Hello London Playlist

It’s more than a year since I officially became a German Citizen in Berlin. I still feel I never said goodbye to London properly, and never left the note there that it deserves. in an attempt to make up for this, I picked up one of my older wordpress draft and decided to finalize and post it. so hear you go an ode to UK culture in particular music.

Someone speaks over the sound system and tells me that all lines are running without delays, houndreds of high heals tapping around me up and down stairs. the sound is amplified by the narrow hard walls in the claustrophobic tunnel that lead me through the London Underground. i turn a corner and hear Eric Clapton played by a middle age guy wearing a suit from the 80’s. I look at him as someone bumps into me from the front – sorry – we both say.
This is the soundscape of London underground, above ground the scene changes, however not less noisy. London is an endless stream of safety warnings, commercials, machines opening, closing, apologies and offenses.

I moved to London from Stockholm in October 2010. Even though Stockholm is also a capital city, the difference in intensity of the vibe is significant. I made a playlist to accompany me on my walks through the London. I felt that a city like London needed music to really make sense during the transition into the London vibe.

I still have my playlist from back then, and here is a short walkthrough of the tracks and why they were on my HELLO LONDON PLAYLIST.

I still think it represents some of the nerve and fiber of what London is to me, but today I would have to add a lot of tracks to make it current. What amazes me about London are all the layers and how it embraces a wide range of expressions, which applies to the music scene as well.

My number 1 London tune back then

1. Love will tear us apart, Joy Division

I knew Joy division before I went to London, and found it mostly depressing and a little simplistic, it didnt really stick to me. Truth be told, I didnt really understand punk or the post punk era. That was untill i heard this track on a club in London and everyone whent completely crazy. It seemed like the real natiional anthem had been put on, not just for the generation that was part of the time when Joy Division made cult status, but also for younger generations. Today this track emidiatly brings me back to London. It is a track that through its painfuly structured composition and feeling, makes suffering and pain a sensation that you dont want to leave, and made me cherrish the most depressing moments in London.

From My Childhood
My parents had both these tracks on Vinyl, and I recall how especially Pink Floyd the wall was a hit. It was also the first track I ever played on an instrument, when I had a short encounter with an electric base quitar. The simple baseline still apeals to me, and the track itself bridges the gap between London and Berlin.

1. Carry the weight, The Beatles

2. Another Brick in the Wall, Pink Floyd

From my high school years
Prodigy and Underworld were the first electronic music that I enjoyed and still enjoys. Born Slippy stuck to my musical memory when it featured in the movie Trainspotting. Blur and Oasis….I am not going to get into the discussion about which is better, but they were both big when I went to high school, and Girls and Boys still brings a smile to my lips.

1. Out of Space, Prodigy

2. Born slippy, Underworld

3. Wonderwall, Oasis

4. Girls and Boys, Blur

5. Another Bites the Dust, Queen

My time after Gymnasium
I bought my Techics 1210 in 1998 and was in to Fat boy slim and especially his Mixes from his club (the big beat butique (in Brighton)). It lead to a lot of exploring in the big beat genre, some pretty random ones too, but the tracks below still reminds me why it was so much fun cleaning up the kitchen in Burgerking to the sound of Big Beats.

1. Fat boy Slim / Medicine / Sex Pistols, track on the Dirt chamber sessions, by Prodigy

2. Bang on, Propellor heads

All the other years
Another DJ group from London who i listened to endlessly after graduating and while DJing in Copenhagen was Streetlife DJs. A duo known for putting big partys on, and for mixing all kinds of genres. They gave me a new perspective on the tracks below and made their way into my own sets.

