Robbie Wojciechowski
Writer | Researcher | Press

Writer on music, culture, youth, education, anthropology and politics. Sometime project manager, PR, scout, consultant and researcher.

Previous work inc: The Guardian, BBC, Evening Standard, NME, VICE, Nike, Glastonbury Festival and Cable London.

robbie.wojciechowski @gmail.com
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Monthly music linkup: October

The shadow of Autumn bodes a whole fresh new batch of releases to enjoy - and with it, means a whole range of new acts are launching their prospective career ahead of next year’s ones to watch lists. With the music scene South of the river endlessly bubbling with new talent, finally, after two years we’re seeing some more frontline acts emerge into the mainstream. While Ragofoot and Cecil B are bigging things up on the hip-hop front, there’s Alex Burey doing his bit for the solo-singer-songwriters. On a jazz tip, there’s new material being recorded by Myriad Forest, and a side project from MC, Slam The Poet, as he takes on an experimental first project for his debut album. Jacob Allen is set for his debut release - releasing his first single, ‘Only Trying To Tell You’, as an unsigned artist. 

And trust me, there’s so much more waiting to be unveiled. 

Here’s October’s music linkup:

Pix

Alex Burey

Ragofoot 

Oscar Laurence & Hyla

Lucy Cait

Transgressive’s 10th Anniversary: At The Barbican 30/09/14
http://www.thelineofbestfit.com/reviews/live-reviews/transgressive-10th-anniversary-the-barbican-london-30-09-14
Gallery by Wunmi Onidubo http://www.thelineofbestfit.com/photos/live-photo-gallery/transgressive-records-10th-anniversary-concert
When you start a business, it’s pretty hard to imagine that a decade later you’ll still be doing the same thing. But that’s the case for Transgressive, the musical baby of Toby L and Tim Dellow. As a record label, it’s been behind some of the most powerful bands of the last decade, from Foals, to Johnny Flynn, Africa Express and Pulled Apart By Horses. Transgressive has doubtless made its mark on the music industry, long acting as the first stepping stone for hundreds of musicians – ever pushing forward, expanding and developing their repertoire, it’s a label that’s stood strong where just about every other independent has faltered.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary,Transgressive held a huge bash featuring some of its biggest names. With Mystery Jets, Johnny Flynn, Marika Hackman and Dry The River all on the bill as well as a host of special guests, the celebration brought together new signees and old to perform together for one night.
For many of the artists on the bill tonight, Transgressive were “the first label that took notice,” says Blaine Harrison of Mystery Jets during their set. Transgressive has always built its name off a socially responsible label, helping sceptical young musicians find the perfect line between fantastic music and pop principles. Their leftfield music taste shows in their roster, but it shows alongside a whole host of landmark bands who’ve shaped the music industry over the last 10 years. 
What’s most enlightening about tonight, and about Transgressive as a label, is seeing the Barbican filled with faces young and old, all dancing up and down the aisles of what is principally a classical auditorium. Filled with everyone from young fans just discovering Transgressive’s catalogue to those who’ve followed the label since they first signed Johnny Flynn nine years ago, there’s a whole host of people present.
The Mystery Jets - playing their first show in almost two years - perform a whole host of new material. The new songs sound as catchy as the old, touching on influences from home and further abroad as the band cross through everything from African highlife to catchy upbeat American pop. Matched with old favourites – their energy is unmatchable.
Marika Hackman is also a sensation tonight, showing a huge crowd just why her leftfield approach to folk music is the most exciting music in the genre for years. It’s no wonder that she’s got the ear of Laura Marling all night too, joining her onstage for a Transgressive ensemble during the encore with Johnny Flynn and the Mystery Jets.
Cosmo Sheldrake is one of the newest names to the Transgressive roster. Signed by the label earlier this year, his music twists everything from gyspy music to trip-hop, his music if flourished with different sounds. Performing in the atriums as hoards of fans arrive – his multi-instrumental talents make for a bubbly melancholic atmosphere to set of the evening.
The highlight of the evening though is Johnny Flynn, performing with the Sussex Wit and Cosmo on keyboards. As one of the oldest names on the Transgressive roster, Flynn’s has a huge breadth of material to show, but it’s his stand out hit “Tickle Me Pink” that gets everyone going.
It’s wonderful seeing such a parade of Transgressive’s talent here –and it’s funny to think that when I was first refining my music taste, these were the first bands I noticed. That goes for seeing them live as well, as a 15-year-old music fan and man about London, Transgressive’s artists had an energy that no other live bands at the time quite captured.
I wanted to ask Toby and co whether the original ethos of the label had changed much since day one – and whether 10 years on, they thought they would’ve got this far. As teenagers they started this dream after meeting at a Bloc Party gig. Nowadays they’re the forefathers of one of the friendliest labels in British music. May their reign continue.
The Musical Linkup - September

