Monthly Archives: August 2012





 – a breath of fresh air for arts & music –

North London – that’s Crouch End, Haringey, Hornsey, Stroud Green and the surrounding area was once home to a thriving music & arts scene – famous names from the arts who lived and worked in the area abound – they include -The Kinks, Pete Brown of ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ & Cream fame, Mick Kidd (Biff of the Guardian), Anthony Minghella, Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) Laurie Morgan (legendary Jazz drummer) , Tim Healy, Denise Welch, Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth; Bob Dylan – yes he resided in Crouch End for a while. In recent years some of the area’s best loved venues, theatre, cinemas and arts centres have gone – recession, corporate Gastro Pubs and the like have taken over. A once thriving area feels like a cultural wasteland.

But not any more if entrepreneur Jonny Rogers has anything to do with it. Jonny’s vision of a community arts & music centre based in Stroud Green and serving North London’s creative community is gathering momentum – read on…




A home for community arts and music in North London

With recession devastating the arts & music scene, a single individual has come up with an exciting plan to launch a creative complex within the community.

BRAND NEW START (BNS) envisages the realisation of an ongoing ‘creative village life’ in the heart of North London. BNS would enable a multifunction network channelling independent creative practice into the community and vice-versa. It would harness music, visual & performing arts, film-making, fashion, craft and other disciplines, with particular care taken to accommodate the disadvantaged. All this would be in the confines of a 10,000ft² live-work complex.

BNS seeks those with an interest in this project, investors or donors, who possess material assets that they are willing to contribute. Financial investments will go into a co-operative fund held in trust to facilitate the instigation and day to day running of the centre.

At a time when one of North London’s iconic buildings – Church Studios in Crouch End is in imminent danger of conversion to flats – BNS offers those with a vision a brand new oasis in the present cultural desert.

Initial enquiries to




Jonny is an established successful  professional antique & furniture restorer who specialises in prestige period property renovations. He has wide experience and connections with the local creative and charitable community and previous experience of involvement with creative premises. Further information on application to



BNS envisages offering space, support services and facilities to those believing in developing local creativity. Its core principles would be justice, community, equal opportunity and creative expression, as well as creating a level playing-field for individuals coming from vulnerable or under-privileged circumstances and who are in a position to benefit dramatically from its services. With music as one of its core creative areas, BNS would provide stage, recording and rehearsal settings, as well as a touchstone for shared musical contact, dialogue and interaction.

BRAND NEW START will consist in self-sustaining and community-dependent artists, musicians, tradespersons and other people of relevant profession, who will occupy live-work space and help to run the continual flow of workshops and events that make up the BNS scheme.

THE SITE The project is presently is pitching for is a 10,000ft², A1-status premises in Stroud Green, N4. This would be occupied by project contributors and sub-let to other artists. Work has been done to secure a series of pre-let guarantees for the property.


August 22, 2012

Diana Stone, London N14, UK July 2012

A bit of peace and quiet?

Its a little like the calm before storm. Just one gig on Friday then nothing for a couple of weeks, though we will be doing some rehearsing. Friday was supposed to be a band gig but turned in to a duo at the last moment due to illness as Rosie is poorly at the moment and we are a bit worried. We got through the gig OK though. The place was fairly empty though I think due to the Olympics, but a few people came in and were enthusiastic enough to make it feel a bit better. I even got complimented on my performance.A friend who we hadn’t seen for a while also came along as it was one of her nights off, so that was also a bit of a lift. She enlightened us as to the why and wherefore of some recent events that were puzzling us too as we lost a gig at a venue where we had been pretty popular. Without revealing any secrets it was not anything we did, but rather circumstances that we had no idea about that sealed our fate. I was concerned that it might have been gender related, but it turned out to be something completely different! Just goes to show how wrong you can be, and how much we conflate ideas and make 2+2 make 101.I really do feel like I could do with a bit of a break as I am slightly off form. I am still continuing to clear out the crap but its a very labour intensive exercise. It also has also made my back flare up a bit again. Curiously enough the best analgesic seems to be a moderate amount of real ale. Well it works for me anyway. The current warm weather is a mixed blessing as when we had a rehearsal earlier in the week it knocked me senseless by the end as it was way too hot. Rehearsing is far more tiring than gigging but pretty important.The biggest problem at the moment is that using the PC is very painful, so there is a lot of stuff that I cant get on with, as I am quite restricted in the amount of time I spend using it. It would seem that that the forces of nature are altering the course of my life somewhat. It would be very difficult to go back in and work in an office physically now as I just couldn’t sit and type for any length of time. Plus I have the attention span of a gnat these days in certain respects.