Music Blog

Freddie Notes: Stepping Away From Babylon

posted by the hanging out team - Thursday, January 17, 2013

Freddie Notes: Stepping Away From Babylon is a short, non-fiction documentary by Dean Batty, looking at the life of a prolific musician from a bye gone decade. Fred Peters AKA Freddie Notes formed a group later to be known as Freddie Notes and the Rudies and gained chart success with their cover of Montego Bay. Fred was one of the first West Indian musicians to perform in London and really helped popularize Reggae and Ska music.

The film explores his life from when he was a young boy in Jamaica first discovering music to what it means to him today and how it is still influencing his life in a big way. The film also includes live performances of Fred’s two latest songs unheard by any audience.

The Hanging Out Project caught up with Dean Batty, a young film maker in his early twenties, who produced and directed the film. Dean and Freddie first met at the V&A museum in London June 2012, at the Hanging Out Project event 'Where Did You Hang Out?' that looked at youth culture during the 50's and 60's. Dean contacted Freddie shortly after and production began.

"I saw Fred on the panel alongside the actress Rita Tushingham and Ace Cafe owner Mark Wilson" Dean explains, "I was instantly interested in everything they had to say about the sixties. Being a young film maker still studying at uni, I knew Freddie would be perfect for a short documentary, focusing on Fred's musical career and his long standing relationship with music."

Dean is in his final year at Staffordshire University,  and is looking to make an impact on the documentary film making scene in the near future. He tells us that his film took around three months to make, from conception to completion, and was made on a very low budget. We are definitely looking forward to seeing more output from this talented young individual in the near future!

Freddie Notes came to Brixton, England from Kingston, Jamaica in 1964. He worked in a factory making the VC10 airplane and saved up his money to buy a trumpet and a drum set “they were the only two instruments I could afford at that time.” He decided to form a group and started getting a few small jobs in basements, when the local night clubs decided to work them. Freddie Notes performed at the famous Cue Club in Paddington and the Roaring Twenties night club in swinging London’s Carnaby Street. It was this very music scene that helped establish Reggae and Ska in England, and Freddie Notes was at the forefront.

Freddie Notes for the last 30 years has been running a youth club in Brixton. Music still influences everything he does and he still performs from time to time, now mostly writing new material.

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