Category Archives: Sirens

Soundtrack Listing – Episode 6

OK folks, here is the soundtrack listing to the final episode of Sirens along with the usual Spotify link to the track of the artists who have a presence there.

(There was a piece, cut from the draft where, during the party, a gang of firemen talk about removing part of a radiator with power tools in order to help make the melon bong. I am quite sad that got cut).

Also – I don’t cry.  Partly because my ‘father’ story is much funnier.

Les Carnaval Des Animaux - Slovak RSO
Surf Hell - Little Barrie
The Greeks - Is Tropical
Fireworks - The Whitest Boy Alive
Until Then - OrcasI Think I Like U 2 - Jamaica
Microlite - Trophy Wife
The Sound Of Sunshine - Michael Franti
I Need A Dollar - Aloe Blacc
Come To The Bar - Pete and the Pirates
Super Duper - Deerhoof
Tighten up - The Black Keys
Crushing Limbs - Anni Rossi
Bakerman - Laid Back
The Look - Metronomy
Wild Thing - Tone Loc
I Think I Like It - Fake Blood
Gas - Star Slinger
In The Summer - Crystal Fighters
Like A G6 - Far East Movement
Brow Beaten - Silver Columns
Bumpkin - Star Slinger
Pearl High - The Bar Kays
Right On - The Roots
Claire - Baxter Dury
OK - The Beastie Boys
The Burial - Justine Barker
We Are Your Friends - Justice Vs Simian
Avril 14th - Aphex Twin
Peace Begins Within - Nora Dean
Wonders of the Deep - The Chemical Brothers
Hullaballabalu - Mum
Ice Cream - The Battles

The End Of Sirens (Hopefully Of Just Series One)

So, that’s over.

First off – I have no idea if there is going to be a second series. Certainly I’ve got my fingers crossed that there will be a second series. Once I know you’ll know because you will probably hear me dancing (badly) around my flat again.

For those that don’t know – I wrote ‘Blood, Sweat and Tea’ which was the book that Sirens is based on (And has been republished with the sequels as ‘Sirens’). The book was based on my old blog ‘Random Acts Of Reality’ which was about my previous job as an EMT for the London Ambulance Service.

(All books available from Amazon and physical bookshops – ahem).

So – did you enjoy it? I know I did and I think for most of the people who liked it it was a grower.

The purpose of this post is so that folk can ask me questions on the series as a whole, my information is limited, but if you want to leave a question in the comments I’ll answer as much as I can in a couple of days time.

Soundtrack Listing – Episode 5

Here is the soundtrack lisiting for episode five (the penultimate episode) of Sirens. Hope you enjoy it and use it responsibly.

The Spotify link is here.

So next week is the last episode (although my fingers remain crossed for a second series), will Maxine and Stuart get together? Ryan and Ashley? Stuart and Ashley? Will all of the characters survive? Why is Craig acting like a bellend? Will Maxine’s plumbing ever be the same again?

Will loads of people buy the book on which it is based?

Erm… On with the soundtrack listing I think…

Body Language, MANDY Vs Booka Shade
Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered, Ella Fitzgerald
God Made Me, Altered Natives
Surf Hell, Little Barrie
A Chore, Tom Vek
Tenderoni, Kele Okereke
What in the World, Carol Kenyon
Car Video, Sporto Kantes
We Want To, New Young Pony Club
It's Me, Aquadrop
The Phoenix Alive, Monarchy
Barbara Streisand (O-God Remix), Duck Sauce
Airwar, Crystal Castles
Enfant Terrible, Sonny J
Freak Like Me, Sugarbabes
Midsummer Night Blues, Waldeck
Diplo Rhythm, Diplo
Kalimba, Mr Scruff
Baby Get Lost, Dinah Washington
Blackeye, Love Inks
See You All, Koudlam
Turn Up (The Music), Camo and Krooked
Stand on the Word (Larry Levan Mix), The Joubert Singers
Come to the Bar, Pete and the Pirates

Soundtrack Listing – Episode 4

Here is the Soundtrack listing for episode four, along with the Spotify playlist of all the tracks which are available there. At least this time I’ve heard of some of the bands (heck – I’ve even seen The Chemical Brothers play live).

Sadly there are more than a few tracks which aren’t on Spotify which I think says more for the musical knowledge of the people who put the soundtrack together in the first place.