1. Love is a Drug, Roxy Music

2. LIving on the ceiling, Blancmange

3. This Charming man, The Smiths

4. Dirty Harry, Gorillaz

5. Say Say Say, Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson

6. Jah War, The Bug

7. Paper Planes, M.I.A

8. I Believe, Simion Mobile Disco

9. The Sound of the Crowd, Human Leaugue

10. Ashes to ashes, David Bowie BOWIE BOWIE BOWIE

11. Waterfalls, Stone Roses

And why do brits then make so much good music?
What still impress me is how all of these tracks came out of UK, and how rich a culture for modern pop and music culture UK has. After having lived in London for 3 years, I am not surprised and I think what makes it possible for Uk and London in particular to harness and develop so much talent and culture are. I will always remember London for:

1. The language
English is still the biggest language if you want to reach a global crowd, and the Brits in London master it, in all the different shades and forms it takes depending on the area you live in, or the subculture that you are part of.
2. The diversity and culture
The diversity and tolerance, As a foreigner it is to date the easiest city I have lived in, to integrate in. Much because of the attitude of the people living there.
3. The interest in arts and culture
The mix of cultures that constantly inspires new expressions, you have the world at your fingertips, not just through your smartphone, but when you take the tube go to Tescos or on your way to the pub and at the pub.

I have moved to Berlin

You might have seen my stream of random german inspired events hitting my twitter, tumblr, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. People following me on soundcloud or spotify will have noticed how it’s been influenced by Berlin producers and DJ’s. Well here Is the reason and my official update to my friends, family and network.

1. December marks a milestone for me. From that day onwards I am taking up a new life in Berlin. The London Era has officially come to an end and I now embark on a new one as a citizen of Berlin.

This is my life here in Berlin: Moving in with my German girlfriend, A rented flat in Mitte, A job Deloitte Germany

It’s been a journey and just to give you an idea this is more or less how it unfolded:

  • I met my girlfriend in 2011.
  • We decided to move to Berlin together around the new year 2012, and decided for July 2013 as the date we would move in together
  • We found a flat in April 2013
  • I started on a German project in May 2013, still with office in London
  • I signed my contract in October 2013
  • I became an official Berliner in November 2013
  • 1st day at work in Deloitte Germany 2nd December 2013

 

The List (Night Life 3/3)

Where to go out in London? here is a list of places – not exhaustive at all, but more as an illustration of where I would usually go out. I have divided it into areas with some selected bars that gives you an idea of what to expect..

The south east

Where I first lived when I came over here. Only good thing about New Cross is Gold Smiths, that attract a lot of the people that I described earlier. You should try to go where they go:

The venue (popular): Houses concerts, I have not been there yet, since I rarely go to New Cross these days, but there is always a cue in front of the place.

Amarsham Arms (music place); I have heard a lot of good things about this place things like:

Recently taken over by London super promoters Adventures in the Beetroot Field, The Amersham Arms is the bar at the forefront of the New Cross renaissance.

Whilst the mix of old boys and loved up students persists, they’ve now been joined by quizzes, celebrities and nights with line-ups so good they rival Fabric.

This could be the reason why many in Shoreditch have been feeling oddly drawn south of the river lately…

The south in general is known for some of the social problems, but also for having some real edge. This is especially apparent in Brixton, that has a large Caribbean minority living there, which also reflects back on the clubbing scene.

South west

If you want to hang out with a lot of young professionals or just young people in general try Glapham High Street. You will find places like; Infernos, Hed Kandi etc. where it is really easy to hook up, mostly for Australians and young professional.

West

Posh, boring, I don’t go there so I don’t really know, I am going to Supperclub for the first time this friday. I expect expensive, but also good DJs, but not much edge.

North West

Area around Camden

Koko (good for music, big venue)

Bar 55 in Camden (good for cocktails)

City

I don’t like going out here but you can find some good pubs and places clike fabric. Avoid Piccadilly circus – I hate everything around here, but it houses some of the big and popular clubs.

Fabric (one of the biggest and internationally renouned and known for attracting the biggest names in Electronic music)

Soho

Obviously the place to go out if you want to experience the gay community in London.

