Rockers, Soulheads and Lovers: Sound Systems Back in Da Day

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Rockers, Soulheads and Lovers: Sound Systems Back in Da Day

Learn more about the African-Caribbean sound systems of London past in this exhibition of photos, film, stories and artefacts. The story is told from the perspectives of people who lived in South London in the '50s, '60s, '70s and early '80s, and the gallery aims to recreate a blues party environment.

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I'm not one for visiting art galleries and poring over famous pieces of art, but when my mum told me about the 'Rockers, Soulheads and Lovers' exhibition, down at 198 Gallery, I knew I had to go.

'Rockers, Soulheads and Lovers' pretty much sums up my childhood. Growing up with reggae music blasting through the house, being with my grandparents and regular trips to Brixton market meant that I was heavily influenced by roots music and my Jamaican heritage.

This exhibition was a formal nod to Brixton in its early days, before gentrification took over. As you walk in you hear the music playing in the background. On the left, a set up of a traditional old Caribbean-British front room, wallpaper and all! On the right, a whole wall plastered with original vinyls from records made in the 70s and 80s. Some of the original sleeves, show beautiful artwork featuring rastas and sunshine! Through the back, there was a screening of images and two life sized figures, set up to look like a typical 'dance' back then. The music was fairly loud and the room felt particularly nostalgic (at least for my mum!)

We were lucky enough to wander in as a talk (given by the curator) started. Interesting, engaging and lively discussion ensued. Topics such as Sound systems, dancehall music, popular culture and commercialisation were only some of the topics covered in that hour.

Although this is a (very) small exhibition, for anyone who is interested in early Brixton, reggae music and the old UK reggae scene, I would recommend visiting it. They will be holding a no. of events in the next few weeks as the exhibition comes to a close. Including a possible closing party!

Even if you only have 20 minutes to spare, pop down!