January 23, 2021

London, city without music – The Province


A London concert hall in November, during the second lockdown.

A London concert hall in November, during the second lockdown.
Alex Amorís

On the stage of The Hope and Anchor have passed groups as mythical as the Ramones, Madness, The Jam, The Cure, The Clash, The Damn and U2. The walls of the Electric Ballroom still echo the rhythms of Joy Division, The Smiths, Megadeth, Paul McCartney, Prince and many others. The Hawley Arms was Amy Winhouse’s favorite pub. Numerous records have been recorded at the O2 Brixton Academy and it was also the last stage the Smiths ever stepped on.

The musical history of London, and that of almost all of Europe, goes together with that of their concert halls, which have served on their stages the music of the best bands on the Anglo-Saxon scene. The pandemic has devastated these legendary spaces that have been mute and locked inside a tunnel in which the exit is difficult to see. A situation similar to that faced by live music venues in Spain.

Alicante photographer Álex Amorós, settled in that city a few years ago, he knows the sector well twice. As a consumer of music and also as a connoisseur of those scenarios as a member of a band, The Liquorice Experiment, in addition to his role as a DJ. In the second confinement in the English capital he decided to photograph the emptiness and desolation of 40 of these rooms. “Live music has shaped a large part of my life; I have worked in these places and played there myself.” So, he says, “I wanted to give something back and show support in whatever way I can.”

The result of this work, carried out during the month of November, is entitled 40 Music Venues, a photobook and, in the future, also an exhibition. The proceeds will go to the #SaveOurVenues campaign of the Music Venue Trust organization, an initiative launched in London to support these venues and which has already managed to raise close to 4 million pounds with different actions between April and December.

Amorós, also author of the Londoners photobook and from the series on the Stoke Newington neighborhood, the latter captured during the first lockdown, he believes that the music industry “not only employs a large number of people, but is the heart and soul of London.”

Moth Club, Round House, The Victoria Dalston, Sipirtual Bar, Camden Assembly, Strongroom, The Old Blue Last, The Good Mixer, The Lock Tavern, The Garage or The Finsbury Pub are some of the venues that have been captured in black and white through the lens of this photographer. “Bands like The Rolling Stones, AC / DC, The Clash, The Cure and a long etcetera have performed on its stages; London is one of the cities of reference on a musical level and the situation in many of these venues is complicated “.

With this project he wanted “visualize” the reality of these places “where people have enjoyed and dreamed on many occasions, and that now, unfortunately, if you see the photos you find a bleak and depressing aspect “. For this reason, he wanted to” capture a historical moment, raise awareness and support the fundraising campaign. ”

It has been less than a week since he released his photobook and “it is working very well.” For now, the BBC or Time Out, among other media, have echoed his initiative.

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