Sponsored Swim Blog #1

I have decided to do a sponsored swim.

Yes, really.  Me, Sarah Harrison… doing exercise…for charity… who’d have thought it, eh?

Earlier on this year I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. I’ll be honest, it was bloody awful news.

I promised myself that some good had to come out of it, and decided that when I got better I’d try and raise some money for Crohn’s and Colitis UK – a cracking charity that works to improve the lives of people living with IBD through raising awareness and funding vital research.

Now I’m on the road to recovery, this time has finally come.

I did toy with the idea of doing a bake sale.













I swiftly changed my mind.

I saw a poster for the Aspire Channel Swim, where people swim the distance of the channel – some 22 miles – over 12 weeks to raise money for people with spinal cord injuries.

“That’s it!” I thought – brilliant idea – I’ll do that, but put my own twist on it – I’ll do it to raise money for Crohn’s and Colitis UK.

So that’s what I’m going to do. From the 29th September to the 22nd December I’ll be attempting to swim a grand total of 22 miles. That’s 35,405.568 metres, to be exact. I’m tired just thinking about it.

Now, I know what you might be thinking. ‘Hang on Harrison, what’s this got to do with music?’… ‘This is primarily a music blog, after all.’ Well, I’ll tell you how. For each entry I’ll also be talking about the music that I’ve been listening to that week; music that has inspired, energised, relaxed and motivated, music that has intrigued, moved and captivated me, music that has made me just want to get up and shake my booty. There’s going to be some corkers, so keep your eyes peeled.

Whilst training (yes, I’ve been training, try not to collapse out of shock) I was thinking about what I could pin to this post.  Stealing an idea (Channel swim) and changing it and making it my own (doing it for a different charity), made me think about songs where the artists have done the same – artists that have taken a song and covered, remixed or reworked it, and as a result, made it just that little bit better.

So here are a few favourites…

Corner Shop (Norman Cook Remix) – Brimful of Asha

A massive hit back in the late 90’s – would I go so far as naming it a classic? I think I might.  Norman Cook got a hold of this distinctly average tune (which was originally released back in ‘97 and got to an embarrassing number 60 in the charts) and the rest, as they say, is history.

Jimi Hendrix Experience – All Along The Watchtower (originally Bob Dylan)

To quote the mighty Bob himself:

“Hendrix had such talent, he could find things inside a song and vigorously develop them. He found things that other people wouldn’t think of finding in there. He probably improved upon it by the spaces he was using. I took license with the song from his version, actually, and continue to do it to this day.”

Well said, that man.

(And speaking of Bob Dylan, he has recently released an album of previously unreleased tracks called The Bootleg Series, Vol 10 – Another Self Portrait and it’s full of little jems – including a version of traditional English folk ballad ‘Pretty Saro’, which is well worth a listen)

Notorious B.I.G. (Ratatat Remix) – Party and Bullsh*t

Unlike Corner Shop and Hendrix, you may well not have heard this one. It’s a cheeky little triumph of a remix by NYC duo Ratatat… so just listen to it, please? You won’t be disappointed. And if you are, I can refund you the full 3 minutes and 57 seconds by clicking here.

Baron Von Alias – The A Team (originally Ed Sheeran)

You may think it’s not a difficult task to better an Ed Sheeran track, and you’d probably be right. North Eastern gent Baron Von Alias has shaken this up well and truly… who’d have thought an Ed Sheeran song could sound Street?! Top hats off to you, Mr. Von Alias.

Daughter – Get Lucky (originally Daft Punk)

Yes, ok, so maybe this doesn’t top the 70’s inspired funky disco grooves of the original, but it is a beautiful interpretation none the less; Elena Tonra’s fragile voice and otherwise sparse instrumentation, which is so very typical of Daughter, completely flip this song on its head – and it’s gorgeous for it.

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