25 Songs Referencing LONDON

Most Londoners will recognize Johnny Hawksworth’s ‘Salute to Thames’ as it was the ident music for Thames Television for years. ‘London Is The Place For Me’ is a fine and dandy song by Lord Kitchener, also look out for his very funny ‘Dr Kitch’. Maida Vale’s a pretty classy area and that’s where The Hammersmith Gorillas are residing, this and ‘Eleanor Soapdodge’ are my favourite Gorilla songs. Some swinging 60’s easy action, Enoch Light with Burt Bacharach’s ‘Bond Street’, listen to that crazy stereo separation. Warren Zevon’s ‘Werewolves of London’ was pretty cool but Death Of Samantha ignore the melody and hook and run wild with it. Now there is a town in Jamaica called ‘Islington’, but for these purposes I’m assuming this is referring to The London Borough of… I’ve never been to Romford and more likely than not never will, Riff Raff seem mighty keen on the ladies from there. Some Pearly Kings and Queens fodder from The Michael Flome Dance Orchestra with ‘Lambeth Walk’, sing along with yr granny. ‘Oxford Street’ in 1978 as detailed by The Television Personalities is still the same dump in 2010. On the other hand Lord Sutch loves ‘L-O-N-D-O-N’, he could have gone into politics with this fervor (erm). ‘Bombing Of London’ by The Last is on their essential (you need it) L.A. Explosion album (have you got it yet). Some fine dark dubstep from Burial, ‘South London Boroughs’. The story goes that Glen Danzig got thrown into jail when The Misfits played in the UK with The Damned, he wrote this about the experience. There’s a lot of Kinks songs about London, ‘Waterloo Sunset’ has got to be the most well known (and rightly so), but I’m a sucker for ‘Lavender Hill’, it’s in Battersea in case you didn’t know. King Timothy is having a fine time on ‘Gerrard Street’ in the middle of London’s China Town. ‘Trams of Old London’ by Robyn Hitchcock is real nice, I’m especially keen on the line about ‘Electric Avenue, down in South West Two’, the very same Electric Avenue that Eddie Grant sang about. I don’t think that there’s a ‘Shepherds Bush’ in Jamaica but I may well be wrong, a fine dancehall cut by Ranking Joe. ’13, Chester Street’ in Belgravia, where The Pretty Things and Brian Jones hung in the mid 60’s. Now I suspect that American ’60s garage punk bands The Scarlet Henchmen and The Galaxies IV had never been anywhere near ‘Crystal Palace’ or ‘Piccadilly Circus’ but that the titles of these songs gave them a hint of Swinging London coolness that they aspired to. Pre-punk power from Third World War with their ‘Hammersmith Guerilla’. This frequently recorded standard, ‘A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square’, Vera Lynn this time. I saw The Action Swingers around the time they recorded this session in London, they were pretty cool and gave it their all to an audience of no more than ten paying customers. Some fine dub action from The Simeons. Finally ‘Mother London’ by Kiwis’s living in London The Ghost Club, I’ve seen chief Ghost Club / 3D’s man David Mitchell play a few times, he’s a great song writer and fine guitar stylist but playing live he always seems to have imagined technical issues which ruin the flow of the show. As my mate Danny says “That Mitchell’s a fucking liability”.

01. Johnny Hawksworth – Salute to Thames
02. Lord Kitchener – London Is the Place for Me
03. The Hammersmith Gorillas – I Live in Style in Maida Vale
04. Enoch Light – Bond Street
05. Death of Samantha – Werewolves of London
06. Augustus Pablo – Islington Rock
07. Riff Raff – Romford Girls
08. Michael Flome Dance Orchestra – Lambeth Walk
09. Television Personalities – Oxford Street W1
10. Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends – L-O-N-D-O-N
11. The Last – Bombing Of London
12. Burial – South London Boroughs
13. The Misfits – London Dungeon
14. The Kinks – Lavender Hill
15. King Timothy – Gerrard Street
16. Robyn Hitchcock – Trams of Old London
17. Ranking Joe – Shepherds Bush
18. The Pretty Things – 13, Chester Street
19. The Scarlet Henchmen – Crystal Palace
20. Third World War – Hammersmith Guerilla
21. The Galaxies IV – Piccadilly Circus
22. Vera Lynn – A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square
23. Action Swingers – Tim Bummer Rocks London
24. The Simeons – Dub Conference In London
25. Ghost Club – Mother London

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  1. Pingback: 28 Songs REFERENCING NEW YORK | Vampyreverdi's Blog

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