Stay Greasy tells the story of Rockabilly Barbershop and 1950s Beauty Parlor It's Something Hell's on Carnaby Street, London. Mr Ducktail and his wife Miss Betty decided to move their shop from France to the UK in 2008, and quickly found success thanks to the thriving rock 'n' roll scene in London.
The film took three years to shoot from 2011-2013, by myself (Jonathan Lowe - Direction, Sound & Editing) and Melanie Malherbe (Direction, Camera). We were both customers at the time, and shared a common desire to document the shop's existence, which was under constant threat of closure due to it's prime location. However, we also wanted to tell the customers' stories, and that of London's rock 'n' roll scene in general. Inevitably our lives and jobs got in the way (hence the three years of shooting), but thanks to William and Vanetia's patience, here we are five years later with a finished film.
The shop provided the perfect spine for a story that took a broader look at London's rock 'n' roll subculture. It also highlighted the struggle to survive as an independent shop in the nation's capital, where every day a family-run business seems to be closing. Luckily It's Something Hell's is still rocking!
Stay Greasy premiered at The East End Film Festival 2014, with a night involving live music from The Boom Boom Booms, Knocksville and Sixteen & The Sidewinders (all of whom feature in the film), and a rather drunken Q&A session. It went on to screen at Rhythm Riot 2014, where we shot some footage back in 2012. We welcome invitations for further screenings, but for now, we've decided to stream the film at no cost.
Thank you to everyone who helped make the film possible, and mostly to William and Vanetia for bringing their rocking shop to our shores. Long may it prosper!
You can also purchase limited edition Stay Greasy t-shirts designed by Vince Ray, in person at It's Something Hell's, or online through their webshop.
See you in the queue, and Stay Greasy...