My neighbour, Freddie, loves The Killers. Really loves them. He also likes to play them loudly whenever he’s in his room working. For the most part, I don’t really mind – I was quite a fan of Mr Flowers in his heyday, and I defy you to find someone of my generation who wouldn’t include Mr Brightside on the teenage years section of the soundtrack to their life. As with all things though, there is a line that, once crossed, cannot be uncrossed. It turns out my line for The Killers is listening to their entire first album five times, back to back, through an adjoining wall whilst trying to get an early night.
My upstairs neighbour loves a thumping bass line at midnight, midday, and, indeed, most of the hours in between them. He’s fairly indiscriminate in his tastes, to the extent that at first I thought he had an actual double bass up there (I play double bass, it’s not common, I was excited). Turns out what he actually has is a really loud stereo that can make my ceiling shake if he’s on one.
Completing this haven of tranquility is the fact that my flat backs onto a gym, which at set times each evening hosts exercise classes including bootcamp circuits, zumba, and (impossibly) line dancing. I am not a member of said gym, so I’m speculating about the nature of the classes, based on the variety of music and grunting that fills our corridor at various times.
By and large I think I’m probably fairly easy going, so my coping strategy for dealing with this has just been to have the radio on fairly constantly, loud enough to be heard over the melange of sound but not obnoxiously loud (we’ve got more than enough of that going on…). Last week I was hoovering my room, radio on as per, but barely audible over the sound of our trusty own-brand Henry. Imagine my confusion, then, as I found myself singing along to the song. I paused the hoover. I was correct. It was then that I realised that life in London has taught me a (not at all) valuable new skill. And so, without further ado, I present to you the ever-growing list of:
25 songs that I can identify through a brick wall (or whilst hoovering or drying my hair).
Judge for yourself how many of those I enjoy by choice, without the wall between us.
(Hint: It is closer to 0 than 25)