Where did all this stuff come from?written by Soulbay
Where did Soul Bay spring from? Some vague chirpy notion that it might be a good thing to dabble in a bit of book publishing? A tax dodge? Something to fill in the gap between Monday-Friday or between pints?
The genesis of Soul Bay goes back to the early 1980’s in Eastbourne on England’s South Coast. Eastbourne, the place with the 2nd highest percentage of old age pensioners in Europe (the honour of being the highest fell to Sidley in Bexhill just down the coast). Eastbourne, where youth cults sat out a phoney war flicking cigarette butts at each other in the newly built Arndale Centre. Eastbourne, where even the seagulls wore Tory rosette’s come election time. Eastbourne, the ‘sun trap of the South’.
The stagnant nature of life in the land that the 60’s missed was greatly enhanced by three things: the sun, the sea & the dole. Musicians, artists and writers alike flourished on the dole (or so the more romantic amongst us would still like to believe). Whilst the majority of them despised the incumbent government and limited job opportunities, the fact that the government of the time made living on a pittance very easy paved the way for a further education that the local 6th form college could never hope to match. Although to be fair it did have a warm library and also offered a neat sidestep from job seeking!
So, bands sprung up, rehearsed, gigged, split up and then carried on. Artists used town centre banks, Gildredge Park and police meat-wagons parked outside the town hall as their canvases. Writers started sketching out their tentative ideas in between trips to the beach, whilst poets used walks to beyond Whitbread Hollow to beachcomb for inspiration and film makers started pulling scripts and plans together. At the same time an idea for a small publishing home for such diverse creative talents also blossomed. In part inspired by Harry Crosby’s Black Sun Press and also influenced by Factory Records, formative versions (Clandestino, Skipscada) came and went with barely a whisper.
However, in 2007 Soul Bay Press finally emerged from the gloom and has grown and flourished. No longer a parochial South Coast publishing house. We are still a small press and primarily a launching pad for new writers and an outlet for essential underground classics. But we now have a presence in London & Sydney as well as Eastbourne. We have new writers from America & Australia as well as being able to present the works of Guy Debord and even Harry Crosby. It has taken a long time to get here and who knows where we go to next but now at least you know a little of where we came from!
Forza Soul Bay!