 

Doctor Sure Shot				Reco & The Rudies
Photoshop Handsome				Everything Everything
Surf Hell					Little Barrie
Symphony No.4 - 4th Movement (Adagietto)	Unknown Ensemble
Bruk Pocket’s Lamet				The Heavy
Animal (Peter Bjorn and John Remix)		Miike Snow
Girl						The Heavy
Follow (Acoustic)				Crystal Fighters
Gutterpump					Noisia
Me and the Moon					The Drums
I Am The Preacher				The Derek Lawrence Statement
Organ						Library Music
Cause For Alarm					The Heavy
Nine						Threespeeder
Barry Is An Asthmatic Kid			Ludique
I Kill Your Love, Baby				I Break Horses
Go Bang						Hot City
But I Feel Good					Groove Armada
Closer						Lord Large
You Make Me Feel Mighty Real			Sylvester
Look At Me (Laura Cantrell Re-work)		Mirrors
This Is War					Xpress 2 Feat. Doll
Talk						Big Deal
Geek						Jeko
Boys Don’t Cry					Victor Malloy
Apollo-Gize					Digitalism (Hypnotoad Extended Remix)
Block Rockin’ Beats (Edit)			Chemical Brothers
Happy Rabbit					Breakbot
You’ll Be Mine					The Pierces
My Synths Are The Bomb				Kraak & Smaak
Say You’ll Be Mine				Kitty Daisy & Lewis
Cancer						I Break Horses
I Don’t Want To See You				Camera Obscura
Wichita Lineman					Shawn Lee
Rock The Casbah					The Clash
Getting Nowhere					Magnetic Man (Featuring John Legend)
Over & Over					Hot Chip

Soundtrack Listing – Episode 3

Here is the soundtrack listing for Sirens episode 3.

And here is the Spotify link. At least for those artists that are on Spotify. (I may also have got some of the mixes wrong, if so apologies in advance)

I think I’m old as I’ve only heard of three of the artists.

 

Wide Eyes (Teen Daze Remix) - Local Natives
Perfect Stranger - Magnetic Man Featuring Katy B
Surf Hell - Little Barrie
Animal (Mark Ronson Extended Dub Remix) - Miike Snow
Black & Blue (Savage Skulls Remix) - Miike Snow
Majesty - Warpaint
Apparently Nothin’ (Soul River) - Young Disciples
Hallucination Train - The Runcible Spoon
Chillin’ - Byob Vs Jason Nevins
Dear Mr Fantasy - Traffic
Melancholia - Christopher Slaski (Audio Network)
Kong - Bonobo
Sixteen - The Heavy
Eyesdown - Bonobo Feat Andreya Triana
Summer Party - Breakbot
Don’t Lose My Time - Heartbreak
Come On Get In - KT Tunstall
Baby - Warpaint
Come Away With Me - Andy Lewis
Hearts - I Break Horses
Let The Good Times Roll -  Chris Bangs Feat Robert Galliano
Set Your Arms Down - Warpaint
Empathy - Crystal Castles
Lissie’s Heart Murmur - Warpaint
Get Down Tonight (Wideboys Remix) - Wizard Sleeve
Winter Beats - I Break Horses
White Sails - Marques Toliver
Gangsta Trippin (Lazy Rich Remix) - Fatboy Slim

Changes and Edits

It’s strange to write about seeing something that you’ve watched being made, the old joke about sausage factories not withstanding, it is the changes that have been made which make viewing the finished product a bizarre experience.

A lot of the changes that you see make sense.

Take for example the decision to swap around Episode one and Episode two. If you watch Episode two closely you can see where they introduce the characters (like informing the viewer that Rashid is a trainee), but if you take a step back you can see that Episode one has a more equal distribution of the characters rather than it being much more about Stuart and his… ‘intimacy issues’. This makes a lot of sense.

You can also see things where plot points and beats that work on paper, when filmed only add unanswered questions. Those scenes then end up on the editing suite floor (or the editing software trash bin). Initially you wonder where the funny scene that you liked so much in the script and rough edit has gone – but then you realise that the episode is better for dropping it.

Sometimes you think that someone has put something in by mistake on the day. Take the first scene of Episode one where Stuart crawls through the car, checks a woman’s pulse and saying ‘she’s got a faint pulse’ then goes on to start internal CPR. (Hint – you don’t do CPR on an adult if they have a pulse). This error wasn’t in the draft I saw, but I can imagine that during filming the director wanted Stuart to say something ‘medical’. Hence an error was born.

(I can’t say for sure if this is what happened – or if it is something that sneaked in on a later draft).

Then you can see the changes that Channel Four have probably requested – and I cannot blame them, after all they are seeking to hit a certain demographic and are paying Daybreak the production company to produce that product. It’s very expensive to make a TV show and Channel Four have every right to get what they are paying for.

And to be honest, I don’t think that Channel Four had a horribly wrong-headed idea of the TV programme that Daybreak wanted to make – so the changes have so far been completely reasonable.  As I keep saying to everyone who dares to ask me, it would be a different series (not ‘better’) if the BBC had commissioned it, or if it were for ITV, and if SyFy commissioned it then it would be a very different beast entirely.

So it’s weird to watch something that has changed so much – not wrong, not painful, not disappointing. Just a bit weird.

-=-=-=-

For the record? I really like it. It’s a good, strong, Channel Four drama-comedy.

Soundtrack Listing – Episode 2

For those that are interested – here is the soundtrack for Sirens, episode two. I personally think that this episode is a bit stronger than the opening episode. I’m looking forward to seeing episode three next week as I’m yet to see it myself.