Mike snow (good pub with good people and cheap beer) – look at my map for reference

Garlic and shots (for a weird swedish heavy rock experience)

Ronnie Scott’s (good for music of all kinds, last time I went there it was 60’s on vinyl)

Embankment

Gordons wine bar (good for drinking wine and eating cheese in a great atmosphere)

Covent Garden – I have tried one good cocktail bar there,

Freud (cocktails, mixed crowed, cool basement, crowded)

Shoreditch

Now this is my hood, so I am massively biased, but can recommend any of these places for going out. There is a lot of variety in Shoreditch and I have tried to pick a list that shows this. I have divided the list into 3 main areas, Brick Lane, Shoreditch High Street and Old Street.

Brick Lane is always an experience, and on any day of the week you will find people hanging out. It has become a massively popular place to go out, and for good reasons the street is boiling with activities.

93 feet east (right on brick lane, 2 dj’s, garden outside for drinking and smoking, mixed crowd and good fun).

Cafe 1001 (always a good atsmophere, coffee, burger or cocktails it changes throughout the night)

And also; The Big Chill, Vibe Bar, Brick Lane has a lot of places and events that goes on below the radar

Shoreditch High Street and station; more bars and less youngsters, follow the road north and you follow the newest trends.

The edge (pub, young hipster crowd – it’s ok)

The kick (fuzzball all over, beers and mixed crowds

Village underground (good for music and a lot of crativity)

Jaguar shoes (more hipsters, cocktails, nice decoration, the party is on in the basement, as many other places in East London, this is more than just a bar. It serves as a creative hub for connecting and celebrating East London’s creative class)

Bookclub (good cafe, nice atmosphere, dancefloor in the basement)

The Old Street Station area; More Clubbing than Bars

Queen of hoxton (cocktails, dance, meat market, nice terrace for when the weather is hot)

XoYo (good club, big DJ names(

But the east is so much more than Shoreditch….->

Hackney.

I often go there for vietnamese food on kingsland road. You can bring your own alcohol making it the perfect place to begin your evening.

Hoxton and Haggerston for food and good bars, Dalston High street for the new party area.

The haggerston (cool pub, beautifull girls and people)

The red russian (open really late, owner from Azerbaijan)

Passing clouds (mixed crowd, but more edge, lots of reggae and funk I like it)

Mustage bar (Local DJs, nice, crowded and intense without being too much)

Stoke Newington is a bit more remote but really worth a visit, everything goes down close to stoke Newington Church Street. You need a bike or cap to go here, maybe that is where the whole bike trend by hipsters is from?….

On a final note allow me to promote my tumblr profile that also features my latest cloudcast – you can find the link in the bar to the right more about me / tumblr. http://anderstheut.tumblr.com/

London Vibes (Night life 2/3)

The 2nd. post about going out in London is a very subjective view of what I know London for. When people from Denmark visit me here, they are always surprised about how many things London really are.  I love london for several reasons, but in particular for 3 things; art and culture (museums, musicals and galleries), diversity and a lot of edge and creativity. This post is dedicated to my impression of London from a “hanging out perspective”, with and emphasis on night life, but quite mixed. It has turned out to be a colourful mixture of comments and videos, which reflects what I love about London – the diversity, edge and culture.

The south and south East

Where I first lived when I came over here. Only good thing about New Cross is Gold Smiths, that attract a lot of the people that I described earlier. Y

I lived in New Cross for 4 months close to Peckham. The south in general is known for some of the social problems, but also for having some real edge. This is especially apparent in Brixton, that has a large Caribbean minority living there, which also reflects back on the clubbing scene. It is a really interesting place for music and going out, and it is home the excellent Brixton Academy.

Brixton Academy in…..Brixton. Justice is playing there tonigh (impossible to get tickets)

South west – Clapham

Two kind of infernos. I am not impressed by this area, but apparently there should be a place called Infernos where it is really easy to hook up, mostly for Australians and young professionals, couples with no kids and a lot of mainstream bars. But they also have their problems, and the area played a part in the

London riots (summer 2011).

Clapham riots

Clapham infernos, cheesy place for kids. This video says everything there is to say about the nightlife in Clapham (in my view), but then again…I have not been there much, and have not even been to Infernos.

