Jazz Odyssey Reveals The Secret Life of the Car Park

WORDS: Gareth E. Rees

MUSIC: Simon&thePope with Gareth E. Rees

FILM: Martin Fuller

PHOTO: Jeff Pitcher

‘It is Morrisons that lights the fire of my obsession. Not the supermarket itself but the space outside: the car park.’

Car parks are more than places to park your car. They’re thoroughfares. Rendezvous points. Accident black spots. Hangouts. Boy racer tracks. Historical locations. Zones of violence and sexual deviance.

In my forthcoming book Car Park Life (Influx Press), I walk the retail superstore car parks of Britain, looking for hidden stories, secret lives and unofficial narratives in what may be our last unexplored urban wilderness.

As a taster, here is me performing Car Park Life Live with Simon&thePope to a film by Martin Fuller at the Hastings Storytelling Festival 2018.

Car Park Life by Gareth E. Rees is out in October, published by Influx Press. To pre-order a copy, click here.

More Articles for You

White Tents in the Car Park: A Covid 19 Despatch from Kent

Emilia Ong on the chilling vision of a Covid testing centre in a Margate car park

From Neolithic Roundabouts & Satanic Car Parks to Council Estate Poltergeists – The Weird Lore of Everyday Urban Places

In this video presentation, Gareth E. Rees takes you on a visual journey through the unexpected places he visits in his book, ‘Unofficial Britain’

The Eerie Tale of the Zombie Junction Behind Sainsbury’s Car Park

On an ill-fated supermarket car park walk during the pandemic, Gareth E. Rees ends up stalking the undead beside an abandoned roundabout

The Banshee and the Roundabout: Bizarre stories & folklore today

Irish storyteller Helena Byrne, place writer Marcel Krueger & Gareth E. Rees discuss the importance of folklore, bizarre stories and urban myths in the contemporary world

Nothing With Nothing: A Lonely Drift Down Marine Drive, Margate

Emilia Ong’s meditation on alienation and strangeness on a walk by the amusement arcades of a British seaside town

Ghostspaces Where the Bombs Once Fell

To celebrate Halloween, Deeana Violet tells the tale of the ghosts which filled the spaces created by Blitz devastation in Sheffield