Tales From Tin Pan Alley

Britain's music street 'Tin Pan Alley' has resided in London's Denmark Street since Francis, Day & Hunter the first music publishers moved-in back in 1906.

It was home to songwriters, music venues, recording studios, rehearsal spaces, demo studios and music instruments shops, as well as being the birthplace of British Silent Cinema, before becoming London’s ‘Little Tokyo’ until World War 2.

London's Tin Pan Alley remains unparalleled.

30 people who worked in this legendary music street take us on a 110-year journey through Tin Pan Alley, aided by British broadcaster-authors Dan Cruikshank, Paul French, Joshua Levene and Will Self.

Contributors include singer Dame Vera Lynn, 'Skiffler' Chas McDevitt, The Small Faces' drummer Kenney Jones, David Bowie's bassist Herbie Flowers, Sex Pistols’ bassist Glen Matlock, Damned guitarist Captain Sensible, Beta Band’s Steve Mason, soul singer Linda Lewis, Tom Jones songwriter Barry Mason, Eurovision hit songwriter Bill Martin, Music Industry Legend Eric Hall,
Acid Jazz’s Eddie Piller and Guardian journalist Simon Usbourne, among others

Redevelopment now threatens the future livelihood of music-based artisans in this historic street.

This documentary concludes by illustrating how London is losing this creative hub to gentrification. Britain’s birthplace of popular music and song Tin Pan Alley aka Denmark Street remains London's only street of musical instrument shops.

The loss and destruction of areas of cultural heritage is naturally of international concern.

This is the first full length documentary to highlight this pressing matter.

CHRIS CHOI, ITN's CONSUMER EDITOR & ROYAL TELEVISION SOCIETY AWARD WINNER 2016-2017 (Reviewed on 26th October 2018)

"A nuclear shelter, an IRA bomb, Britain's biggest mass murder and the roots of the UK Music Business: all in one street, all in one documentary!

I am riveted by Henry Scott-Irvine's film. Can't put it down. Great stories and pics. Tales From Tin Pan Alley gives a dazzling shot of the colour, personalities and zest being ripped from our cities. That so much individuality and style is being lost to the wrecking ball is a national scandal, which future generations will despise us for.

This documentary is wonderful. No wonder it's winning awards.

Congratulations to Henry Scott-Irvine

Chris Choi - Consumer Affairs Editor ITN London "

  • Henry Scott-Irvine
    Director
  • Henry Scott-Irvine
    Producer
  • Film Type:
    Documentary, Feature, Television
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 24 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 2, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    44,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Film Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16.9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Los Angeles Cinefest
    Los Angeles
    United States
    December 20, 2018
    TFTPA - 2019 Semi Finalist for Best Documentary Feature
  • Creation International Film Festival
    Ottawa
    Canada
    May 31, 2018
    Not screened in spite of Festival Selection
    TFTPA - Official Selection - Best Film 'Trailer'
  • Madrid International Film Festival
    Madrid
    Spain
    July 24, 2018
    World Premiere Screening
    TFTPA - Official Selection for The Best Documentary Feature
  • The Paris Art & Movie Awards
    Paris
    France
    June 25, 2018
    not screened
    TFTPA - Official Selection - Best Documentary Feature
  • Mindfield Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    September 28, 2018
    TFTPA - Winner of The Gold Award for The Best Documentary Feature Film
  • Mindfield Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    September 28, 2018
    TFTPA - Winner of The Platinum Award for The Best Film Trailer
  • World Premiere Film Awards
    Ottawa
    Canada
    September 30, 2018
    TFTPA - Winner of The Best Documentary Feature Film
  • Global Trailer Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    August 4, 2018
    Sepember 18th
    TFTPA - Winner of The Best Documentary Film Trailer
  • Portobello International Film Festival
    London
    United Kingdom
    August 30, 2018
    UK Premiere
    TFTPA - Winner of The Best Documentary Film Award
  • Bristol Independent Film Festival
    Bristol
    United Kingdom
    September 15, 2018
    TFTPA - Winner of The Best Documentary Feature
  • Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards
    Los Angeles
    United States
    March 23, 2019
    American Premiere
    TFTPA - Winner of The Best Cultural Feature 2018
  • Liverpool International Film Festival
    Liverpool
    United Kingdom
    November 9, 2018
    TFTPA - Winner of The Best Documentary Feature Film
  • TMFF - The Monthly Film Festival
    Glasgow
    United Kingdom
    October 31, 2018
    TFTPA - October 2018 Winner - 2nd Best Feature Film
  • Newlyn International Film Festival, Cornwall, England
    Penzance
    United Kingdom
    April 5, 2019
    Cornish Premiere
    Out of Competition but opening the festival at The Acorn Theatre
  • North Europe International Film Festival - London Edition - aka Fusion London
    London
    United Kingdom
    February 22, 2019
    East London Premiere
    TFTPA Winner Best Documentary Feature Film. Also Nominated for Best Editing and Best Story Adapted For Screen
  • Soundscreen Film Festival London at Regent St Cinema.
    London
    United Kingdom
    March 23, 2019
    TFTPA Selection at Soundscreen Film Festival at Regent St Cinema
  • Crystal Palace International Film Festival (Picture House, Norwood, London)
    London
    United Kingdom
    March 26, 2019
    TFTPA Winner of The Best Documentary Feature 2019
Director Biography - Henry Scott-Irvine

Background as TV Archive Producer on over 150 Music Arts Documentaries since 1987; including, Status Quo - The Party Ain't Over Yet (2006) Punk Attitude (2005) The Elton John Story (2003) Pop On The Box (2003) The South Bank Show - Bernie Taupin (2002) Classic Albums - Elvis (2002) Classic Albums - Transformer (2002) Classic Albums - Never Mind The Bollocks (2001) Classic Albums - Goodbye Yellow Brick Rd (2001) John Lennon The Early Years (2001)

Author of The Ghosts of a Whiter Shade Of Pale with Forewords from Martin Scorsese and Sir Alan Parker (Omnibus Press) Features writer for Record Collector Magazine (2011-2015) and Radio Producer and Presenter of 400 radio shows at Resonance 104.4 fm London (2009 - 2016)

Founder-Chairman of The Save Denmark St Campaign (2014-2018), which has 36,000 change.org subscribers, linked into campaign sites at www.savetpa.tk and www.tinpanalleytales.co.uk with The Save Tin Pan Alley petition https://www.change.org/p/don-t-bin-tin-pan-alley

This led to his Save Denmark St TV spots (2014-2016) on The One Show, The Sunday Politics, BBC News, ITV News and London Live, following on from campaign achieved Grade 2 Star Listings of 3 buildings in Denmark St in conjunction with Historic England, English Heritage and Sex Pistol Glen Matlock.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Tales From Tin Pan Alley is told by key people who worked in London's Denmark Street. The interviews were given in the wake of music being threatened in Tin Pan Alley/Denmark Street.

The true 'unsung heroes' of Tin Pan Alley are the musicians, the songwriters, the music publishers, the technicians and the people from behind-the-scenes who have come out of the woodwork, out of history and out of retirement to approach us. Individuals that would be very hard to find in any other circumstance have come forward from across the globe, saying, 'We want to be in this special documentary film!'

We have them here now. This is their story - a contemporary urban Canterbury Tale - a vital testament from over 30 musicians, broadcasters and historians.

In 2018 Tin Pan Alley's 110 year old music legacy is currently in peril due to ensuing gentrification, leading to upcoming penthouse flats, hotels, restaurants and a shopping mall.

The legacy of those who worked in the street is our testament to Denmark Street's unique place in international cultural history.

The struggle for those remaining, continues ...