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Emma Warren
Make Some Space: Tuning Into Total Refreshment Centre
Sweet Machine
Release Date
May 2019
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Hackney’s Total Refreshment Centre will go down in the annals of British culture as one of London’s great collaborative music venues. Its run from 2012-2018 saw numerous scenes spring up within the space from the gigs, parties and jam sessions held there. The TRC has been particularly important in building the new British jazz/jazz-adjacent scene that has spawned artists like Nubya Garcia,Ezra Collective, KOKOROKO and The Comet is Coming.

Make Some Space: Tuning Into Total Refreshment Centre sees author Emma Warren put together an informative and illuminating history of the spot. Tracing the origins of the building back over a hundred years, Warren maps out how a former chocolate factory and long-time Caribbean social club ended up being a centre for nurturing young jazz talent. As such, Make Some Space becomes a book that is as much about the changes that have occurred in Hackney as it is about the building that became the TRC.

Those who were involved with the space as performers provide insight into why the TRC was such a meaningful place for them. Other musical figures like Emma-Jean Thackray and Gilles Peterson have lauded the book, and fellow authors Lloyd Bradley (Sounds Like London: 100 Years Of Black Musical In The Capital) and Dan Hancox (Inner City Pressure: The Story Of Grime) have been quick to praise Make Some Space.

Emma Warren’s Make Some Space: Tuning Into Total Refreshment Centre is a crucial account of an important venue.

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