What’s your favourite London-related song? The Kinks’ earworm hit ‘Waterloo Sunset’? Taylor Swift’s seismically divisive ‘London Boy’? Nick Cave’s gloriously gloomy ‘Brompton Oratory’? Or perhaps you instantly answered that question with The Clash’s seminal ‘London Calling’. Whatever tune best captures London for you, the simple fact is that our fair city has served as inspirational fuel for a lot of musicians.
And, thanks to a new art installation at the London Mithraeum, you can now choose between 70 London-themed tracks on a specially created jukebox. Artist Susan Hiller, who passed away in 2019, completed the ‘London Jukebox’ project over ten years from 2008-2018 (meaning: no Taylor Swift on the tracklisting).
The featured songs dart through London’s neighbourhoods from Kilburn High Road to New Cross, Hammersmith to Mile End, plus a fair old whack dedicated to central and the West End. The artist intended the compilation to be a homage to all the different areas, people and sounds of the capital.
Visitors to the London Mithraeum, an ancient Roman temple restored to where it was originally excavated, can listen through headphones to a track of their choice or hear one selected by someone else.
But first – how many of those 70 can you guess in advance?
‘London Jukebox’ is on at the London Mithraeum Bloomberg Space until Jul 11 and is free to visit. Click here for more details.
And for more great art exhibitions to visit, check out our guide to all the latest openings.