Melody Maker - September 1969


Telephone Interview with Chris Welch

   "I run an arts lab which is my chief occupation. It's in Beckenham and I think it's the best in the country. There isn't one pseud involved. All the people are real - like labourers or bank clerks. It started out as a folk club, arts labs generally have such a bad reputation as pseud places.

   "There's a lot of talent in the green belt and there is a load of tripe in Drury Lane. I think the arts lab movement is extremely important and should take over from the youth club concept as a social service.

   "The people who come are completely pacifist and we get a lot of cooperation from the police in our area. They are more than helpful.

   "Respect breeds respect. We've got a few greasers who come and a few skinheads who are just as enthusiastic.

   "We started our lab a few months ago with poets and artists who just came along. It's got bigger and bigger and now we have our own light show and sculptures, et cetera. And I never knew there were so many sitar players in Beckenham."