Words by Joe Osborne.
Photos by Dylan Thain.
On the hottest day of the year, Henry and I went for a sweaty stroll down the Grand Union Canal and through Meanwhile Gardens with our lovely friend and unreal photographer, @_dylanthain_ .
Here's a few words about why we picked this location:
In 1969, around these locations, our Brazilian heroes, Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso became regular fixtures, commonly photographed in and about the nearby Portobello Road. Exiled from their native Brazil for their genre-bending, polychrome protest music, they found refuge within Ladbroke Grove's culturally diverse community. While there, they rubbed shoulders with prog and reggae musicians alike in, restaurants such as the Trinidadian, 'Mangrove', and record shops like Gil's favourite, 'Forbidden Fruit'. They also helped organise the first ever Glastonbury festival in Arabella Churchill's North Kensington apartment.
The local influence of reggae on the both of them compelled Veloso to write the off-kilter, 'Nine Out Of Ten', while Gil became a huge figure in Brazil's musical relationship with the Caribbean music. Meanwhile the influence of the experimental rock and prog of local residents, Pink Floyd and Hawkwind is notable throughout both musicians' discographies.
This location seemed perfect for the shoot as it marks a point of historical and cultural connection between Brazil and the UK. It is something we're dedicated to maintaining any way we can - through getting people dancing to Afro-Brazilian rhythms, through writing about contemporary Brazilian masterpieces or getting the likes of DJ Tahira over for an unforgettable party... So it made a lot of sense to come down with some of our favourite records to frolic in the flowers here.
After this shoot, we went to Jazz Re:freshed to see the mad Dexter Hercules. The label and promoter based at Mau Mau is a true testament to the continuing powerful musical diversity in the area... Get in touch with the incredible @_dylanthain_ for shoot enquiries.