Saturday, 17 September 2011

Soho & The Roots of the Swinging 60's - by Back In The Day

Photo taken from BITD's website
I attended a great guided walk recently entitled “Soho and the roots of the Swinging Sixties”, it was organised by a company called Back In The Day and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Our Guide was Barrie Greene, a very engaging and friendly chap who had an infectious enthusiasm for the Soho area, the music and fashion of the early sixties.

Barrie concentrated more on the beginnings of the Swinging Sixties, the original scene setters and music of the time. This was interesting to me as most of the real movers and shakers were either overshadowed by their acolytes or remained in the background, so often get overlooked. You might be surprised to learn that some names, probably considered a little "un-cool" now, were in fact right there on the front lines! Who could they be...?

He explained how the Mods got their name and what they really listened and danced to, aswell as where they bought their clothes. You will learn about the various eclectic foreign influences on what is considered a very British youth movement.

Barrie talks passionately about some of the live acts he saw and also about some of the future stars that were starting out. He tells us exactly who gave the young Charlie Watts, Rod Stewart and Mick Jagger their first breaks in the music business. 
We are also regaled with many interesting and humourous anecdotes that put in place various diverse characters ranging from Christine Keeler to the infamous Kray Twins. Learn how Ready Steady Go! recruited their ultra-hip audience and what linked The Scene nightclub to a future Mott The Hoople and Clash producer. Find out which Sixties fashion guru has a plaque dedicated to them on Carnbaby Street, and it's not Mary Quant!

Barrie outside O'Neill's Irish Pub where he explains what famous venue this used to be - Photo by Steve Worrall
So, a great fun and informative way to see and learn not only about the legendary musical sites and characters of Soho, but also the development of music and fashion in the Sixties. To find out more information and enquire about future Back In The Day walks please click here.

1 comment:

  1. Hi - I have come up with my own tour that anyone can take: