If you went on a rock music heritage tour of Kensington and Chelsea, where might it take you?
Here are a few suggestions:
The Gore Hotel on Queensgate SW7, will be known to Rolling Stones fans. The hotel bar, Bar 190 was the setting for the launch of the Stones' album, Beggars Banquet, in 1968. Paintings on the wall of the bar immortalise the event and the hotel has just launched its own tribute cocktail, Sympathy for the Devil.
Royal Albert Hall is a world-famous music venue, situated on Kensington Gore. The hall held its first concert in March 29, 1871. Other iconic nights have included the Titanic Band Memorial Concert [May 24, 1912], Bob Dylan [May 26 and 27, 1966], Jimi Hendrix [February 18 and 24, 1969], Pink Floyd [June 26, 1969],The Who and Friends [November 27, 2000] and David Gilmour and David Bowie [May 29, 2006].
In 2015 The Who received an official apology from the Hall, over 40 years late. In 1972, the band was an unfortunate victim of a temporary ‘rock and roll ban’, enforced after a riotous 1971 in which 22 live shows had ended in violent disorder.
Interlet can boast incidental connections of its own. Our previous office at 43 Kensington High Street was situated over the famous Kensington Market, where Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor ran a stall before forming Queen. Mercury had enrolled at Ealing Arts College after fleeing Zanzibar with his family before settling in London. His former home is in Earls Court, the entrance clearly marked out with messages from his fans. Further afield, Interlet redeveloped the former home of Pink Floyd, Stanhope Gardens, in Highgate N6.
The Countdown Club, [now closed] was an early venue pioneering alternative music where Pink Floyd played their first-ever gig in 1965. Location - Palace Garden Terrace W8.
Further south, on Brompton Road, the Troubadour Club is one of the few remaining 50’s coffee shops left in London. From humble origins, it went on to host acts including Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Jimmy Page, Sandy Denny, Davy Graham, Morrisey, and, well, the list goes on…
The United Kingdom has been at the forefront of popular music since the 1950’s. That influence has continued into the digital age, with Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" recently exceeding 3 billion streams on Spotify.
Kensington can claim its fair share of the musicians who helped create and shape this global industry.
Eric Clapton is one of the most renowned and respected artists in the music business. He has written multiple record-breaking albums and worked with the best in the business. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times, he now spends his days in his luxurious home in Chelsea.
Former member of Take That, turned pop superstar Robbie Williams has also settled in the beautiful borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Robbie gained worldwide fame after joining the boy band sensation in the 90s, going on to make a name for himself as a solo artist, selling millions of records and topping charts all over the globe. His present home is located just south of Holland Park.
The neighbouring property ‘The Tower House’, is the gothic residence of Jimmy Page, guitarist with Led Zepplin.
When not shopping on Kensington High Street he spends time at home with his poet partner Scarlett Sabet.
An interview with Tatler magazine captures the lifestyle:
‘These days, the two stay in together, Sabet in her favourite spot in the library, drinking tea in her pyjamas and writing poetry in her Moleskine notebook. There’s no TV in sight, perhaps because the vibrations would be harmful to the house’s energy. No candles are allowed either, and there’s no smoking indoors. ‘And Jimmy’s careful with the heating. We never have the house too hot, so the painted ceilings won’t peel,’ says Sabet. ‘Every year Jimmy spends a lot of money to preserve it. He lives here but he really sees himself as a custodian.’
Elton John’s surprisingly low-key house can be found in Holland Park’s ‘millionaire’s row’. Whilst he owns properties in Windsor, Nice and LA, his Holland Park home is one of several celebrity homes on this high-profile street.
No specific street defines Millionaire's Row. The phrase applies to the area around Holland Park, bordered by Holland Park Avenue to the North, Holland Road to the West, Kensington High Street to the South and Kensington Church Street to the West. As well as Elton, Simon Cowell and David Beckham have also chosen to make this area home.