The first time that our paths crossed, our conversation was broad and fascinating. We talked about this and that including immigration. Dillan told me that he embarked on a Kunte Kinte (Alex Haley – Roots) project to try to discover his heritage in the Caribbean and Africa. His quest was unsuccessful, in both places he had been dismissed as being ‘English’ and I guess that means unauthentic. Well, Dillan has a very good voice and the pair of us somehow embarked an impromptu duet of ‘My Way’ outside Beigel Bake on Brick Lane. None of the passers-by thought it was odd, that’s Brick Lane for you,
The second time our paths crossed, I didn’t recognise the colourful character coming towards me looking very unhappy, Dillan however, recognised me straight away “you’re the photographer”. We talked about why he looked so miserable and together, we found a solution to his problem. Transformation was immediate and Dillan did what Dillan does - that’s breaking into song. This time, it was a wonderful rendering of Bob Marley’s ‘every things gonna be alright’ – my own personal cabaret by the Old Truman Brewery. Well, Dillan is a charismatic character and has a great voice, I turned down the chance to be his agent – what a bad decision!
You can hear the original version at