London stands out for many things, but one of my very favourite of those the music scene. Although the rise of British food and drink I have covered in recently posts is a fairly recent phenomenon, however, our capital has always been one of the music capitals of the world.
From the classical extravaganzas that have dominated our music halls for hundreds of years, through the formation of rock n’ roll, to the beating heart of the modern club scene – London has been at the absolute forefront of music since music became more than people banging sticks together.
This was there the Beatles recorded Abbey Road, where the Rolling Stones originated and just about the only thing that Fleetwood Mac, the Sex Pistols and Iron Maiden have in common.
Even attempting to list bands that originated or made their names in London is a task almost pointlessly enormous – it is practically a guide to the history of music! To name just ten off the top of my head, from the confines of my own personal tastes: David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, The Kinks, Maiden, Jimmie Hendrix, Motorhead, The Who, Queen, Madness and Blur.
Of course, that’s not to touch on bands current based around the city, which include Dragonforce, The Libertines, Jamiroquai, The xx, Razorlight, Lily Allen and Adele.
Despite the fact that modern music was more or less created in London, it is now more accessible than it has even been.
There are over 200 dedicated live music venues across the capital, from the smallest of bars to the hugest stadiums, and then countless more pubs offering a vast array of open mic nights and live bands.
To name just a few of my regular haunts, you have everything from the Purple Turtle in Camden, Filthy McNasty’s in Angel, the Half Moon Pub in Putney and The Hope and Anchor in Islington, to the O2 Arena, Wembley Arena and even Wembley Stadium itself.
Of course, I’ve so far only mentioned music of a more popular nature. I haven’t even touched on the abundance of musical theatre, classical offerings and operatic performances in the city!
This is the problem with London; you simply can’t start writing about any part of it, without finding yourself confronted with a challenge of the most epic proportions!
I shall persevere!