Penny Thoughts

The Ramblings of a Biology Lover, with a Few Surprises on the Side

Category: Music

Bon Iver at AIR Studios

Found this recently and can’t really stop listening to it. It’s great to see not just Justin Vernon, but also Sean Carey in this. Justin Vernon being basically the main man in Bon Iver, this clip shows just how important the other members are; I didn’t actually realise how much Sean Carey actually contributed to the songs. The other two members weren’t present, which was a shame, but it’s a real treat to see these guys in a studio environment.
This is one of my favourite Bon Iver youtube clips ever and I have listened to it far too many times.
Have a listen and whisk yourself off to a land of calm and serenity with Justin and Sean.
It just gets better and better every time..


Best of British 2012: 3. Earthquake

The Techtonics: “Earthquake” has been announced as 3rd best UK a capella song of 2012! So proud :’)


The Best of British 2012 is our unofficial countdown of the top ten UK a cappella tracks of the past year. Over the next few weeks leading up to the Christmas period, we will be counting down, from ten to one, what we believe have been the best tracks on show this year, ranging from awesome arrangements, sensational solos, marvellous mash-ups, punny parodies and everything in between.

Eligible Tracks

In order to determine which tracks were to be considered for this accolade, we decided to restrict our selections to songs that fell under ONE or BOTH of the following categories:
a) A song that made its live debut in 2012
b) A song that was featured on a 2012 album

For example, although all of the tracks featured on The AccidentalsEP made their debuts at the 2011 Voice Festival, because the album was released in 2012, all of…

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All You Need is Love Flash Mob Proposal by The Techtonics

The all male A Cappella group at Imperial, The Techtonics, have put together this video of when they performed for a man proposing to his girlfriend. If you want to get that fuzzy feeling inside your tummy, you need to watch this. IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL

We Will Rock You: Review

This August I headed down to London with the family for my Dad’s sshhh.. 50th birthday. We were in a bit of a pickle trying to figure out what to get my Dad as he’s the most difficult man. After some brainstorming with the mother we decided we’d take him to see We Will Rock You. He’s a bit of a die-hard Queen fan, which means we all are too, so something we could all enjoy.

We arrived at the Dominion Theatreon Tottenham Court Road and got to our seats. The theatre was much larger than expected and the traditional architecture added that little extra glamour to the place.

I had no idea what the story of the musical would be so I’ll give a little description of the main storyline; don’t worry I won’t give anything away. So the time is the future and the world has become completely globalised. There is no individualism and no real music except for digitally produced, super controlled tracks. However, there are some rebels attempting to hold on to individual thought and attempting to unearth the elusive rock music from the past. The plot mainly follows two main characters Gallileo and Scaramouche and their fight against the new world and its leader the Killer Queen. As you can tell from the names, the idea of Queen is very much entwined into the cast and plot providing many entertaining moments. They are in search for the lost axe of the hairy one. Seems a little cryptic and I won’t say any more. They meet many intriguing characters on their way and there is great rock and roll with throughout with a few jibes at modern music culture.

We Will Rock You is an absolutely hilarious musical which will leave you in tears of laughter. If you’re a Queen fan it will get you rocking in your seats; I have to admit to a bit of cheeky head banging. The performances were incredible, as you would expect from a West End production.All the classic Queen songs are in there with some of the less famous ones, so whether you’re a die-hard Queen fan or just a bit of a dabbler you’ll still have a great sing along. I had my reservations as to how the performances would hold up to the incomparable talent of Freddie Mercury, but I was pleasantly surprised with all songs doing the originals serious justice.

Check out the Dominion Theatre website for some clips and pictures of the show to get yourself in the We Will Rock You mood.

If you’re up for a bit of rock and roll in your evenings you must get yourself down to the Dominion Theatre for what will be a hilarious,  head banging experience and bring out your inner Bohemian!

A Capella

Music is a big part of anyone’s life and in that way something that we can all relate to.

This year I joined my universitie’s female a capella group the Imperielles. I’ve never been particularly musically talented but I have always loved singing and I’d found an environment where even though I had very basic musical knowledge I could still give it a good go.

Before joining I really had no idea about the UK a capella scene. I had some understanding that it was pretty big in America (it is in fact HUGE). As I continued to go to rehearsals the world of A capella opened up to me and I was fixed.

When I joined in January the group were in the midst of preparing for the biggest UK a capella competition that takes place every year: UK Voice Festival.

The Imperielles had only been a group for a couple of months when I joined and so we were very much in our infancy. We were taking part in Voice Fest mainly to get a bit of performance experience and to see what sort of level other groups were at. We went to the festival with Imperial’s male a capella group the Techtonics. The Techtonics are a more established group at Imperial and are very much the Imperielles much better and more experienced older brother.

Imperielles at the Imperial Festival

We competed in the London qualifier with the Techtonics, King’s College female group The King’s Chix and male group All The King’s Men. and Cambridge’s male group Fitz Barbershop. The competition at Voice Fest was mainly a 2 group race between the Techtonics and All The King’s Men. Techtonics took best solo and  outstanding performance with their version of Earthquake which definitely deserves a watch. All The King’s Men won overall and went on to win the entire competition and compete on the world a capella stage.

Imperielles, The Scopes and Techtonics performing In The Smoke’s “Don’t Stop The Music” at Imperial Festival

It’s been 7 months since the competition and the Imperielles have grown not only in the number of members but also in confidence and our performances are becoming more dynamic and more regular. Since Voice Fest we’ve been busking around London; mainly around Exhibition Road, we’ve also performed at Imperial Festival and at Imperial a capella night at our union. So it’s all looking up for the Imperielles.

I was voted deputy president of the group and this year, my final year at Imperial, I hope that the Imperielles will continue to grow and keep on singing.

If you want to see some of our songs below are some links to our main songs and performances.

Dog Days Are Over , Grenade, Back To Black,Love Song

Get scouting about the internet to witness some of the amazing a capella talent out there, on both sides of the pond. Hopefully that’ll be enough to encourage you to get your vocal chords warmed up get out there and have a good sing song!

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