In 2012, Southend’s Focal Point Gallery organised the exhibition ‘Thames Delta’. Curated by David Elvin, Barry Sinclair and Focal Point Gallery, the exhibition reflected on the growth, variety and development of popular music by those groups and individuals that have grown up or lived in the Southend-on-Sea, Canvey Island and Basildon area since the late 1940s. The project drew a trajectory from the end of World War II and the opening of The Kursaal – Southend’s legendary amusement park, where Howard Baker and his band reigned for twenty-one years – to groups that have emerged at the start of the of the early twenty-first century, such as These New Puritans and The Horrors, as well as short-lived, but now legendary club nights. Two years later the publication is now in its final stages of completion.
Being interested in music it’s been fun to read up on the exploits of the likes of Dr. Feelgood, Wilco Johnson and Depeche Mode while copy-editing and proofing interviews, oral histories and personal musings from a wide range of musicians and artists who grew up, and/or are still active in the area. And who knew it has direct links with the Netherlands? Now I do.
The book is designed by Fraser Muggeridge studio and edited by Sophie S. Johnson.