Wednesday, 8 June 2016

#LondonSongs: Billy Bentley (Promenades Himself In London) & London Pride

Here's award-winning LW guide Fiona Lukas adding to our Big London Playlist

Can I request anything by .... 

Well it's a band that I've never really listened to. My sister was given one of their albums on a cassette, and my inability to remember anything about the music might suggest they shouldn't make it onto a playlist. But for their name alone they deserve a mention… Kilburn and the High Roads, anyone?

DC Editor Adam adds (or interrupts): Thanks Fiona. Kilburn & the High Roads! Excellent! A cassette! Double excellent!

Kilburn & the High Road (yes, it IS an excellent name) were fronted by the mighty Ian Dury and were stalwarts of the London Pub Rock scene – a rough and ready, straight-ahead guitar-based sub genre from the twilight years between the horrors of prog rock and the explosion of punk. In the mid 70s it took the fundamentals of 60's R&B gone-by and infused them with the DIY ethos of punk up ahead. Here's Kilburn and the High Roads in all their pomp. Dury introduces Billy Bentley (Promenades Himself In London) sounding like Jack the Ripper channeling Arthur Askey with the line… "'Ello playmates, 'ere's a little London song…"

 Back to Fiona…

You got in before me to suggest London Pride (see/hear earlier post). Can I add that we had a couple of lines from it printed on the back of our wedding invite:

"Grey city, stubbornly implanted,
Taken so for granted for a thousand years,
Stay city, smokily enchanted,
Cradle of our memories our hopes and fears."

The name was borrowed by Fullers in 1950 for their flagship beer. They describe the flower - London Pride as 'a tough little perennial that grew during the Blitz, covering the rubble like little beacons of hope.' They are still brewing it at the Griffin brewery beside the Thames. So before you listen, pop out to a garden shop and an off-license, then indulge in a multisensory experience. Look at the flower, drink the beer and listen to the song. London Pride.

And then join us on the Blitz or Westminster at War, Thursdays and Sundays respectively.

Thanks Fiona! My earlier post featured Coward's original, so here's The London Gay Men's Chorus to accompany your post. It's a fantastic arrangement and beautifully sung…

With these two new titles, the Big London Playlist now sounds like this…

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment