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Songs in the Key of London

Curated by Chris Difford & Nihal Arthanayake

An illustration of a market scene with musicians performing

An homage to London through song, co-curated by songwriter Chris Difford of Squeeze and DJ and presenter Nihal Arthanayake to celebrate the Barbican’s 40th Anniversary weekend.

From the bustle of the music halls to the riot of punk, through lovers’ rock and grime; the life and times of the capital have long been immortalised in the records we love – its places and spaces, histories and communities celebrated, commiserated and eulogised. First commissioned by Barbican in 2010, this special project is reprised to coincide with the Barbican’s 40th Anniversary weekend.

Along with musical directors Kate St John and Neill MacColl, we bring together musicians of the old school and new on one stage, including Brett AndersonMarc Almond, Harry EnfieldZara McFarlane, Nadine Shah, Graham Gouldman, Ruby Turner, Emmy the Great, Kathryn Williams, Ayanna Witter-JohnsonMatt Deighton, Sarah Cracknell and Debsey Wykes of Saint Etienne, Louise Marshall and her choir, Boo Hewerdine, Komal, Kerrica Kendall and Simran Uppal.

Tagged with: Contemporary music

Produced by the Barbican 

Read the programme


microdinesy in hall

Barbican Sessions: Microdisney


For our latest Barbican Session, Irish rock band Microdisney perform their song 'Dolly' in the Barbican Exhibition Halls.

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Listen: Barbican Recommends

Not sure what to listen to? Every month we update our Barbican Recommends Spotify playlist with what we've been listening to in the office. Expect everything from Punk to Jungle to Classical.

Barbican Hall