With this fourth and final Pantry fanzine, I finished the journey on which I had embarked in issue 3, and cast myself away on a desert island, thoroughly isolated. But having recognised the need to stand free of my influences and heroes, I wasn’t quite able to define myself with as much weight and clarity. It was summer 1989, and I was on the dole after finishing my third year exams; the Berlin Wall had not yet quite come down, and under the weight of the third Thatcher government and the all-embracing influence of situationism (it was even the subject of my dissertation), I did not feel free. So I roamed – as the Clientele song has it – emptily through Holloway, seeking solace in the streets, in the messiness of overlapping relationships, and – as ever – in music. The last being the simplest thing to hold on to and examine, as I turned life over in my hands. So that – no surprise – was what Pantry for the world was about. Not that you’d know from the cover, which with highly refined indifference gives no indication of the contents. Instead simply that arch and ironic title, whose grandiloquence is softened once you register that it’s a tribute to the Isley Brothers’ ‘Harvest for the world’, which I had grown to love that summer.
The photograph is of the house that stood opposite the point at which Hertslet Road was met by Roden Street, where I lived. The house never recovered from its state of disrepair. Not long after the photo was taken, work began on the Nags Head shopping centre, which also erased Bovay Place and the squatted red brick building that stood there.
But while I stop here with my thoughts awhile, mourning lost streets of London, why not hurry on over to The London nobody sings? The party’s in full swing, and it surely won’t be long before the scribe behind Your heart out posts a song which celebrates the part of London that you know and love best. (The same scribe, I should add, who twenty years ago contributed a piece to Pantry for the world, as we shall soon reveal.)
Great to to see residents of the Five Boroughs taking up the challenge to bring us The New York nobody sings as well. Just need Paris and Munich now.