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Make Some Space: Tuning Into Total Refreshment Centre

4.65  ·  Rating details ·  31 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Theres an Edwardian confectionery factory in Hackney which doubles up as a time machine. 'Make Some Space' invites us through the front door of London's Total Refreshment Centre to meet a revolving cast of characters who created an accidental incubator of Londons new jazz renaissance.

The book combines Johnny Rottens politics teacher, new London jazz icons Shabaka
Paperback, 136 pages
Published by Sweet Machine Publishing

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Ryk Otto
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great read. Would recommend to anyone working in arts/cultural spaces. Fascinating insight.
Sophie Nicol
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is beautifully written and a fascinating read. Highly recommended to anyone interested in people and their music.
Joanna Kirk
This feels like such an important book. Zeitgeist reading. The idea of communities coming together and supporting each other is crucial to all culture. I had not read enough about the roots of much contemporary music but this was such a joy to read at the same time as being inspirational and informative. If anyone is doing anything creative, this is the book. At this moment in history in particular, this is such an encouraging piece of writing. I would like to read more from this author.
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Total Refreshment Centre is/was 80% magic, 80% soul, 80% artistry, 80% people and, to conclude the mix, 100% improvisation.

The maths don't make sense because the building itself doesn't make it either, in the context of big cities where everything increasingly seems the product of speculation.

You'll hear about TRC again.
It will be when someone on TV or the radio will narrate the origins of bands like Sons Of Kemet, or Ezra Collective, and explain how some places misteriously turn into spaces.
Joseph Gray
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
'Make Some Space' wastes not a single word in depicting the incredible story surrounding some warehouse bricks and mortar in north east London. It works on loads of levels, is drenched in humanity, and checks in with its readers throughout, making sure we know and understand that this is just one perspective - one angle on things.

If you feel London, feel music, feel people, feel neighbourhoods, feel change, feel resilience, feel community - this exceptional book is for you. It's brevity leaves
James Quail
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Make Some Space by Emma Warren is such a great book, its deeply inspiring and energising, I loved this book and I think about it regularly. It truly captures the feeling of vibrant creativity and being in the centre of something unique being made, and the possibilities of being in a space in which anything can happen, and in a place where you can truly be yourself. It feels like this book should be required reading for anyone doing anything creative. It feels like the most important book Ive ...more
Nadia Gilani
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book - more books like this should exist! Emma Warren has documented a piece of fascinating history by talking to people who were part of the TRC scene, made it happen and were part of it by going to events there. As a reader who missed out on visiting the venue, I felt like I got a real sense of the magic that went down by being taken back there into the thick of things, the energy and enthusiasm for that place as shown in the book is uplifting and enlivening. I felt invigorated on ...more
Gabriel Reis
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Make Some Space reminds us that art & culture are all about human relationships nurtured in spaces like Total Refreshment Centre. Spaces that still insist in bringing people together, in person, breathing the same air.
It makes you think of other TRC-like spaces in your own city, how necessary they are, and how many are still around today.
It's also a really inspiring call for us all to pay attention and document the culture happening next to us.
For many reasons, an amazing read!
Emma-Jean Thackray
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such an important book! Important in the sense of how we need to document our culture, particularly the culture that likely to be somewhat lost though councils closing venues etc, but also important because its so well written. Emma Warren not only gives us a window through time to look through, but completely captures the people, so that they are written into flesh and bones that we might reach through the window and touch them, and know them. ...more
Steve Yates
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a such a great book. It's not long, but it made more impact on me than some several times the length I could name. It's a straightforward story about one studio/events space and the people, artists and musicians who passed through it. More to the point, it's a passionate, political, yet calmly made case for the need to create the physical space in which culture can thrive.
Jason Page
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Exceptional book for anyone interested in space activation, regeneration, history, London, music, venues and anything related to community development. Warren has brought together so many people and stories to ensure those at the heart of this gem (TOTAL REFRESHMENT CENTRE) are not lost. Excellent read.
Maria Taylor
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written book giving us insight into the magic of the Total Refreshment Centre . Its filled with fascinating and heartfelt personal stories and thoughts about TRC and the emphasis is on how precious spaces are for creating an atmosphere where people can celebrate coming together to create music . Its inspiring as well as being a tribute to very special place . ...more
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a very important book and should be read by young people and adults alike. Through relaying the fascinating story of a building and venue that made a significant mark within culture, it highlights the importance of providing spaces for people to create at a time when these spaces are being withdrawn. Reading this book made me feel inspired, I can see it becoming a cult classic.
Kevin Braddock
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Like the subject itself (music and community centres which are, sadly, fast disappearing from the urban landscape of the UK), we need more books like this. It's written from the point of view of a participant-observer, and very sensitively so, with a big message: make some space for gathering, because we and future generations need it
Jim Warren
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved the architecture of this book which welcomes you in and makes you feel you were been part of the scene at Total Refreshment Centre. It cleverly encourages you imagine that more places like this could exist and that you can be part of something that is important for all of us.
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Emmas evokes the feelings that arrive in you on the dance floor in spaces and places you share with like-minded souls. Timely and so very necessary. ...more
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My favourite book of 2019
Deanna Heer
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic and engrossing book. Essential reading for anyone who wants to know how to make good things happen against the odds.
Dom Eccleston
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a great read which you should pick up regardless of whether you know anything about the London jazz scene (I didn't prior to reading). It's a really well crafted book that's clearly meticulously researched, carefully assembled and full of energy and love for its subject matter.
Sean Doherty
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Life affirming.
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Dec 29, 2019
miss gc cook
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Jan 12, 2020
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Dec 09, 2019
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Jan 04, 2020
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Emma Warren has been documenting culture for decades. She's a reformed music journalist turned community enabler who wrote for major UK and international publications including THE FACE and Fader in both staff and freelance positions and who worked for six years as an editorial mentor at Brixton's Live Magazine. She set up a private press, Sweet Machine, to publish her first book 'Make Some Space: ...more

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