Andy, who’s bringing the East London music scene to West London – Londoner #3

Originally from Hanwell in West London, Andy lives in Tower Hamlets close to his recording studio in Cable Street Studios. He left a job in the city to pursue his passions; his love for music and chemistry as well as his love for bringing people together; not just through his open mic nights and guided tours to Americans around London but also through the Marshall Amps music festival, held every year in Hanwell to commemorate the town in which Jim Marshall sold his first amp!

This film is part of 1000 Londoners, a five-year digital project which aims to create a digital portrait of a city through 1000 of the people who identify themselves with it. The profile contains a 3 minute film that gives an insight into the life of the Londoner, as well as their personal photos of London and some answers to crucial questions about their views on London life. Over the course of the project we aim to reveal as many facets of the capital as possible, seeing city life from 1000 points of view.
Twitter @1000_londoners

1000 Londoners is produced by South London based film production company and social enterprise, Chocolate Films. The filmmakers from Chocolate Films will be both
producing the films and providing opportunities to young people and community groups to make their own short documentaries, which will contribute to the 1000 films. Visit


So this is where we hold the open mic we have here in Cable Street Studios. This will be the stage area. These candles will be lit to create a kind of atmosphere. Simple PA, couple of amps here and the piano will normally be. And we kind of open up our doors to anyone and everyone, we’ve had Japanese synth maestros, we had a pop band from Germany called sparkling, we had an Italian prog group who all wore overalls.

We had a bunch of Americans…

Oh yeah, a load of Americans. We’re in East London, it’s just a whole swathe of interesting people coming together in this one unit. I did a degree in Chemistry and a masters degree. As much as I was passionate about the subject, it wasn’t people oriented enough, so the way I earn most of my money to survive and life is by teaching chemistry. Things that humans do are exactly the same as in the scientific, chemical, sub-atomic world. I started an agency and so I train tutors and young recent graduates. It’s just someone with the knowledge of science that can communicate it. In between teaching complex theories, just ask them about a gig they went to and then relate things that they like. For instance, the sound that comes out of an amplifier: describe the physics of that.

Here we are. Hanwell, the home of rock ‘n’ roll. Being raised round here, I was always frustrated about how the bands or live music anywhere had to travel to East London all the time. There’s a blue plaque up here. That’s a famous poet I believe, oh no artist, can’t read. I wrote to Ealing council and Boris Johnson just about getting a plaque to remember Hanwell’s links. Jim Marshall; he sold his first Marshall amplifier to Pete Townsend in 1962 in what is now just a little Barber shop just down the road. But apparently you have to be dead for ten years to get a blue plaque. So we went to Marshall and went, okay we can’t get a blue one and they suggested “how about a black plaque?” that fits in with the Marshall brand. And there we go. One of London’s few black plaques.

We have put on a festival, celebrating his links to the area. And it gives an opportunity for local bands, to get West London people back into live music. This is a minute of loud, in remembrance of Jim Marshall. Spin on its head a minute of silence, this is a minute of loud. It’s so easy to bring people together if there’s a good enough cause.

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