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CUT THE CRAP: Croydon's brilliant music scene

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IN OUR Cut the Crap feature we highlight the positive aspects of Croydon, to counter the lazy stereotypes of our town exemplified by its entry in the Crap Towns book. This week reporter Andrew Jameson looks at the music scene.....

CROYDON'S music scene has become a thriving, eclectic and popular part of south London's musical landscape in recent years.

The Brit School is a production line for musical talent, with the likes of Adele, Amy Winehouse, Kate Nash, The Kooks and Lily Allen – to name just a few – pass through its doors in recent years.

On top of that, "Croydub" is revered as the birthplace of dubstep. But on a local level, there is a close musical community and some thriving venues propped up by the community.

Rick Hicks, who runs Croydon-based Frantic Promotions, said Croydon had always been strong, if perhaps a little under-estimated in musical terms.

He said: "We've got some great bands here and a group of people who all want to help each other.

"It's always been a tight-knit music community. There are a number of popular venues in the town centre, including the Scream Lounge, which also has a studio where bands can record and practice.

One of those is heavy metal band Mordecai, who played at the Download Festival at Donnington Park in June. Their lead singer Dan Hicks initiated the Croydon Clean-up Crew in the aftermath of the riots.

Mordecai guitarist Andy Short, 26, said: "We've always been Croydon through and through. We love the area and love playing in our home town."

One of the reasons Croydon is most definitely not crap is its diversity and its music is no different, covering all spectrums and genres.

Chris Syrus, who works in youth services, said said: "It's surprising how many talented musicians there are in Croydon.

"It's almost impossible to make it these days and that's why our independent scene has to pull together."

And the whole of Croydon has a chance to pull together for a big knees-up in October with the annual CROxjam festival.

Organiser John Bownas aims to have more than 100 acts play this year at venues across the town.

He said: "I've been talking to other Oxjam organisers from across the country and I know how some struggle to find enough bands.

"Our problem in Croydon is different – there's so much talent out there we don't have room for everyone, even spreading the festival over three days.

We want you to lead the fightback and tell us why Croydon is a great place to live. E-mail newsdesk@croydonadvertiser.co.uk with your comments. Anyone who wants to be considered for CROxjam should e-mail croxjam@gmail.com

CUT THE CRAP: Croydon's brilliant music scene


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