West

Posh, boring, I don’t go there so I don’t really know. Only reason to go to the west would be for the museums located there.

Famous television show, made in Chelsea. Of cause this is a bit manipulated. But you get the idea I am sure.

North West

Families and charming if you go to Hamsted. Camden has a completely different pulse and houses great venues. . Hamstead heath is worth a visit. something completely different from the rest of london:

hamstead heath, an amazing out of London experience in London.

KOKO in Camden. I have been a lot to Koko, that stares a lot of different parties and concerts – from indie to more commercial clubbing, dub step you name it

Camden market, used to be a horsemarket, now it’s a mixture of people mostly punkers, emos, goths etc.

City

I don’t like going out here but you can find some good pubs and places clike fabric. Avoid Piccadilly circus – I hate everything around here, but it houses some of the big and popular clubs, and off cause all the popular spots. Soho, Obviously the place to go out if you want to experience the gay community in London. Covent garden for opera and theater and of cause all of the musicals can be found in the city as well.

Famous Fabric

Soho and picadelly circus

Embankment, Gordons wine bar (good for drinking wine and eating cheese in a great atmosphere)

Famous Fabric, club for electronic music and the best DJs

Shoreditch

Now this is my hood, so I am massively biased, but can recommend any of these places for going out. Brick Lane is so much more than currys, and the currys are not that good. Go there at night and experience mayham and massive fun and loads of option untill 2 am where everything closes. If you want at decent curry go further south to Tayabs or Lahore (closer to white chappel)

I don’t even know what to write about this video, but it is definitely a pretty accurate presentation. I guess there is a lot of me in that movie too.

Brick Lane and the market

Village underground, a monument and symbol of the creativity that flows through this area

North East – hackney; Stokey, Haggerston, Hoxton, Dalston, Highbury Islington

Try to go to Hoxton, Dalston or haggerston. I often go there for vietnamese food on kingsland road. You can bring your own wine so it is the perfect place to for a friday night. Hackney is where the riots in London started and it can be a rough place

Hackney Gangs

Stoke Newington is a bit remote but really worth a visit, everything goes down close to stoke newington church street. You need a bike or cap to go here, maybe that is where the whole bike trend by hipsters is from?….

A warehouse party in Hackney wig

Some Background (Night life 1/3)

4 weeks ago I knocked on my neighbours door, to let him know of our Halloween party, and that it would be a bit noisy for the same reason. They are a very understanding couple (German I assume).  In the conversation he let me know that he was writing a book, and that we seemed like the type of people who could help him out with a chapter.

A chapter about going out in London….fitting for what has described my life during the last couple of months.

The book is about London and the chapter is about where to go out in London. Not the typical places, but how to find the better places. It is both an easy task and a very difficult story to tell. Because there are so many places, and the city is constantly evolving,  you very quickly feel that you are far behind the pulse. Areas like Shoreditch (where I live), not too long ago a poor place without a lot of things to do, and now it is almost at the verge of being too much and too popular – no need to say the ultra hip have already moved further north to Haggerston, Hoxton or Dalston or even further.

But first, How to look for the up and coming places in London?

It’s easy! You have to follow the people without money but a lot of cultural capital to use one of Bourdieu’s most famous concepts.

The development of London happens much like in every larger city; young poor creative’s moves to the cheap areas and build communities that attracts more of the kind. They host all the cool parties and semi private events that attract people with money in pursuit of authenticity. This group of established trendsetters, fashion formidable freaks and other money making cultural entrepreneurs, move in and attract the next tier – the media and ad people, that bring more money. The private events develop into venues, and some of the hot spots in London. They attract all the attractive girls that attract all the bankers. They move in with other well off people and the house prices goes through the roof. By this time the young creative’s, who started it all, have already moved out and the area slowly looses it’s edge – all that remains are the traditional pubs (that were there all the time through the transformation) and organic boutiques and/or markets.

