My London: Jerome Harper

Eric Jerome Harper (pictured centre) – trombone player, founder and frontman of east London band Brassroots – shares his thoughts on The Breakfast Club, Hackney Wick and the Royal Wedding…

Home is a warehouse full of musicians. When I’m amongst other creators everything just flows so nicely and naturally. General conversation feels productive and inspiring. There’s nothing like it.

I’ve lived in Texas, New Orleans and Brooklyn so London feels quite dense and totally diverse to me. You can experience such a broad range of things without travelling too far.

Right now we are working on our new album. I’ve been writing and preparing for the release as well as organising tours and gigs coming up this year.

In Hackney Wick they’re always re-inventing themselves artistically to stay relevant. Oh yeah, and they have the best parties.

A day that sums up the spirit of the city was the Royal Wedding street party at The Book Club. There were elegant tea dresses, swing dancing, Pimms, top hats and braces, and then I look up and there’s this girl in a Queen Elizabeth mask hanging from a lamp post in hot pants, smoking a cigarette and chugging a pint of cider. I fell more in love with London that day.

We tour a lot. Sleeping on a tour bus that smells of dudes gets old pretty fast.

My perfect day in London would involve… The American Breakfast at The Breakfast Club, a walk in Victoria Park, lunch at the Caribbean spot in Stoke Newington, back to mine for a nap.

For something totally unique I’d catch a show at Shakespeare’s Globe. We played their end of season party and it was the best party I’ve been to since I moved to London. Hands down. I’m pretty sure they also have something to do with theatre.

I feel most creative literally just walking around London. London is such a great city for visual and auditory inspiration. I know it sounds crazy but my dad hipped me to it over the phone a couple months ago. We were talking about writing songs for my band and he mentioned to me that the city itself sounded pretty musical over the phone and to make sure I included that in my material because it’s influenced what I do here so much.

I really want to see Kew Gardens, I’ve heard a lot about it but haven’t been there yet. I’ve seen quite few really cool places just playing gigs around the city.

The Tube is horrendous; always problems and delays and so crowded and hot. Ugh.

I’m inspired by so many people. Recently I’ve been hugely inspired by the story of Kevin Clash, the voice and personality behind Elmo the Muppet. His story is incredible. It just goes to show if you dedicate yourself to your dreams, they will come to you.’


Brassroots Presents… is a new night on every second Wednesday of the month. The next event takes place on Wednesday 8 February, 7.30pm at:

Rich Mix
35-47 Bethnal Green Road
E1 6LA

Information and booking: 020 7613 7498

Photo of Brassroots courtesy of Briony Campbell

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