June 11, 2011
Honest Jon’s the shop opened in Golborne Road in 1974. Does this make us the oldest independent record shop in London (England / the world) still trading? Near enough I would think.
The original owners were Jon Clare and his school mate from Liverpool, Dave. “Dave was into James Brown, I was into Clifford Brown” is how Jon describes their primary specialisms, soul and jazz. Reggae also was an early passion. Rae Cheddie – who worked for Jon and Dave, and who went on to represent the Bullwackies label and much else – remembers Augustus Pablo and Horace Andy driving up to wholesale a boot-full of disco 12’s. To this day Mark and I (we worked for Jon for years before taking over the shop in 1992) retain a devotion to these genres, now bolstered by much digging into music from all around the world (not to mention London).
The label we started in 2002 with our mate Damon Albarn as a third partner is a reflection of these far-flung loves. Tonight I am mainly playing music we have released on the label in the last 10 years. There’s a nod to our bebop roots with a track from my main man Sonny Clark, and just like the old days we still take deliveries from singers and players – this week Bernard from the Abyssinians, Jah Shaka and Dr Alimantado have all brought in their records – so I finish with Dr Al’s masterpiece, Best Dressed Chicken In Town, with the Upsetter at the controls, fresh copies of which he brought in to us this morning.
Next time you’re in Portobello, do pop in for a visit?
Tracklisting:1. Laventille Rhythm Section -Rhythm
2. Kokanko Sata -Tie Farin Shiar
3. Wareika Hill Sound - Sweet Incense
4. Actress - Hubble
5. Newham Generals - Tetsuya’s Theme
6. Lobi Travle Group - Demi Kelen Beko
7. Abdel Hadi Halo & The El Gusto Orchestra of Algiers - Min Yaati Kalbou Melah
8. Dick Gauchan -Jock O. Hazeldean
9. Trembling Bells - Goathland
10. Candi Staton / Pepe Bradock - Evidence
11. Tony Allen / Hypnotic Brassi Ensemble Sankafa
12. Phil Cohran - White Nile
13. Sonny Clark - Minor Meeting
14. Young Tiger - Calypso Be
15. Vladislav Delay Quartet -Killing The Water
16. Moitz Von Oswald - Structure 4
17. Dr Alimantado -Best Dressed Chicken In Town