Words & Photography by Willow Shields
Ellie Bleach is a London-based musician with a flair for the dramatic. Her affections lie in the era of easy-listening, with her storytelling lyricism that cuts through the narratives of false naivety magnificently exhibited in her acclaimed singles ‘He Bought Me Nikes’ and ‘Jackie O’. Ellie Bleach is a glamorous, ironical pop writing genius and I had a chat with her about greasy spoons, the best beer garden and her life in London.
I start by asking the most popular question to pose to a new person in one’s life “Where are you from?”, She begins “I grew up in Leigh-on-Sea” a town in Essex “I’ve began to appreciate my hometown more and more when I go back to visit, I spent most of my teenage years desperate to get out but living by the sea is a rare luxury I didn’t appreciate enough. I moved to London almost two years ago”
Starting our Ellie-Bleach-Tour-of-London with breakfast, she says the best spot for a greasy hangover cure brekkie is Rocksteady Eddie’s in Camberwell she then adds that if you’re looking for a classier affair The Parlour in Stoke Newington Isis the place for you.
If you’re looking for some sunny day out activities, Ellie recommends Swimming in Hackney Marshes she continues saying that her personal favourite park is Highbury Fields if the toilets are open and if they’re not then Springfield Park in Clapton will suffice.
By this point, you may be wondering how we (on the Ellie-Bleach-Tour-of-London) are getting around the Capital; Ellie says that her favourite tube line is the Victoria line, maybe it’s the chic blue colour scheme or the pure unadulterated excitement of being on one of the cleanest and fastest tube tines that makes it for Bleach but only she knows that. She then adds “My boyfriend and I live almost at opposite ends”. I ask her what mode of London based transport she prefers aside from her beloved Victoria Line, she tells me she “gets terrible motion sickness so kind of loathe all modes of transport but I have a soft spot for the front seat of the DLR”.
I personally believe that someone’s favourite supermarket is a huge show of character, people believe it’s how a person does their hair or what shoes they wear; no… It’s their favourite supermarket to go to. Ellie Bleach’s answer to this oddly specific question was (in my opinion) a good one, she tells me “I once confidently declared Elif Supermarket in Upper Clapton Is the greatest grocery store of all time and have yet to be challenged on that.”
A big part of London’s youth and music culture is pubs, everyone loves a good pub don’t we? Ellie tells me her best hidden gem is The Salisbury Pub on Harringey Greenlanes, her favourite beer garden is The Shacklewell Arms in Hackney and her favourite place to see live music is The George Tavern in Shadwell, she adds “They’ve really upped their game in the last year and I’ve recently been to some lovely socially distanced post-Covid shows there.”
To end the night, Ellie Bleach’s best ever night out is Central Station in Kings Cross “Best Karaoke for both participants and audience”, one experience you won’t be able to relate to until you’ve experienced it yourself, pure no-shame flavoured joy.
Listen/watch ‘He Bought Me Nikes’ here: