Tag Archives: soothsayers

Gift ideas for a stress-free Christmas

Dreading the festive season? Looking for inspiring gifts that are stylish, useful, environmentally friendly, AND won’t break the bank? The B£ has a range of lovely products for sale, which could help you solve all of the above predicaments in one go!

Red Earth Dub – The latest CD release from local band The Soothsayers, giving us ‘authentic-sounding, vintage roots reggae with jazz, funk and afrobeat influences’. The album includes homage track to the Brixton Pound, aptly named The Brixton Pound.  Read their album review here, and click here to find out more about the band and to listen to the track. And if you like what you hear, get yourself a copy of the album from our Community Shop, for a very decent B£8, or £10.


The new B£ reusable cup

The B£ reusable cup is the latest addition to our products range – a barista standard cup, light to carry, easy to wash, and sleek in design. You can use this cup pretty much at any cafe you like (in Brixton and beyond) and help reduce the amount of packaging we produce. However, use it at designated Brixton Cafes (see blog below), and you can also get yourself a lovely discount on the price of your hot drink.

The B£ reusable cup is available for sale at our Community Shop, and also at: Rosie’s Cafe, Wild Caper, Café Sitifis, C@fe Brixton, Viva Café (next to Brixton Recreation Centre), Azmarini Café, Opus Cafe,  Bellantoni’s and Duck Egg Cafe. However do keep an eye on our website as this list is growing faster than you can say Espresso! Yours for B£6, or £6.50.


B£ t-shirt

Brixton Power t-shirt – all seasons and never out of fashion! This t-shirt is ethically traded and made of soft organic cotton. Designed by a local resident, and produced by a local business, it comes in natural white with black design, women and men’ sizes, and is available from our Community Shop.

Yours for a very affordable B£13, or £15.

Or perhaps you are looking for a stimulating read?

Funny Money, by David Boyle, offers a very accessible fresh take on our monetary system, and on the possibilities that various alternatives can offer. Buy if from our Community Shop for a bargain B£5, or £6.

The Wizard

Also by David Boyle, The Wizard, a whole new kind of Oz for our times. The novel is a modern wizard of Oz for the days of derivatives,sub-prime mortgages and Goldman Sachs.

A century ago, Dorothy and Toto set off down the Yellow Brick Road to encounter the Wizard.  Or was it the money system, as some critics claim? This Wizard is a tale for our own times of beauty, love and courage – and small dogs.

B£5 or £7.

Last, and by no means least, why not treat your friends or your family (or yourself) to a little bit of history, by giving them a B£ collector’s set this Christmas? Each set includes 1 of each of the four B£ notes denominations, all uncirculated, as well as a letter from our Mayor.

Collectors sets can be normally purchased online at £65 (UK), £67 (Europe) and £70 (Rest of the World), including postage.  However place your order by 6th December and you can bag yourself a set for £55, £57 and £60 per pack respectively.

All orders received  under this offer will be fulfilled the w/c 6th December, and delivered on time for Christmas.

So what are you waiting for? Get those presents sorted early, and then kick back and just watch the mad scramble…

All proceeds are reinvested into the development of the B£ – a community interest company led by local volunteers.

Our Community Shop is at: Unit 6, Fifth Avenue, Granville Arcade, Brixton Village.

New items on sale in the Community Shop

Products available in the Community Shop

Products available in the Community Shop

Pop down to the Community Shop (Unit 6, Brixton Village) and take a gander at the brand spanking new items for sale. All profits will be reinvested in the Brixton Pound project.

From left to right:

– Copies of The Wizard: a whole new Oz for our times by David Boyle, a fellow of the New Economics Foundation. Based on the the idea that Frank Baum actually wove his famous tale around the monetary battles of the 1890s, The Wizard is ‘a modern Wizard of Oz for the days of derivatives, sub-prime mortgages and Goldman Sachs.’ The book also includes David Boyle’s celebrated speech at the launch of the Brixton Pound.

– The latest album from The Soothsayers and the Red Earth Collective inculding the track ‘The Brixton Pound’. See our interview with Robin Hopcraft of The Soothsayers here.

