Up until February 28th, the community of people that came and went everyday through The Old Lillian Baylis School were a family. Since being shut down in 2002 due to gang violence, the school had lay neglected and dormant for a period of time. But then the council allowed it to become home to many who actively helped to slow the degeneration of the school and protect it from vandalism.
UpAllNite London were invited onto the site, before it was due to be re commissioned as flats, to film a session with artist Theo Bard. For him, the walls of The Old Lillian Baylis School hold a thousand memories. “The rules whilst we were living here were made to be stringent,” Theo says. He lived at Lillian Baylis for a year and, in authentically artistic fashion, wasn’t one to play by the rules. However, the school was his foundation in getting to know London; it presented him the opportunity to meet a plethora of new people, which sometimes lead to them mischievously dancing on the school's rooftop under moonlight.
“The first night I ever spent there, it was freezing cold! Me and my friend Felix were huddled together. We had nothing apart from our music and a massive classroom.” Eventually the walls of the school came to mean so much more to Theo as he embraced this new lifestyle and spent social time playing table tennis or recording with his band.
The school environment and the community's ethos truly inspired Theo to pursue being a singer/song writer and it was while he was here that he wrote the song, Evil Eyes, which was in part inspired by London Reggae singer Natty. The chorus of Evil Eyes is deeply evocative and the lyrics reflect Theo’s perspective whilst living at The Old Lillian Baylis School, touching in particular on his past activism activities.
A constant innovator with his music, Theo is currently working on songs for a new album. If you want to meet the man in person then you can catch him performing on the 12/04/13 at the Gypsy Caravan Theatre. But if you can’t make that then you always have his EP, produced with a new band, looking set for release in Summer.
UpAllNite London are proud to open their vimeo account with the remarkable Theo Bard and his UpAllNite session.