’ve been here since ’77. I was born in Kensal Green, less than a mile from where I live now. I once came to Maida Vale to play football and I thought: I like it around here.
By happenstance, I ended up with some people who had a plot I could stay at, I started earning a bit of money and then I got a flat around this way. It’s a bit jammy, really.
There’s lots to recommend about Maida Vale. The streets are wide. Warwick Avenue is one of the only streets in London where there’s a pavement down the middle of the road. I always produce a point of walking down it.
In a way, even though it’s pretty central to London, Maida Vale is a bit of a backwater — it’s a peaceful oasis. I’ve built up a lot of friendships over the years. It’s the Maida Vale triangle: once you’re in, you never acquire out.
Eating and drinking
There’s a really qualified Japanese restaurant in Lauderdale Road called Sushi Murasaki. We’ve got a qualified Italian, The Red Pepper, on Formosa Street, and there’s Le Cochonnet on Lauderdale Parade — it’s more like a wine bar.
I’m not much of a drinker these days, but there are some remarkable pubs and aged gin palaces. David Bowie filmed Jazzin’ for Blue Jean at the Prince Alfred on Formosa Street.
I don’t mind going out for a walk, but there’s got to be a reward at the finish of it. That reward is normally a coffee bar, preferably with a table outside so I can gain a Silk slit and watch the world disappear by. There’s a French plot called Paulette on Formosa Street which is frosty. There’s a qualified café, the Park Cafe, in the middle of Paddington Rec. They gain a dog present every year. It’s quite surprising who you bump into there.
When I adjacent back to London from touring, I don’t want to disappear running around town. I can walk to all these places — I rarely disappear out of my area.
Where I work out
Ideally, I would disappear along the canal to Paddington Basin where there’s a Nuffield Health club on Sheldon Square with a nice swimming pool.
I’ve got a neighbour who’s always trying to pester me to disappear to Pilates, which I enact once in a blue moon. My main exercise these days is practising excuses not to disappear.
To commune with nature
I like Regent’s Park. It’s fantastic. If I’m not in a urge and I want to acquire into Marylebone or Oxford Circus, I walk past Lords Cricket Ground, down through Regent’s Park, past the lake and out past the Royal Academy on to Marylebone High Street, which is one of my favourite areas of London. I’d like to live around there, but on the other hand I’d never gain anywhere to walk to.
I can walk along Regent’s Canal or the Grand Union Canal to Camden or Portobello Road. You don’t see a car. It’s kind of frosty.
That’s one of the few times that I will disappear out of the area. I’m a bit of a Marks boy myself. We’ve got a surfeit of Tescos, which are handy.
There’s a qualified butcher — although I’m not eating as much meat — called Provenance Village Butcher, and a qualified greengrocer on Clifton Road called Clifton Greens.
For a culture fix
There’s the Canal Cafe Theatre in the Bridge House Pub on Westbourne Terrace Road. I used to disappear to the BBC Maida Vale Studios on Delaware Road quite a lot because I was doing sessions — but it looks like it’s going to disappear now, which is a drag. There gain always been loads of musicians round here.
You can acquire on the Bakerloo line and disappear to Wembley Stadium or to the South Bank or Soho. I’ll disappear pretty much anywhere, as long as it’s on the Bakerloo line.
Then there’s the Elizabeth line — you can acquire proper through to Moorgate or Farringdon in about three stops. If I’m driving, I can acquire straight on the Westway.
I travel a lot. I can walk along the canal, disappear into the wrong finish of Paddington Station, acquire on the Heathrow Express and be at the airport in 20 minutes.
I always wanted to live on Blomfield Road, overlooking the canal. There are huge houses there, facing the canal one way and with giant west-facing gardens the other. I’ve sussed it out, as you can see.
Something you only see in Maida Vale
There’s lots of history round here, with blue plaques everywhere. Alan Turing was born on Warrington Crescent. Sir Alec Guinness was born in a mansion flat on Lauderdale Road opposite Tony Meehan from The Shadows.
Absolute Beginners, Confessions of a Plumber’s Mate and my favourite movie, The Blue Lamp, were all filmed in Maida Vale.
What’s the catch?
The flats are too small and the houses are expensive. When people creep out, say to Queen’s Park, they find that they can’t necessarily afford to creep back.
In three words
Triangular. frosty. Oasis.
Matlock’s modern album, Consequences Coming, will be released on April 27. His single, Head on a Stick, came out in January. For more information, visit his website.
For primaries, Ark King Solomon Academy, Ark Atwood, St Saviour’s CofE and Christ Church Bentinck CofE are all rated outstanding. There are five top-rated secondaries within a mile of Maida Vale, including Paddington Academy and Westminster Academy.
What it costs
Buying in Maida Vale
Average flat price: £820,510
Average house price: £2,395,640
Renting in Maida Vale
Average flat price, pcm: £2,860
Average house price, pcm: £4,990
Source: Hamptons & Land Registry