For decades, the vibrance and vivacity of London’s Soho has nurtured the creative exuberance of the capital’s most energetic film and music industry; but over the past few years, the gentrification of Soho has seen the gradual demise of this colourful innovative heartland. Now, as the film industry slowly closes its doors to make way for residential properties, Emmy nominated director and producer, Sarah McGuinness, releases the ultimate love song to Soho; the place that she calls ‘home’. Pulling in the soulful expertise of Daptone boss, Gabriel Roth a.k.a Bosco Mann (Amy Winehouse), McGuinness releases Don’t Let Our Love Go this month, with the intention of making an indelible Louboutin-stilletoed mark on her much-loved movie stomping ground.
What is it that allows Soho to tug on the heart-strings of Sarah McGunness? She gives Female First her top 6 reasons why:
The wonderful world that is Blacks in Soho London. Behind the inconspicuous black door on Dean Street you step into a 18th Century townhouse. It is a realm of secrets, stories and some serious creative vibes. You leave your ego at the door and enter into the simplicity of chatting with your friends and putting the world to rights.
5. Wardour News
Whether you read design led independent publications or maybe glossy magazines are more your thing, you can pick up a copy of The Stage, NME or Vogue at Wardour News. It has everything any creative soul could ever need to feel inspired and they have been true champions of the independent press since they opened. This amazing institution is very sadly closing after 34 years, a tragic loss for all of us, new fashion students, celebrities and industry professionals alike.
4. Soho Square
Site of a million hook-ups and heartbreaks, scribbled dreams and sketched ideas. The park benches in this leafy spot have seen it all, guardians of scripts and secrets, spies and secretaries...this square is quite unique. Now protected, so will survive another few years thank goodness!
3. Dean St Studios
Many a happy hour I have spent in here, the atmosphere left through all the decades of music is unmistakable - not to mention the starry ceiling in the basement and the extraordinary collection of old musical instruments, keyboards and organs - I defy anyone not to be inspired! All the way from earliest Bowie through George Michael right up to present day, artists from Florence and the Machine to Ed Sheeran and Adele have left a little of their musical energy behind in its walls.
2. Madame Jojo's
Can’t believe this has had to shut its doors - the epitome of Soho from high glam to the gutter, the venue which was the most fabulous expression of individuality and pride - sadly missed, please come back, the Box doesn’t cut it for authenticity!
1. Ronnie Scotts
Thank God for the wonderful Sally Greene who rescued Ronnie Scott’s from dilapidation, preserving it and restyling the place - with the amazing designer Jacques Garcia - into the dramatic and filmworthy Soho den we all love. Guy Barker (one of the arrangers of my original album Unbroken) is a regular here.
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