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Legendary Hip Hop record shop Real Deal returns to Carnaby Street



Legendary Hip Hop record store returns to its iconic home in Carnaby to celebrate the place where many of the new generation of hip hop stars, burst onto the scene. Deal Real was originally situated at 3 Marlborough Court, just off Carnaby Street between 2002-2007 and was the venue where the likes of Amy Winehouse, Kanye West, John Legend, Mos Def and Lupe Fiasco performed to fervent crowds of fans, tastemakers and inquisitive passers-by.

By its closure, it had become London’s epicentre for hip-hop and urban youth-culture, responsible for showcasing, supporting and nurturing a wealth of burgeoning talent, many of whom went on to attain mainstream success. The roll-call also included Oritse Williams, Estelle, Tinchy Stryder, Doc Brown and Mr Hudson to name a few.

Real Deal Carnaby Store

Kayne West and John Legend – Real Deal Carnaby Street

Deal Real was a hive of activity and its legendary Friday night open-mics provided a platform for creative young people to come together, showcase their talents, share ideas, network with like minds, develop skills and build positive futures. It was social networking before Twitter, with many young people arriving as curious music enthusiasts, but leaving as fans, collaborators and friends.

Open Mic night at Deal Real, Marlborough Court, Carnaby

The 2015 pop-up launches on Record Store Day Saturday 18 April 2015 at 14 Newburgh Street, Carnaby. It will showcase the cream of London’s undiscovered and unrepresented talent, including emerging visual artists, musicians and fashion designers. A photo-gallery will depict some of the memorable moments and in store performances, along with archive footage from a range of British artists including Example, Professor Green and Mr Hudson, as well as internationally renowned artists Kanye West, Will I Am, Akon, Mos Def and John Legend.

Reconnecting with notable alumni, Deal Real Legacy will curate a host of free one-off in store signings, performances and workshops. Visitors can expect definitive line-ups of some of the most established UK and international artists, alongside the freshest up and coming talent. More details will follow on and Within 5 years of thriving in one of London’s iconic music and fashion districts, Deal Real became known as “London’s Hip Hop Mecca” as quoted by Sleazenation magazine in November 2003.

Real Deal Carnaby Store

Founder of Deal Real, Vincent Olutayo says “It’s fantastic being able to celebrate the legacy of Deal Real with Carnaby and to use the opportunity to re-establish our ethos of supporting up and coming talent from music, fashion or art, as well as young people aspiring to establish creative careers”
Doc Brown, former rapper and MC says, ‘I remember Mos Def was over here and he came through and he became addicted, he brought Pharoahe Monch, and Kanye West, and then it just spread from there, the Black Eyed Peas, the Wu Tang Clan, Red Man, Slick Rick, it was unreal. I met all my heroes right here.’

Cowds outside Deal Real, Marlborough Court, Carnaby

Magician Impossible Dynamo, recalls “Deal Real was like the epicentre of what was happening…they had all these superstars coming each week, it was quite special…it was where great people, who were into good music, would meet up and hang out”

Singer, rapper and songwriter Example says “Deal Real was the heart of the hip hop culture in London…The open mic events were legendary and gave me the confidence to perform in front of a crowd. So many successful British artists and international stars regularly hung out, bought records, or performed there.”

Deal Real

No shopping street in the world can boast a real connection with music and popular culture quite like Carnaby Street. Music and fashion have walked hand in hand ever since the young entrepreneur John Stephen opened his first boutique called ‘His Clothes’ in 1958. It became a mecca for the new mods, seriously into their sharp threads. By 1964 Lord John had opened, and owner Warren Gold found himself dressing the young John Lennon, Brian Jones and Mick Jagger.

Carnaby today is London’s coolest shopping and dining destination – an intriguing mix of 13 streets where you can discover independent boutiques, heritage brands, flagship stores and new concept stores as well as a vast choice of restaurants, bars and pubs. Today, many of the fashion stores have strong links with musicians including Liam Gallagher who chose Carnaby Street as the flagship home for his brand Pretty Green, at number 57.

The Great Frog at 10 Ganton Street opened in 1972 and makes rock inspired jewellery for the likes of Iron Maiden, Arctic Monkeys, Lady Gaga and Motorhead. Drop Dead, Vans, Dr. Martens, Ben Sherman, Lambretta, adidas Originals and the brand new European flagship for Pharrell Williams’ brand Billionaire Boys Club are among the many brands that have a big music focus.


Lover of all things FAST. If I am not in the office, you can find me near a track or under a car. I also work with great people in TrendLife's Editorial team.



Milton Keynes Reggae Festival brings stars and sunshine to MK



Milton Keynes Reggae Festival brings stars and sunshine to MK

Milton Keynes Reggae Festival being held in Campbell Park is set to bring some of the biggest names in reggae to Milton Keynes. Taking place on Saturday 14th August, the all day reggae festival will see performances from vintage reggae artists like Aswad, Maxi Priest and arguably the most influential reggae band, The Maytals.

Also performing on the all-day reggae festival are a selection of artists that have taken Reggae to new audiences. These include Lover’s Rock stars Carroll Thompson and Janet Kay, legendary Dub specialists Channel One Sound System (Mikey Dread and Ras Kayleb), The Marley Experience and many more acts.

Limited tickets are available online. Standard tickets are sold out.

Five reasons to attend Milton Keynes Reggae Festival

With such a good lineup, it was hard to pick our favourite artists to see at the festival but we have shortlisted our five favourite reasons to attend the Milton Keynes Reggae Festival.