– A range of tasteful hand-crafted silver jewellery from Full Moon Designs who can usually be found at the Brixton Arts and Crafts Market next to Morleys on Fridays and Saturdays.

– The ever-popular Brixton Pound Sauce. Locally produced and market ‘sauced’ (arf). Not available for purchase in the Community Shop but you can get your hands on a bottle just a hop, skip and a jump away at Brixton Cornercopia (Unit 65, 4th Avenue, Brixton Village).

– The new ‘Brixton Power’ T-shirts, available in men’s and women’s sizes, for patriotic Brixtonites. The T-shirts are made from 100% ethically traded organic cotton and feature graphics designed by a local resident. See one modelled by an unwilling volunteer here.

Make sure you pay in B£s, there are discounts available if you do!

The Brixton Pound's got rhythm

Idris Rahman and Robin Hopcraft

Idris Rahman and Robin Hopcraft of the Soothsayers

The Soothsayers are a Brixton-based band whose music fuses dub, afrobeat, jazz, funk and West African rhythms to produce a distinctly urban sound. Uncut magazine called them “one of the finest slices of a Anglo Caribbean fusion since The Specials in their prime”. At the core of the Soothsayers are Robin Hopcraft and Idris Rahman who started playing together twelve years ago, on trumpet and sax respectively. They collaborate and perform with a wide range of talented musicians, including Johnny Clarke and Maxi Jazz, who are jointly known as the Red Earth Collective. Their latest album, Red Earth Dub, includes an instrumental track called ‘The Brixton Pound’ that was inspired by the launch of Brixton’s local currency.

The Brixton Pound interviewed Robin Hopcraft of the Soothsayers about the band and their attachment to Brixton.

Brixton Pound: How has your music been influenced by Brixton?

Robin Hopcraft: I’m not originally from London, but I moved to Brixton in 1983 from Worcester to study at Goldsmiths University. I used to go to Brixton Library a lot to borrow records. I was influenced by the people and cultures of Brixton and seeing Jamaican and African music at gigs. I was also influenced by the general atmosphere of Brixton in the Eighties, a time usually remembered less positively in the history books, but when the music scene was really buzzing.

B£: Why did you make a record about the Brixton Pound?

RH: The Brixton Pound song is really trying to encapsulate the atmosphere of Brixton and people moving around the streets. The beat is frantic at times, maybe evoking Brixton Road on a Saturday. It’s a little bit dark in places to convey the different elements of Brixton, both the positive and more edgy. The strong reggae rhythm has a dub undertone, giving it a more urban feel. It seemed to make sense to call it The Brixton Pound. It’s really a double entendre that also refers to the pounding beat on the track. I love the idea of the Brixton Pound. Local people spending money locally just makes sense.  In Brixton you can always find something different. In the market there are things you won’t find anywhere else. I’m sick of the Tesco domination. High streets nowadays just look like they’ve been bought out of a catalogue.

B£: Do you make a conscious effort to ‘keep it local’?

RH: The Soothsayers play in lots of local venues. We have sessions in The Effra [Hall Tavern] and Mango Landin’. The local music scene is really picking up with things like Plan B reopening. There weren’t many venues a few years ago but now it’s becoming reminiscent of the Eighties when venues like the Hootenanny were a real draw. Our latest album was also produced in Brixton in Sonica Studios on Acre Lane.

B£: What’s next for the Soothsayers?

RH: We’ll be touring around Europe this summer. Our first stop is the Czech republic – not so local! But our next gig in The UK will be at Rich Mix in Bethnal Green on 11th July. We’ll be playing as part of their Afro Cup Festival to celebrate the South African World Cup. The Soothsayers will also be performing at a few festivals around the UK. And no doubt we’ll be back in Brixton soon.

The Soothsayers’ latest album ‘Red Earth Dub’ featuring ‘The Brixton Pound’ will be available at from the Brixton Pound stall at various events this Summer including Lambeth Country Show and Brixton Splash.