - Independent on Sunday covers changes in Denmark Street in relation to investigative story on the Denmark Street arson attack of 1980.
August 2015 - 5 year, 10 point plan shared by Save TPA group to secure the future of Denmark Street as a "music mecca". Covered in Music Week.
July 2015 - Music businesses are urged to return to the street and help create a Music Zone by the campaign through music industry stakeholder groups and the media. Interested music businesses and individuals can get in touch with Richard Metcalfe at Consolidated Developments for units on Denmark Street. The Section 106 Clause for "Fair Rents" as per "Tin Pan Alley (Music) uses" cited in Section 5 Paragraph 1 of the legally binding Section 106 Agreement, recently signed-off on by both Camden Council and Camden Council's Planning Department, should make these units financially attractive to potential tenants.
June 2015 - Campaign group successfully secures clarification around 106s Agreement to planning application. Legal protection is secured for 'music offices' on 2nd floors, and 'music retail' at ground/basement level through this newly signed-off '106' deal between Camden Council Planning Departments and Consolidated Developments. However, owing to colour code 'usage' errors in the original architect plans, all of the 'other' diverse music-related businesses within Tin Pan Alley remain threatened by potential eviction, including recording studios, music schools, the Alley Cat music venue, the luthier and sole remaining guitar maker on the street. Beyond 2018 rental agreements remain vague.
June 2015 - New film is trailed online, 'The Demise of Denmark Street' by RoundBoy pictures.
June 2015 - Campaign group heads to Westminster for committe meeting with recently elected local MP Sir Keir Starmer QC, on June 3rd 2015. Frances Wheat (Development Control Service Manager and Deputy to Ed Watson, The Head of Environment and Regeneration at Camden Council) and Stuart Minty (Planning Officer at Camden Council) are also in attendance.
May 2015- Filmaker Tali Clarke releases 'A Riot of Our Own' online. A 45 minute documentary on the last days of the 12 Bar Club on Denmark Street. Watch the video below. Petition now has over 29,000 signatories.
April 2015 - Music Heritage UK release podcast on the campaign, closure of 12 Bar Club and future of Denmark Street.
March 2015 - Music shop forced to vacate following accidental building work damage.
February 2015 - Music Heritage UK chief executive James Ketchell joins Save Denmark Street campaign group.
February 2015 - The Bermondsey Joyriders release 'The 12 Bar Beat' in memory of the 12 Bar Club.
February 2015 - Squatters evicted from site of the old 12 Bar Club on Denmark Street. Focus of the campaign now on attracting music businesses back to the area and urging council to recognise the special nature of the street and its businesses with rate exemptions.
February 2015 - Band of Holy Joy allow their 2007 song 'Denmark St' to become the official soundtrack to the campaign.
January 2015 - Members of music industry bodies (BASCA, MU, PPL, PRS, MCPS, The MPA, UK Music), Music publishers (including David Stark of Songlink), Camden councillors, and the Mayor of London's office, joing Save Denmark Street campaign group.
Janurary 2015 - The Blow Monkeys write the song 'The Lions Of Charing Cross' in support of the campaign. The song will be officially released in April.
January 2015 - 12 Bar Club is evicted from premises on Denmark Street. Almost immediately it is squatted by #Bohemians4Soho campaign. By the end of the month, the petition hits 27,000 signatories.
Music Heritage UK records podcast with the squatters:
December 2014 - The petition reaches 25,000 on Christmas Day.
December 2014 - Pete Townshend of The Who pens letter to The Times, "Boris Johnson and Camden Council please make Denmark Street a Heritage Zone. Otherwise a massive chunk of rock music history will be lost forever. Progress is important, but so are the local landmarks of our great city".
December 2014 - 12 Bar Club announce they are given notice to leave. Petition reaches 17,500 signatories on the same day. Partly inspired by Denmark Street events, Music Heritage UK writes Huffington Post piece on the demise of London which is widely shared online.
November 2014 - Englebert Humperdink comes out in support of the street on BBC's The One Show and ITV News.
June 2014 - Petition reaches 10,000 signatories.
May 2014 - The campaign is launched by Henry Scott-Irvine following a spoken word night at the 12 Bar on 7th May 2014.
By the end of the month, two facebook pages are created and an online petition is launched to petition Camden Council to, "Preserve the heritage and integrity of Denmark Street, Tin Pan Alley and in particular the 12 Bar Club and to give the area the same special conservation status as Hatton Garden and Savile Row." Campaigners are asking for street to become special business/heritage zone with rate exemptions for music related businesses.
November 2013 - Consolidated Development's plan for Denmark Street given green light by Camden Council who state that ground floor, upper floor retail and commercial spaces on Denmark Street are to be restricted to "Tin Pan Alley" uses only.
1996 - Property company Consolidated Developments acquire property on, and around, Denmark Street.
What you need to do now!
1. Visit the campaign website and share it with all your friends!
3. Keep up to date with the campaign on facebook.
4. Support the businesses on the street, especially if you're a London based musician!
Get the low down...
More from Music Heritage UK on the street and campaign:
- Interview with Henry Scott-Irvine on his new Tin Pan Alley Tales film project - Blog
- Fears over plans to move the Forge - Blog
- Grade II* listed status for Pistols graffiti - Blog
- Relocated 12 Bar Club in Holloway Road unexpectedly closes - Blog
- The future of Denmark Street - Podcast
- Music shop on Denmark Street closed following accidental building work damage - Blog
- Denmark Street / Tin Pan Alley Plaque - In our Gallery
- Squatting to save Denmark Street - Podcast
- Meeting the Bohemian squatters of Denmark Street - Blog
- Property Developers' Hold Over London - Huffington Post
- Denmark Street is honoured with new plaque - Blog
- Redevelopment enhancing music heritage? - Blog (2013)
- Sex Pistols grafitti found in Denmark Street - Blog (2011)
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