Rock’n’Roll Rescue combines music and bargain-hunting – probably the two biggest draws for visitors to Camden Town – all in the cause of charity. It’s the idea of Ian ‘Knox’ Carnochan, a rock’n’roll survivor himself (his band the Vibrators played at the 100 Club Punk Rock Festival in September 1976 and are still active), ably assisted by Barry Stilwell, who are slowly filling the shop with donations from local musicians and music-loving residents.
Ramshackle and appropriately DIY in its approach, Rock’n’Roll Rescue is not the charity shop envisaged by Mary Portas. It’s a place to explore, with an inventory that reflects its donors. There are badges, records, magazines, books, comics, posters, T-shirts, audio equipment, musical instruments, even toy soldiers (“10p per soldier, discount if wounded”). They’re also offering guitar repairs and lessons and on most Friday nights there are free live shows by local musicians – next up is Luke Haines on 27th February.
This is an endeavour that could seem earnest, but the shop’s abiding quality is its good humour, despite circumstances that make an enterprise such as this seem necessary.