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Lost Dreams - Simon Wheatley

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A bittersweet documentation of the streets and tower blocks from where grime music first emerged, Lost Dreams remembers that time when pirate radio was a furtive experience, when youth club’s were the genre’s underground, and when raw and abrasive lyrics reflected life for young people on East London's council estates.

Set in the postcode of E14, the photographs focus upon the underground crews Bomb Squad and the Wile Out Onez, who together comprised the ‘youngers’ of Roll Deep, grime's pioneering collective.

The book goes beyond mere nostalgia and retro-cool, however, with an insightful interview with a Bomb Squad member of Somali origin who became involved in the street life that was also so fundamental to grime’s origins.

Emerging from jail older and wiser he then struggled to keep his younger brother away from the same path, and his reflections highlight the glaring absence of youth clubs in London today after over a decade of Conservative governance and their failure to provide spaces for working-class youth.

Hak Baker, the singer-songwriter who as a young teenager was also a Bomb Squad emcee, contributes a typically brilliant, free-wheeling poem reminiscing on these days of his youth.