Martin Morales' favourite musical hang outs
Pure Vinyl (Brixton)
I’ve got a soft spot for Brixton not just because our MD Raquel lives there but also because it was the place where I did my first ever DJ gig in London after starting out DJing playing in clubs in Leeds. It was at Brixton’s Loughborough Junction, at The Mambo Inn Club, in the early 90s and I will never forget that club nor that night. It changed my life and showed me how harmonious and multicultural a club playing music from around the world could be and how it could bring such a wide variety of people together. And for the last few years Pure Vinyl has been holding that torch too. Run by dj, record collector and true music lover Claudia Wilson, her partner Mark and also has the musical mind of Paul Bay helping out, this shop started out as a small stall I discovered in an alleyway in Brixton Market a few years ago. It’s now got lovely premises, sells strictly vinyl soul, jazz, reggae, funk and world music and is a great place to hang out and discover new music.
Total Refreshment Centre (Dalston)
Spencer and Alex are jazz heads at heart and they produce one of London’s most exciting music events every few months. It’s called the Church of Sound, its in a church in Clapton and we’ve served food from Andina there. These are truly special one off nights and each night the atmosphere is electric. But for a regular location where you can hear the very latest cutting edge music from any genre head to their TRC. The curation is eclectic but never disappoints. It also has rehearsal spaces and recording studios. (Since publication, TRC has been temporarily closed, fingers crossed)
Soul Brother Records (Putney)
Soul Brother Records in Putney has served many of the world’s best Djs for over 20 years. This is my go to place to buy 7 inch vinyl of latin, jazz, Brazilian, Nigerian, Colombian, Peruvian, Ethiopian, funk and northern soul. It’s my guilty pleasure and if I pop in, its impossible for me to leave within 3 hours. With founder Laurence’s help as well as Johnny's, they find, dig and suggest musical nuggets as well as being the friendliest people in any record shop in the world.
Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club (Soho)
Ronnie’s was the first ever venue I went to when I first came to London aged 16. It’s right across from Ceviche Soho so I often pop in after work to say hi to the guys on the door - one of them is called Felix and is Peruvian and the others are the loveliest and most welcoming door people I’ve met in any club. But of course, the venue is all about the music and boy have I seen some gigs there! Of late, Chaka Khan, Chucho Valdez, Billy Cobham and Marlena Shaw to name a few. I once worked with Joss Stone and this is where we did her first ever press gig aged 15. I will never forget the site of watching the jaws of the hardest critics and music journalists drop as this child prodigy performed for the first ever time. She was a kid, giggling nervously between each song but when she opened her mouth and sang the spirit of a 70 year old soul diva took over. It was incredible to watch.
Village Underground (Shoreditch)
Just down the road from Andina in Shoreditch is VA and many of my team pop there after work to watch a variety of alternative artists. The club hosts live music and regular club nights, and I’ve also been there to award ceremonies. I just like the vibe; you find creative and interesting people and music and it has been a real focal point for Shoreditch’s music community thank’s to founder Auro’s drive and determination to keep the curation away from the mainstream. They will soon open a sister location in Dalston called the Hackney Arts Centre which I can’t wait to check out.
Others too: Honest Jons, Phonica, Sounds of the Universe
Martin Morales is and award winning Peruvian chef, cookbook author, restaurateur and co-founder of Tiger's Milk Records