– for music lovers who run

emergency exit signLike many people who crowd London’s parks, I’m a runner. I also like music quite a lot. So is a great site for mixing the two.

Using the very simple idea of matching your running speed to a track’s bpm, it allows you to build up playlists that suit your average pace.

Scientists have actually proven that running to music makes you go faster and for longer, but running to music that is too fast-paced can cause injuries or strains. seems to fill quite a useful gap in the market and if they could only expand their collection of tracks beyond the slightly limited range on there at the moment, it could become massively popular.

For the record, I find that Dance, Dance, Dance by 65daysofstatic and Race To The Heart Of The Sun by The Automatic are particularly good running songs for running an eight-minute mile.

free representation unit legal charityOn a related note, I am running the Bupa London 10k tomorrow on behalf of the Free Representation Unit. This legal charity provides representation for Brits who cannot afford it otherwise, including workers who have lost their jobs and are not entitled to legal aid. The vast majority of their staff are volunteers, yet they handle over 1,000 cases per year.

Please visit my Just Giving page and donate a few pounds, and you can be sure they will be put to good use.

Album Review: The Automatic – Tear The Signs Down

You may remember The Automatic from such pop-rock atrocities as (what’s that coming over the hill is it a) Monster (?) and (let’s go see) Raoul, which plagued the airwaves in 2006. Since then, however, the band have undergone a major transformation with the unceremonious ditching of keyboardist/screamer Alex Pennie and the recruitment of alt-rock pioneer Paul Mullen (formerly of yourcodenameis:milo).

The Automatic, Paul Mullen, British Rock Band, Rob Hawkins

The Automatic are clearly out to prove the doubters wrong on their third record and to a certain extent, they achieve this. The eerie keys and syncopated rhythms of album opener Insides makes them sound closer to Radiohead or Muse than Scouting for Girls or the Hoosiers. Their transformation is down, in no short part, to the prominence of Paul Mullen, who joined the band in 2008 for their sophomore effort This is a Fix and has since installed himself as the creative fulcrum of the band…

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