What do you want the future to be?

British Land is one of the key landowners in central Ealing. It’s currently soliciting opinions that will shape future development plans for a site it calls The Broadway Connection — a large area of Ealing Broadway, across the road from Ealing Broadway Centre and which encompasses the location of the Ealing Club at  42a The Broadway, W5 2NP, now known as the Red Room. 

Tell them what you think here.

The site has been the subject of two previous development attempts, as Ealing Arcadia (2008) and most recently as 9-42 The Broadway (2016). This latter scheme included a 514sqm nightclub/music venue which would have made up for the loss of the original Ealing Club premises – the place that was the cradle of British rock music.

We were involved in consultations for the failed 9-42 The Broadway scheme and plan to press British Land to preserve the original Ealing Club premises and to provide a state-of-the art venue at least as good as the one included in the 2015 planning application for 9-42.

The Ealing Club was created as a community interest company (CIC) that owns no venue) by local music fans to highlight Ealing Borough’s music heritage and inspire new live music. Plaques, exhibitions, talks, leaflets and the film Suburban Steps To Rockland – The Story of the Ealing Club and the book The A-Z of Ealing Rock have all helped to put the music story back on the map for future generations. 

Our own Ealing Club Eclectic live music programme is funded by the Arts Council of England and brings premium live music to multiple venues. We’ve partnered with many to kickstart new events and bolster established live music festivals locally. Since 2011, the programme has included many memorable live gigs at the Red Room, a place that is still largely unrecognised for its pioneering role in 1962-65. It was THE destination for bands such as the Rolling Stones, The Who & members of Cream (amongst others) to seek out & perform a special strain of “the blues”.

West London’s music heritage can merge with contemporary music infrastructure (music colleges, venues & festivals, local talent, studios) to complement the understated but rich cultural scene that exists in the area. 

Music cities such as Liverpool, Nashville, New Orleans and Vienna already provide great templates for West London to make more of its vital music connections.  

DEVELOPMENT & RE-GENERATION IN EALING BROADWAY

Development & re-generation of Ealing Broadway seems inevitable given improved communication links with the area and the ambitions of stakeholders such as residents, councils and developers. 

Our mission is to highlight the music heritage with a view to boosting footfall, civic pride and fostering better opportunity for live music performance. The Ealing Club “name” is owned & curated by a community interest company on behalf of musicians & the local community in order to build a deserving musical legacy.

We would ask you to express your opinions about music heritage and live music to British Land: which says that it is “considering the future of several key properties and sites in Ealing Broadway, driven by a commitment to maintaining a thriving town centre now and long into its future. At this time, we are seeking views from all those who live, work and visit Ealing to ensure that we are creating the right legacy for the area.”

If you want more music in Ealing, please be sure to have your say.

Chris Barber – Farewell to The British Blues Pioneer

Very sad to hear the news about Chris Barber, pioneer of British Blues & Jazz who helped expose UK audiences to the likes of Sister Rosetta Tharpe & Muddy Waters by organising tours in the late 50’s. His band nurtured many musicians notably British skiffle legend Lonnie Donegan & Alexis Korner, the latter who is of course key to the story of the Ealing Club. 

The Chris Barber Band’s return to Ealing (Walpole Park 2018) – (Photo: R.Green)

There will be plenty of deserving homages from the world of British Music for a man who played the blues through a trombone and stand-up bass on Lonnie Donegan’s early skiffle hits Rock Island Line and Lost John.

In 1955 Rock Island Line was a top 10 hit in both the UK and US, and kickstarted the skiffle boom that inspired a generation of musicians including John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete Townshend, Van Morrison, Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore, David Gilmour, Mark Knopfler and many more.

In 1958 Barber brought  Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and other US blues musicians to the UK.

Barber and his band deserve so much more credit for the millions of guitarists who still play blues guitar to this day be they, from London, Seattle or Sydney. 

His passion and that of those around him for the music helped curate & develop an awareness of the blues that has elevated the genre’s influence above other comparable world music forms. 

As side note, he was also a major contributor to the National Jazz Federation, a body directed by Harold Pendleton, the founder of the Marquee Club. Thanks to their initiatives, The Richmond Jazz Festival came into existence. In 2021 those festival roots will continue in the form of The Reading Festival where no doubt many guitarists will acknowledge the blues of Chicago & New Orleans. 

May they all remember Chris Barber’s contribution to the Blues & to the UK festival circuit. 

Chris Barber was interviewed in Suburban Steps To Rockland – The Story of The Ealing Club at Questors Theatre, Ealing. A true gent!

January – The Month Charlie Watts Joined The Rolling Stones

As January 2021 ends, we have launched The Ealing Club Eclectic ‘lockdown’ sessions to keep audiences connectedPLEASE SIGN UP your friends, neighbours and colleagues HERE!

Go see and subscribe on YouTube here: Ealing Club Eclectic

JANUARY 1963 – THE MONTH CHARLIE WATTS JOINED THE ROLLING STONES

Back in January 1963 Keith Richards diary often cited Ealing as THE regular gig in the calendar for the Rolling Stones who at that time were still to find a drummer suited to the band. 

Keith Richard’s biography “Life” has regular references to the club and a postcard purchased at the London “Exhibitionism” show displays a wonderful insight into the formation of the the World’s greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll band.

Keith Richard’s Diary (postcard purchased at Exhibitionism London) On 8th January 1963, Ealing, Bo Diddley, The Marquee are all on the agenda. 3010….. who knows?

On 12th Jan 1963, the ex-Blues Incorporated Drummer Charlie Watts played with the Rolling Stones for the first time at the Ealing Club. In recent years, the date has been celebrated on the band’s social media pages.

In 2021, Charlie’s joining day birthday was celebrated by Ronnie Wood while The Rolling Stones simply tweeted………..

“Hate To See You Go” performed by the Rolling Stones, inspired by Chicago and recorded in London!

For more background on Charlie joining the Rolling Stones please check out the movie: Suburban Steps To Rockland – The Story of the Ealing Club.