Amidst the haze of Glastonbury, British Summer Time, Secret Garden Party and a few namelessly brilliant gigs - I’ve been away from a desk for the last month so. But I’m back - this time, with a fresh selection of names to get your teeth stuck into. 

This month:

Soph Nathan

Loie Howard

The Gentry Underground

A House In The Trees

Loyle Carner

Like them? Then go talk about them, share them and visit their gigs. 

Peace 

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Green Man: “A beacon of everything right at festivals”

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http://paulbence.tumblr.com/

Published here http://www.the-monitors.com/2014/08/27/green-man-beacon-everything-right-festivals/

Of late, I’ve become a little tired of the music at festivals. It’s the same few one-hit indie bands who have debut records out that seem to fill every line-up. It’s with this in mind that I’ve come to look at festivals more for their space, feeling and their style than I do the music. Any festival can book a band, requiring it has the money to do so, but not every festival can leave a trace on the imagination of it’s festival-goers.

Last year, Green Man captured mine in a way no other festival had. Here was a gathering in the Brecon Beacons, with a drive to the site that would blow your mind, a landscape that calms the system rather than bewilders it, and a cinema, literature and musical line-up that challenges the Live Nation run festivals.

Now in it’s 12th year, Green Man is at the foot of making it big time. With Beirut, Mercury Rev and Neutral Milk Hotel given the job of headlining this year’s proceedings, each one marvelled at the beautiful nature of the festival. “Last time we played this place a few years ago, we found our experience beautiful – it’s an absolute pleasure to be back,” shirks Zac Condon of Beirut, during their set.

Green Man present an idea that shouldn’t really be entirely unique, but of recent years it seems to be something that’s been lost in a torrent of development throughout the UK festival market. Festivals are about hanging out with your friends, venturing into vividly different experiences from normal life, and enjoying music communally. It’s a space for sharing between mates and strangers without social pressure, a space where normal social conventions are thrown out the window. Green Man does much to applaud this demeanour. At the core of the festival is an ethos championing Welsh, UK and international talent – in all manner of mediums. From circus to cinema, bookshops to food, everything gets a look in here. There’s science that will bend and baffle, talks to self-mentor you in reading, and space to enjoy an afternoon nap without intrusion. In the space of three days, I picked up a whole manner of information I’d never have otherwise come across. Learning about everything from neuro-science to the story behind The Strokes record deal, Babbling Tongues is an unstuffy, unpretentious thinking space that anyone can walk in and feel part of.

It’s easy to keep busy at Green Man, too. By 1pm on Friday, I’ve already watched How To Train Your Dragon, tasted beers to bands with former-music journalist Pete Brown and festered my way through 20 pages of James Joyce ‘Dubliners’. By the same time on Sunday, I’ve watched two full-length Studio Ghibli films, eaten a hefty breakfast and washed in the small stream that flows through the heart of the site. It’s by this same pattern that days are enjoyed at Green Man – wholeheartedly, full of activities and with a vigour that can feel somewhat lacking in everyday life.

