Music: Summer Tunes

Hope this summer check-in finds you enjoying the glorious summer freedom, whether you’re choosing to spend it productively (you poor, tea-serving interns…) or sun worshipping (you poor, lazy buggers). Either way, here’s some tunes that you may not have heard to stick in your ears for three minutes of zoning out… whether that’s well earned or not!

The Girl: Gabrielle Alpin

You may have noticed this young sprite in the soundtrack of shows such as Made In Chelsea, but if you haven’t stopped to appreciate the clarity of her voice, and the drive of her nineteen year old self, I order you to do so right now.

Where to start? Here with ‘Home,’ then for a sense of her personality, have a listen to her impromptu motorway sing-song covering ‘It Ain’t Me Babe‘ caught on video in a delightfully still summer traffic jam. And if you’re feeling adventurous, check out this interesting collaboration with Bastille covering ‘Dreams’ – strangely catchy mix of two very different artists, but it works.

The Boys: Hudson Taylor

This dreamy, Dublin brothers duo had me at… well their cute photo, but their music is well up to par with some simple but heart-skipping harmonies, and heartfelt lyrics to match. This Irish lilt is known to set me off on a sad day, so watch out for ‘Won’t Back Down.’  But it’s not all slow and solemn, in their eclectic mix is some fab folk-style beats and and quirky lyrics.

Where to start?  ‘Trouble Town’  is a brilliant, beautiful taster to get you going, and mix that up with ‘Chasing Rubies’, ‘Drop of Smoke’. Also, sit down and listen to the lingering chords in ‘Won’t Back Down’ and ‘Hideaway‘; breath-taking simplicity. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you if you happen to get teary…

Got summer daylight to catch, so it’s over and out from me, but plug those earphones in, follow those links, and bask in some summer-esque tunes folks.

Reblog of Summer Tunes, written by me for Razz My Berries Magazine
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Beijing, TUESC: Post-Orchestral Torrents

A Night with the Beijing Symphony Orchestra


For a wonderful night in, the University treated us with complimentary tickets to the Beijing Symphony Orchestra in the Tsinghua campus. They played all the good ones, and it was frankly, one of most exhilarating and wonderful experiences of my life.

Thank you, TUESC.

On the way home, the heavens open with a torrential downpour, the thunder rumbling hungrily and promising lightening  – which I can’t see, as I’m being blinded by rain on my trusty bike.

It’s really something else, coming down with monsoon thickness and great painful gusts as I have not yet seen in China. Dressed for the summer heat that was appropriate until three minutes ago, and on my rickety Chinese bike pedalling furiously into darkness – my chain comes off.

After calling the cavalry – who have made it back to the forms already sans mechanical problems – and several well-practised attempts to fix my chain, I embrace the rain and saunter back the mile to my dorms in the orange-lit dark through warm Beijing downpour, to be met by a huge group of soaked friends, about to dash out and find me.


The Attendees - pre-downpour!
The Attendees – pre-downpour!
The after-rain shot!


Smiles all round. It’s been a great, fantastic, wonderful evening.




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