And then a side note on how London capitalises on it’s young creative’s

The difference in London, being the super capitalistic city it is, is that there are companies here that have already put this synthesis on to a formula and who invest in these up and coming areas. Not unique to London I know, but what is unique is how they capitalise on this movement. Phase 0 is buy the property and try and lure all the creative’s into these areas, then sit on it until it becomes expensive and cut the grass by the root.

I first noticed this in Hackney wig while I was at a ware house party. A steaming warehouse with a lot of people on drugs and people in full face paint and a mixture of old school techno and drum and base blasting from the sound system. Among the crowd of madly partying people I noticed people going to the first floor by a very simplistic staircase, to what best can be described as 6 containers mounted to the roof. No windows (as far as I remember). At first I did not understand, what the boxes were for, and why there were people going in and out of them – now I know people live in them. They probably also did a lot of drugs there, which is a major part of the party scene over here (not me!).

The video is from the ware house party – check out the 1st. floor to see what I am talking about

Later I spoke to a girl who had lived in an old hotel quite central that a company (believe it is called Hamlet) rented out while waiting for finance to restore it. Now she lived in a house with 21 guys, without water or electricity – basically squatting there which is accepted in London.

The point to this story is that a lot of the communities that are created by all of these young people living in shitty places, with no money, but a Mac, ambition and a lot of time to come up with great ideas sparks a lot of the movements in London and also, often, set the best setting for an area to grow into some interesting and have the best parties on the way there. If you want to dig into the stories, cafe 1001 during any afternoon is a good place to spot these young creatives – it is like walking into an apple plantation.

Moving on

So it’s been some time since I have surfaced. Believe me I have tried and have started on 4 or 5 posts, that never materialized into something I felt could be published. So here it is my first comment on the 2 months that have passed.

Much of July and August has been about holidays, big nights and moving on. So what does it mean “to move on”. I guess it is about filling the void with new ideas and aspirations and start doing it. In the beginning it felt like staring down the abyss, but somehow it is when staring down the abyss that man finds himself, and that builds character (quote from Oliver stones Wall Street:)). So what did I discover about my character? I found out that I want to stay in London first of all, not because it is easy in a situation like this, but because I feel that this city has a lot more to teach me, before I eventually break up with London (if I do). I also found out that if I don’t come up with some kind of plan, I will probably just end up working and drinking myself in to a coffin much to early, considering what I want to get out of life. Especially when you are single again there is no one or nothing stopping you from just raving on, without considering the consequenses. So, as I do, I came up with a cunning plan to move on from my single, slightly miserable state of mind.

Dating in London

One night, after having seen several episodes of Californication and having had a glass of red wine or two, I decided to start dating. At least that would get me out of the status quo and make me think of other women. This is absolutely not my usual way of moving on, but somehow I found the idea of hooking up on a bar far to difficult, in a strange territory, where other rules and languages makes it a bit more intimidating to chat someone up. I made a profile on a site called http://www.lovestruck.com/london. It is meant to be a site where busy people meet. I went through the painfull steps of describing my own attributes as a commodity in a meat market and added some pictures of the product in different setting; me at a festival, me on the tube, me on a mountain, me in a restaurant, me with friends – and thought to myself that “is that it?”. Surprisingly I suddenly found myself in some kind of winking and poking “dialogue” with a lot of ladys. as a complete rookie in the onlinedating space, I quickly lost sight of my priorities and what I actually wanted from all this. The scary thougt, that you actually have to meet with these girls also appeared – and how would that be, I suddenly found my self reconsidering whether this was a good idea. Eventually I started to go out with some of them too. It’s been fun and relaxed, all nice girls and good dates. But I have also found out that it isn’t what I am looking for at the moment, actually, moving on for me at the moment is more about finding friends and establishing a social network (not like facebook or anything).