Highlights from the weekend are often found in unexpected places. Every headliner here is brilliant – Beirut trumpet through tunes in style, solo-male East India Youth energises like no other, and Neutral Milk Hotel play the most emotional set I’ve seen all summer – but stand out sets are reserved for Jonathon Wilson, High As A Kite and Mac Demarco.

More than anything, Green Man is a beacon of everything right at festivals. It’s intuitive, exciting and ahead of its counterparts in so many ways. Local brewed ale and cider, support for the local community and a taste for reanimating the simple bonfire make it a sure fire festival for next summer. And with more adventurous ideas cropping up the festival every year – it’s hard to think of what Fiona Stewart and co will think of next.

For more snippets, check out The 405’S MASSIVE Green Man review  http://www.thefourohfive.com/news/article/the-ultimate-green-man-2014-review-140

The Musical Linkup - July

Amidst the haze of Glastonbury, British Summer Time and a few namelessly brilliant gigs - I’ve been away from a desk for the last month so. But I’m back - this time, with a fresh selection of names to get your teeth stuck into. 

This week:

tonstartssbandht

Jacob Allen

Cellar Door

Sumochief 

Lazy Jack

Peace

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Shangri La, Glastonbury: Bred from of the British squat movement, born into utopian idealism

Originally published by Noisey (June, 2014) -http://noisey.vice.com/en_uk/blog/shangri-la-this-year-is-a-realisation-that-were-really-really-fucked-glastonbury-2014?utm_source=noiseyfbuk

The original transcript, with photos from Tim Boddy (2013) - on Shangri La, it’s inception, the British squat movement, new age travellers, and why we can’t just live in utopian idealism -

The car is on fire, and there’s no driver at the wheel
And the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides
And a dark wind blows
The government is corrupt
And we’re on so many drugs
With the radio on and the curtains drawn

So goes ‘The Dead Flag Blues’ by Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Those post-apocalyptic visions, of dust tracks and dirty wastelands, chemical erosion and corrupt governments are an image shared by the creators of the notorious South East corner of the Glastonbury site.

Having established itself in 2009, Shangri La, has very quickly become Worthy Farm’s most notorious field. For some, it’s the idea of your every worst nightmare – a town of crony idealism, far removed from the Babylonian world of the main stages. Blending cutting edge street theatre, with three decades of dance music heritage – Shangri La grasps a very unique British surrealism. Landmarked by the counter-cultural movement of new-age travellers, the South East corner has arguably saved Glastonbury from remaining just another over-sized rock festival. Instead, turning it into a site in which ideas of utopia, politics, power and civilization can be brought to question through a manner of different lenses.

While the Green Fields beliefs might be in peddling sacred stones, naked saunas and relaxing massages – Shangri La is almost it’s complete opposite. Meshing steel and metal with sweeping challenges of corporate idealism, Shangri La is both a space to party and a political forum. In the one sense, the great, fuck off projections and ridiculous sound systems pedal a deep, ketamine fuelled party that lasts deep into the night, while the surroundings bring the madcap ambitions of a team of 1500 illustrators, artists, riggers and designers alive to pull together one of the most visually-stunning fields I’ve ever seen on a festival site.

Each year is built off a different theme. While last year saw us enter the afterlife, after a great communist invasion, and virus-ridden post-apocalyptic party to end all parties, this year sees the team explore the new age of capital. As corporations and profit take over – Shangri La looks at the fictitious values behind the profiteering elite, and the sacrifices we all make as part of it – exploring how this is leering us all towards a sense of escapism and denial.

We caught up with Deborah Armstrong, creative director of Shangri La, to talk about the history of Shangri La, and to talk us through this year’s theme.

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Robbie Wojciechowski: Shangri La in is a sort new-age circus – where the touring pantomimes of our childhood have slipped away, and been replaced by Angela Carter style daydreams – how would you best describe what Shangri La does?

