blissblog: “it’s only recently that the pirates have got so specific about this or that particular End. Garage isn’t just an East thing, there’s pirates all over, in the South, the West, the North… “

So when you lived in London, Simon, I presume it was North London?


Cos, this statement is factually incorrect. The south London pirates have ALWAYS made a point of their geographical reach and differentiation. Not just my beloved Upfront FM either. Sure there’s a particular variation on this theme in the grime scene but it’s a well established meme.

And a related point which also impacts the whole London-centricity argument — when I was living in Brixton, it was obvious to me that the natural locus of garage, its omphalos, its holy hill, wasn’t Brixton, wasn’t Hackney, wasn’t Bow — it was, and for all I know still is, Croydon. I used to go on pilgrimages to Croydon record shops when I was doing business down there and the vibe was so strong. The number of garage raves in Croydon was unbelievable. You could see all the kids driving down there to go to the “proper” garage’n’r’n’b nights. You had DJ South Central, whose name was adapted from LA/Compton, but translated to, you guessed it, Croydon.

And before you dismiss this as just another Suburban Base story, I’d like to emphasise that from my point of view the lost area from Brixton through Streatham to Croydon was the heart and soul of the scene, and it was always very 2 Step oriented. This might be a different current from the Hackney / Bow one, and maybe there’s more of a north-south dividide in garage than we thought.

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