Culture, Diary, Music

Newsroom playlist

What was it like to work in a 1950s newsroom? Fingers chattering out news stories on aging typewriters, cigarette smoke hanging in the air, leaving the room’s occupants – dressed in sharp suits, fading ties and trilbies – in a permanent state of intoxication.

I may never get to find out. But, thanks to my MP3 player and selection of hot tunes, I get feel like I’m a newsroom hack, sniffing out stories, on my daily trip to college.

The sound of the scoop
Every day my train passes by Canary Wharf, the haven of traders, money-spinners and city slickers. Chuck Loeb’s ‘The Blue App’ is a mix of toe-tapping percussion and tinny guitar riffs that turn the footsteps of shoving crowds into organised chaos.

And when the time comes to run for my morning train, which tends to happen more than I’d like, the rolling energy of ‘Gibbous’ by Hypnotic Brass gets me there in the nick of time.

Jazz and blues are great at conveying the 1950s feel. Nine Simone’s ‘Sinnerman’ is a timeless soundtrack to urban life, while Aloe Blacc’s soulful tale of misfortune in ‘I Need a Dollar’ rings true.

Film and TV are also a huge influence. Laurie Johnson’s ‘Theme from The Avengers’ raises the game; since Ocean’s Eleven, David Holmes’ down tempo tunes have inspired a grafter-like confidence; trailers for The Hour introduced me to Horace Silver’s Latin jazz; and, more recently, I’ve been lavished with period music thanks to Rockstar’s LA Noire soundtrack. The newsroom is just a touch away.

Image: Aaron Lee