Our Weekly Ten: 10 London Songs

28/10/2012 00:04


Now that the foggy weather and rain showers have decided to please the citizens of Bratislava, it’s only appropriate that we pay tribute to the city which suffers from almost a year-long season of fog and rain. The city of the craziest fashionistas. The city of the coolest new bands. The city of the last Olympics. If you haven’t guessed by now (is that even possible?), let me express myself clearly: It’s London music time this week!


10. Warwick Avenue by Duffy

This Welsh girl is probably the only one that can pull off singing about a tube station and still be classy. The emotional one-shot video only confirms that what we’ve got here is an exemplary pop ballad. www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScSHEnFNRck



9. Upper Clapton Dance by Professor Green ft Chynaman + Cores

Let the professor give you a lesson on East London. Born and raised in Hackney, he knows a thing or two about gun-related crimes and drugs. The atmosphere of always carrying a knife while dodging police is exquisitely wrapped up in a Johannes Brahms’ sample.



8. London Calling by The Clash

Dark and challenging is this hit single. Again, police and drugs are involved and the bassline perfectly builds up the atmosphere of fear and insecurity. Thanks to the song, the “London calling” phrase has stuck in people’s minds and has been used in numerous ads, such as on London cabs this summer.



7. LND by Lily Allen

Enjoy a little bit of trumpets fused with sugary vocals. Dropping her t’s and sounding so unmistakably British, Lily describes people getting mugged or pimps in the street with such an ease that one has to wonder, whether she is the only one to see the funny side.



6. For Tomorrow by Blur

A true piece of Britpop. This song is you rolling a cigarette and singing la la la with Damon Albarn (the band’s lead singer and the last decades’ music darling). You flying a kite on Primrose Hill. You feeding pigeons in Trafalgar Square. Anyhow, a lovely song.




5. London Belongs To Me by Saint Etienne

If you’re lucky enough to actually experience a sunny day in London, please lie down somewhere in Kensington Gardens and listen to this song. It’s ethereal.



4. Hometown Glory by Adele

This is a song for all Londoners feeling miserable and drowning in self-pity. Eventually, you’re gonna get through it. Then you’ll just wander the streets of the city you love so much and breathe in the aroma of your favourite places.



3. Has It Come To This by The Streets

“This ain’t a club track” we hear at the beginning. No, it’s a vivid depiction of an ordinary day of a Londoner. You wake up, eat your fry-up, and squeeze onto the Central Line reading your newspaper. This is ideal for chilling out in Monday traffic.



2. Cemeteries of London by Coldplay

Unusually dark for Coldplay, the song has a medieval touch. It is sad and beautiful, eerie and simply melodic. Sink in and enjoy the charming lines predicting “no light over London today“.



1. Fake Plastic Trees by Radiohead

The video set in a supermarket recalling the atmosphere of the early 90s is supposed to be an allegory for death and reincarnation. The song most likely leaves the listeners asking “Will I ever find love?“  Who would say it is about Canary Wharf, an area in East London, which was landscaped with a lot of  artificial trees? Whether you take the death, the artificial or the love part of it, I’m sure this song will not leave you unmoved.




I hope that after this exhausting list all of you, dear readers, will (obligatorily!) drink their “cuppa” (as the Londoners pronounce “cup of tea”) with a bit of milk, sing “God save the Queen” whenever and wherever possible and make a call from an imaginary red telephone booth. Use the atmosphere London has to offer.


Kristína Škovierová



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