In the past months on our travels around the UK we seem to have bumped into endless former London creative and musical types who have moved out of the megapolis.

This is not one of those spurious north v south things. Indeed we love London. It’s congestion and it’s thrilling atmosphere are hypnotic.

But. In the past few years that has seen it turn into the world’s richest city – even nudging New York aside the city has turned into a mini country of its own – one of the new 21st century city states.

These hi tech versions of the walled medieval city states with their penny pinching barons and sherrif of Nottingham style politicians cackling the evil cackle at the despondent peasants  are leaving their host countries at speed and fast forwarding onto a money future whilst everyone else copes with the recession.

Great if you are a banker or Boris Johnson doing his straw haired, 21st century schizoid Nero man bit but a nightmare for the people we deal with – the artists and musicians – those same artists and musicians that are getting celebrated in the 40th anniversary of punk in the city. O! the irony!

The same conditions 40 years ago would have seen punk erupt in Northampton or Manchester and certainly not London as no-one could afford to be there.

From Hastings to Birmingham to Manchester to Bristol the travelling musicians are relocating because they are fed up with living 4 in a  room in a windowless cupboard.

Whether this matters or not in the scheme of things matters little to many people but it seems sad that such a huge city will lose part of the creative spark that makes it so attractive in the first place.

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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