My London: Greg Dread of Dreadzone

Writer, producer, drummer and DJ Greg Dread (far right) shares fond London memories with The London Word from a tour bus ahead of his new Dreadzone album, Escapades (‘our seventh’) and single featuring former Big Audio Dynamite band mate Mick Jones.

I’m in a tour bus on the way to the Secret Garden Party festival listening to music and watching the countryside roll by. We have just been playing the Wickerman Festival in Scotland.

Kensal Rise, NW10, is where I’ve lived for 20 years. It’s a very convenient location; still close to the Grove. It’s cool and happening but also peaceful, charming and safe.

Living on the eighteenth floor in Trellick Tower in Golborne Road in the ‘80s whilst being part of Big Audio Dynamite is my most vivid London memory.

My perfect London day out? Dim sum in Queensway, a walk in Hyde Park past Speakers’ Corner. Tate Modern then Tate Britain via a boat on the Thames, a quick pop up The Shard then coffee and cake in Soho. And my perfect London night out? Guinness and oysters at The Cow, Westbourne Grove, a film at The Gate, Notting Hill, catching a band in the Notting Hill Arts Club, then dancing at a house music party till the early hours.

Mick Jones is my biggest inspiration for giving me the chance to grow within Big Audio Dynamite, and showing me I could set out on my own path.

The diversity of people and cultures coexisting easily makes London unique. Also free entry to museums and galleries.

Spring is my favourite season in London as the city brightens into crisp sunshine after the cold and brings a fresh energy that makes one appreciate our climate.

I feel most creative in the many fine museums and art galleries; a feast for the senses that enhances the thought process.

I’ve never been to The Royal Opera House. I’ve just recently started to appreciate opera properly via composers like Puccini; stirring Italian arias.

My favourite Londoner is David Bowie, because I grew up through his music and identified with him with his shift from glam to soul boy. He owned the ‘70s.

The best London song has to be Waterloo Sunset. It may seem obvious but it’s been around for so long it just feels like part of the city. The best London film? I would have to say Nicolas Roeg’s Performance with Mick Jagger and James Fox.

Extortionate parking charges, speed bumps and hipsters in London drive me mad.

My advice? Write and produce your own music. I have heard many a drummer bemoan their lack of royalty.

To relax I have a coffee in Holland Park and take in the flower gardens.

To revisit my past I would go to Parliament Hill Fields for my childhood, or for early clubbing years somewhere like Crackers in Wardour Street.

Happiness is being your own boss, from having made a living and built something lasting through music over the years.’

Dreadzone release their new album, Escapades, on September 9 and Too Late, a new single featuring Mick Jones, on September 8.

Catch the band live at The Scala, King’s Cross, on September 19.

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