 

Here is a Spotify link for all the tracks. Those that are not on Spotify are marked with an *

 

Surf Hell, Little Barrie

Whirring, The Joy Formidable

Can’t Hurt, Unkle

*The Size of It, The Standing 8 Counts

The King and All of His Men, Wolf Gang

*Great Romances, Ramona

Happy Day Today, Jim Noir

I Want You So Hard, Eagles of Death Metal

I Love You, Chungking

Can’t Go Back, Primal Scream

One Vision, Queen

Voila, Francoise Hardy

Fill Your Heart, Biff Rose

Whirring, The Joy Formidable

Tighten Up, The Black Keys

Alive & Amplified, The Mooney Suzuki

Soundtrack Listing – Episode One

For those that are interested – this is the soundtrack listing for Episode 1 of ‘Sirens’. For reasons that are complicated this may change for any DVD release.

Here is a Spotify link (with a karaoke version of ‘Suddenly’ because it’s not on Spotify)

 

Surf Hell, Little Barrie

Suddenly, Angry Anderson

Harmonics, Efterklang

Pack Up, Eliza Doolittle

Hey There Delilah, Plain White T Shirt

All Night, Damian Marley & Stephen Marley

No One Knows, Mark Ronson

Sex Bomb, Spinnerette

Heartbreaker, Metronomy

Shake Your Body, The Jacksons

Billie Jean, Michael Jackson

Bump N’ Grind, R Kelly

Yeah, LCD Soundsystem

Do It Again, Chemical Brothers

Mister Sunlight, The Honey Ants

You Can Run On, Eli Paperboy Read

 

Sirens

Monday 27th of June – Channel 4, 10pm – Sirens

Tonight Channel 4 are showing the first episode (of six) of Sirens, the TV series based upon my books.

I am quite nervous.

I can’t quite put my finger on what it is that is making me nervous though. To be honest I’ve had very little to do with the actual production besides writing the books and blog that it is based on.  My role has largely been to cast my eye over the draft scripts and make some suggestions, some of which have actually turned up in the finished programmes.

Certainly I like the scripts that I’ve been sent, and I like the first two episodes that I’ve seen and I think that the writers have nailed the ambulance experience.

So if it is received well then I can bask in some reflected glory, and if it is panned, then I can distance myself and say ‘Nuffink to do with me guv’. Additionally I get paid whether it does well or not – and hopefully it’ll sell more of my books (For which there is a TV tie-in omnibus edition)

But I hope that it does well, because everyone who I’ve met around this production has been really nice and I think that they deserve it.

-=-=-=-

There is one thing that is building my nervousness, and that is how it’s been marketed by Channel 4. Don’t get me wrong, I love the little teaser trailers that they have made for the programme, but I imagine that it is easy to think that the programme is similar to Campus or Green Wing, which it really isn’t.  It’s a drama with some comedy in it but that is a subject for another blogpost.

Passion

It has been quite a while since I last wrote, and while I would like to say that the reason behind this is because I have been busy, that would be a lie. Unless you count playing ‘Rift’ and lounging around on the sofa watching TV while eating chocolate ‘busy’.

As Sirens is due to air from next week (Sirens being the new name for ‘Naked Apes’, a name change that I believe came from Channel 4) I’ve been doing a fair bit of publicity for it, mostly in print, and one of the questions that I am normally asked is ‘Why did you start a blog?’

The answer is largely in two parts – the first and most superficial part is that I was reading blogs and thought that people were having a whale of a time as a result of them being bloggers and that I wanted to have that sort of lifestyle. The second reason was due to passion.

When I was working on the ambulance service I was passionate about a lot of things. About the way the service was being run, about the patients who would use and misuse the service and about the supporting services and the rest of the NHS. I would be angry about the care that the elderly were getting in nursing homes. I would be frustrated at the lack of working kit on the ambulance. I would struggle to understand how someone with a verruca could consider that an ambulance was an appropriate response. I was joyful about the fun jobs that I would go to.

While a lot of that passion was negative (especially towards the end of my time in the ambulance service), it still provided me with the energy to come home after a twelve hour shift and write about something.

Since changing my job I am a lot more content in life. I don’t have to fret about shift work, I have less pressures from above to do the impossible, I get regular hot meals.  Most importantly I am treated as an adult who doesn’t have to ask for permission to go to the toilet.

What this means is that I am a lot less passionate about my job, and this is a good thing – certainly it is good for my health, but it’s not particularly brilliant for shifting my backside from the sofa to start pounding on the keyboard.

The other reason is that essentially I am starting from the bottom again. I like to think that my insights into ambulance work were reasonable because I was quite good at it and had been doing it for a while before I started writing about it. I am yet to feel ‘expert’ about nurse practitioning, although I am starting to see the patterns of patients that we get.

As confidentiality is a big issue, I can only write about these patterns and generalities so as to not have any possiblity of identifying patients.

I also wanted to spend the first few months at my new job keeping a low profile, sounding out the background and social structure of the place and generally trying to avoid trouble.

However, I’m now starting to get the itch to start blogging again because I’m starting to see the ways in which Urgent Care is used (and abused) and the way in which we fit into the community.

While Twitter has largely replaced my blogging, there are some things that deserve more than 140 characters.