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London Sound Survey

This collection is of sound recordings forming part of the London Sound Survey website,which went online at the end of May, 2009.



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London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
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'Mind the gap' announcements on the District and Circle line platforms at Monument Underground station. First, announcements for an eastbound train, then a westbound train pulls in, and the instruction is repeated. Recorded July 2009.
Topics: London, London sounds, London Underground, recorded announcement
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 359

favorite 1

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A preacher at Speakers Corner describes how God has turned his life around. He stands alone ignored by all except the recordist, with a small cardboard placard bearing a Biblical verse. Recorded in the early afternoon on a Sunday, July 2008.
Topics: London, sounds, field recording, preacher, religion, Christian, Speakers Corner
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 515

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A recorded voice in a lift tells visitors to the British Library what's on each of four floors (excluding the lower ground floor). Such announcements were once a feature of department store lifts, and one such formed part of the theme tune for the 1970s BBC sitcom 'Are You Being Served?' But after visiting several department stores in London recently, it seems this helpful feature may live on in the British Library alone. Recorded April 2009.
Topics: London, field recording, British Library, elevator
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 297

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A small group of Irish musicians play traditional music on a Saturday night in the Sir Colin Campbell pub, Kilburn High Road, north London. Recorded November 2008.
Topics: London, sounds, field recording, pub, Irish music, Kilburn
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 267

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Auctioneer at car auction saleroom in Deptford, south-east London. He speaks through a PA system as the cars are driven slowly past the prospective buyers. Recorded June 2008.
Topics: London, field recording, Deptford, auction
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 6,584

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Sound action recording - Officialdom - Nonverbal signals: Big Ben strikes the hour in central London. Recorded late August 2009.
Topics: London, London sounds, Big Ben, clock
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 322

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Hare Krishna devotees drag enormous decorated wooden structures into Trafalgar Square from Pall Mall as part of the Rathayatra Carnival of Chariots. Shouts as the devotees pull on ropes, then a slow crescendo of chanting and percussion. Recorded July 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, religious festival, Hare Krishna
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 79

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Cadets and British Legion veterans assemble at Hilly Fields, Brockley, south-east London for a memorial parade to Eddystone Road. A cadet band strikes up and the marchers head off. August 2008.
Topics: London, field recording, march, parade, British Legion, Brockley
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 96

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Demonstrators chant in protest at the threatened closure of Walthamstow Stadium greyhound track as they head towards Hoe Street, north-east London. Recorded August 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, demonstration, protest, Walthamstow, dog racing
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 86

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People's World carnival/mas float and band in parade, recorded near junction of Great Western Road and Westbourne Park Road, early afternoon. Recorded August 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, Notting Hill Carnival
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 622

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The day before the Chinese New Year, performers from a shaolin martial arts group put on a display featuring a Chinese dragon and percussionists. Recorded on a Saturday at the east end of Gerard Street in London's Chinatown, January 2009.
Topics: London, field recording, Chinatown, Gerard Street, music, shaolin
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 687

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Pre-recorded 'Stand behind the yellow line' safety announcement on a Northern Line platform at London Bridge station. Recorded October 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, London Underground, recorded announcement
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 59

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Metallic clanging as crash barriers are put in place and interlocked at Ludgate Hill along the procession route. People selling whistles and programmes are heard. Recorded November 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, Lord Mayor, Ludgate
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 263

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A small group of Irish musicians play traditional music on a Saturday night in the Sir Colin Campbell pub, Kilburn High Road, north London. Recorded November 2008.
Topics: London, sounds, field recording, pub, Irish music, Kilburn
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 121

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A short distance from Battle High Street, Sussex, drummers from the Section 5 team practice a few minutes before the parade begins. Cheers and applause from spectators is heard at the end. Recorded November 2008.
Topics: London, field recording, bonfire parade, bonfire night, Sussex, Battle
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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A street acrobat performs a balancing act at the South Bank by the Thames. He makes a long and treacly speech designed to elicit sympathy and money from onlookers. Recorded June 2008.
Topics: London, field recording, South Bank, street acrobat, Thames
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 134

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Cheapjack trader at East Street market, South London, recorded on a Saturday afternoon. The cheapjack sells household and electrical goods from a raised stall. He banters with the crowd and with his assistant, whose voice is also heard. Recorded May 2008.
Topics: London, field recording, street market, East Street
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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More sales patter from the East Street market trader from south London, continuing to seel tacky gifts and electrical goods from his stall. Recorded May 2008.
Topics: London, field recording, street market, East Street
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 144

