Soundtracking The British Summer


As part of the Soundtracks To The Summer project, over here –

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.

If you’d like to contribute, email me –

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