This is a very lively and entertaining book that explains how London's identity as a city has been so closely tied to the development of popular music. There are fascinating chapters covering the rise and fall of the music hall, the emergence of rock'n'roll and pop in all its various forms since the early 1960s, the blues rock movement and the mods, Bolan and Bowie , punk, new wave, the new romantics, as well as their descendants Brit pop. The narrative moves seamlessly through each of London's musical phases and the author shows just how much each generation influenced the next one. Boy George took his cue from Bowie and Bolan, The Jam and the Clash from The Who and The Kinks. And bands like Ian Dury and the Blockheads and Madness essentially repackaged many of London's theatrical musical hall traditions. My favourite passage is the description of Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce of late 60s psychedelic blues power trio Cream live on stage "Baker... would stride about looking like a magnificently debauched Jacobean duke, then settle down to batter the hell out of his drum kit. All mad, panting, hollow eyed, many limbed ferocity, his was an artful blend of frenzy and dexterity. Jack Bruce, the bassist was not so theatrical but no less intense - hunched over his instrument, fingers tugging urgently at its four fat strings, face screwed up in agonies of concentration. Then he would raise his head to the mike and let forth torrents of wounded jazz poetry in a Caledonian soul bellow.