> Skip to content


No other city has music under its skin in the way that London has. London’s music, at once so suggestive of place and so often observational, is very much from its streets. From Elizabethan street traders and public execution songs, to the Beggar's Opera and East End music halls, right up to modern-day troubadours such as Dizzee Rascal and Amy Winehouse, In the City charts the rich musical inheritance of London and the many styles and characters that have helped to define it.

London is the city of ethnic immigrant music, West End classics such as Oliver! and Mary Poppins, Ronnie Scott’s famous nightclub, Mod culture, and the Beatles and the Rolling Stones – who both transformed the city and were in turn transformed by it. Du Noyer also covers the London visits of international artists such as Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and Paul Simon, who also felt the city’s influence. He explores its native talent too, from Gilbert & Sullivan and David Bowie to the punk movement of the Sex Pistols an


A dense and colourful account of one of the most vibrant musical centres in the world, In the City almost puts you on that train to London


(An) exhilarating new history of the music that defines the capital

Evening Standard

Du Noyer's crowning achievement with In the City, however, is to tie all the strands together ever so neatly without affecting a smug resolution. Its a celebration of the city's music through the centuries, for sure, but its more than just that

Irish Times

Du Noyer digs impressively deep for insight ... it evokes London as a place of converged cultures, found sounds and infinite possibilities


Paul Du Noyer's superb new book

Word Magazine

A bit like Peter Ackroyd's work, only you can whistle along


The first book properly to anatomise the popular music of our capital is a mighty achievement - and a cracking read. Du Noyer unravels the threads that link Elizabethan balladry to Britpop, bhangra and beyond, constructing a seamless social history that pays as much heed to Gilbert and Sullivan as Small Faces. Mapping the music halls of the East End, the ballrooms of Mayfair and the basement clubs that housed renegade bands, his book is a hymn to a metropolis whose musical vigour lies in its with, its ruthlessly competitive commercial spirit and passion for riotous fun. An engrossing story, beautifully told by and expat Liverpudlian who doesn't miss a trick.

The Sunday Times

[4 stars] All the sounds of the Smoke


Read More

Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    July 15, 2010

    Virgin Books

    352 pages

    RRP $29.99

    Online retailers

    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • Fishpond
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

  • EBook


    September 1, 2010

    Virgin Digital

    352 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle NZ
    • iBooks NZ
    • Google Play EBook NZ
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia NZ

Also by Paul Du Noyer