About Peckham Soul
Tell us a little bit about your store? What's the vibe?
As a label and shop, Peckham Soul stands for inclusion and diversity. We’re proud to be situated in the UK’s most multi-cultural post-code and the label and shop are unflinching in defending and promoting diversity. From obscure afrobeat, to the best in nu-jazz, rare soul, funk, latin and world music, through to roots and dub, to compelling indie, electronica and cult sounds & soundtracks from 60s and 70s psych. Our shop doesn’t discriminate - good music is good music.
Being integral to the community we come from, supporting artists and musicians from South East London is a priority. In terms of the label’s designs, our ‘Sound Map’ prints which document the social history of music in South East London reflect this.
But this South-East London is not a self-imposed ‘worthiness’ - South East London is responsible for some of the UKs most exciting contemporary music. From Jazz warriors Moses Boyd and Kamal Williams, through to the electronica of Choas in CBGB and Rhythm Section, to cutting edge guitar outfits such as Goat Girl, South East London fizzes with musical creativity.
Our first sale was an old Alton Elis 45, ‘I’m Still Love With You,’ a track later re-worked as ‘Uptown Ranking’ by Athea & Donna. A lovely first sale as Alton Ellis had played ‘The Bouncing Ball’ in the 70s, a cult Peckham venue where many of Reggae’s most influential artists played. The last was J Dilla’s seminal ‘Donuts.’ An album fused in determination in the face of over-whelming odds, and quite an apt inspiration in keeping a business going through lock down.
It’s etched in my memory. There was a tiny record shop along in Gourock, the town where I grew up. I was 8 I think and my Granny gave me some pocket money. Instead of buying the usual Panini football stickers, I wanted a record. I bought The Jam’s Bitterest Pill’ and my old man had to put a plug back on my Granny’s old Dansette record player so I could listen to it.
Hell yeah, it was profound. People of a certain attitude and outlook gravitated towards record shops. This was nothing less than transformative as along with these like-minded people you could challenge and transcend attitudes which surrounded you growing up and forge your own view on the world. Growing up on the West-Coast of Scotland, before discovering record shops I only hung around with people from the same school, and therefore the same religious denomination and who supported the same football team. Discovering record shops meant I met people outside of this and started looking at the world in a more interesting way.
‘Dirty Records’ in Gothenburg. Gothenburg is a city close to my heart. It’s where my partner is from and it’s a place where I did loads of ‘Modern Lovers’ club events. It’s not just ‘Dirty Records’ though - Jarntorget the area of the city it is situated in is great. Heaps of record shops selling vintage vinyl spanning obscure Scandinavian psych, prog & punk along with interesting US imports of retro soul and funk.
The Smiths when they played the Magnum in Ayr. The Smiths playing a small town in a leisure centre venue where I’d only seen panto before – it all seemed very different. I was young but the bravery of a band looking different and saying something alternative to the meatheads I knew at school, it stuck with me and continues to be a true inspiration.
John Kennedy O’Toole – Confederacy of Dunces
My Life As A Dog
Upsetters – Dyon Anaswa
Etta James- Mellow Fellow
Patrice Holloway – Stolen Hours
The Clash - Complete Control
Love – The Red Telephone
Nick Drake – Northern Sky
The Weather Profits – She Comes in the Rain
Esther Williams - Last Night Changed It All
Candi Stanton – Young Heart Run Free
The Clash would come on and play the whole of ‘London Calling.’ They would then finish and then the Clash would come on and play the whole of London Calling. They would then finish and then the Clash would come on and play the whole of London Calling.
I emphasize this is a three day, not a one day festival.
Love – Forever Changes. I’m on my 5th copy now.