Jessie Wallace is known by millions of soap fans for her award-winning portrayal of the formidable Kat Moon in EastEnders, but her latest role is “up West”. She sings on a unique new album about Soho, written and performed by her partner, Tim Arnold, and which also features the actors Phil (“Parklife”) Daniels and Gary (Spandau Ballet) Kemp.
On The Soho Hobo, Wallace sings “Soho Sunset”, one of Arnold’s compositions. The album features original numbers about the late Paul Raymond, whose Revuebar was the centre of Soho’s sex quarter, famous Soho tailors and “Soho Heroes”, which, according to Arnold, is “a tribute to the historical figures who have lived or worked in the area over the past 400 years”, ranging from Karl Marx to Derek Jarman.
The album has had a huge impact even before release. Arnold, whose grandfather was a comedian for Raymond and whose mother danced at The Windmill Theatre, was inspired to set up the Save Soho campaign, which aims to “protect and nurture music and performing arts venues in Soho”. The campaign’s celebrity backers include Stephen Fry, Benedict Cumberbatch and Paloma Faith and many more.
“Save Soho exists because of this album,” says Arnold. “After working on songs that celebrate Soho, it made me realise that singing songs about it wasn’t enough.”
‘The Soho Hobo’ is out on 14 August
(timarnold.co.uk; savesoho.com)Reuse content