Tin Pan Alley, one of London’s most iconic destinations for working musicians has its history and importance told in a groundbreaking film from music historian Henry Scott-Irvine. This PMC co-funded project has received numerous awards and accolades from around the world ahead of its official release.

Back in 2016 we brought you the news that plans for the film were underway, now it has a release date.

Tin Pan Alley, or more properly, Denmark Street, in London’s West End was the centre of the British music industry for many years, with the biggest names cutting their teeth in this once vibrant and hugely important location. Major music magazines such as the NME and Melody Maker were based there, as were most of the big names in music publishing and management. The street was frequented by such luminaries as Elton John, who actually worked in his first job at Mills Music in Denmark Street, David Bowie, The Kinks and the Rolling Stones. There were rehearsal and recording studios where bands including the Sex Pistols and Black Sabbath recorded their early works.

In 2009 English Heritage put Denmark Street on its “At Risk’ register in the face of the forthcoming Crossrail development. Now, with this project approaching its conclusion, it is clear to see that Denmark Street is a shadow of its former self, which is where Henry Scott-Irvine comes in. “Tales from Tin Pan Alley” is music archivist and video director Henry’s testament to the importance of Denmark Street in the development of British music. It brings together over 30 regulars of Tin Pan Alley, including Kenney Jones (Small Faces, The Who), Glen Matlock (The Sex Pistols) and Herbie Flowers (David Bowie), to tell the tale of what made this street the centre of the UK’s music industry and its international importance.

The film has been lauded around the world with awards such as ‘Best Cultural Feature Film Award’ at the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards; ‘Winner of The Gold Award’ for Best Documentary Feature Film at the Mindfield Film Festival, Los Angeles; ‘Best Documentary Feature Film Award’ at the Liverpool International Film Festival; and ‘Best Documentary Feature Film’ at the World Premiere Film Awards, Ottawa, Canada.

PMC Loudspeakers, a business which is so closely linked to both the professional and domestic audio sectors, was keen to support the making of the film to help safeguard the legacy of Denmark Street.

Peter Thomas, owner and founder of PMC, commenting on the importance of the film, says, “The goal of the movie from our perspective is to make people aware of the historical significance of Denmark Street and the changes going on in London causing the loss of many heritage sights through development. We are passionate about preserving our music and audio history for future generations to be inspired and learn from. Britain has been at the heart of this industry since the beginning of recorded sound and that’s something that we should all be proud of.  It’s amazing how history can be re-written if there isn’t solid evidence!” So important is the preservation of the memory of Denmark Street to Peter Thomas, that PMC provided financial support to enable the film to be made and supplied period audio equipment featured in the film from its extensive museum collection. Peter Thomas also makes a an appearance in the film.

Reaction from all areas of the music industry to the production of this historically important film has been phenomenal, as Henry Scott-Irvine comments, “The true ‘unsung heroes’ of Tin Pan Alley are the musicians, the songwriters, the publishers, technicians and the people from behind-the-scenes who have come out of the woodwork, out of history and out of retirement to approach us. Individuals that would be very hard to find in any other circumstance have come forward from across the globe, saying, ‘We want to be in this special documentary film! We have them here now. This is their story – a contemporary urban Canterbury Tale – a vital testament from over 30 musicians, broadcasters and historians.”

The film “Tales from Tin Pan Alley” will be shown at London and International Film Festivals from February 2019.

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