Carnaby Echoes (2013) was a major public art project by Lucy Harrison in central London, investigating the musical history of the Carnaby estate (Carnaby Street and the surrounding streets), over a 100-year period from the opening of Murray’s club in Beak Street in 1913, up to the present day. This history encompasses diverse musical styles, including jazz, reggae, rhythm and blues, rock and hip hop, as well as a wide range of venues including nightclubs, record companies, magazines and shops that attracted particular music fans and sub-cultures. While many people connect Carnaby Street itself to the Swinging Sixties, the project reveals the hidden histories of the surrounding decades and puts the 1960s in a different context.
Lucy has made a series of films investigating chosen buildings on the estate, and featuring a diverse group of people who have been invited back to the places they knew in different eras, including Boy George, Lloyd Coxsone, Count Suckle, Doc Brown, Dynamo, and many more. The films are available to watch on the website and there is also a free audio walking tour app, available from the App Store or Google Play. The selected buildings are marked with enamel plaques, indicating to users of the app that there is a story to be listened to.
The exhibition at Foubert’s Place featured Lucy’s films alongside archive material related to some of her chosen locations, including Murray’s Cabaret Club, The Roaring Twenties nightclub, The Batcave, Artists’ Own Gallery, NME, Smash Hits and more. A limited edition book was produced as part of the project and some copies are still available- email Lucy if you would like one.
Carnaby Echoes was commissioned by Shaftesbury PLC and curated by Futurecity.
More info from Futurecity here
Read Lucy’s Huffington Post blog here
20 Foubert’s Place, W1
5th September – 20th October 2013
Image above: The Bag O’ Nails, Kingly Street, photograph by Richard Bevan 2013, with thanks to the Bag O’Nails club.