I think fundamentally Shangri La is about creating a world that people come to as an experience – there’s one aspect of it where it’s kind of this immersive world of insanity, but in another sense, it’s a response to a theme, something that interests and inspires us, and communicates our thinking on the world. The topic always has to be interesting and inspiring – something that will engage the artists we work with. In one sense Shangri La is a huge installation, in another, it’s a creative playground, where we’re exhibiting to a completely open audience.

How much is it a innovation of your own – and that of other peoples?

It’s a little bit of both. For example, this year, we’ve got loads of visual artists, like Ron English, Shepherd Ferry, Mark Jenkins. With some of them, we’re looking for certain pieces of work. We send off the brief, and they’ll send back pieces of work that they think either fit the brief, or new work they’ve created off the back of it. Often it’s a mix of both. It’s a completely collaborative project. Glastonbury is notoriously always poorly paid, and always a ball ache – but the crew, the people all make it, it just has to be really worth it, because it’s an incredibly interesting creative experience, developing artists, students and their work. This year’s been a lot tighter on the creative process – we’ve always invited people to come and participate and for people to enter their work. New people always come and work with us every year.

Tell us about Lost Vagueness – and give us an outline of where it all began

I was a relative latecomer – I got involved in Lost Vagueness in 2002, and that was the first year it had expanded from the days of just being a tent. It was the first year Roy, my old business partner, couldn’t be there, so everything was pretty much left up to me. There were 5 of us – in an extraordinary situation, with no toilets, no nothing – so we made up these fake passes to blag all the provisions and people we needed. On Sunday, we made it all up and realised we didn’t really have a party – so I had to beg Phil, the guy who has always run the diner, to help me out. It ended up being the most wonderful party. Joe Strummer ended up playing this wonderfully debauched set. And through that night, through that moment, Phil is now my husband. You end up in intense, ridiculous situations, with over work, with every situation, that you really, really bond with people.

Everybody that does Shangri La also does other stuff – it’s like herding cats, trying to get everyone together can be manic. Everyone’s got other projects, or they all live in the country. Chris Tofu, Continental Drifts – crucial in developing underground talent, Robin runs a bar, Andy builds, Kaye works at Boomtown and I run a production company Strong and Co.

For me, Shangri La is a ‘very English surrealism’ – do you think theatre of this kind can only really exist in the UK?

It’s funny, I remember going to Burning Man a few years ago, and really, really missing it. I saw one person there that got it bang on. Obviously the work there is incredible, but I just saw one guy, rolling around with a briefcase taking the piss out of the silent discos that really, really captured it for me. It’s our sense and spirit for being creative and cynical that really nails it in the UK, I think. The surrealist thing is just always about having a twist on an idea. We call it shangrilising something. It’s really British I think.  

I guess that’s been marked by years of influence from different counter cultural movements – at one end of the scale you’ve got Tim Burton’s work, at the other end, every single bit of youth culture from the last 50 years – and the mystic origins, the spiritual side of things that comes inherent with Glastonbury. 

Exactly – the whole mythic side, with Avalon, the permaculturists, the Green Fields that have always brought those links together.  Everyone here has all chosen very alternative ways of going about their business – there’s a definite family of people that are all quite wrong, but in a very special kind of way. Wrong in the right way. So insane that they’re sane. It’s all family now. Literally, they are people I’ve been working with for 15 years of my life. 

I had the same experience – I first went to Glastonbury when I was 15, and at the time I remember it feeling like a tipping point. From now on, this was my strange, abandoned community – my spiritual home, and my family away from home. 

I think it gives people a sense of everything, of security I think too. I definitely feel like we’ve got our corner now – for me, it feels like home, there’s family looking out for everyone everywhere, it’s the place I let my kids run completely free.

How about you personally, what led you to Glastonbury?

