Cycling 1100 miles in 12 days? Aye right. Why would anyone of non- Olympian pedigree take that on?
I’m talking about this May’s Great Big Cycle, where ten amateur cyclists, including Grant Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit fame, covering of the UK and Ireland. They’ll visit five capitals over 12 days and cycle about 100 miles a day. The reason? A really important cause.
Grant’s brother and lead cyclist Neil’s three year old daughter, Morven, suffers from a rare genetic condition called cystinosis that can cause growth impairment and kidney problems. At the moment there is no cure. The cycle will aim to raise a mighty £100,000 for Cystinosis Foundation UK, a charity who research the disease and how it might be treated in future. Ahead of the cycle Grant shared the power tracks on his playlist. Read about the reasons below while listening to the Spotify playlist…
You can also suggest a song to add to the playlist and spur them on by leaving a comment here or on Facebook!
Grant’s Great Big Playlist
Lorde –TeamWhen you’re on the bike for a few hours it’s important to have a collection of melodies that don’t really get tired and this something that Lorde does pretty well on Pure Heroine. It’s also great if they’re fairly simple otherwise you’ll have one line going round the whole time because you can’t remember anything else! This track is probably my favourite because of the harmonies and the beat but I’m a fan of them all so they’ll all be going round my head a fair amount.Katy Perry– Roar and FireworkPure unadulterated pop that gives me great motivation. The classic breakdown and finale is something that will never get old and the lift created by it is incomparable. Roar is Eye Of The Tiger for the tween generation but has just as much of an affect on me!!Placebo – Pure MorningEverything about this track is just so menacing and whenever I want to feel like a hardman(which is not often I should add) I’ll stick this on and get my swagger going!! I was a huge fan of Placebo growing up and again the simplicity and repetitive nature of this track makes it perfect for the ride. It’s so rhythmic too which is obviously important for turning the pedals hour after hour, day after day.Frightened Rabbit – Late March Death MarchOnly because it is Morven’s favourite song and will act as a reminder for the whole reason for doing this when times get dark on the bikeRoger and The Gypsies– Pass The HatchetThis is all about the drum beat in this song. Once again the rhythmic nature of it is great and I just love how happy the vocals sound. It creates a great image of that time of dance halls and making music for people to get up and move to which is something you see less and less these days especially with live bands.London Bridge Is Falling DownNo idea why but it regularly pops into my head when I’m on my bike.The Felice Brothers – Run Chicken Run
I love the ramshackle sound The Felice Brothers are so good at creating. This song is just so frantic and it moves in such a great way that just makes it impossible to stay still when it’s on. It has a great feeling of community too. Like the whole band are just in the one room playing along and shouting out harmonies that come in to their head and that’s something that will be important on the ride too. There are 10 of us taking part for the duration and we’ll have to work together a whole lot and really help each other through it and I expect we’ll become a very tight knit group.Wintersleep– Archeologists
I just bloody love these guys. When we toured with them it was like we’d known them forever and I remember those tours with such fondness that to not have them in here would just be a travesty. They are all absolute dicks though!
I’ve talked about my love of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts before, so it’s probably not surprising I stumbled across this collaboration between Cuban pianist Omar Sosa & Sardinian trumpet player Paolo Fresu performance.
So utterly beautiful I could listen to it all day. Treat your ears.
A tragedy befell me last week. I woke up, got up and my laptop would not turn on. If you’ve ever been there you might follow my exact train of thought: that is EVERYTHING I own!! And no I don’t have it backed up, idiotic as that might be. So while I have been dreaming of finally buying a Macbook and trying to retrieve all my data it’s been a bit hard to post this up – a sublime discovery from Glasgow solo talent Eugene Twist.
With his stunning eight track album The Boy Who Had Everything notching up a fair amount of acclaim Mr Twist is an artist I was excited to feature, here’s his eloquent take on a little listened to Mose Allison track, minimalist, carefully crafted jazz…
EUGENE TWIST PLAYS…MOSE ALLISON
Someone once said Mose Allison was cool before Dylan was cool. I first heard him on the documentary ‘Ever Since I Stole The Blues’, which features everyone from Frank Black of the Pixies to Van Morrison confirming his significant and varied influence. He is revered in certain circles, yet it amazes me how many musicians and musos I speak to haven’t heard of him. He’s always operated within jazz and blues – I’m no aficionado but to my ear he’s one of the greatest pianists to straddle these idioms in terms of ideas and technicality. However, this is just a platform for what comes next: a voice, narrative and songwriting approach that feel exclusively his own…
The Style: A lazy, prolonged, Mississippi drawl, steeped in the kind of profound blues that makes you want to kick a tin can around a deserted street with your hands in your pockets, somehow feeling OK about the weight of the world being on your shoulders.
The Attitude: Mose is very much an existentialist who brings a deadpan (almost Scottish) sense of humour to mortality, poverty and loneliness. His lyrics more than anything take the sentiment of the blues to another level, where you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Song titles such as ‘What Do You Do After You Ruin Your Life’ – a case in point.
The Legacy: Mose’s journey bridges legendary and cult figure. He’s an extremely humble dude. I saw him play the Fruitmarket in Glasgow a while ago, he came on in jeans and bright white trainers, sat his fleece on top of the piano lid and started playing. I wasn’t surprised to hear that a friend saw him play in Pizza Express a few years ago and there’s videos on youtube of him playing to just a handful of people, amazing considering his influence on everyone from Jools Holland to Bono. Someone’s uploaded to youtube the song of his I’d like to share – it’s had less plays than my own youtube tracks…
So I’d like to share ‘Hello There Universe’. Like all great music in its intangible power, this puts me in a place transcendent of time and lets me float through the cosmos whenever I hear it. Without appearing retroist, something about the vocal and delivery still feels aesthetically fresh too. Enjoy.
I did a little rooting around myself and discovered that Mose Allison wrote loads of material which has been covered by other bands, just one being The Clash who featured this jazz led track – Look Here – on their album Sandinista!
Once you are done going through Mose Allison’s back catalogue get Eugene’s album on rotation! With a gravely voice his songs bleed into retro styles, echoing of the likes of The Beatles, Velvet Underground and Bob Dylan. A record which is diverse in delivery it swerves from the jive friendly ‘If There’s Love Where I’m Going’, heart fuelled ‘It’s Down to You’ and melodrama ‘The Boy Who Had Everything’: picture painting lyrics, psychedelic guitar riffs and ska fuelled melodies all to follow.
Watch the brilliantly vintage vibed video for ‘Bohemian Hotline’ here…