Finding friends

I wrote a little about it last time, but more about the importance of friends. And as I said finding friends to hang out with isn’t difficult in London. But finding close friends is always something that takes time. And in London you also have to consider that they might not stay for long. One of my best friends over here decided to leave not to long ago, for India. Besides great colleagues, the Danish connection and people you just meet by accident, plus some of the dates, I have been extremely lucky with my flat mates. Recently a new couple moved in, and it totally changed the daily life in the flat. It almost feels like my own little family – kind of what you would see on a cheesy programme like friends! Our neighbors aren’t to happy with the development, maybe it is all the mixing (DJ’ing that is) and the long days and nights, but I am sure it will come to and end, when the first couple of months are over and we have found all the secret bars in shoreditch…

Chapter 2

Besides exploring Shoreditch for bars, I am exploring the future, or rather my dreams. Trying to find out what kind of direction to set for the path that I am following. I call this chapter 2, and it is about finding meaning outside the job. I have come so far as setting dates, milestones and defining the vision and ways of developing this.

Most of the work at the moment has been about developing a new social media strategy that will allow me to communicate more freely, so first step was to professionalize blogs that relates directly to my job, and to develop a new twitter profile. I now have 2 spaces that I work in. Job and Private, I know that they are accessible and traceable, but this is more about streaming relevant information to whomever I want to target. Business tweets and blogs can be found on my linkedIn profile, the rest can be found via this blog, my homepage, facebook, tumblr etc.

Things will start to happen….but I also have a job to maintain, a job that takes most of my time.

And the work….

I am still struggling to adapt to this new way of working. Moving from industry to consulting isn’t easy. Add to that all the stuff I have been through this summer, working on another language, in a different culture, city, country etc.

But I never think of why I am doing what I am doing, as I sometimes did in Denmark. It is crystal clear why I am here, struggling, and I actually enjoy it more and more for every day that passes. That being said I think the latest realization and learning has been that this might be the first time where I needed to struggle to perform above average, which is actually a really nice feeling, because it means that I am using myself to the max, instead of just going with whatever is expected. The learning curve is steep, very steep – but it helps me being happy about where I am and why I am in London.

About Friends

Blog continues under video

Summer is here, the weekend before we had 30 degrees and everywhere you saw people hanging out for a pint or a chat -friends getting together after work, couples and colleagues. Relations are important in a city like London, where you feel very lonely if you are not hanging out with somebody.

Your home is where you friends and family are

I have really been in need of good friends in the last 2 months. Friends that can make you feel at home where you are in the world, in life. They are there even though things are not turning out like you hoped it would. They remind you what is important in life: that you can lose your girlfriend, your job, your house all the material things that you have collected over time, Your can loose your health your mind your sense of self, but good friends and family will always be there to remind you where you came from and what you are to them. They represent your history your future and place in life all at the same time, and also you sense of where you feel at home.

Misplaced

I owe my friends and family back in Denmark a big thank you for how they have taken care of me the last couple of months. Everything from endless phone conversations to buying me a ticket home or just checking in to see how I feel. THANK YOU!  Now London isn’t the worst place to be in a situation like mine. A situation where you need friends and you have left your home – it is easy to travel to Copenhagen for a weekend, so I have spent a lot of time with friends in Denmark. It’s almost at the level where I feel it splits my personality. I want to and need to feel at home in London, and with friends like mine in Denmark it is hard not to feel a bit misplaced at the moment sitting in London.

New friends

That being said I have been lucky enough to find good friends over here as well, who has taken me in to their life and treated me like we have known each other forever. My feeling is that I would do the same to anyone of them, especially because of the similar story you share with a lot of people in this city.

 How do you make friends in London?

London is a city of people passing by and it is very easy to find something to talk about with most people here. The city calls for a special breed of city animals who seeks out other herds. You will soon get to know a lot of people over here. But who will become close friends? The problem is that you don’t have the same time to invest in friendships because of the long working hours. So what do you do, you hang out with your colleagues – hence the pub culture. So I am down with the pub culture feeling all British with a pint and my mates after work. But enough about work, to me this moment is about new beginnings, and doing new things, if could only find the time…more about that later.