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The Upper Cut

Sonya Patel Ellis (2014) Original A2 Poster / Edition Certificate 420mm x 594mm High quality colour laser on 280gsm art paper Printed by King and McGaw

On the afternoon of 26 December 1966 Jimi Hendrix (billed as The Jimmy Hendrix Experience) gave a matinee performance at The Upper Cut club on Woodgrange Road, Forest Gate, London E7.The gig, part of Billy Walker’s Fabulous Opening Week of what the Stratford Express described as ‘a plush big beat palace’ was billed ‘For all the family’ and cost just 5/d for ‘gentlemen’ and ‘ladies’. While waiting to go on stage, it is said that Hendrix wrote the lyrics to the legendary Purple Haze in his dressing room, a fact now commemorated by a plaque on the gates outside the site of the former club.The Upper Cut club remained open for only a year but in that short time played host to some of the biggest names in 1960’s rock, pop and soul music including The Who,The Pretty Things (for whom Hendrix opened), the Small Faces, the Animals, Jeff Beck, Otis Redding, Booker T and the MG’s, and Nina Simone. The Upper Cut by Sonya Patel Ellis is a limited edition poster inspired by and commemorating the birth and first public outing of Purple Haze, and Forest Gate’s legendary Upper Cut club. The original poster was exhibited at CoffeE7 between 20 March-20 April 2014 in a show entitled The Earth Laughs in Flowers by Sonya Patel Ellis, founder of The Herbarium Project. The main image derives from a herbarium pressing of a Michaelmas Daisy, found to be one of the most prolific flowers of the Woodgrange Estate and Forest Gate ‘Village’ in a field study run by Ellis in Summer/Autumn 2013. The Michaelmas Daisy or Aster Novi-Belgii, flowers from late summer until late Autumn, it’s blue-violet blooms especially abundant in the Michaelmas period around 29 September (Michaelmas Day) and 11 October (Old Michaelmas Day) rendering the front gardens of Forest Gate awash in a ‘purple haze’. The text refers to the The Upper Cut club, located on Woodgrange Road, Forest Gate, London E7 between 1966 and 1967. In the absence of a door number or building, the poster pinpoints the location of the former club using latitude and longitude, a system also employed by botanists collecting plant and flower specimens for herbaria around the world. The poster also references the nominal cost of Hendrix’s Upper Cut gig, a small price to pay to hear the first ever public rendition of Purple Haze. Edition No.................. Date.............................

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The upper cut certificate