Elvis Costello at Deptford Albany with Squeeze

In August 1980, Jools Holland played his last gig as keyboardist with Squeeze at The Albany in Deptford. In fact they played three nights at the venue (12,13,14 August), a deliberate return to their roots at a time when they were riding high commercially and selling out much bigger venues than this one, which Danny Baker ...

Franco Rosso RIP – director of Babylon

The film director Franco Rosso, best known for the classic sound system movie Babylon (1980), has died (see John Eden's obituary). Born in Italy in 1942, he attended Camberwell College of Art and was working at the Albany in Deptford along with the film's co-writer Martin Stellman when they conceived of a film based around ...

Deptford Fun Palaces

Fun Palaces is a  'celebration of arts, sciences and culture' taking place at venues around the country this weekend (4th and 5th October). Based on the premise of 'Everyone an Artist, Everyone a Scientist' the idea was first concieved of by Joan Littlewright in the 1960s. As mentioned here before, Littlewood was born in Clapham ...

Rebuilding the Albany in Deptford 1980

This photo shows the current Albany theatre building in Douglas Way, Deptford under construction. The building opened in 1981, so guessing this picture was taken in around 1980. Note the poster for a 'Dance and Defend Benefit' featuring The Tribesmen and Bobby Henry. The Dance and Defend tour took place in 1979 and was organised by ...

South East London Women Oppose the Nuclear Threat (1984)

1984 was a busy year for the movement against nuclear weapons. American cruise missiles had been deployed in Britain, and there were protest camps at the US bases at Greenham Common and Molesworth. Cold War tensions were rising, and many people worried that a nuclear war was a real possibility.Thirty years ago, Thursday 24 May ...

Joan Littlewood (and Brendan Behan) in Blackheath

This year is the centenary of the birth of Joan Littlewood (1914-2002), one of the most influential figures in 20th century British theatre. Among many other things she founded the radical Theatre Workshop and directed iconic plays including Shelagh Delaney's A Taste of Honey and Oh What a Lovely War (1963).Joan Littlewood - not sure ...

Music Monday: Crosswires Festival

Next Saturday May 3rd sees Crosswires Festival taking place across venues in New Cross and Deptford - the Amersham Arms, the Deptford Lounge and the Albany. There's a great and diverse line up with everything from Irish travellers songs to afro-beat electronica. Most of it's free too, with the exception of  the evening session at ...

Music Monday: Test Dept and the Miners Strike

Continuing the series of posts on the 1984/85 miners strike and South London, we turn to Test Dept. As discussed several times here before, the influential industrial band started out in New Cross, specifically at 8 Nettleton Road where some of the band were living.Many bands played benefit gigs for the miners, but Test Dept went ...

Lewisham Miners Support 1984/5

 During the miners strike of 1984/5, which started 30 years ago this month, there were support groups set up across the country. Previously here we have mentioned support at Goldsmiths in New Cross. Another local group was Lewisham Women Against Pit Closures. This flyer from January 1985 tells us that:1. The group held planning meetings ...

Chris Schwarz: Every Picture Tells a Story

Chris Schwarz (1948-2007) was a remarkable photographer who documented everyday life in SE London and historical events (such as the 1977 'Battle of Lewisham'). Later in life his photos of the remains of Jewish presence in Poland- ruined synagogues etc - prompted him to sell his flat to finance setting up the Galicia Jewish Museum ...