Monday, 11 February 2008

"Camden town ain't burnin' down"

Despite a major drug problem and the US authorities' best efforts to keep both her and it off their hallowed soil, Amy Winehouse won five well-deserved Grammys this weekend for record of the year, best new artist, best female pop vocal performance, best pop vocal album and a final nod for the writing and producing of her simmeringly soulful album 'Back to Black'. (I *strongly* suggest you buy it if you haven't already.)

In her acceptance speech, she dedicated her success to her mum and dad, 'my Blake, incarcerated' - her husband, currently doing time in a London jail for legal complications arising from a pub brawl - and her hometown of London. "'cos Camden Town ain't burnin' down!" The haunted surprise on her face as she was announced winner of record of the year echoed the sadness felt by many, as firefighters fought to control a blaze in one of the city's best-known landmarks and a haven for indie designers, artists and shoppers alike.

It is still not known whether the fire was started deliberately on Saturday, but it is estimated that more than 300 independent designers and traders in the market could lose their livelihoods. With part of the historic Canal Market (great thai noodles) razed to the ground, along with fabled Britpop hangout the Hawley Arms, let's hope that the wounds heal as quickly as possible for the people who live and work in the area, many of whom were evacuated from their homes on Saturday night.

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