London without music is, well, not London at all. Whether Londoners are dancing to A-list stars in gigantic stadiums or championing up and coming acts in small venues, the city lives for music.
So, on your next trip to the UK’s capital, or just to get into a London state of mind, turn the speakers up and listen to this eclectic playlist, which features everything from punk to grime, indie to electronica.
There’s no doubt about it – this is the ultimate London song. The Clash’s 1979 hit managed to perfectly capture London’s rebellious, adventurous spirit – a spirit that is still very much alive today.
The unofficial Queen of London has produced countless tracks detailing her life in the capital. Hometown Glory, which was one of the first songs Adele ever wrote, is a love letter to her city; one that millions of people can relate to.
If Adele is the Queen of London, Ed Sheeran is most definitely the King. The super talented 24-year-old has penned a number of hits about London – none more so than The City, which tells the story of Ed’s pre-fame struggles in London.
London has always held electronic music close to its heart. As it evolved as a genre over the decades, innovative artists like Jamie XX have used technology to create fresh sounds that not only represent London but also inspire artists around the world.
East London’s premier MC, Dizzee Rascal, has been providing a grime soundtrack to city life for over a decade. His distinctive vocals and big beats have made him one of the voices of London, and his 2009 electro house hit Bonkers never fails to get Brits dancing.
This might seem a million miles from Dizzee Rascal, but the popularity of this folk band’s wintery take on London life proves how the city embraces all forms of art.
“East London is not a bomb site, it is a treasure chest” sing The Wombats in this poptastic indie track that takes you on a journey through a night out in London’s East End – one of the city’s hippest nightlife spots.
An absolute classic! It might be nearly 50 years old, but listening to this on a summer’s day will make you connect with London in an even deeper way.
Ok, so there might be a lot of tears in the music video, but it couldn’t be more London if it tried: it features a tube station (on the Bakerloo line in case you want to look it up), black cabs, and rain all while a Brit soulstress sings about heartbreak.
From Brazil to Belgium and everywhere in between, London is home to people from all over the world. This song might not be about London or by a band from the city, but it perfectly fits how many people view London: It’s home.