Rupert Hunt moved to London to become a rock star. It was 1997, he was in a band called Leonard – ‘it was indie, alt rock type stuff, with influences such as Pavement and R.E.M’ – and he was living in ‘a crummy flat above a van hire shop on the noisy approach to the Blackwall tunnel. But I loved it.’ Yet despite radio play by both the late DJ John Peel and Bob Geldof, Hunt’s dreamed-of record deal never arrived. Luckily for him, inspiration of another sort did.
When he moved down from his family’s home on a farm in Cheshire to London, Hunt had struggled to find somewhere to live. ‘I was’, he says, ‘amazed at how difficult it was to find rooms in shared houses in London. The information available ranged from sketchy to non-existent ...