1. The Maytals Band at Milton Keynes Reggae Festival

The Maytals Band also known as Toots and Maytals are one of the most influential reggae bands of all times. Some even credit the term Reggae to the bands ‘Do The Reggae’ 1968 hit written by the late Toots Hibbert who sadly passed away last September.

The Maytals Band have had numerous international hits including Pressure Drop, 54-56, Funky Kingston and Monkey Man.

2. Aswad at Milton Keynes Reggae Festival

After over fifteen albums and two decades on the music scene, Aswad remains one of Britain’s best-loved reggae bands. With hits such as Don’t Turn Around and Shine, Aswad are a large part of UK reggae history.

3. Maxi Priest at Milton Keynes Reggae Festival

UK Born Max “Maxi Priest” Elliott was born in South London in 1961 and over a ten year period from 1986 to 1996, notched up a string of UK chart hits with two of them hitting the big time in America where Reggae was relatively unknown.

Known best for his international chart hits Wild World and Close To You, Maxi Priest has gone on to have hits with Shabba Ranks (Housecall) and Shaggy (I’m Alright).

4. David Rodigan at Milton Keynes Reggae Festival

David Michael Rodigan MBE or just Rodigan needs no formal introduction. The DJ, Selector and all-around soundclash champion has established himself as a major force on the international reggae scene. His performance on stage at soundclashes across the world are legendary.

5.  Hear something different at Milton Keynes Reggae Festival

With such an incredible lineup, you will definitely get to experience something new. Many new musicals genres have come out of Reggae from SKA to rocksteady to Ragga and UK favourite, Drum & Bass. King of Drum & Bass General Levy is also on the Milton Keynes Reggae Festival lineup. Check out this Incredible video of General Levy.

Campbell Park Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes Reggae Festival brings stars and sunshine to MK

Campbell Park managed by The Parks Trust is located in the heart of Milton Keynes, this central city park stretches from the theatre end of Central Milton Keynes down to the Grand Union Canal.

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Beds & Herts duo The Shires announce online concert



Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire duo - The Shires

The Shires are a duo from Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire who are innately passionate about demonstrating the continued relevance of their UK perspective on country music. Made up of Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes, the pair create music that draws from classic elements of the genre, whilst delivering singalong, mellow experiences within their forward-thinking tales. 

Although 2021 sees The Shires delay their scheduled tour due to current COVID-19 restrictions, they are thrilled to announce a very special worldwide concert online for the beginning of April. 

Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire duo - The Shires

Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire duo – The Shires

About The Shires

The Shires are two relatable, exuberant friends that have confessed awe in each other’s vast skillset. With just their guitars, obsessive song-writing and vocal ability, the British duo have sold-out the prestigious Royal Albert Hall, become the first home country act to reach the top ten of the British album charts and even enjoyed a performance at the Royal Wedding on BBC Radio 2. The Shires carried this successful streak into 2020 with the release of their fourth album, Good Years. Recorded in the home of Country music, Nashville, the body of work concentrated on the authentic storytelling and the seamlessly blended vocals the duo have crafted a reputation for. 

Upcoming performances by The Shires

The online concert, on the 10th April, will feature Ben and Crissie (and their band) relishing in the part of their musical career they love the most, performing. Creating an atmospheric live experience, the concert is presented with unbelievable sound quality and will boast their most prominent songs, including Daddy’s Little Girl and I Just Wanna Love You.

The Shires will be performing live at Bedford Corn Exchange. This event’s performance date was changed (the old date was Sunday, 16 May 2021 at 7:00 PM). The show will now take place on Friday, 13 May 2022 at 7:00 PM.

Tickets go on sale here. Find new tour dates linked here.


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Henley Festival goes Digital with Will Young & Beverley Knight



Henley Festival goes Digital with performances by Beverley Knight

For 2020 Henley Festival has announced that it will be going digital, presenting a 2-hour evening concert, streamed on the Henley Festival website with performances from the Hurley House Hotel.

Popstar Will Young will perform some of his classic hits including Love Revolution, Joy and Light my fire. He says: “It’s a pleasure to be able use a home filmed show, the band and I have been working on during lockdown for Henley, a place I’ve performed in and loved. I grew up not too far from there, so it is almost a virtual home-town show.”

Henley Festival goes Digital with performances by Beverley Knight

Henley Festival goes Digital with performances by Beverley Knight

Soul singer Beverley Knight will perform a 40 minute concert of her top hits. There will also be performances from classical pianist Hao Zi Yoh, and number one Jazz musician Joe Stilgoe. Comedy will be provided by Rory Bremner who will perform some new topical material whilst being interviewed by cricket commentator David Gower.  David Gower who has said “As a guest in previous years I have grown to love the atmosphere and diversity of the many talents on show at the Henley Festival so it is a great pleasure to add a little something back with this year’s digital event”

Festival goers can watch the digital concert from the comfort of their own homes, with tickets starting from £10.10 each and available from

All ticket sales will help to support the not-for-profit festival to continue in 2021. Established 38 years ago as a classical music charity event, Henley Festival continues to be run on a not for profit basis.  supporting charitable projects at both a national and local level.

Henley Festival announced back in April that this year’s five day black-tie Festival will be postponed in its entirety to July 2021, moving the full 2020 line up to next year including headliners James Blunt, Madness, and Sophie Ellis Bextor. Anyone who holds tickets to the 2020 festival will be able to use them in 2021.

Henley Festival CEO Nick Mattingley said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to offer a digital version of Henley Festival for 2020 with some of the UK’s best loved performers.  This is a wonderful opportunity for people to experience the festival from the comfort of their homes.”

Ticket Information: Tickets start at £10.10 and are available to buy from  Visit the festival website for further information here:

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