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The Curios have been gathered from near and far. They may be common-as-muck or one-of-a-kind. They may be worth a pretty penny or a dime-a-dozen. They may be horrifying, captivating, loathsome, or scintillating.

Whatever the cause of their creation, hopefully they bring enjoyment to someone out there.


Love Letter to London - An Anglophilic Compilation

I've been writing this one in my head for a while now. After visiting London in February, I haven't been able to shake the feeling that it's where I belong, moreso than Adelaide in any case, where I've always felt slightly out of phase. And so my significant other and I made the decision a few months ago to pack up all our stuff and make the big move to Blighty.

While it won't be for some time before we move, in celebration of this, I decided to make a compilation dedicated to the city that we fell in love with.

It was difficult to whittle down the countless songs about London (and England in general), so I took a personal approach, collecting songs that I associate with our time there. I guess there's a certain level of naivety and romanticism in my choices, but that's something I'm willing to wear.

Definitely, one of my favourite places during our visit was Hampstead Heath, where we spent a beautiful overcast afternoon, and where I took these photos. I couldn't decide which photo to use for the cover, so I just did two covers.

The tracks, in no particular order, some with explanations for their inclusion, some not:

Matt Berry - Lay Your Love On Me. Matt Berry, the star of The IT Crowd, Snuff Box, Mighty Boosh, and Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, has the honour of being the first genuine celebrity that we spotted in London (apart from a newsreader from Adelaide we spotted in Zara, which was weeeeeeiiiiiird). This track is from his album 'Opium', which I highly recommend.

Morrissey - Hairdresser on Fire. I could've chosen any number of Smiths/Morrissey songs, but: 'You are repressed, but you're remarkably dressed.' That seems to sum London up pretty well.

Roxy Music - Do The Strand.

Squeeze - Up The Junction.

Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - From Willesden to Cricklewood. After we arrived back home in Australia, I found a version of this track on YouTube put to visuals of Joe and of London throughout the years, and I confess, the tears welled up and I think it was the moment that I knew that I needed to go back (although, I will admit, we didn't visit either Willesden or Cricklewood). I miss you, Joe.

Helena Bonham Carter - The Worst Pies In London. From the soundtrack to Tim Burton's 2007 'Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street'. I thought we had some good pies in Adelaide, but by god, they know how to make a pie in London!!! (and so do some certain French piemakers, but more about them in a future post). Note: I was going to use 'No Place Like London', but there was just far too much exposition of the plot

Janie Jones & The Lash - House of the Ju Ju Queen. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that The Lash are actually The Clash incognito on this paean to old school tie sexual repression and corruption. It also doesn't take a genius to work out that The Clash are one of my favourite bands.

Screaming Lord Sutch And The Savages - Jack The Ripper. We stayed in the East End, and I'm not a Ripperologist, by any means, but as we were walking through the streets, I was amazed at how many Jack The Ripper landmarks we'd suddenly stumble across: The Ten Bells, Christ Church (actually located right next to each other), etc. etc. There's definitely something humbling walking through streets with such a history, not just the Whitechapel Murders, but even further back in time, making the history of white settlement in Australia feel like yesterday.

The Social - Under Grey English Skies. This was a late inclusion, only having recently heard it. Thanks must go to my brother, for including it on one of his birthday compilations for me.

The Clash - This Is England. Oh, come on, you didn't see this coming from a mile away?

Luke Haines - Love Letter To London. The song that inspired this compilation. Again, like Morrissey, there were a lot of choices from Mr Haines, but this one gave me a title.

Ian Dury - My Old Man. My father was born in England, was fairly 'andsome, and smoked too many cigs. But he wasn't a bus driver.

Iron Maiden - Coming Home. From the album 'The Final Frontier', I could've chosen the 'Isle of Avalon', but I keep thinking about that moment of touching down in Heathrow.

The Pogues - A Rainy Night In Soho.

Bat For Lashes - A Forest. Bat For Lashes' cover of the Cure classic. It reminds me of the Heath.

Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights. I don't care if it's a touristy thing to do, I'm gonna go to the Moors and have a bit of a wuther.

Splodgenessabounds - Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps Please. I can't wait until I can say this with no trace of affectation.

Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine - Lean On Me, I Won't Fall Over. This song was a constant earworm for me, every time I read or heard the words 'Hammersmith and City line'. I'm gonna have to get used to that.


Download the zip here: Love Letter To London - An Anglophilic Compilation

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