Tag Archives: Olympics

My Top 5 Songs of the Year

So here it is, my 5 favourite songs of the year, I am sure they will not feature on anyone else’s list but then they can do their own list  can’t they- this is really just an excuse to play my favourite songs of this year again.

At Number 5, and my memory is so bad I am not a hundred percent sure this was actually out this year. Ren Harvieu.  I love her, you can keep Adele Skkkkyyfaaaaaaaaaaaallling her way to the top of the charts, for me Ren’s voice is the true voice of pain and heartache, the sound of survival , of gritting your teeth and it making it through the other side. (Well after Amy of course).  Tonight also has the most amazing woozy sounding brass, the sound of a night spiralling out of your control, giddily exciting at first, but with more than a hint that everything could end in tears….

And at number 4, yes it’s that internet sensation, You Tube’s first million hit millionaire, Psy and Gangnam Style.  This is really one for my children.  They adore it, and really sneakly I do too, especially after seeing Damian Lewis “horsing” his way across the Green Room on Jonathan Ross.  I saw Brodie from Homeland in a whole new light.

So just in case you are the one person on the planet who has missed it, here it is… all together now.. “Hey sexy lady, Woop Woop Woop Woop”

Feel the Love by Rudimental is at 3.  I love this tune way more than I should.  Surely this is just a song for 16 year olds, but I can’t get enough of it.  How can anyone resist that soulful old skool vocal soaring over the dubstep?  One to be played very loud, especially out on a run, it makes me feel I never want to stop.


Jake Bugg is at number 2.  He is amazing.  When I first heard Lightning Bolt I didn’t know if it was a new track or just an unfamiliar old one.  For an 18 year old boy from Nottingham he sounds incredibly like Johnny Cash or Bob Dylan.  Simple, catchy tunes with lyrics that wise beyond their years.   The BBC used Lightning Bolt as the bed on a piece about Usain Bolt during the Olympics which made me ridiculously happy.

So here it is, my number one for the year.  I bet you can hardly care less.  But anyway I will press on regardless of the apathy.  In my best DeeJay Voice, at at Number One, Eugene McGuinness and Harlequinade.  And cut to everyone looking at each other and saying “Who?”  Why isn’t it Rihanna or One Direction or that nice Katy Perry, such a shame about her and Russell Brand.

Anyway it isn’t, it’s Eugene McGuinness.  He is the guitarist for Miles Kane.  He brought at an fantastic and very unrated album in the summer called “An Invitation to the Voyage”. It is jam-packed with infectious pop classics, just waiting to be discovered and played and made into ear worms in your brain.  Oh and the video is a masterclass in creativity on a budget.

So there you, my top 5 songs of the year.  I could have included the entire soundtrack to the Olympic Opening Ceremony, with special mention to Caliban’s Dream but then that would have to have been 6 songs of the year.. and well that is just ridiculous isn’t it?  Who has 6 top songs of the year, except hopelessly indecisive people?  Perhaps that should be another blog, my top 5 moments of the year but that would just been just one long moment; our glorious, wonderous, uplifting, never to be repeated summer of sport wouldn’t it?  So here is Caliban’s Dream.. enjoy… and if you fancy it, do let me know your tunes of the year.


Allez Wiggo

What a year 2012 is shaping up to be already.   Andy Murray is the first British Man to make the finals of Wimbledon in 70 odd years. A British man, in fact a Yorkshireman, Jonathan Marray actually won the Mens Double at Wimbledon.  But far, far, far outstripping these achievements is Bradley Wiggins. On the cusp of the London Olympics he has become the first British Tour De France winner ever.  He has worn the leader’s yellow jersey since 7 July and even won over the French, “Allez Wiggo”.  He has cycled over 3,000 kilometres,  up and down 5 mountain ranges in 20 days and  yesterday triumphantly  into Paris.

I have always had a real soft spot for Bradley Wiggins.  Maybe it is because of his mod sensibilities, those unmistakable sideburns, or maybe that he lives in Chorley (having moved to be closer to the British Cycling Team), but I think it is mainly because he remains a very humble, straightforward, plain speaking person despite of his immense talent.

He was winning Olympics medals in the 2000 and 2004 games.  In Athens he was the first Brit to win 3 medals at one games since Tokyo. But this was all before British cycling hit the Gold payload in Beijing.  Bradley won 2 golds but Chris Hoy won 3 and to the pursuant media this was the story, and heaped all focus and attention on Chris Hoy. All sorts of accolades from Knighthoods to Sports personality of the year followed.  All the time Bradley Wiggins was by his side, but in my opinion being grossly and unjustly overlooked.  He never seemed to look anything other than gracious and a team player but I used to think it was so unfair.

His attempts at the Tour De France have also demonstrated his true grit and never give up attitude, the first team he rode for was embroiled in a doping scandal when the team leader tested positive.  He threw away that kit and never rode for them again.  He came 4th in 2009 and yet had a disappointing race in 2010.  Then 2011 he crashed out in the early stages and broke a collarbone.  But he just got right back in the saddle this year and the rest is history.  The most glorious, hard-fought for, sweetest reward of them all.  I see with interest all the papers are now calling for Bradley Wiggins to be named sports personality of the year, oh the fickle finger of the media!

Will Carling wrote a book on sports psychology where he praised the inner reserves of someone like Adrian Moorhouse, the swimmer who had lost at two games before winning Gold at his third attempt.  What incredible levels of self -belief must you retain to sustain 12 years of training, dedication, hard work and sacrifice to achieve that.

I have watched two amazing documentaries (Knockout Scousers and Victoria Pendleton: Cycling’s Golden Girl) about sportsmen and women training for the 2012 Games.  As I watch from my armchair I can’t do anything but admire them, their spirit, talent and single-mindedness to dedicate their lives to their sport. I wish everyone the very best of luck for the next two weeks.  I will be sitting in my armchair weeping for every winner (and loser!).