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Sound action recording - Social - Other sports: Amplified music and excitable commentators' voices at a freerunning/parkour contest in central London.
Topics: London, London sounds, freerunning, parkour, Trafalgar Square
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 163

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Evening Standard seller shouts the newspaper title and edition from his pitch on the forecourt of London Bridge station. The late afternoon rush hour is just beginning. Recorded February 2009.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, newspaper seller, Evening Standard, London Bridge
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 225

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A Christian preacher, known locally as the 'Lady in White', stands near the shopping centre at the Elephant and Castle and warns of the coming end time. She paces up and down while preaching, and claps her hands with each change of direction. Loud traffic noise. Recorded July 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, preacher, Christian
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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The procession reaches St Paul's Cathedral, headed by the Band of the Scots Guards. Crowds cheers and whistles, and a group of women dressed as Second World War Wrens call out to the spectators. Recorded November 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, Lord Mayor, St Paul's, Scots Guards
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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Floats belonging to Canary Wharf Ltd and the Institute of Chartered Accountants pass by, followed by the Royal Yeomanry Band. Recorded opposite St Paul's Cathedral. Recorded November 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, Lord Mayor, St Paul's
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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A member of station staff uses the platform tannoy system to make standard announcements on the District and Circle line platform at Victoria. Recorded August 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, London Underground, recorded announcement
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 530

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Night-time sound map: Ambience at the entrance to Oval Underground/tube station in south London. Sounds of traffic, footsteps, voices of people passing in and out of the station, and station announcements.
Topics: London, London sounds, ambient, field recording, Oval, London Underground
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 180

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On a busy Saturday evening, curry touts working for several different restaurants along Brick Lane try to entice the recordist in. Most instances of sales patter featured here were encouraged by the recordist coming to a halt outside one restaurant or another and looking naïvely receptive. Extracts edited from a single recording and cross-faded. Recorded April 2009.
Topics: London, field recording, East End, Brick Lane, touts
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 357

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London wildlife: Two collared doves call at Rainham station, Essex/east London.
Topics: London, London sounds, wildlife, birds, Essex, Rainham
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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A man working for a ticket agency in Covent Garden calls out the titles of West End shows. Recorded August 2008.
Topics: London, sounds, field recording, West End, Covent Garden
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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A street conjuror performs magic tricks to a large crowd of onlookers at Covent Garden, revealing various objects from beneath hats placed on a trestle table. Recorded November 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, conjuror, magician, Covent Garden
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 180

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Sound action recording - Economic - Funfairs and amusements: Extracts from a longer recording featuring dodgem ride operator's voice, screams of people on various rides, spooky recorded voices for a ghost train ride, and music from other attractions.
Topics: London, London sounds, funfair, fairground, field recording, Blackheath
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 388

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A saxophonist plays a moody version of 'The Girl from Ipanema' late at night against a suitable backdrop of sirens and night revellers' hubbub in Old Compton Street, Soho, central London. Recorded Jult 2008.
Topics: London, field recording, busker, saxophone, Soho
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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At the Battle Bonfire Parade, 2008, drumming groups are heard as they make their way back into the town centre before entering the bonfire field. Recorded November 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, bonfire night, Guy Fawkes
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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A pack of Cub Scouts wait impatiently opposite St Paul's Cathedral, blowing whistles and kazoos to create a curiously pleasing dissonance. Recorded November 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, Lord Mayor, St Paul's
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 191

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People gather at 6am for the Jouvert parade, marking the start of the 2008 carnival, around the north end of Ladbroke Grove. Shouts from the crowd, horns and whistles, the sound of generator from a catering truck. Recorded August 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, Notting Hill Carnival, Jouvert, Ladbroke Grove
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 262

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The south London-based Saxon Sound system have set up at a junction of side streets a few score yards off Ladbroke Grove. They play roots and dub to themselves and a few onlookers in one of the less busy parts of the Carnival area. Recorded August 2008.
Topics: London, field recording, sounds, Notting Hill Carnival, reggae, dub, roots
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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Stallholders' cries recorded at Petticoat Lane market on a Sunday morning. Most cries are for cheap clothing, some for other goods including batteries, souvenirs and bead-filled cushions. Edited down from a longer continuous recording, with the individual extracts cross-faded. Recorded April 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, Petticoat Lane, street market
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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On a Saturday night in south London, a woman sings and preaches by a bus stop on Brixton Road near Windrush Square. She tells of the dead rising on Judgement Day, and bids farewell to everyone when her bus arrives. Recorded August 2009.
Topics: London sounds, London, ambient, street preacher, religion, Brixton
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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Annual procession our Lady of Mount Carmel from St Peter's Church in Theobalds Road through Clerkenwell. A speaker introduces the float honouring St Francis of Assisi, a policeman asks onlookers to move off the road, recorded music from the passing float, faint voices of singers walking by in the procession, finally a marching band comes to a halt and plays. Three extracts from a longer recording cross-faded together. Recorded July 2009.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, religion, Mount Carmel, Catholic, Clerkenwell, procession
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 382

