Discussion inspired by the issues raised in Caspar Melville’s new book – It’s A London Thing” How Rare Groove, Acid House and Jungle Remapped The City

July 2 6pm UK Time


This panel will explore the history of black music spaces in London across genres from reggae and rare groove to grime and new London jazz. We will consider what makes London distinct, the forms of racial regulation which patterned the city and how music has made pace for the emergence of independent cultures in the city. We will also consider the fragile future of London black music cultures under the threat of gentrification and the COVID lockdown.

Caspar Melville (chair)

Caspar Melville is a former a music journalist (Blues & Soul, Touch magazine, On the One), executive editor at openDemocracy.net and editor of New Humanist magazine. He currently lectures at SOAS, University of London where he where he convenes the MA in Global Creative and Cultural Industries. His book It’s a London Thing: How Rare Groove, Acid House & Jungle Remapped the City was published in 2020 by Manchester University Press.

Twitter: @CasparMelville

Emma Warren

Emma Warren is an author, music journalist and radio presenter and cultural historian. She was one of the founders of the Manchester music magazine Jockey Slut, and clubs editor of The Face. She is the author of Make Some Space (Sweet machine), a cultural history of the Total Refreshment Centre in Hackney, and Steam Down, or How Things Begin (Rough Trade) about the new London jazz scene. Emma’s presents a monthly show on Worldwide FM.

Twitter: @EmmaLWarren

Jesse Bernard

Jesse Bernard is a music journalist, black music archivist, author and broadcaster. He has written about a wide range of black music for The Guardian and Trench, and he presents the Spot the Sample show on the new independent black music station No Signal. Jesse is currently writing a book about Black Britain.

Twitter: @MarvinsCorridor

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