The Bridge House E16

A complete list of all bridge house releases from 1978 to 1983.
With notes by terence murphy owner of bridge house records.

Bridge House Books

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Bridge House book cover

TERENCE MURPHY
The Bridge House, Canning Town
Memories of a Legendary Live Band Venue

Published by Pennant Books
July 2007
ISBN - 9781906015022

Music-drenched East End landmark pub The Bridge House, E16, was the most important British pub rock venue of the 1970's - and the first pub in the world with its own record label.. U2 played their first British gig there. Chas'n'Dave recorded a whole live double album there. Iron Maiden, Dire Straits, Depeche Mode and Cockney Rejects began there, founding a bewilderingly wild panorama of new music movements: brutal, guitar-heroic or purely melodic.

Now its legendary owner-impresario and former boxer Terence Murphy, one of the pivotal East End Murphy dynasty, gives us the first biography of his unforgettable live venue.

The Mod revival, the Punk/Skinhead movement and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal - Bridge House was the absolute, inspirational centre of these surging new youth cults, all improbably different from one another. And although Joe Brown had installed all the pub's electrics in a former life as an apprentice, and although Murphy remembers regretfully and repeatedly turning down The Police - "With a name like that we couldn't give them a gig in Canning Town"- Bridge House's power as a seminal rock venue went far beyond an East End working class music ethic.

With his large collection of hitherto-unseen photos and his own astute memories, Murphy lets rip a musical free-for-all, his collage of star artists becoming powerfully psychedelic. Jeff Beck, Ginger Baker, Rory Gallagher jamming sensationally with the guys. Jagger and Richards showing up to support Charlie Watts' band Rocket 88. Police waiting to arrest Steve Marriot at his Blind Drunk gig, or Billy Bragg winning a talent contest, or Modern Romance handing Murphy their silver disc for all his help. Depeche Mode being signed by Mute there, or Paul Young with the Q Tips in a 9-month residency or Tom Robinson fine-tuning "2.4.6.8" there. A secret gig by Alex Harvey; a regular stint by Huey Lewis; and Paul Jones forming the Blues Band - who are still playing more than 20 years later.

Right next door to Bridge House stands the country's most famous boxing pub, The Royal Oak. Run by Murphy's brother, it has trained the most boxing champs, including Bruno, of any outfit in the country. Not surprising then, that the Bridge House regulars Cockney Rejects had a boxer singer, and began the 'Oi' punk/skinhead movement there. Continuing the brutalist theme, psycho band Wasted Youth were formed there, its bassist and founder member Murphy's son. Iron Maiden played over 35 times with three different singers, and so began the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.

Murphy's achievement with his book - as with his pub - is to force together a whole riot of acts, whose names all jar violently together, into a mighty historic fusion: Brian Knight, Long John Baldry, Manfred Mann, Lindisfarne, Crawler, Paul Kossoff Band, Jo Ann Kelly and her Band, Tony Mcphee & Groundhogs, Zoot Money and Alexis Korner. Geno Washington, Squeeze, the Blow Monkeys, Girls School, Sham 69, The Damned, Glen Matlock, Lena Lovich, The Vibrators and Joan Jett. The Skids, Soft Cell, UK Subs, Stray Cats, John Cooper Clark, Norman Lovett, Gerry McAvoy, Jackie Lynton, Remus Down Boulevard and Splodgenessabounds.

Nor are the famous and essential predators left out of Murphy's book; the circling managers, the A&R louts who man-handled new legends out and away from the local buzz. Tom Watkins, Jazz Summers, Chris Wright, Colin Bell, Miles Copland, Micky Most, Tarquin Gotch, Mutt Lange, John Blake, Gary Bushell, Simon Hills and Ged Doherty all make personal appearances.


Do you have any questions, memories or photos about the Bridge House and any of it's performers ?
We would love to hear from you.    email:info@thebridgehouseE16.com

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