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On a Sunday evening, regulars gather to sing old songs as June plays the piano at the Duke of Kendal, near Marble Arch. "With friends and neighbours you're the richest man in town." Recorded November 2008.
Topics: London, field recording, pub, singalong, Marble Arch
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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The busker is 'blue' as in completely coloured electric blue: face, hands, hair and clothing. He plays an acoustic guitar amplified with a small PA concealed beneath a cloth-covered pedestal. Onlookers applaud at the end. Recorded June 2009.
Topics: London, sounds, field recording, busker, South Bank
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 395

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On a Saturday night at London Bridge train station: footsteps, a group of girls shout, laugh and chant as they make their way along the platform, other voices, a train pulls into the station followed by a station announcement.
Topics: London sounds, London, ambient, railway, train station
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 203

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Night-time sound map: Walking westwards along Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, on a Saturday night. Sounds of music from nightclubs and shops, passersby.
Topics: London sounds, London, ambient, Brixton, field recording
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 104

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A woman with a loudhailer leads call-and-response chanting on an anti-child abuse march along Piccadilly, central London, on a Saturday afternoon. Recorded August 2008.
Topics: London, field recording, demonstration, march, Piccadilly
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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Glorious Backstage Arts carnival/mas float and band in parade, recorded near junction of Great Western Road and Westbourne Park Road, early afternoon. Recorded August 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, Notting Hill Carnival
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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Elimu Paddington Arts carnival/mas band make their way along Westbourne Park Road. Recorded August 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, Notting Hill Carnival
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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A man with a distinctive sing-song mantra of 'Please help the disabled, help the disabled please' tries to raise funds from afternoon commuters at City Thameslink station. He has appeared regularly at London rail termini for at least a decade. Until a few years ago, his chant went 'Please help the handicapped'. Recorded April 2009.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, charity, fundraiser
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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Market traders' and costermongers' cries at Romford market on a Saturday. Individual male and female traders' voices edited down from a forty-minute recording and cross-faded. Most cries are for fruit and veg, some are for clothing and footwear. Recorded August 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, Romford, street market
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 247

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In St James's Park, central London: ducks and geese call in the morning on the lake in the park. Big Ben can be heard striking the hour faintly in the background.
Topics: London sounds, London, ambient, wildlife
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 3,553

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The muezzin at the East London Mosque, Whitechapel, calls evening prayers. The prayer-call competes with the sound of heavy traffic passing along Whitechapel Road. Recorded May 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, religion, Islam, mosque, muezzin
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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Pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli chanting and left-wing proselytising at a large demonstration in Hyde Park, held in protest at the Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip. Recorded January 2009.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, Gaza, protest, demonstration
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 116

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Homeless Big Issue seller in Hammersmith, west London. The seller repeats his call every few seconds against a backdrop of crowd and traffic noise. Recorded May 2008.
Topics: London, field recording, street seller, Big Issue, homeless
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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Football players recorded around Sunday lunchtime at Hackney Marshes, east London. Players' cries, metallic banging from a building site, aircraft drone, fizzing of insects in a patch of tall grass nearby. Recorded September 2008.
Topics: London sounds, London, field recording, ambient, Hackney
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 269

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A conductor on a number 11 Routemaster bus calls out the placenames at stops along the Strand, central London. Cross-fading of two extracts from a longer recording. Recorded September 2008.
Topics: London, field recording, transport, bus, bus conductor, Strand
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 214

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Long-established Channel One sound system, originally from east London, plays roots and dub to a crowd comprised mostly of older reggae aficionados. Recorded August 2008.
Topics: London, field recording, Notting Hill, carnival, reggae, roots, dub, Channel One
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 947

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Immediately south of the Thames, the bells at Southwark cathedral are rung on a Sunday morning. Trains passing over Borough Market rumble and grind in the background. Recorded May 2009.
Topics: London, sounds, field recording, church bells, Southwark, cathedral
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 124

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Excitable commentators' voices, crowd cheers and amplified music at the 'World Freerunning Championships' in Trafalgar Square. Recorded August 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, parkour, freerunning, Trafalgar Square
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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A kiosk owner at St Giles Circus, central London, advertises drinks and sweets with a steady stream of sales patter. Music plays over a loudspeaker mounted at the front of his kiosk. Pedestrian and traffic noise. Recorded August 2009.
Topics: London sounds, London, ambient, street seller
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 83