I went to art school, Central St Martins, and I studied installation under Brian Shaw. Then I found my health in a difficult situation, so I ran away to travel the world for two years, then realised what the doctors told me had been wrong, but it left me with a sense of needing to do something precious with my time. So through that, I started doing squat parties, installations, bigger places, during the late 90’s. Then I did this massive party by Battersea airport, in this huge three building complex we’d squatted, and it’s through that, that I met Roy and Lost Vagueness and got him to throw a massive casino, which he’d been running at the time, at this party.

There’s a unique moment in history – an abandonment that linked squatters and massive hives of creative culture. People were working with each other in new ways, living completely boundless lives where they felt like they could do anything. 

Completely, I always wonder what people are going to do nowadays. For me, everything sort of came from there. Today it’s never quite as maverick, today everyone’s a lot more together to get it, and that does have its positives. Today you have to be so much more on top of your shit. It’s not like when we were able to just kick the doors down, enter a space, break open all the gates, pull the trucks round, secure it. The whole process of securing space, sorting out the squat, organising your shit, dealing with the community and its politics, taught us everything. Like most people, I grew through it and out of it, but it’s still the beacon by which I found everyone. We all still work together, and we all create together.  A lot of the reason for us still doing what we do now is because we love working together.

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There’s still a core fundamental experience to it – and that’s kind of what makes Shangri La

Yeah, it’s always grown out the free party, traveller scene, and that sense of lets just smash open the gates, drive onto the queens woodlands, have a massive party, clean it up and fuck off home. It’s that DIY culture – to take back the power, and take things into our own hands.

It’s almost as if the new-age travelling movement, the 90’s free-party ethos and reintegrating your environment into new spaces, is integral to why Glastonbury is still going, and the core of the spirit behind Shangri La. Do you think all this in a way is what saved Glastonbury from demise into just another rock festival? 

Michael never had to take any of this on – he met Roy, gave us all a field and embraced the entire ethos of the thing. He’s in many ways, been really the only person who’s done that, and the incredible result he gets at the end of the day from investing in those artists and people – has led to them growing up, having been given an opportunity, and they’ve developed into the most incredible crews, riggers and illustrators around.

The Southeast corner is all a reference to that. Everyone that runs an area here, all used to be part of the crew from Lost Vagueness – from the boys in décor, right through to all the old production crew. Roy, the founder, had an unfortunate habit of falling out with people – and one after another, things broke down a little, but out of the ashes raised Shangri La. And that was back in 2008. And Michael gave us the go. 

It’s funny – if you look at an oral history of Glastonbury, you realise the entire South East Corner emerged as a place for new theatre, new arts and new ideas, out of the late 90’s industrial experience. It’s at this point; there was a strange urbanisation of Worthy Farm? 

We’ve thought about that for years – just why us old city muckers go to a field in Somerset for a few weeks and make everything really metal and industrial and so far removed from the idyllic countryside – and then want to fuck off at the end of it. 

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Glastonbury blends a rejection of the anti-establishment – but still keeps a very respected reputation within the sphere of music, culture and entertainment worldwide. It’s always embraced people it probably otherwise shouldn’t, and instead of being scared of counter-culture movements, embraced them.

I think it’s always just been a unique experience – something sort of untouchable. Obviously, the other side of the festival, the big bands still get the press, but I think there’s been a long lineage of Glastonbury embracing things where others don’t, letting us run wild with ideas, and putting faith in people that would otherwise be forgotten about.

What about the theme for this year – tell us a little bit about this year’s theme, and how they come into being?

So, the alleyways of days past have been bulldozed by the evil Shangri-Hell Corporation, everyone has been evicted, and in return they’ve built a shiny new headquarters, where they can celebrate all their success from. In the corporation, there is a divide between a numbers of separate departments; you’ve got the IT department, HR. This year, Shangri-Hell is all about the office nightmare, a cataclysmic demand to pull you to your senses, and question life back home away from Worthy.

Can you explain a little bit more about this year’s theme?

