Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Lower Clapton dance...

A friend drew my attention this video a few weeks back featuring young musicians/rappers local to the area I live in. The video is stunning (I think) for a number of reasons - the fact it was shot on a Canon 5d (the kind of camera Sam has) and features such an incredible wealth of faces and stories. The song is titled “Upper Clapton Dance” - I live on the edge of Lower Clapton and Upper Clapton, so this is kind of a story of my neighbourhood. The video gives you a flavour of the popular sound here - “grime”.

These streets are so diverse - it makes me think of a newspaper clipping I was given as a parting gift from a friend in Cyprus to read on the plane to my new life in England. It stated that the diverse megalopolis of London was as close to Civilisation as we can get - due to this very potent mix of people living beside and alongside one another.

En route to the bus stop in the morning I pass parents walking their children to school; it’s a parade of both commonality and difference. Women in full niqab (veil) push prams and guide little hands across roads. Turkish, Pakistani, Caribbean faces similarly wink past. Up on Chatsworth Road I drink marvelous coffee made by a group of cheery Italians. On the bus to Finsbury Park I pass through Europe’s largest Hasidic Jewish community, otherwise known as the “square mile of piety” due to the number of men walking the area in their distinctive black robes, hats and payots (sidelocks). Then there is the French community that congregates around the Columbia flower market. Nigerian, Vietnamese and Jamaican fast food shops crowd the streets advertising sensoury sounding dishes like “Curry Goat”. All this within 20 minutes of my home. Oh and London’s (surprisingly small) Cambodian community has a meeting house just up the road.


  1. 'The video gives you a flavour of the popular sound here - “grime”.'
    ha! you're so sweet jessica.

  2. Did i even get that right? Oh i'm so uncool.

  3. youre beyond cool jessica. just love the idea your wandering the streets i was walking 13 years ago listening to uk rap amongst the merkers. next time i see you ll be hard as nails init! ive gone a bit soft since i moved here, which im very happy about, but i do miss my old ends