Rock ‘n’ Roll Island to be screened on BBC4
March 16, 2020
Billed as a Choice programme in Radio Times, the award-winning music documentary Rock ‘n’ Roll Island, produced and directed by Cheryl Robson, will be screened on BBC4 later this month.
Celebrating the musical history of Eel Pie Island, a small island in the Thames in South-West London which became the epicenter of R & B in the 60s, the 60 minute film began its life in 2013, when Cheryl Robson launched a project funded by Heritage Lottery which included an exhibition in Twickenham that attracted over 6000 people, a book, music gigs and workshops.
In its heyday, the likes of The Stones, The Yardbirds, the Who, David Bowie, Elton John, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall, Long John Baldry and many others cut their teeth at the venue before becoming legends of the music industry.
The film has some fantastic music and archive from the 60s and 70s and includes interviews with musicians such as Rod Stewart from The Faces, Pete Frampton, Top Topham from The Yardbirds, Mick Avory from The Kinks, Dave Brock from Hawkwind, Andy Bown from Status Quo, Steve Hackett from Genesis, Phil May from The Pretty Things, Geoff Cole from the Ken Colyer Band, Bob Dwyer from The Southern Stompers, Don Craine and Keith Grant from The Downliners Sect, Martin Turner from Wishbone Ash, Paul Stewart from The Others, as well as numerous fans known as ‘Eelpilanders’. Combining these interviews with original images and footage from the era, the documentary explores the unique experiences of the people who either played at the Island Hotel or went there to listen to music and dance on the famous bouncing dance floor.
Cheryl Robson, who created the project said: “You can feel the incredible fondness for the Eel Pie experience when talking to those who actually went there. There was definitely something in the water in South West London which affected all those who went, played, sang or danced. The energy was infectious.”