Legendary hip-hop pioneer is among the big-name headliners at this summer’s Solomons’ Yard season
20 June, 2019 — By Róisín Gadelrab
Grandmaster Flash performing at Camden Market back in 2015
GRANDMASTER Flash and The Sugarhill Gang are among the headliners stepping back into the 1920s to preside over Camden Market’s Peaky Blinders-themed Solomons’ Yard season this summer.
The series, which takes over the market’s Middle and West Yards on Friday nights for 10 weeks from this Saturday, overlooks the warehouse where actor Tom Hardy’s Peaky Blinders character Alfie Solomons harboured his whisky-smuggling operation, helping cement the theme.
The live music and DJ nights will be held in a 1920s setting, adorned with specially illuminated trees that were previously used for The Rolling Stones’ Hyde Park concerts in 2013.
While there is no dress code, guests are welcome to arrive in 1920s and Peaky Blinders-themed clothing if they wish, and there will be cocktail bars and food stalls.
Tickets can be bought in advance and there will be some set aside for walk-ins on the night, but organisers say go early to avoid disappointment.
Chris Cahill, of SharkTank, the event’s and production agency curating Solomons’ Yard, said: “We’re just starting to build and set everything up. There are two horse-cart bars. We have our own branded lager and it tastes good.
“We’re pleased to have our own Solomons’ Lager from Legitimate Industries. it felt right to support another start-up.”
Solomons’ Yard was launched three years ago by the group of friends behind Shark Tank, who wanted to put on their own event.
Chris said: “We used to go to many pop-ups and festivals as a group of friends and got to a point where we wanted to do one of our own.
“We were all fans of Peaky Blinders and Tom Hardy’s character Alfie Solomons is based in Camden, and from where the Middle Yard is you can see part of the warehouse from where he used to run his whisky-smuggling operation, so the name comes from his character, and on the cobbled streets it just felt right to give it a real truly immersive experience.
“So we got in touch with Camden Market – it was a perfect fit. We built a lot of scenery and to fit in that rustic, idyllic, cobbled location.”
The curators have lined up a number of big-name headliners, as well as some well-known club nights to ensure the dancefloor is full.
“It’s about having fun and getting people to dance,” said Chris.
“We try and keep the line-up varied and fresh because we don’t want to hone it into any particular genre of music and we’ve all got eclectic tastes as a group of friends.
“We’re opening up with house legends/producers Eton Messy. They have a real network of emerging talent in the DJ and dance world. The guys they’ve got, such as Truetopie, are having a few hits themselves.
“We’ve got The Sugarhill Gang. Everyone’s fully aware of their biggest hit, Rapper’s Delight. They will be doing some live rapping with a DJ. We’ve got Grandmaster Flash back again this year. He’s just won the Nobel prize for music at the end of last week – he’s in prestigious company.
“That’s fantastic for him because he really is a godfather in the DJ world so we can’t wait to have him back. He was incredible last time, we could have sold it out three times over. He loved it so much he asked to come back at a lower rate – he’s going to have videos and visuals as part of his set, I can’t wait to see it, it’s going to be so much fun.
“It was our best night out we’ve had in our lives and at the age I’m getting to now, we’ve gone to a fair few.
“We’ve got party takeovers – we’re pleased to have South London Soul Train on board, doing funk, soul, dance and bits of house, it’s one of the best places to go and get your dance on.
“One of the other takeovers is Super Dupa Fly, playing hip-hop and old-school R&B.
“We’re trying to cater for everyone but mainly around music that will get people off their feet and enjoying themselves.
“We also have Simon Dunmore, head of Defected Records. He’s been one of the biggest DJs and promoters heading up the house labels. He’s supportive in the fact that it’s nice for him to play somewhere different, more of an intimate crowd.
“Instead of festivals with 10,000 people, you’ve got a real close-knit party feel because it’s a 1,000 capacity. Capacity is double last time as we are across the Middle and West Yards.”
While there are more dates to be filled, the line-up so far is:
JUNE 22: Launch Night – Eton Messy + Trutopia + Chaney + Après. JUNE 28: The Sugarhill Gang. JUNE 29: South London Soul Train ft The Correspondents + Jazzheadchronic + DJ Prime Cuts. JULY 5: Guilty Pleasures.
JULY 6: Supa Dupa Fly ft CJ Beatz + Matchstick (Kiss) + Emily Rawson (1Xtra) + Teddy + G. Starr + Chux. JULY 13: Simon Dunmore. JULY 26: Grandmaster Flash.