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Welcome to my world

Murder Ballads
Secret London

Paul Slade Hello. My name's Paul Slade, and I've been a journalist here in London since 1982. During that time, I've written for The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, The Times, The Observer, The Sunday Telegraph, The Independent on Sunday, The Sunday Times, Mojo, Fortean Times, The Idler, Time Out and a host of other publications. In 2005, I started making occasional documentaries for BBC Radio 4, covering subjects like a forgotten radio hoax of 1926 and the craze for "dirty blues" lyrics in pre-war America.

I've developed a taste for writing long essays, a form very few magazines will consider buying

Like any hack who's been working for that length of time, I've accumulated a fair number of pet projects over the years. These are subjects which I've become passionately interested in myself but which, for one reason or another, I've never managed to sell as a commercial proposition. It doesn't help matters that I've recently developed a taste for writing longer essays - running anywhere up to 15,000 words in length - which is a form very few modern magazines are prepared to consider.
Hence this website. Here you'll find my guide to some of the world's most fascinating Murder Ballads, a series of Secret London's forgotten mysteries and, in the section I've cunningly titled Miscellany, anything else I damn well feel like including. My aim is to combine the old-fashioned virtues of traditional journalism - proper research, clear writing and a habit of checking my facts - with the global distribution and ease of access which only the internet can provide. I hope you find something here to take your interest.

- Paul Slade, London, April 2009


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PlanetSlade’s main Twitter account gives you announcements of all new additions to the site, a heads-up on significant aniversaries, capsule theatre reviews, tips on my cultural discoveries and anything I think might make people laugh. Join our merry band by clicking the button below.

Added in Jan 2015: Moshpit Memories

Throughout 2014, I maintained a daily Twitter feed giving extracts from my old diaries as a music fan. These cover the period from 1975 to 1981, an era which included the heyday of UK pub rock, punk and ska.
      I started these diaries at 16 and ended them when I was 23. During that time, I saw many of the era’s best bands playing live in sweaty little clubs, bought a great many of their invigorating records and drank a ocean of beer. When I couldn’t get to the gigs themselves, John Peel’s nightly radio show and the ever-acerbic NME kept me up to speed.
      Now that 2014’s over, I’ve decided to give Moshpit’s tweets a more permanent home. This version allows me to present them in proper January-December chronological order as well as inserting a LOT of bonus material.
      I’ve now added full write-ups of concerts I attended by the Clash, the Rolling Stones, Kilburn & the High Roads, the Ruts, the Specials, Eddie & the Hot Rods, Graham Parker, Eric Clapton, the Damned, Ian Dury, Slade, Elvis Costello, Madness, Lynrnd Skynrd, Chilli Willi & the Red Hot Peppers, the Selecter, the Undertones, Sam & Dave, Kevin Coyne, the Stiff Records revue, Richard Hell, Frankie Miller, XTC, Steve Gibbons and a good few others.
      Some of these gigs – such the Clash’s two New York Palladium appearances in September 1979 - can even claim to hold a significant part in rock history. And I was there.
      Maybe you were there too – or maybe you’re just curious to see what living through that glorious era of British music was really like. Either way, you can jostle your way up the front for a full-on gig experience here.