This is a realisation that we’re really, really fucked. The colonial empire building has transferred the idea of a corporate empire building – hell’s behind the profiteering, evil doing of big business, and heaven’s trying really hard to counter it, but not doing well.

During our research for this year, the whole thing just became incredibly depressing – but that’s where Heaven comes in, it’s all about exquisite escapism, and every great value we can hold.

It’s an interesting move – given Shangri La has always been associated with the dystopian future –

Well this is the problem; this is the reality of the profiteering elite. Heaven on the outside is about escapism and denial, fuck it, and let’s remove ourselves from it, on another level.

In one sense; we’re breaking down the idea of corporatism, on the other side, we’re trying to reference the greater problems within that world, and the real moral conditions. 

Cool – what can we expect to see?

Last year we dealt with the very contemporary sins – bankers, corporations – and this year, we’re going deeper into corporate hell. Heaven hasn’t been doing well – the idealism is running out. Hell’s succeeding, so Heaven’s come up with a new accessibility initiative, this year we’re bringing an open door policy. On one side there’s windows and doors into dark worlds – on the other, we’ve got a massive new heaven arena. Everything’s been turned inside out. We’ve got a huge hanging installation made by the permaculture teams, Doug Foster making a massive projection called Pyschotron infinity mandala that’ll be stretched across the field, sitar players, a massive birdsong installation of the dawn chorus at Glastonbury that’ll kick in once the music switches off. The dome behind the arena is where we’re most excited about though.

We’ve got Utopian talks, in the dome all weekend, talking about the proposition of fixing shit. Constantine will be talking about setting up ethical operations; there are permaculture talks on changing the natural world through planting – incredible, innovation in ethics and morals about our lives. The main arena might be a fluffy-bunny MDMA party, but this year we want the dome is where we want to make the real point.

There’s a series of small installations we’re going to scatter the field – each there own way an attribute to corporatism. So, the shock boardroom setting, the CEO’s office – shocking extraditions that make us look at the gross world of corporate capital. There’s Pluto’s PR firm, the IT department, and the department of culture, representing the Sabbath, and the department of apathy, an overgrown computer world. Snakepit has been expelled from Heaven, and now has a completely new aesthetic, based around a clinic, and LOVEBULLETS are getting involved too. There’ll be karaoke, a massive leisure centre to get your Zen on. As always, there’ll be massive billboards with huge incredible bits of artwork we’ve had specially commissioned on the themes everywhere.

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It’s 20 years since the criminal justice and public order act (1994) – do you think for a modern decade of creators, there’s a somewhat stunted sense of what’s possible now? 

I think the real killer wasn’t the public order act; it was the confiscating of rigs, and the complete banning of squatting. I remember I used to be able to call the police my friends in some ways – and there would always be negotiation. Nowadays, there’s none of that. I think what stopped me from squatting was the longevity of working a squat – finding, fixing, the legal side, and then sitting in court trying to protect the whole case. Too much of my energy was going into lots of this. Lost Vagueness almost only got developed once I’d left all that. It wasn’t ever quite right at the time – it was always frustrating. Squats were the facilitator, but it does leave me to wonder what my kids are going to do now. Today’s work is utter brutalism. I’ve seen people ruined by that world – ruined by people being forced down the throat of people, just because it there was only option at finding mutual contact. And the thing is, life on the outside isn’t easy easier.

Exactly – I think we’ve both felt that. I left school when I was 16, and went straight into the activist community because of it. But you realise it’s a darker world, as well as a hive of insane, flamboyant possibility.

It’s an addictive environment – you can get lost within it. I think we, all, now, have managed to get ourselves out – and to a point where we can all work creatively while still supporting ourselves. I think it teaches you what happens to the human spirit when you push it through a lot? It’s required to be incredibly resourceful. Need pushes people to do things that they would never do. A removal resources helps us realise what we really need – essences of community, comfort and light. The removal of that very human spirit behind our system is the saddest thing of all, I think, which I guess is what I want us to question in part. Maybe you spend your entire life working for something awful – maybe this’ll be the trigger to someone realising that and wanting to change his or her own personal state. This year, is just about raising lots of questions, we think. 

