Tales From Tin Pan Alley

PAMA 2018 Movies 06/07/2018



Directed by Henry Scott-Irvine

Produced by Henry Scott-Irvine


The movie is listed in competition for the 2018 PAMA for :
– Best Documentary


Britain’s music street ‘Tin Pan Alley’ has resided in London’s Denmark Street since Francis, Day & Hunter the first music publishers moved-in back in 1906.

It was home to songwriters, music venues, recording studios, rehearsal spaces, demo studios and music instruments shops, as well as being the birthplace of British Silent Cinema, before becoming London’s ‘Little Tokyo’ until World War 2.

London’s Tin Pan Alley remains unparalleled.

30 people who worked in this legendary music street take us on a 110-year journey through Tin Pan Alley, aided by British broadcaster-authors Dan Cruikshank, Paul French, Joshua Levene and Will Self.

Contributors include singer Dame Vera Lynn, ‘Skiffler’ Chas McDevitt, The Small Faces’ drummer Kenney Jones, David Bowie’s bassist Herbie Flowers, Sex Pistols’ bassist Glen Matlock, Damned guitarist Captain Sensible, Beta Band’s Steve Mason, soul singer Linda Lewis, Tom Jones songwriter Barry Mason, Eurovision hit songwriter Bill Martin, Music Industry Legend Eric Hall,
Acid Jazz’s Eddie Piller and Guardian journalist Simon Usbourne, among others

Redevelopment now threatens the future livelihood of music-based artisans in this historic street.

This documentary concludes by illustrating how London is losing this creative hub to gentrification. Britain’s birthplace of popular music and song Tin Pan Alley aka Denmark Street remains London’s only street of musical instrument shops.

The loss and destruction of areas of cultural heritage is naturally of international concern.

This is the first full length documentary to highlight this pressing matter.

Festival’s appreciation : 

TALES FROM TIN PAN ALLEY is a wonderful journey into music and love for music. Full of anecdotes, it invites you to the real place to be, which is not Abbey Road…


Henry Scott-IrvinePunk Attitude (2005) and The Elton John Story (2003) are among his work. He also wrote the book The Ghosts of a Whiter Shade Of Pale, including forewords from Martin Scorsese and Sir Alan Parker.




Director Statement

“Tales From Tin Pan Alley is told by key people who worked in London’s Denmark Street. The interviews were given in the wake of music being threatened in Tin Pan Alley/Denmark Street.

The true ‘unsung heroes’ of Tin Pan Alley are the musicians, the songwriters, the music publishers, the technicians and the people from behind-the-scenes who have come out of the woodwork, out of history and out of retirement to approach us. Individuals that would be very hard to find in any other circumstance have come forward from across the globe, saying, ‘We want to be in this special documentary film!’

We have them here now. This is their story – a contemporary urban Canterbury Tale – a vital testament from over 30 musicians, broadcasters and historians.

In 2018 Tin Pan Alley’s 110 year old music legacy is currently in peril due to ensuing gentrification, leading to upcoming penthouse flats, hotels, restaurants and a shopping mall.

The legacy of those who worked in the street is our testament to Denmark Street’s unique place in international cultural history.

The struggle for those remaining, continues …”

 Director Biography – Henry Scott-Irvine

Background as TV Archive Producer on over 150 Music Arts Documentaries since 1987; including, Status Quo – The Party Ain’t Over Yet (2006) Punk Attitude (2005) The Elton John Story (2003) Pop On The Box (2003) The South Bank Show – Bernie Taupin (2002) Classic Albums – Elvis (2002) Classic Albums – Transformer (2002) Classic Albums – Never Mind The Bollocks (2001) Classic Albums – Goodbye Yellow Brick Rd (2001) John Lennon The Early Years (2001)

Author of The Ghosts of a Whiter Shade Of Pale with Forewords from Martin Scorsese and Sir Alan Parker (Omnibus Press) Features writer for Record Collector Magazine (2011-2015) and Radio Producer and Presenter of 400 radio shows at Resonance 104.4 fm London (2009 – 2016)

Founder-Chairman of The Save Denmark St Campaign (2014-2018), which has 36,000 change.org subscribers, linked into campaign sites at www.savetpa.tk and www.tinpanalleytales.co.uk with The Save Tin Pan Alley petition https://www.change.org/p/don-t-bin-tin-pan-alley

This led to his Save Denmark St TV spots (2014-2016) on The One Show, The Sunday Politics, BBC News, ITV News and London Live, following on from campaign achieved Grade 2 Star Listings of 3 buildings in Denmark St in conjunction with Historic England, English Heritage and Sex Pistol Glen Matlock.