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Sounds Like London: 100 Years of Black Music in the Capital [Paperback]

Lloyd Bradley
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

8 Aug 2013

For as long as people have been migrating to London, so has their music. An essential link to home, music also has the power to shape communities in surprising ways.

Black music has been part of London's landscape since the First World War, when the Southern Syncopated Orchestra brought jazz to the capital. Following the wave of Commonwealth immigration, its sounds and styles took up residence to become the foundation of the city's youth culture.

Sounds Like London tells the story of the music and the larger-than-life characters making it, journeying from Soho jazz clubs to Brixton blues parties to King's Cross warehouse raves to the streets of Notting Hill - and onto sound systems everywhere. As well as a journey through the musical history of London, Sounds Like London is about the shaping of a city, and in turn the whole nation, through music.

Contributors include Eddy Grant, Osibisa, Russell Henderson, Dizzee Rascal and Trevor Nelson, with an introduction by Soul2Soul's Jazzie B.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail (8 Aug 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846687616
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846687617
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 13.2 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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'Enlightening ... Sounds Like London is a major achievement ... Breezily written but always politically astute and critically sharp, it makes telling use of new interviews with important figures such as jazzman Russell Henderson and Eddy Grant. Enterprising radio commissioners should rush to give Bradley a regular show' Guardian

'I found myself riveted by descriptions of events and people I knew, but had never seen in print; even more so by what I learnt ... fascinating ... an honest and passionate celebration of not just the music, but the courage, tenacity and guile of the people who made it' FT

'Illuminating ... The research and the interviews, as well as the author's comprehensive but lightly worn knowledge, elevate this book from being just a list of notable anniversaries and dry facts. Because of Bradley's background as a serious music journalist, he is well equipped for this kind of intensive curation and he never neglects the art of crafting a lovely sentence' New Statesman

'Epic ... Sounds Like London is chock-full of fascinating, often forgotten characters ... a major work, and a worthy tribute to a vibrant and innovative culture' --NME

Book Description

Scheduled for Radio 4 Book of the week - acclaimed writer Lloyd Bradley explores the influence of immigrant cultures on the capital's music scene

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars do not expect it to live up to the title 13 Feb 2014
By Pete
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The contents do not live up to its title. The first 50 years are covered in about 35 pages and contains some massive omissions and in accurate information.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent survey. 25 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book enormously. It's extremely well-written and very thorough in describing how Black music has become established in London during the past 100 years. The writer obviously knows his subject and has gone to great lengths to talk to the performers who have contributed so much to the development of the music. I strongly recommend this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really interesting 8 Jan 2014
By J76
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Loved reading all about how Black music has helped shape culture in the capitol, especially as I was directly influenced by this music growing up in Finsbury Pk when Soul II Soul (from this area) was at their peak. Loved reading about all the genres that I've raved to over the years and reflecting on where it all came from and how it came about just added to my love and understanding of various forms of music from the African-Carribean London based community.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars About time 6 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lloyd Bradley knows his stuff - well structured and fascinating read. Covers different genres but gives a real feel of how life and music has changed over the years too.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, very informative 23 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
All you need to know how Black musicians who made London their home influenced the London music scene in the past, presently and will continue to do so into the future.
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