Photos courtesy of Tim Boddy - cargocollective.com/Timboddy

The Mission

onesummersoundtrack:

Last Sunday - while the sun blazed across the mid-day sky, I came across the wonderful Guardian Music writers’ own 'soundtracks to the summer'. As a concept, it was simple - their writers, telling the stories behind their favourite summer tunes, in short, snappy nostalgic accounts. 

From stories of first-love, to childhood holidays, each one was a poignant, personal and provocative account of the memories we all have of past-summers, and the tunes that we remember them by. 

This blog is about continuing that idea, and extending it to some of Britain’s best loved writers, musicians, and new talent - as well as the people who make the music industry tick. 

The format is simple.

One story, five tunes. Real life memories, lived experiences and nostalgic trips into the past - tell us the story of your own summer playlist.

Your task is set.

It’s time to get sharing. 

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Weekly Music Linkup 01/06 - 08/06

I’ve been away for a few weeks - writing, spending time on beaches in Barcelona, and digging my way through a pile of great new music. But I’m back - so here’s 5 things you should get your ears into for this week.

This week:

MF Jew

ER The Future

Emily King (via Taylor McFerrin) 

O Chapman (returns)

Stefan Colakovic 

Peace 

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Soundtracking The British Summer

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As part of the Soundtracks To The Summer project, over here - http://onesummersoundtrack.tumblr.com/

Inspired by The Guardian music writers’ summer soundtracks –this is my own nostalgic summer soundtrack. Like theirs, each one has it’s own story – caught in memories of wishy-washy nostalgia, past relationships and a million summer sunsets. 

Sticky sleepless nights, sun-blushed picnics and road trips bind together my memories of summer days. From carnivals to carousels, warehouses, to nights sleeping in marinas on the South Coast, every tentative summer joy has been embellished with it’s own soundtrack.

Last summer I was in love for the first time in my life – and as it goes when you’re with someone; nothing in the world ever seemed to quite matter. So while I grew distant from home and started sharing experiences with someone new - our musical playlists started to sync. One July evening, carried by the hot heavy brush of dusty air in Hyde Park we watched Ray Davies.  For days later – our heads caught in the romance of London in the summer. ‘Waterloo Sunset’ became our little anthem – the tune we’d whisper in each other’s ear every time things got difficult. By summers’ end we’d parted ways – and as the swing of the autumn sun drew the nights closer – that one summer started to feel like a faded memory. ‘Waterloo Sunset’ might be the faded memory of a broken relationship, but it was still the anthem of a great summer.

I remember the long road trips to campsites as a kid – and the even longer journeys in an old beat up stuffy Renault estate, as we passed field after field of nothingness. My mums’ ever hungry lust to switch off the raucous of my dads’ passion for 80’s guitar music, and the howling vocals that used to erupt from my mum as I stack on the one R&B CD we had. Nowadays, car journeys seem all the more surreal – the turn of the ignition can bode the start for a weekend of new musical discoveries. One tune can be the key to an ever-changing road trip.

For me, it’s these five songs that have been the anthem of my summers – from every camping trip, to every party, to Notting Hill and Glastonbury, to every football match, bike ride and BBQ. As more entries come in - slowly but surely, we’ll build a soundtrack to the perfect summer, as told through your own experiences.

Robbie’s Top 5

Ray Davies – Waterloo Sunset

LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends

Amy Winehouse  - He Can Only Hold Her

Marlena Shaw – California Soul

Oasis – Don’t Look Back In Anger

Now I want to turn this into a thing. Lets get a collection of summer memories, stories and soundtracks, let’s share and share and share, and help me build one collective, authored archive of the perfect summer. http://onesummersoundtrack.tumblr.com

If you’d like to contribute, email me – robbie.wojciechowski@gmail.com