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Scenario sound system, one of the smaller rigs in the Carnival, plays dubstep to a crowd of local youngsters on Portobello Road north of the Westway. Recorded August 2008.
Topics: London, sounds, field recording, Notting Hill Carnival, sound system, dubstep
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 190

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Dynamic Sounds Jamboulay carnival/mas band and float head south down Great Western Road to the junction with Westbourne Park Road. Recorded August 2008.
Topics: London, field recording, Notting Hill Carnival, Jamboulay, mas
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 52

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Face Yaa Fear carnival band and float head south down Great Western Road to the junction with Westbourne Park Road. Recorded August 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, Notting Hill Carnival
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 206

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Saturday night-time atmosphere from a platform at Kilburn High Road train station, north London. A woman sings at a pub karaoke a few streets away, traffic noise from Kilburn High Road.
Topics: London sounds, London, field recording, ambient, Kilburn
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 213

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A man begs for spare change in an underpass near Charing Cross station against a backdrop of noises from pedestrians. He thanks a person who gives him some money. Recorded February 2009.
Topics: London, sounds, field recording, beggar, begging, Charing Cross
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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Millwall play Stockport at home. Some Millwall fans who didn't get into the ground stand at a vantage point by a footpath a few score yards south of the stadium. Recorded November 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, football, Millwall
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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Inside Maison Souss, an Algerian-run coffee shop overlooking Shepherds Bush Green. A man opposite stirs his tall glass of coffee, staff and customers' voices in conversation, sounds of the coffee machine, an oscillating hum from the air conditioning system. Recorded August 2009.
Topics: London, London sounds, ambient, Shepherds Bush, coffee bar
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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A street acrobat on the South Bank by the Thames pushes a six-inch nail up his nose, to loud cries of disgust from onlookers.
Topics: London, field recording, South Bank, street acrobat
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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Night-time sound map recording: Ambience in the Beehive pub, Brixton, south London. Loud conversations and laughter from the pub regulars. Recorded in September 2009.
Topics: London, London sounds, ambient, pub, Brixton, field recording
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 1,030

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Weekly test of a siren forming part of the Broadmoor maximum security hospital warning system, carried out each Monday at 10am. The siren is located off Holt Lane, Wokingham, Berkshire. Originally recorded by Andrew Pollard in May 2008.
Topics: London, field recording, siren, Broadmoor, mental hospital
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 88

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Around 7am, Jouvert revellers pelt each other with flour and paint as four lorry-mounted steel bands make their way slowly southwards down Ladbroke Grove. Recorded August 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, Notting Hill Carnival
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 149

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More song from the regulars of the Golden Eagle pub in Marylebone Lane, central London. Recorded later on the same Friday evening. Recorded November 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, pub, singalong, Golden Eagle
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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Daniel Waples, a busker, plays a small steel drum-like instrument called a 'hang'. The hang has a soft and melodious sound and is played with the hands only. Recorded on the river path near the Tate Modern. Sounds of passersby and something nearby rustling in the breeze. Recorded June 2009.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, busker, busking, drum, South Bank, Thames
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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Masquerade carnival/mas float and band in parade, recorded near junction of Great Western Road and Westbourne Park Road, early afternoon. Recorded August 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, Notting Hill Carnival
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 363

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Evening Standard newspaper seller outside Whitechapel tube station, east London. One of very few newspaper sellers left who call out the newspaper title and edition. A short recording made in the noisy environment outside the tube station. Recorded June 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, newspaper seller, Evening Standard, Whitechapel
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 79

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Crowds gather in Battle High Street, Sussex, before the start of the bonfire parade. Sounds of passersby, charity collectors with buckets, and sporadic drum-rolls from the bonfire parade teams. Recorded November 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, bonfire night, Guy Fawkes
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

eye 164

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Flamingo Carnival Arts carnival/mas band and float head south down Great Western Road to the junction with Westbourne Park Road. Recorded August 2008.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, Notting Hill Carnival
London Sound Survey
by London Sound Survey
audio

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Edited down from a longer recording and cross-faded. Cyclists pedal eastwards along Tooley Street, sounding bells and whistles. Next, a jazz band leads a march northwards across London Bridge, followed by a battery-powered PA in a handcart, playing reggae. Crowd noise increases as the march reaches King William Street, with cheers and something like a cow-bell being struck. The noise redoubles when office workers are spotted peering from windows high up along Lombard Street. Recorded April 2009.
Topics: London, London sounds, field recording, G20, protest, demonstration